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Should I bother to renovate my kitchen with a first time home buyer''s credit?

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Clairitek

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I am thinking of taking advantage of the first time home buyer''s credit. As I understand it I would receive what is basically a $7500 interest free loan to be paid back $500/year starting with the filing of my 2010 taxes (in Spring 2011). My FI and I bought our house end of last April so we both would qualify for this credit for a total of $15,000.

Our current kitchen is small, only 10'' x 11''. We have hardly any counter space. The stove is sort of by itself on a wall. All of the appliances are horribly old. Our dishwasher is so old that it has a piece of plywood screwed into the space where the front door panel used to be.


We are not sure how long we should be in this house as it depends on where I find a job after I get my PhD. Hopefully we will be there for at least 2-4 more years until we decide to upgrade the house and start having babies.

According to some research I did recently (zillow.com) our home is worth a little more than we paid for it... probably 5-6%. We got a hell of a deal because the old owners really needed to off load their mortgage as they had moved months before we came along.

Currently (as you can see in the diagrams I''ll attach) our kitchen is adjacent to the dining room. They share a non load-bearing wall that could come down. My idea is to build out the counter into an L-shape and install the stove in approximately the same place it currently stands. For simplicity we would leave the sink and dishwasher where they are as well as the fridge. We would gain a ton of counter space and cabinet space which is much needed. It would open up that half of the house and we would gain some bar stool seating on the counter opposite the stove.

I would want to install tile flooring in place of the current linoleum and manufactured granite counter tops. Currently the cooking is electric but I much prefer gas. I would want to install a small gas tank for cooking in the backyard (there are good places just outside of the kitchen for this) and have a gas line put into the house to put in a gas stove.

So if you were in my shoes, would you do this? Do you think its risky?

Thanks for your opinions. Feel free to tell me that I''m crazy. I also want to add that I wouldn''t want to spend more than $7000-$8000 on this project.

ctekkitchen1.jpg
 

Clairitek

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View of the pantry door and basement door.

ctekkitchen2.jpg
 

Clairitek

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Diagram of exiting dining room and living room area.

existing kitchen.jpg
 

Clairitek

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Option 1 of new kitchen with the L-shapes counter. Probably more economical than option 2.

option1 L shaped counter.jpg
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 2/5/2009 5:39:30 PM
Author:Clairitek
I am thinking of taking advantage of the first time home buyer''s credit. As I understand it I would receive what is basically a $7500 interest free loan to be paid back $500/year starting with the filing of my 2010 taxes (in Spring 2011). My FI and I bought our house end of last April so we both would qualify for this credit for a total of $15,000.

Our current kitchen is small, only 10'' x 11''. We have hardly any counter space. The stove is sort of by itself on a wall. All of the appliances are horribly old. Our dishwasher is so old that it has a piece of plywood screwed into the space where the front door panel used to be.


We are not sure how long we should be in this house as it depends on where I find a job after I get my PhD. Hopefully we will be there for at least 2-4 more years until we decide to upgrade the house and start having babies.

According to some research I did recently (zillow.com) our home is worth a little more than we paid for it... probably 5-6%. We got a hell of a deal because the old owners really needed to off load their mortgage as they had moved months before we came along.

Currently (as you can see in the diagrams I''ll attach) our kitchen is adjacent to the dining room. They share a non load-bearing wall that could come down. My idea is to build out the counter into an L-shape and install the stove in approximately the same place it currently stands. For simplicity we would leave the sink and dishwasher where they are as well as the fridge. We would gain a ton of counter space and cabinet space which is much needed. It would open up that half of the house and we would gain some bar stool seating on the counter opposite the stove.

I would want to install tile flooring in place of the current linoleum and manufactured granite counter tops. Currently the cooking is electric but I much prefer gas. I would want to install a small gas tank for cooking in the backyard (there are good places just outside of the kitchen for this) and have a gas line put into the house to put in a gas stove.

So if you were in my shoes, would you do this? Do you think its risky?

