Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The true value of a home …

When my husband I bought our house last year it was sort of a “no brainer.” We bought his grandmother’s home at a price that we couldn’t resist and we could afford. Grandma was looking to downsize to an apartment and with current state of the housing market she knew that it would take a long time to sell. We bought it to avoid having to rent and in turn got a house payment lower than our some of our friends’ car payments. It was built in 1918 so it needs to be updated, although we have done a lot to it already. We’ve added central air conditioning, a new roof, an additional full bathroom, as well as some painting and new carpet. Our home is not in the suburbs and it’s not considered “new construction,” but it’s still a home and the memories that my husband’s family created there for more than 50 years live in the walls.

We’ve been in our neighborhood for almost two years now and not too much has changed. However, there are a few vacant houses near us and more than a dozen are for sale. Our property value and taxes have decreased, but our insurance has increased. According to our insurance agent, the cost to replace a home has skyrocketed. This article http://www.ohio.com/news/19574574.html, published last year in the Akron Beacon Journal, explains how Akron experienced a 4.4 percent overall decrease in home values. County Fiscal Officer John Donofrio called it “an unprecedented decline caused by lackluster home sales and thousands of foreclosures.”

The world is full of unknown circumstances so it’s important to me to live within our means. It seems as though at any time you could lose your job, a family member could become ill, or you could suffer some other economic strife. We try not to overspend and certainly don’t live a lavish lifestyle. I think that some people live outside of their means and that’s how they get into trouble and lose their homes. They simply buy too much house, or car, for what they can afford. I think that your lifestyle should reflect your attitude toward living and shouldn’t take too much of your bank account to maintain.

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