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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our Magical Money Pit

When we bought our house in 2005, I thought it was a dream come true. Magical, almost. I had grand plans for how we'd decorate and landscape and all that stuff. And for the most part, all of that has come true. Except, when we bought our house, I was on the fence about having kids and thought that maybe, maybe, we'd have one...when I was 30. We clearly know how that turned out. As I've said before, we're going to have to move at some point. Our timeline at this point is 5 years. We want to make sure we can put a sizable down payment on our next house and have the money for any upgrades we want to make. But that's not what I'm pouring my heart out about today.

Today, I feel like home ownership is less magical and more money-pit. Yes, our house is nearly 100 years old. That's part of why I like it. The previous owners put a new HVAC system in right when we moved in. Other than buying a new fridge, washer, and dryer, we haven't had to do anything major to this home. We put up crown molding in the living room and crown molding + a chair rail in the dining room. We re-water proofed the basement to make it a suitable playroom for the kids. We've painted every room and put a new floor in the bathroom. All things we chose to do.

But the roof. We started having leak issues this time last year. We had them repaired and figured we could get by for another year or two so we could save up and pay cash for a new roof. Record rainfall in our area lately dictated otherwise. So began the battle with insurance. Yes, there have been weather events beyond our control that have damaged our roof, so insurance should cover the repairs. Yes, our roof is old so making repairs is not an option and replacement is the only way to go. No, our insurance does not want to cover all of it. After a fight, we got them to meet us a little more than halfway. We'll pay a few hundred over our typical deductible, they'll cover the rest, and by the end of this month, we should have a new roof over our heads. I'm happy, I am. But I'm tired of spending money on this ol' house (since we already paid for some repairs before all of this happened with our insurance).

All of this leaves me wondering-- do we really want to buy another house? Wouldn't it just be easier to rent next time around so that when the roof leaks or something breaks it's someone else's problem. It's tempting to think about avoiding the "money pit" home ownership can sometimes cause. But then I think about the "magic" of buying our "forever" home in a few years and I think, maybe it's worth it.

Linking up with Shell today.

~Melody :-)

P.S. If you happen to be on Facebook, I'd love it if you would search for Cincinnati Parent, "like" them (you can unlike them after May 15th, when the contest ends), and then go to their Cover Kids 2011 photo album. Cate is number 51. It's the picture below. "Like" that actual picture (not the album). The kid with the most "likes" gets to be on the cover. That's it. No money or anything. I think Cate would look cute on the cover, don't you. So please, help us out if you can. And see my last post if you're interested in some new reading material.


Renegades said...

We had to put in a new furnace system in our home. Yeah to home ownership. I do have to say it's nice having it be ours.

LLF said...

I hear ya! I love our house, which is also 100 years old, but it is definitely a magical money pit. Owning isn't for everyone, and in a market like Cincinnati you may come out ahead if you're disciplined enough to rent and invest the difference of renting vs. owning each month, but I would say that we're still young and on the front-end of this process, and that you may find the advantages of owning increase the longer you stay in your forever home.

mama marchand said...

I think renting versus home ownership is so hard! We battle with it a lot. We've been renting since we got married and it's FANTASTIC to be able to call someone else to fix major issues and to not have to fork over the money for them. BUT, it means it's not ours. It's a rental.

I've seen my parents and in laws go from encouraging us to buy a home ... to considering renting themselves (to downsize). This economic climate is so bizarre with all of this!

HOORAY for a new roof ... I know how badly you've wanted one! GOOD FOR YOU for "fighting" with the insurance company ... they need a good push every now and then (coming from a former agent). ;)

Shell said...

At this point, we just rent. We're looking to buy, but sometimes, I think it might be easier to just rent forever!

Your daughter is so cute!

amygrew said...

Houses are so expensive! We haven't even thought about renting, but that may be the area that I live in.

It may be something to look into!

Lynn said...

Lately, I have also been wondering if owning a house is worth it. I friend just sold his house after 7 years of paying a mortgage, interest, insurance, upgrades, repairs, etc. and barely got out of it without having to OWE money. Typically, you assume you are going to gain equity but in this economic market, that isn't a given anymore. He estimates that he spent close to $100,000 over those 7 years and has nothing to show for it now. Certainly, he would have had to pay rent, but if he didn't own that home he would have banked a good portion of that $100,000. Boy, that hurts!

The Palmer Family Blog said...

Love the post title! We actually just sold our house, walked out with about what we paid for it a couple of years ago and are renting...and you know what, it feels kind of nice for a change to not have to worry about . We'll see what happens after our year of renting...
Congrats on the new roof, I know you've been stressing about it!