Thanks for your opinions. Feel free to tell me that I''m crazy. I also want to add that I wouldn''t want to spend more than $7000-$8000 on this project.
Claritek, I don''t know where you purchased the home, and please don''t be offended that I''m being a bit of a downer, but I can almost guarantee you that in most markets, the market will continue to go down. Most likely that 5-6% will be no more in about a year or so (again, depending on where you live). There are some markets that are still hanging in there (and a small few that are going up) so hopefully you live in one of those areas.

Personally, I would not sink much money into a house I knew I wasn''t going to live in for very long. However a kitchen might help the value for when you resell it, but if the market is bad, you''ll most likely eat that money.

If you really think it will help your quality of living, then it''s something to consider, I suppose.
 

TravelingGal

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btw, zillow is known to be off. You really have to see what the comps are in your area. And the bottom line, what someone is willing to pay for your house in the end is what it is worth. Just because you paid X, don''t think that someone else will.
 

Selkie

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Hi Claire-I don't want to put a damper on your plans, but the first time homebuyer credit (as it stands now) is $7500 per home, not per person. If you and your husband file jointly, you get $7500 total. If you file separately, you can only claim $3750 each. My husband and I just bought a house too, and talked to the tax preparer about this. We are taking the credit. I don't know if the proposed increase in the stimulus package will affect those of us who bought in 2008.

That aside, if you don't need the money for anything else, and the renovation will make your life easier over the next few years as well as increasing the value of your house, I would do it!

ETA: T-Gal has a very good point about the market though, and I agree that values are likely to continue to fall. If you have a bit of a cushion due to getting a good deal, that might offset the loss a bit.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 2/5/2009 5:54:43 PM
Author: Selkie
Hi Claire-I don''t want to put a damper on your plans, but the first time homebuyer credit (as it stands now) is $7500 per home, not per person. If you and your husband file jointly, you get $7500 total. If you file separately, you can only claim $3750 each. My husband and I just bought a house too, and talked to the tax preparer about this. We are taking the credit. I don''t know if the proposed increase in the stimulus package will affect those of us who bought in 2008.

That aside, if you don''t need the money for anything else, and the renovation will make your life easier over the next few years as well as increasing the value of your house, I would do it!
Yup, 7500 per home. The new one is apparently 15K and does not need to be paid back. It''s also not just for firstime homebuyers. However it''s not enough for me to jump in to the market yet.
 

DiamanteBlu

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I would go for it [disclaimer: I am very pro killer kitchens and baths].

I think you could do quite a bit within your budget. Keep it conservative on the finishes [except for, maybe, great countertops] to save on extraneous expenditures. I like the cabinets. You may be able to keep them just by painting them and getting something in the same spirit to add storage. I would also go for stainless appliances - they cost much less than they used to.

And, a gorgeous kitchen will help in the resale. It is not like you are changing something that will no add value - if done right, it should add more value than what you spent. You will also want to weigh how important an improved kitchen is to your lifestyle.

BTW, I see the fridge and pantry are recessed. What's up with the back door - is it flush with the front of the fridge and pantry door? What's the depth behind the fridge and pantry?

ETA: I, too, believe that we are nowhere near bottom in the RE market but, remember, you are not talking about putting in a $100k addition or something else that could be construed as "unreasonable".
 

Clairitek

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Ahh I had wondered if it was $7500 per home or per person. Thanks for the heads up about that. Even if it were $15,000 total I am not positive that we would have taken that much.

Date: 2/5/2009 6:03:54 PM
Author: DiamanteBlu
I would go for it [disclaimer: I am very pro killer kitchens and baths].

I think you could do quite a bit within your budget. Keep it conservative on the finishes [except for, maybe, great countertops] to save on extraneous expenditures. I like the cabinets. You may be able to keep them just by painting them and getting something in the same spirit to add storage. I would also go for stainless appliances - they cost much less than they used to.

And, a gorgeous kitchen will help in the resale. It is not like you are changing something that will no add value - if done right, it should add more value than what you spent. You will also want to weigh how important an improved kitchen is to your lifestyle.

BTW, I see the fridge and pantry are recessed. What''s up with the back door - is it flush with the front of the fridge and pantry door? What''s the depth behind the fridge and pantry?

