My wife and I have just sealed the deal on our first house! It’s a very nice little three-bed two-story semi-fixer in northern Seattle. We’ve already generated a two page remodeling project list that we sure hope gets done in a reasonable time frame. Thanks to the magic of Google Sketchup, I have a fantastic CAD layout of the entire place that should greatly help us along the way.
Despite taking nearly 500 pictures of the insides of the house and the back yard, I don’t have a single house front photo to share with you.
However, if you’re interested in more updates, check back to this blog every now and then.
Oh, and we’re getting some chickens. The city limits us to the lesser of 20,000 chickens or one per square foot of property space, but I think we just need two or three. We’ll keep you posted on how that goes after we move in.
If you know the name of any really good and really inexpensive architects, interior designers, or contractors, let us know!
Congratulations to Redfin on their big 4.0 release yesterday. They have updated their look, added a new logo, made the maps expand with your screen size, and added several other new features that housing shoppers will enjoy.
Best of all, they spent plenty of time in QA to make sure there were no big bugs or undue downtime in the transition.
Now, if only their backend was in PHP instead of Java.
Right now is a tedious time to be trading Seattle real estate. While the nation at large is experiencing a deflation in housing values, the Seattle market is stubbornly fluctuating between plateau and boom days.
A large number of properties are going unsold for 90+ days [zillow.com] while others are subject to irrational bidding wars. Part of me wants to sit it all out for another six to twelve months, but my better half insists that we need a house.
And so, we are in the market for a house.
Imagine you were considering your options on a $350,000 traditional home loan. Assuming you have a FICO score of 725 (US average(1)), your interest rate might be 6.259% for a 30-year fixed mortgage(2). At the end of 30 years, you’ll own your home outright for a total cost of about $776K–that’s $427K in interest(3).
By contrast, a 15-year loan will net you a lower interest rate of about 6.011%. Your monthly payments will be a little bit more, but you will own the home in half the time for a total cost of about $532K–only $182K in interest.