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How much did you spend on housing last year???
Old 06-06-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
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How much did you spend on housing last year???

Hello, I was just wondering how much people spend each year to put the roof over there head every year. Here is my breakdown for the year 2010.

. Mortgage $0
. HOA $160
. Insurance $650
. New roof $5618
. Yard work-fence, landscaping.. $1000 (paid some to BIL)
. Kitchen cabinet resurface $1000 (paid BIL to do it)
. Counter top resurface $350
. Property tax $3012
. Utilities $3100
. Laminate floor $2150 (did most of the work)
. Water $440

Total ~$17,500.00+/-

I am expecting 2011 should be alot cheaper since we dont have big ticket item... just yet. Am I spending too much? Please, share your number.

Enuff
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #2
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My housing expenses are mostly from the maintenance charges I pay every month to the managing agent. Those charges include property taxes (mostly), interest on the co-op's underlying mortgage, insurance, and some of the utilities such as water and gas (and electric for the common areas)

I do pay my own electric bill for usage within my apartment. I also pay for my own homeowners insurance policy to protect me against injuries and damage within my apartment.

For 2010,

Maintenance - $6,540
Home electric - $707
HO Insurance - $198
(Landline) Telephone - $370

Total - $7,815

I consider cable and internet more like entertainment expenses rather than utilities.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
Hello, I was just wondering how much people spend each year to put the roof over there head every year. Here is my breakdown for the year 2010.

. Mortgage $0
. HOA $160
. Insurance $650
. New roof $5618
. Yard work-fence, landscaping.. $1000 (paid some to BIL)
. Kitchen cabinet resurface $1000 (paid BIL to do it)
. Counter top resurface $350
. Property tax $3012
. Utilities $3100
. Laminate floor $2150 (did most of the work)
. Water $440

Total ~$17,500.00+/-

I am expecting 2011 should be alot cheaper since we dont have big ticket item... just yet. Am I spending too much? Please, share your number.

Enuff
Don't forget to include some estimate of the opportunity cost of the money you have tied up in your home. This isn't easy since the amount is hypothetical. Still, if you didn't own a home and rented instead, you'd have the money you now have tied up in your home invested in some way. I use 4% of the value of my paid for home. You get to roll your own die. But, include some number or you're just fooling yourself.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:42 AM   #4
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Don't forget to include some estimate of the opportunity cost of the money you have tied up in your home. This isn't easy since the amount is hypothetical. Still, if you didn't own a home and rented instead, you'd have the money you now have tied up in your home invested in some way. I use 4% of the value of my paid for home. You get to roll your own die. But, include some number or you're just fooling yourself.
If you are going to factor in opportunity cost, then you also need to factor in (i) the unrealised gain or loss over the course of the year (ii) the rent you didn't pay and (iii) adjust other outgoings to reflect the difference between owning and renting - otherwise it is not an "apples to apples" comparison.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:56 AM   #5
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This is more complex accounting exercise than it might seem... especially for comparison purposes... easy to be an apples to oranges compare!

IMO - you mixed together too many categories. Some should be split out, even if you sum them up.


Depending on what you are trying to compare.... you might characterize capex items using amortization... rather than an expense in one year. This method assumes that the cost of the roof is recognized over some period (for year to year expense purposes)... say 20 years.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:26 AM   #6
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$6350 for 3 bedroom here in MO.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:34 AM   #7
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What does it mean (really)?

If you/I/someone else spends more/less than another we're comparing against (and based upon housing preferences), you will never get any "common view".

You can't compare yourself (IMHO) in what may be considered a "common situation".

For me? The question is "can you afford your housing, and does it impact your desired lifestyle?".

In my/DW's case? The answer is yes; we can well afford our home - and associated expenses, and it has no impact upon our desired lifestyle (in retirement). That's all that matters...
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:35 AM   #8
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$24, 172. Approx $14,000 of that was to replace the central AC and to do a minor kitchen remodel.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:53 AM   #9
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I am with rescueme.

Wouldn't it be more informative to know the % of income, as compared to a $ amount? I have a townhouse outside of DC, and a cabin in the mountains in WVA. Both have mortgages. So, my costs are probably double yours. But, I also save about 30% of my income a year. I can afford the cost, and still save according to my goals.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:58 AM   #10
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1800 s.f., 4 BR house with 4 inhabitants in SE USA.

Repairs/Maintenance/Lawn care/New Appliances/Appliance repairs $923
Insurance and taxes $1905
Gas and Electric utilities $1831
Water/Sewer/Trash $902
Home Furnishings/Furniture $409

$5970 total. Roughly 17% of last year's expenses.

Didn't include mortgage ($7714) because it is just moving money from one pile to another and would bring up the issue of how much my house appreciated or depreciated last year.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:38 AM   #11
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I had the odd situation of living or staying in four countries in 2010.

I was finishing up my stay in a nice, furnished, large studio in new building in a great location in Chiang mai, Thailand. With internet, electric, water, all utilities was about $260/month.

Then I was living in Medlellin, Colombia for 5 months, the first month in a hotel then the last 4 months in a fully furnished apartment in a GREAT location, $470/month, all utils included.

Then I was living in the Philippines. First month in a hotel ($640) then a furnished one bed apartment in a great location, subleased, $250/month, all utils included.

I was also in the USA a couple of months staying with relatives in between the South American and Asia trips (one month before and after) and I always pay them rent when I stay with them for more than 2 or 3 days. And the 2 or 3 days stays I am buying dinners.

Ok, just whipped out my calculator, and my total cost for everything comes to almost exactly $5000.