ETA: I, too, believe that we are nowhere near bottom in the RE market but, remember, you are not talking about putting in a $100k addition or something else that could be construed as ''unreasonable''.
Thanks so much for the advice. Its much appreciated.

As it stands we don''t need the money for anything else. We are set for emergency funds, we have started saving for the wedding and will easily save what we need between now and the wedding. So this money would be purely for this sort of project and nothing else.

To answer your question, DiamenteBlu, the door, fridge, and pantry area all level with each other. The garage is on the other side of the cavity that contains the fridge and pantry. The depth of fridge/pantry cavity is about what you would need for a fridge with maybe a few extra inches.
 

Clairitek

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Date: 2/5/2009 5:57:27 PM
Author: TravelingGal
Date: 2/5/2009 5:54:43 PM

Author: Selkie

Hi Claire-I don't want to put a damper on your plans, but the first time homebuyer credit (as it stands now) is $7500 per home, not per person. If you and your husband file jointly, you get $7500 total. If you file separately, you can only claim $3750 each. My husband and I just bought a house too, and talked to the tax preparer about this. We are taking the credit. I don't know if the proposed increase in the stimulus package will affect those of us who bought in 2008.

That aside, if you don't need the money for anything else, and the renovation will make your life easier over the next few years as well as increasing the value of your house, I would do it!
Yup, 7500 per home. The new one is apparently 15K and does not need to be paid back. It's also not just for firstime homebuyers. However it's not enough for me to jump in to the market yet.
Selkie- we aren't married yet but we both are on the mortgage and were both first time buyers when we purchased. Do you think that we would still be able to each take the credit?

It definitely annoys me that FI and I won't be able to take advantage of this. I feel like it would be a great reason to buy a home (provided you really are qualified to support a mortgage) and I hope that some people will reap the benefits that are intended. The only way I could see us getting another house in the next year or two is if we find a great deal for something that could do well as a rental property after I am employed. Once I am done with school our combined salary should increase by 80%.
 

Octavia

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Plumbing is really expensive, so I would think twice about moving the sink and dishwasher too far from their current positions. Honestly, I don't think it's a great idea to put them into an island, although I do like the idea of an island in general.

I think that the most important thing, if you decide to redo the kitchen, is to match it to the rest of the house. You don't want a REALLY REALLY nice kitchen if the rest of the house is your basic, standard home because it'll make everything else look shabby (bathroom fixtures, lighting, etc). But I think it could make a lot of sense to renovate your kitchen because if you're planning to stay in the house for a few more years, a) you get to use it (the most important part); and b) I think the market isn't going to change too much where you are.

My two suggestions:
1) call the realtor you worked with when you bought the house (assuming you worked well together) and ask whether he/she recommends a kitchen refresh/renovation, and how much they think the value of the house will change relative to the amount you'll spend. Realtors usually like to keep good contacts with former clients, because they hope you'll list your house with them and buy your next one through them too, so I'll bet he/she would be helpful on this.

2) go to Lowe's with your plans and have one of their kitchen design people give you a rough estimate on whether your plans are feasible and how much they estimate the cost to be.

Good luck with the decision!
 

Clairitek

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Date: 2/5/2009 6:37:11 PM
Author: Octavia
Plumbing is really expensive, so I would think twice about moving the sink and dishwasher too far from their current positions. Honestly, I don''t think it''s a great idea to put them into an island, although I do like the idea of an island in general.

I think that the most important thing, if you decide to redo the kitchen, is to match it to the rest of the house. You don''t want a REALLY REALLY nice kitchen if the rest of the house is your basic, standard home because it''ll make everything else look shabby (bathroom fixtures, lighting, etc). But I think it could make a lot of sense to renovate your kitchen because if you''re planning to stay in the house for a few more years, a) you get to use it (the most important part); and b) I think the market isn''t going to change too much where you are.

My two suggestions:

1) call the realtor you worked with when you bought the house (assuming you worked well together) and ask whether he/she recommends a kitchen refresh/renovation, and how much they think the value of the house will change relative to the amount you''ll spend. Realtors usually like to keep good contacts with former clients, because they hope you''ll list your house with them and buy your next one through them too, so I''ll bet he/she would be helpful on this.

