Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 03:49 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky
If you're commuting into the city, you can get a much better tax deal in CT.
Heheh, yeah, but RE prices in most areas that are a reasonable commute make NJ look downright cheap!
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 03:53 PM   #22
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 214
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Thanks all the advice.

The schools are great. Using greatshools.com, element/middle/high all with grade 9.

The main things bother me are:
1. too big house, too much waste. It means more furniture, bigger utility bills, maintainance...
2. property tax, that's something I could not pay it off.

In fact, a 2500SF colonial house with 12k tax is good enough for us. But at the same erea, this kind of configure house is around 650K to 700K. That's why I feel the McMansion is a good deal, obviously I should give the tax more weight.



__________________

__________________
semtex is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 03:57 PM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
Re: Am I making a mistake?

To sum up, Semtex:
The majority opinion (apart from a few dissenters) is that the answer to your question is "yes".
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 03:59 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
Re: Am I making a mistake?

It's a good deal for what it is; a big house. Were I you I look for a smaller (cheaper) house in the same school area. Then you will have enough excess cash flow to save for retirement or enrich your child's education at great summer programs.

Those property taxes are stunning, and you have sales and income tax to pay. Ouch.

__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 04:00 PM   #25
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 242
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Heheh, yeah, but RE prices in most areas that are a reasonable commute make NJ look downright cheap!
Yeah? Unless you're looking in Greenwich, you can find a real nice house in a decent neighborhood in lower Fairfield County for less than $800K
__________________
Sparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 05:44 PM   #26
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I don't get the obsession with schools, personally. If the public schools aren't the greatest, but you aren't spending a mint on the house, you always have the option of private or parochial schools. The ~$14k less a year I spend on RE taxes than the house OP is contemplating would pay for an AWFULLY elite private school.
According to this site:

http://www.boardingschoolreview.com/...ov/school_id/7

The average day student tuition at boarding (private) schools was $19,866. Religious schools might be a bit cheaper.
__________________
macdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 05:48 PM   #27
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 15
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Tax Shelter Check with your tax guy.

With your income you better be sure you're not in AMT as many of us in NJ are.
__________________
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 06:08 PM   #28
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 301
Re: Am I making a mistake?

And as far as the whole 'tax shelter' aspect, make sure you aren't paying a sh*tload to save .3 times that sh*tload.

i.e., don't get blinded by the idea of spending an extra buck because it will save you less than a buck in taxes.

I'd forget about the 'deal' aspect of it, and just consider if you'd want that size house and mortgage irrespective of the 'investment' angle.

6 months in, when you are counting the days before your next payday or wondering if you can afford to go out to dinner, the fact that your house is worth 150k more than you paid for it isn't going to mean much to you.

- John (maybe I've just given up the McMansion dream now that I've gotten a bit older !)
__________________
runchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-01-2007, 08:36 PM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,119
Re: Am I making a mistake?

What town in NJ is this in?

Forget Zillow. 9 months on the market, you know the place could be worth 650,000 in 2 years. I believe we are in the early stages of a totally screwed up world. What will happen if we really do end up dancing with Iran? Gasoline and heating that big house will cost a bundle. 21K Property taxes. Dude I left NJ as fast as I could after almost 50 years living playing and working there.

Be careful!
__________________
newguy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 06:49 AM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddy
According to this site:

http://www.boardingschoolreview.com/...ov/school_id/7

The average day student tuition at boarding (private) schools was $19,866. Religious schools might be a bit cheaper.
There are three excellent Catholic schools near me that gor for about $4 or $5k a year. I was thinking of a private school where you don't ship your kids away for good.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 09:52 AM   #31
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 162
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence
Tax Shelter Check with your tax guy.
With your income you better be sure you're not in AMT as many of us in NJ are.
To comment on this, there is this feature in the tax code where you pay more if you have certain deductions. One of the deductions you have to add back into your taxable income when calculating the alternative minimum tax (AMT) is state/local income and property taxes. What this means for most folks in high tax areas, myself included, is that much of what we pay is not generating any tax savings on the federal level. As a small aside, NJ lets you deduct up to $10,000 on your state income taxes on your state return for property tax. So even the state feels that over half the taxes you would be paying are beyond what they let you deduct.
__________________
firewhen is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 11:00 AM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,543
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I don't get the obsession with schools, personally. If the public schools aren't the greatest, but you aren't spending a mint on the house, you always have the option of private or parochial schools. The ~$14k less a year I spend on RE taxes than the house OP is contemplating would pay for an AWFULLY elite private school.
paying higher RE taxes is better since private school tuition isn't deductible from your federal taxes. if you aren't an AMT target it's probably better to pay higher taxes than send kids to private school. And some of the districts around NYC are better than 90% of the private schools in the US.
__________________
al_bundy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 11:04 AM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,543
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by semtex
Continue my house hunting story:

Last week, we lowballed a McMasion. Some numbers about this house:

Location, north Jersey, 3900SF, 1996 built. Lot 1.2 Acre. Very good shcool district. Easy commute to city. Owner bot at 2001 with 892K.
property tax: 21k.

House has been on market for about 9 months. Original asking was 1.2M, now 850k. We offered 750k. Last friday, they gave us counter offer 770k.


Question: to be or not?

Our financial number:
A couple with a three years old son.
Both work, base salary(two), 200k. Bonus 25k ~ 80k. Stable jobs.
150K cash at hand. Two cars. No debt. Good credit.

I played around the number, very streching. Especially the property tax part(although it may got adjusted for the sale price, but to be conservertive, we would like not to count this).

