Friday, May 11, 2007

House Buying Tips

I have not posted anything lately because: A) I had to write a paper that ended up being half the size of my Masters thesis, in less than two weeks, and it was about a computer program that I also had to write, myself, from scratch; and B) V and I have been in the process of buying a house. It is now bought.

It's a pretty nice one, too. But really, anything is better than living with mildly retarded neighbours (another example: a parent leaving their disabled baby in the middle of a parking lot, unsupervised. None of my business, maybe, except that the parking lot is where I tend to park the car). The fact that it's within stumbling distance of most major bars in London is a plus, too (especially Cowboy's...which is a country bar, but hey, it's close. And maybe, just maybe, I've always had a secret desire to wear a cowboy hat and not look like an asshole doing it, and that's the only place one can do that.)

Since it was our first time buying a house, it was quite an educational experience. Let me tell you some things about buying a house:
  • Buying a house is easy. You just find a real estate agent, then ask them what to do, and they tell you, and you sign forms, and then you have a house. It's mildly stressful, but for me, the hard part is moving. Actually having to pick heavy things up and move them, that's work.
  • It doesn't make sense until you really think about it, but if you pay a mortgage every two weeks instead of every month, you save a lot of money, even though you're paying about the same amount per month.
  • Anyone who tells you that renting is throwing your money away and buying is a wise financial decision should be bitten in the face by a wild animal (*). We're getting a house because houses are nice, not because it will save us money in either the short run or the long run. We are "throwing away" just as much, if not more, money in interest, taxes, renovations, lawyer fees, real estate fees, paint, etc etc., than we would be in rent. If we make many thousands of dollars in profit when we sell the house then we might break even, but a sure thing it is not.
  • Buy a house before it is even listed as being for sale. This is pretty much impossible unless you get lucky and happen to be stopped on the street by someone who senses that you are looking for houses, but somehow this happened to V, and worked out nicely.
  • Now whenever I'm being cheap and don't want to spend money, I can say "fuck off, I have a mortgage to pay!" instead of "fuck off, I have rent to pay!" Mortgage is a more serious word than rent. Now buy me a beer.

(*) Like a lion. No, an African lion. No wait, a flamingo.


Harry J. Sachz said...

Congratulations. Let me be the first one to be bitten in the face by a rabid, wild animal. I will leave the loophole of "I have no clue what real estate prices are in Canada"; but I know how much they are here in Southern California. And there is no way that the cost of paint can equal equity earned.

Good post, and good luck :)

madamerouge said...

Sure, I'll buy you a beer. This is cause for celebration.

Rob said...

Congrats Mike! That's awesome news!

I would like to point out one thing though - when buying a house vs. renting - sure, you're still throwing away as much money (if not more initially with fees, etc) buying, you're actually building equity in the house though. Which, in theory, *should* yield a return if you ever decide to sell. And even if you don't sell, 25 years or so from now you're paid in full and then get to kick back and spend all that extra cash on hookers and blow!

High Power Rocketry said...

Hey I have a little fun activity going on now where you can Win $10!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the clarification on the flamingo.

Jason said...

Congratulations. Whatever happened to "starving students?"

I've got to get my act together and get a ubiquitous shoe box condo in this city.