2) go to Lowe''s with your plans and have one of their kitchen design people give you a rough estimate on whether your plans are feasible and how much they estimate the cost to be.

Good luck with the decision!
Thanks for the advice. This will give me something to do while FI is away next week. I LOVE visiting Lowes and Home Depot. I suppose thats the engineer in me.


I do still have a great relationship with my real estate agent. Shes like an aunt to me. I still stop in and chat with her when I''m near her office and she was so excited when we got engaged. I''ll give her a call and ask her for some comps. Based on zillow (I know, I know, not a totally reliable source) we aren''t the most pricey house in the neighborhood so I am not worried about raising the value of the house so much that it will be hard to sell in the future. The places across the street from us are worth about 20% more. I figure that a refreshed kitchen will at least keep us on par with our current home value if the market continues to tumble a little.

And T-Gal- I totally hear you on the home value thing. I know that its only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.
We would have paid what the old owners were asking for it but we low-balled them to start negotiations and they bit so it was lucky for us! We totally felt bad once we realized how much they had paid and how much they put into it. I doubt they made a cent off of it in the end and we wound up with a great home with a brand new roof and heating system.
 

Selkie

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Date: 2/5/2009 6:33:00 PM
Author: Clairitek

Selkie- we aren''t married yet but we both are on the mortgage and were both first time buyers when we purchased. Do you think that we would still be able to each take the credit?


It definitely annoys me that FI and I won''t be able to take advantage of this. I feel like it would be a great reason to buy a home (provided you really are qualified to support a mortgage) and I hope that some people will reap the benefits that are intended. The only way I could see us getting another house in the next year or two is if we find a great deal for something that could do well as a rental property after I am employed. Once I am done with school our combined salary should increase by 80%.
I''m pretty sure you wouldn''t. Here''s a link to an article I found about it, citing the tax code:
http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/HowUnmarriedTaxpayersAllocateHomebuyerCredit.htm. "Unmarried individuals may jointly purchase a residence and allocate the $7,500 credit between them (section 36(b)(1)(C))."

I understand your frustration about the $15K, it would have been nice to get under the wire on that one. We''re in a similar situation of having lucked into a great deal for our area (the house was bank-owned, we paid less than half what it sold for 3 years ago) and are more than comfortably able to afford the payments. If we really NEEDED that 15K, we wouldn''t have been in a financial position to buy a house anyway. The $7500 is a nice bonus, even though we have to pay it back.
 

Selkie

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You''re in New England, right? That''s where I''m from originally (MA). Looks like a cute house, would love to see more pics!
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 2/5/2009 6:50:32 PM
Author: Selkie

Date: 2/5/2009 6:33:00 PM
Author: Clairitek

Selkie- we aren''t married yet but we both are on the mortgage and were both first time buyers when we purchased. Do you think that we would still be able to each take the credit?


It definitely annoys me that FI and I won''t be able to take advantage of this. I feel like it would be a great reason to buy a home (provided you really are qualified to support a mortgage) and I hope that some people will reap the benefits that are intended. The only way I could see us getting another house in the next year or two is if we find a great deal for something that could do well as a rental property after I am employed. Once I am done with school our combined salary should increase by 80%.
I''m pretty sure you wouldn''t. Here''s a link to an article I found about it, citing the tax code:
http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/HowUnmarriedTaxpayersAllocateHomebuyerCredit.htm. ''Unmarried individuals may jointly purchase a residence and allocate the $7,500 credit between them (section 36(b)(1)(C)).''

I understand your frustration about the $15K, it would have been nice to get under the wire on that one. We''re in a similar situation of having lucked into a great deal for our area (the house was bank-owned, we paid less than half what it sold for 3 years ago) and are more than comfortably able to afford the payments. If we really NEEDED that 15K, we wouldn''t have been in a financial position to buy a house anyway. The $7500 is a nice bonus, even though we have to pay it back.
That''s exactly right. And 15K isn''t going to be worth it to me since the area I live in will probably drop 10% in the next year. That''s 60K to me.