But on the other side, is this house undervalued? I think so. Zillow estimate is 950K. The house is in a millor dollar area. Similar house sold at middle of 2006 is around 950K.

Please comments.
i own an apartment in NYC and would wait until 2011 or so at the earliest to buy a home in the NYC suburbs. Reason is that a lot of the suburbs are losing people as the boomers sell and move to lower cost areas. the census says that nassau and suffolk counties lost a lot of people in the 1990's and it will probably be the same for this decade as well. I think NJ is also losing people.

The risk is that if you buy now then you may lose a lot of money even in 10 years or whenever you sell. for your budget check out the NYC neighborhoods around bayside or little neck. Good schools and property taxes are 1/2 or less of NJ
__________________
al_bundy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 11:12 AM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy
paying higher RE taxes is better since private school tuition isn't deductible from your federal taxes. if you aren't an AMT target it's probably better to pay higher taxes than send kids to private school. And some of the districts around NYC are better than 90% of the private schools in the US.
Just guessing, but I would imagine that most people in OP's position are AMT bait. I know I am.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 11:41 AM   #35
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SecondCor521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 2,402
Re: Am I making a mistake?

I think you would be making a mistake to buy the house.

My mortgage is about 2.2x my annual income, and my property tax and insurance is about $1.1k per year. You're looking at a multiplier of at least 3x your base salaries, because I'm guessing you wouldn't put down all of that $150K in cash on the house. Besides which you seem to have forgotten about purchasing/moving costs (loan fees, appraisal fees, transfer taxes if they have those in NJ, etc.). Also, most people who buy a big house want to fill it up with furniture and stuff that will add to your expenses.

There's a rule of thumb about houses -- don't know the source, sorry -- that says never get a mortgage more than twice your annual salary if you want to be rich. So in your case that would be maybe $500 or $550K range. Although I can sympathize if that doesn't buy you much in NJ now.

If you do decide to proceed with your mistake, though, you can probably get it for $750K if you stick to your guns. The sellers sound desperate to me.

What does your wife think?

2Cor521
__________________
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 11:50 AM   #36
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,543
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Just guessing, but I would imagine that most people in OP's position are AMT bait. I know I am.
not really

homes in northern NJ went from around $250,000 in 1997 to around $750,000 or more now. Some towns like Ridgewood it can be over $1 million. a normal middle class person could have bought in the 1990's and ridden the wave up. my mom knew someone who bought a 2 family around 1994 in NJ and struggled for a few years. now with the rent money and pay increases she is sitting on a goldmine. This person was making a lot less than $100,000 in family income with her husband. my in-laws bought a home in NYC in 1994 and they make a lot less than the national average. a lot of homes in queens in NYC are owned by the remnants of The greatest generation and a bunch of boomers with paid off mortgages. property taxes are so low that a senior with $0 in retirement money can live on social security with no problems here. meanwhile the house can be worth around $700,000

read a book a few months back and they had a chart going to 2003. average house payment has always been around 25% of income. around 1981 there was a spike to 50%. around 2003 or 2004 it was close to 40%. i believe a reversion to the mean is coming to a lot of areas. the chart was made by The Milken Institute in some study they did a few years back
__________________
al_bundy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 12:05 PM   #37
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy
homes in northern NJ went from around $250,000 in 1997 to around $750,000 or more now. Some towns like Ridgewood it can be over $1 million. a normal middle class person could have bought in the 1990's and ridden the wave up. my mom knew someone who bought a 2 family around 1994 in NJ and struggled for a few years. now with the rent money and pay increases she is sitting on a goldmine. This person was making a lot less than $100,000 in family income with her husband. my in-laws bought a home in NYC in 1994 and they make a lot less than the national average. a lot of homes in queens in NYC are owned by the remnants of The greatest generation and a bunch of boomers with paid off mortgages. property taxes are so low that a senior with $0 in retirement money can live on social security with no problems here. meanwhile the house can be worth around $700,000
Yes, yes, I know all that. I was talking about people like OP, who are considering buying into one of these places at today's prices, not about people who have been there since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 12:31 PM   #38
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,119
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Gimmie a break move out to warren county NJ if you must stay in NJ for a job, you can get a 10 YO centerhall colonial on almost an acre for around 440K right now in nice towns near the delaware river sure you will have a commute but hey you are living in NEW JERSEY! By the way 3000 square feet nice places, we sold ours last april at the top at 520K See what I mean prices now are down over 20% and they are still not selling.
__________________
newguy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 12:54 PM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,543
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Yes, yes, I know all that. I was talking about people like OP, who are considering buying into one of these places at today's prices, not about people who have been there since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
every year when i tell turbo tax to do the AMT test i shake with fear myself
__________________
al_bundy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Am I making a mistake?
Old 04-02-2007, 12:56 PM   #40
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Am I making a mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy
every year when i tell turbo tax to do the AMT test i shake with fear myself
Heh, for 2006 I ended up with an AMT liability of something like $116. So I had just about the max amount of deductions I could manage and still get away with it. I suspect that AMT will be academic for me for 2007, since I won't have enough deductions to offset all the taxable income.
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Making the Best of Investment Real Estate emi guy FIRE and Money 7 02-27-2007 06:28 AM
Building new house- am I making a mistake boutros Young Dreamers 15 05-30-2006 09:46 PM
Still making money in RE Arif FIRE and Money 14 05-20-2006 03:48 PM
Addicted to making money shiny FIRE and Money 25 03-23-2006 01:51 PM
making lawyers look bad Martha Other topics 68 06-12-2005 09:23 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:45 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.