I would say that every place I have stayed is great, except for the one month in a hotel in Medellin. It was actually a hotel with a small hostel, and I stayed in the hostel part (the hotel rooms were a ripoff and small). Because it was just 2 blocks from the girlfriend's house (and in a good neighborhood) while I was looking for an apartment, which took longer than I had expected. The studio in Thailand did not have a kitchen (common even among Thai-inhabited places) which is OK since the street food is so good and cheap there. But I do always prefer a kitchen, which my other apartments have had.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:07 PM   #12
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By coincidence, our total for insurance, RE taxes, and utilities is just a little less than your number ( $7,450 for a 1,200 sq ft ranch in midwest). But I don't know if that's relevant to anything, we could have dramatically different incomes/needs/priorities.

You've had some big replacement expenses this year. Maybe that's why you're asking about "too much". IMO, we should maintain our house at about the level that we bought it. That means periodically replacing anything that's subject to wear. Maybe you're asking for some typical expenses for annual replacement costs.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:23 PM   #13
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Mortgage interests: $7,815
Home repairs: $823
Home improvements: $1,817
Pest control $704
Property taxes and insurance: $2,227
Water and electric: $2,316
Total: $15,702
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:09 PM   #14
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$5694: Mortgage Interest
$3191: Property Taxes
$741: Homeowner's Insurance
$478: Water/Sewer
$3453: Electricity (all-electric, for heating, cooling, cooking)
$1222: Directv
$1000: phone/internet (estimated...roommate pays this, and has it bundled together)
$725: New water heater
$40: to fix a broken window (estimate)
$40: to change the locks when a roommate moved out (estimate)
$50: gasoline to cut the grass (estimate)
$25: filters for heat pump (estimate)
$555: 14 cubic yards (a dumptruck's worth) of #57 driveway gravel
$700: miscellaneous (plants for outside, pump for the fish pond, stuff I might've forgotten)

So, I get $18,814 total. Or, about $1,568 per month. It's kind of a wake up call, to see that even if I owned the house free and clear, I'm still looking at about $1,000 per month just to keep it afloat!

This was a really good exercise for me...first time I really sat down and figured out just how much this house is costing. I'm curious to see how 2011 stacks up.

Oh yeah, almost forgot...this is for a 95 year old, ~1500 square foot home in Prince George's County, MD, on a 4+ acre lot.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:26 PM   #15
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But I do always prefer a kitchen, which my other apartments have had.
Hi Kramer!

Nice to hear from you again! So how do you like the perpetual traveler lifestyle? It sounds fascinating as long as you avoid long-term relationships...

DW and I spend 7 months in PV (travelling around locally), one month in Europe, and 4 months in Vancouver. This year it is France!

BTW I don't go to raddr anymore because I got fed up with their political bent. It is very tiring for an old Canadian expat.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:02 PM   #16
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Hi Kramer!

Nice to hear from you again! So how do you like the perpetual traveler lifestyle? It sounds fascinating as long as you avoid long-term relationships...

DW and I spend 7 months in PV (travelling around locally), one month in Europe, and 4 months in Vancouver. This year it is France!

BTW I don't go to raddr anymore because I got fed up with their political bent. It is very tiring for an old Canadian expat.
Hey Keith! Things are fine, I am living in the Philippines now and will be visiting the USA in August and September. I really didn't set out to be a PT, it has just happened that way. It has been about 3.75 years now since I first started traveling.

I do find myself missing Colombia and wish it had worked out with my now ex-girlfriend there. We are talking about taking a trip together later this year. In fact, I just started reading some serious Spanish for the first time in quite awhile tonight after not having spoken much since last year.

I keep thinking about trying out Mexico, but I am not too positive about the stability of that country. I *am* positive that I love the food, lol.
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:09 PM   #17
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When I do have a house, I expect it will be something in the 700-1200 sq ft range in the US. I will specifically look for the lowest property taxes I can find in an area with fiber-optic internet (which rules out rural areas), and a very low maintenance yard+house.

I expect my costs will be around $4-5k for housing and utilities, since it will be a single person in a small house. My utilities in the past (phone/internet/water/electricity/heat/trash), even if I were paying for fiber-optic internet, would usually be around $1k.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:45 PM   #18
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OK, I'll play. Last year:

. Mortgage $44268 (doesn't include tax reduction due to deduction)
. Insurance $2232 (plus some part of the umbrella insurance)
. Electricity $8296 (on well and septic so no water or sewer)
. Property tax $8085
. Maintenance/Repairs $7610
. Yard $3937
. Garbage $481
. Pool $3308

Total ~$78,217

The above was for "regular" expenses. However, we put our house on the market during 2010 (most of the above were expenses we would have had even if we hadn't have been selling the house except the yard expense would have been less as DH would have done more of it if we weren't showing the house).

But in addition - expenses to get the house ready to sell and which were purely sale related: $32481.

Looking at the above, I am so so glad we sold the house this year even though we sold it for about 10% less than we paid for it. Last month our total expenses were under $6000. Before we spent more than that just on housing (currently in a rental at $1500 a month until we get house plans finished to build our new, much much smaller and much more energy efficient and less expensive house).
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #19
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We're probably on the low end of the range for housing costs.
mortgage 0
insurance 960
property tax on 121 acres and2520square ft under roof 560
utilities 0 ( off grid solar)
propane 1200
water 0 -well
garbage 120
total$ 2840
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:19 PM   #20
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We're probably on the low end of the range for housing costs.
Dayem....that's an understatement if I ever heard one!
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