Claritek, the market isn''t going to tumble a little - it''s going to tumble a lot. We still have quite a correction to go in most places. However, I agree that since you''re not sinking 100K into this project, it might be worthwhile doing for your own happiness. But don''t sink money into the house thinking you will get it back.
 

fleur-de-lis

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Ooh, that''s not a bad kitchen to start out with! Hmm... okay, here goes (and let me get the buzzkill stuff out first!):

1. Definitely check with a tax professional to make sure you know the terms of the tax credit correctly (as mentioned by others); I think your calculations might be off.

2. TGal''s posts about hesitating before doing a major renovation of a kitchen of a house in which you do not have long-term plans to stay in this economic environment strikes me as very wise.

3. That said, if you can find a way to do it economically, I think you can massively improve the working space of that kitchen. All those dead walls would drive me crazy too! Between the two, my gut votes against Option 2, because in making it one big room, (a) you are kind of irreversibly reducing the number of rooms in the house and likely reducing value and the combo you are making would end up being viewed as just an eat-in kitchen by potential buyers, and (b) the "southern" side of the island is so close to the wall that the odds are really strong that the end result will be both "dead space" and reduced floor footage..

Just to toss out ideas in these early stages, may I suggest "Option 3"? Have you thought about still knocking out that wall, and instead put cabinets in an "L" shape along the bottom left hand corner of the yellow (existing) kitchen that extends to the basement door ("West" wall and "South" wall in your map)? I can imagine a half height wall/counter height between the two spaces, and the counter would extend as one piece along the bottom. On that "South" wall, I would also mount upper cabinets as well to increase storage. Not only would you gain MUCH more cabinet space an counter space, but having the pass-through on the left side of the yellow box equal to the outside door would be pleasing to the eye. Also, a kitchen that has two working sides always seems both bigger and more cook-friendly in my experience, you know?

Nonetheless, I can totally see how that layout is driving you batty. (I''ve lived in a place that had a one-wall layout and I HATED either cooking or spending time in there!)

f-d-l
 

Selkie

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Threadjack...T-Gal, do you happen to read the Dr. Housing Bubble Blog? It''s great, you''d love it. Esp. the "Real Homes of Genius" articles.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 2/5/2009 7:00:07 PM
Author: Selkie
Threadjack...T-Gal, do you happen to read the Dr. Housing Bubble Blog? It''s great, you''d love it. Esp. the ''Real Homes of Genius'' articles.
I read it sometimes through the LA times blog, which has been going downhill since Peter Viles left. I have been checking listings nearly every day in my area and reading various blogs since August 2006 - so I guess I am a bit cynical about the housing market right now.

Which is no excuse to rain on anyone''s parade! I do like the remodel ideas Clairitek, so please share when you are done!!
 

Clairitek

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Date: 2/5/2009 6:57:46 PM
Author: TravelingGal
Date: 2/5/2009 6:50:32 PM

Author: Selkie

Date: 2/5/2009 6:33:00 PM

Author: Clairitek

Selkie- we aren''t married yet but we both are on the mortgage and were both first time buyers when we purchased. Do you think that we would still be able to each take the credit?

It definitely annoys me that FI and I won''t be able to take advantage of this. I feel like it would be a great reason to buy a home (provided you really are qualified to support a mortgage) and I hope that some people will reap the benefits that are intended. The only way I could see us getting another house in the next year or two is if we find a great deal for something that could do well as a rental property after I am employed. Once I am done with school our combined salary should increase by 80%.
I''m pretty sure you wouldn''t. Here''s a link to an article I found about it, citing the tax code:

http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/HowUnmarriedTaxpayersAllocateHomebuyerCredit.htm. ''Unmarried individuals may jointly purchase a residence and allocate the $7,500 credit between them (section 36(b)(1)(C)).''

