Saturday, June 11, 2011

Time To Buy A House?

Sonoma house drawing I can't really say whether or not now is a great time for everybody to buy a new house. But for us, the timing is good enough, that it looks like we're going to be staying in Texas after I retire from the Air Force in a couple of years. The image to the left is an artist rendition of the home we are having built in the House Creek North subdivision of Copperas Cove.

The question of whether or not to buy a house has been popping in and out of my head from time to time, ever since we left Hawaii .. where buying a house wasn't even an option. The biggest obstacle for me was always whether or not we would want to stay here in Texas. As recently as last fall, I was still pretty set on moving to Florida after I retire. But then again, I not a big fan of moving (even though I've done it every couple of years, for my whole life) ... so, there was always a fairly decent chance that we would choose the "path of least resistance" and stay in this area.

Well a couple of weeks ago, that path was followed.

Here's a youtube video of a speech I had to do for a class; which coincidentally talks about my decision making process when it came to buying the house:
httpv://youtu.be/1WWmSK-NU9U

I'm not going to retype all of the reasons I gave in the video. But here's a basic summary of why Now was a good time for me to buy a house:


  1. Good Credit - I'm still not sure how exactly this happened (to me), but apparently if you pay your bills on time, it's possible to build your credit score up into the "very low risk" range .. even if you've had some "issues" in the past.

  2. Inexpensive Houses - While I do have empathy for those who already owned homes; and sympathy for those who bought at the peak of the bubble; I can't honestly say that I've been terribly unhappy about the falling home prices over the past couple of years. From the reading that I've done, prices may or may not continue to go lower. But for us, the 5 bedroom house that we want/need has already come down into the "easily affordable" range. Of course, it probably doesn't hurt that this part of Central Texas has always been one of the most affordable housing markets in the U.S. anyway.

  3. Low Interest Rates - Whether or not prices continue to drop, I can't imagine many plausible scenarios where interest rates will ever be much lower than they are today. Depending on where they sit in a couple of months, when we close, we're expecting to lock in a 30 year loan for somewhere between 4.2 to 4.7 %. You can't beat that with a big stick.



We chose to live in Copperas Cove for a number or reasons, but probably the most important was the schools. Ana had already been trying to get a geographical exception to send the kids there next school year anyway ... especially Johnathan, who will be starting High School. Then, when we took the drive out to House Creek North, fact that they're building a brand new elementary school, a couple of blocks down from our lot, kind of sealed the deal for us:

House Creek Elementary School
3 of my girls will be attending this school.

Finally, I mentioned in the video, that we are having our house built. While I'm sure there are some great bargains out there, if I had the patience to look, in the end building a brand new house was actually less expensive than many of the similarly sized pre-owned houses that I'd looked at. We chose D.R. Horton as our builder, and needless to say, we've been quite happy with the process so far.

Here's our floorplan:

It may still be a bit early in the process to give the builder a plug, but hey I'm an optimist, so I'm not expecting any issues. If you think you might want to consider being our neighbor, here's the link that I found on the Internet:

http://www.drhorton.com/Where-We-Build/Texas/Fort-Hood/Fort-Hood/Housecreek-North.aspx

And if you do go out there ... tell Amber that I sent you. ;-)

Hope you have a FuN weekend!

[todd-sig]

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