Monday, March 22, 2010

Half Price House...

If you're not my son's aunt, grandma or sister, you may not be interested in today's post.

But then again, you might!

Son number one has been saving for a home since he was sixteen. I'm not kidding. He's a good saver. In his early twenties, he bought his truck, new, paid half down and paid off the rest in two years, to have a decent vehicle. This way, he figured he'd have a decent vehicle for at least a good ten years or so, and no payment on it while he was paying a mortgage. Good thinking, no?

Then, when he did buy, he wanted to get the home paid off as soon as he could. More good thinking. He wanted a good deal on a house, and by waiting, we found one. We had watched this one go up for sale--but it was $44K more than he paid for it-- when it was listed last summer.

Yup, 44K. I had looked it up at the full listing price last summer, and just wrote it off, it was way out of his price range.

But summer came and went, and fall arrived, and fall was almost over and the trees were bare before I checked it out again. The price had dropped 34K in those months since summer!

Something told me there was a motivated seller.

It was now something that was within his price range, but still 10K over what he wanted to spend. (We've always told our kids buy a home BELOW your means.... however, that is NOT what a realtor would have advised him. He made up his mind this house was the top of his price range.)

So we called, and went and looked.

It was a wonderful house, nothing wrong with it that a little paint, tile or updating wouldn't fix...just needed some TLC--no major remodeling, nothing really to stop him so he got brave and made an offer 10K below the asking price, which made it exactly what he thought he could spend and still afford to eat, drive and all those other things that humans like to do!

(His purchase price is just about half of what the previous owner paid for it.)

Sadly, we found out, it was a divorce situation and both parties had moved out and stopped making payments and had a short sale and a looming foreclosure. Mark made his offer and it took three months to find out, but the bank finally accepted it.

Within TWO WEEKS of acceptance, he had the keys and owns it. He took a fifteen year mortgage and the day he got it he told me "I can't wait to pay it off, I hate owing people money."

Paying off debt is the old-fashioned American way. In fact, I don't know WHO thought it would be good to sell the lie to the masses that mortgage debt is GOOD, but I DO NOT agree!! I think a person should have a goal to own their home outright as soon as possible.

I can't tell you how happy I am and how very PROUD I am of my son and his purchase. I'm thankful that he had an opportunity like this...and sadly, the couple owed almost 100K MORE than Mark paid for this place, and I'm sure they'll have to declare bankruptcy...their divorce is terrible, even worse than losing the house.

But I think that when you want something, and you're willing to sacrifice, save, and wait for it....wonderful things can happen.

And we've seen it happen with this.

For the last four or five days, we've been working on it, painting and cleaning and stripping wallpaper. It's actually been lots of fun! I like the house more every time we go there. Soon I'll have some before and after pictures to show.

The living room was red and the kitchen was pink so there's some major changes there! Tomorrow I have to go there because Mark bought some furniture over the weekend and the delivery man will be there while he's at work.

In a couple days, he moves out and is on his own.



Unknown said...

Again, this could be my story. Our son bought his first house this summer at a sheriff sale. The couple divorced and filed bankruptcy. He purchased his house for 31K less than it appraised for, and he too has plans to pay it off in 10 years.
I know how proud you are of him, boys like that are rare today. ;D

Sit A Spell said...

That is wonderful that he saved for all those yrs and the Lord provided at just the right time. I can feel for the former owners too because we have sold our Mi home at half price as well. We relocated to MI and bought a house not knowing the bottom would fall out from under us.

I wish him many happy yrs in his new home.

Angela said...

What a wonderful story...How wise and diligent your son has been. I am sure he has learned it from his parents who have guided him all these years....I'm so excited for him...

Your so right..back in the day...sigh. All the best to your son as he moves in and will be saying a prayer for you sweet one as you let him fly to his own nest....((hugs))

Unknown said...

You should be very proud of your son, and a big hug to you mom for raising this fine young man.

Laura said...

My son just did the same thing! He bought a house, short sale, last fall. It was ready to move in with just a paint job, but he and Dad decided to tackle a couple other jobs that needed to be done eventually. Our boy officially moved in a couple of months ago and turned 21 on Sunday. We're pretty proud! And, on top of that, when his property taxes weren't lowered enough, he went in front of the board of review and just received notice that those will be dropped even more. His house payment will be even lower! So, he can get it paid off sooner that he thought!
Congratulations on your boy! They don't come along very often anymore!! :)

Donna said...

What a wonderful story of thrift and patience. Many folks today do NOT have patience, and that is exactly why they get into financial trouble. They want everything right now - with eyes bigger than their wallets, LOL. I am soooo glad that we are totally debt-free, including our mortgage, and we're quite proud to be building our new home with cash. It took decades of sacrifices and careful savings to get to this point. But it's how we were able to retire early and enjoy life a bit!

Your son is doing it right! Three cheers for him! God bless you for teaching him the blessings of thrift and God bless him for listening!

Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

Wow, impressive! Good for him, he has a great attitude!

Ali said...

Way to go, good for him!! He is off to a wonderful start. Good job raising a fine young man (I say that and he is only a couple years younger than I, lol!)

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Please tell your son I am so proud of him! There are millions of adults who aren't half as smart!

More than Survival said...

Yea for your son! Wisdom!!!!!

English Cottage in Georgia said...

Congrats, to your son on his home purchase and to you for raising a great "common sense" hardworking, modern day Horation Alger.

FHCS said...

Congrats on your son's new home. It sure is cute and looks like he got a great deal from what we can see so far. What a responsible and smart young man too, seems you have raised him right! I can't wait to see the before and afters, what a fun project for you!

Sister number 5 said...

Congratulations, Mark! Can't wait to see it and all the "up-dating" Mom did (we won't call it decorating; not masculine enough). Hope you had a full nights sleep that first night! You should be proud; I can't say the same for being debt-free now, but I did take my time & wait for it with (hopefully) not too much debt (still pending; still building). Uncle Marty built his with cash. Great job; now fill it up!

Anonymous said...

I have just found your blog and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. I plan to be a regular visitor to your corner of the world. My son is 20 and has the same mindset re money as your, it is very good to see. Can't wiat to read more of your blog, Ann, Australia