I understand your frustration about the $15K, it would have been nice to get under the wire on that one. We''re in a similar situation of having lucked into a great deal for our area (the house was bank-owned, we paid less than half what it sold for 3 years ago) and are more than comfortably able to afford the payments. If we really NEEDED that 15K, we wouldn''t have been in a financial position to buy a house anyway. The $7500 is a nice bonus, even though we have to pay it back.
That''s exactly right. And 15K isn''t going to be worth it to me since the area I live in will probably drop 10% in the next year. That''s 60K to me.

Claritek, the market isn''t going to tumble a little - it''s going to tumble a lot. We still have quite a correction to go in most places. However, I agree that since you''re not sinking 100K into this project, it might be worthwhile doing for your own happiness. But don''t sink money into the house thinking you will get it back.
When I asked about the unmarried/both claiming the credit thing I meant that we would each be able to claim $3750 for a total of $7500 so based on the quote (I''ll read the article in a minute) I would hope that could happen.

I would most certainly enjoy an updated kitchen. Can we still cook lovely meals and have nice dinner parties with our current kitchen? Yes. Would I just love new appliances and something that wasn''t such an eye-sore? Yes! If we did spent $7-$8K on the kitchen and didn''t even come close to getting it back in re-sale value I woudln''t be heartbroken. With our earning potential I think that it would take us less than a year to save that money again.

One little twist in this scenario is that I read somewhere that if we do sell the house before the loan is repaid (which would definitely happen since we won''t be staying there for the 15 years it would take to re-pay) and we don''t turn a profit I believe the loan is forgiven.

Here is the quote from this website.

"Does the credit have to be paid back to the government? If so, what are the payback provisions?
Yes, the tax credit must be repaid. Home buyers will be required to repay the credit to the government, without interest, over 15 years or when they sell the house, if there is sufficient capital gain from the sale. For example, a home buyer claiming a $7,500 credit would repay the credit at $500 per year. The home owner does not have to begin making repayments on the credit until two years after the credit is claimed. So if the tax credit is claimed on the 2008 tax return, a $500 payment is not due until the 2010 tax return is filed. If the home owner sold the home, then the remaining credit amount would be due from the profit on the home sale. If there was insufficient profit, then the remaining credit payback would be forgiven."
 

Clairitek

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Date: 2/5/2009 6:52:00 PM
Author: Selkie
You''re in New England, right? That''s where I''m from originally (MA). Looks like a cute house, would love to see more pics!
I am from New England but I currently live just west of Philadelphia.

I''ll post more pics as soon as I figure out how to put a few in one post!
 

DiamanteBlu

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I was thinking that it might be interesting to put an L-shaped set of cabinets against the wall with the basement door in it and have the L extend from there. The opening to the DR would be directly across from the back door [which you may want to change to a French door if you like the view]. That will get you more cabinet and counter space.
 

Clairitek

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Date: 2/5/2009 7:06:22 PM
Author: TravelingGal
Date: 2/5/2009 7:00:07 PM

Author: Selkie

Threadjack...T-Gal, do you happen to read the Dr. Housing Bubble Blog? It''s great, you''d love it. Esp. the ''Real Homes of Genius'' articles.
I read it sometimes through the LA times blog, which has been going downhill since Peter Viles left. I have been checking listings nearly every day in my area and reading various blogs since August 2006 - so I guess I am a bit cynical about the housing market right now.

Which is no excuse to rain on anyone''s parade! I do like the remodel ideas Clairitek, so please share when you are done!!
T-Gal I certainly don''t take your advice to me as raining on my parade. I posted about this because I too am hesitant to take financial risks, especially when I haven''t even started my career (but FI has). Everyone needs a reality check once in a while.

I''ve been watching the market in this area (DE/Southeast PA) since I moved here in 2005. It was certainly at a high at that point and started to tumble shortly after I initially looked for property in 2006. Things seem to have stabilized a little around where I live. I think that the biggest contrast between where you (T-Gal) are and where I am is that things never got the insane proportions here as they did (well as I imagine) there. My hometown was one of those places with terribly inflated housing prices 5 years ago to the point where no one on even an upper middle class income could have bought in the town. The fixer-upper homes (with an unobstructed water view of Narragansett Bay/Newport, RI) that were selling for $4.5mill are now probably only worth $1.5mill at best now.

I am excited to discuss this stuff with FI later on tonight. He is much more conservative than I am when it comes to this stuff but its a project that we have been discussing since we bought the house.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
I would totally go for option 1 if you can do it for $7-8k. Call me crazy, but I really doubt the market is going to tank in all areas. Where I live, the prices have dropped, but not substantially so. Most people who live in my area are relatively conservative with their money, so there are very, VERY few foreclosed homes. (I've looked hard!)

Plus the rental market is GREAT here (several colleges) so most people can rent their houses out (ETA for around the same amount as a mortgage, if not more in some cases) instead of having to dump them for less than they paid. So if your market is anything like mine, I would go for it. Worst case scenario, you get to enjoy a great kitchen/dining room area for 2-4 years but don't make a ton of money off of the renovation when you sell.
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
Date: 2/5/2009 7:11:15 PM
Author: DiamanteBlu
I was thinking that it might be interesting to put an L-shaped set of cabinets against the wall with the basement door in it and have the L extend from there. The opening to the DR would be directly across from the back door [which you may want to change to a French door if you like the view]. That will get you more cabinet and counter space.
That''s a great idea for the cabinet lay out. I never thought of doing that it certainly makes sense. It would give us more working space all together and would make that door feel less cramped.

I would
French doors but I''m afraid its not an option for us. Our house is brick so I am terrified of cutting such huge holes in the masonry. The second reason is that there is a little patio room with a roof off of the back of the house that obstructs the view but we love enough to keep around. Its nice having an "indoor" space that is technically outside so we can enjoy the summer weather without those pesky mosquitoes at night!
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
Is this what you guys (Diamente and Fleur de Lis) were suggesting?

cteknextoption.jpg
 

fleur-de-lis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,343
Date: 2/5/2009 6:57:46 PM
Author: TravelingGal

That''s exactly right. And 15K isn''t going to be worth it to me since the area I live in will probably drop 10% in the next year. That''s 60K to me.


Claritek, the market isn''t going to tumble a little - it''s going to tumble a lot. We still have quite a correction to go in most places. However, I agree that since you''re not sinking 100K into this project, it might be worthwhile doing for your own happiness. But don''t sink money into the house thinking you will get it back.
TGal, your "that''s 60K to me" comment makes me guess you''re in California too... am I right? If so:
LOL Anyway, ITA about CA home prices tumbling in the next few years, but I also think the declines in 2009, 2010, and possibly even 2011 (depending on inflation delaying tactics) will be far worse in CA than in most of the country. Since you sound like you know what you''re talking about
I''ll toss out that CA (and other places with median home prices over ~500K) relied on Alt-A /adjustable loans, most of which will reset 5 years after purchase. If Clairitek lives in an area with lower median home prices that qualified for Sallie/Freddie loan amounts, few Alt-A and adjustable loans means that there will be fewer foreclosures and fewer hyper-depressed owners, and thus less downward-pressure agents. I agree with your general principle about home prices going down (and possibly to a scary degree if unemployment rates spike horridly), but I''ll toss out for your consideration that there will be parts of the country that will tumble terribly (CA) while parts that decline a more modest amount. Alt-A will hurt some areas more than others, and if Clairitek''s area is lowly impacted, she might not be in the "tumble a lot" category. I agree CA real estate is going to be an ugly mess, but doesn''t it also logically follow that other places-- perhaps even where Clairitek lives-- shouldn''t have quite the ugly declines you and I will see in our neighborhoods?

f-d-l
 

Selkie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
2,876
Date: 2/5/2009 7:07:59 PM
Author: Clairitek

When I asked about the unmarried/both claiming the credit thing I meant that we would each be able to claim $3750 for a total of $7500 so based on the quote (I''ll read the article in a minute) I would hope that could happen.
Oh, sorry-yes. The article gives advice on how to split it with some very detailed scenarios based on who put in how much, but I think you can do a 50/50 split with no trouble. The tax forms weren''t that detailed.
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
I''m ditching the "post multiple images in one post idea" so here goes with a few more shots of my house.

The front. Thats me with the real estate agent and the home inspector.

ctekhousefront.jpg
 
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