||[Jan. 24th, 2010|10:08 pm]
Travelled to Cooma this weekend to look at houses. Out of nine houses, eight of them would have worked for us more or less. I now have a rough handle on what the different 'Snowy homes' are, and know that anything marked as an E-Type snowy home will be too small. That's a major help right there.
But the important thing is, all the prices were fair, even when compared to one another. They were all good houses, and there was none of the knee-jerk "You want how much?!" that I get with... well 99.999% of Canberra houses.
I also learned I have to approach this in a different way. I had originally thought about popping off to Bombala to look for platypuses, but no, checking out a bunch of houses on a hot day pretty much kills that idea. Need to get out there again, maybe for a slightly longer stay. Head in Friday night, do two bunches of houses on the Sat with a break in the middle, another bunch on the Sunday, then drive home.
The shortlist from this trip has three places on it, with five more effectively as backup. Spoke to a few people who have done the Canberra/Cooma commute, and had no issues. So next step is to get Sharon to do a trip there after work one day, stay the night, and head in to work the next. If she's happy doing that, then we can take the Cooma option much more seriously.
Still hoping that we'll find somewhere in Canberra, but we're less and less happy with the idea of having to settle for something that doesn't really suit our needs and will cost an arm, leg, lung, and kidney. The worst of the back-up houses in Cooma is still better than the majority of main candidates in Canberra - and almost half the price!
Nice, wide, well-maintained roads with overtaking lanes makes things a bit better though - that's basically what knocked Captain's Flat off the list, a road I wasn't happy driving on with the though of what it'd be like in the dark.
Yeah, we'd rather be Sharon be five minutes from home, but if Canberra wants to price us out, we've both said an hour drive is normal for Melbourne. One house we looked at online for Canberra was $420,000, and marketed as a 'fixer-upper.' Bugger that!
But still looking here, and hopeful. If we can find something that would fit us all for around $370,000, and it's a good enough house, then that, combined with Sharon being close to work, would possibly make it worthwhile. But we've been looking on and off since we've moved here. And hell, we're not being overly picky, we just don't want to have to struggle to pay off a house that doesn't come close to suiting our needs.
The best summation is that the E-type I rejected as too small was around the same size as the houses we keep seeing here. But this was around $158,000, compared to $380,000.
we just don't want to have to struggle to pay off a house that doesn't come close to suiting our needs.
And if more people thought like that (and worked out what they needed rather than what the neighbours are getting) prices wouldn't be so bad.
The banks have to weather a hell of a lot of the blame though. They aren't meant to be your mate, giving you credit whether or not you can pay it off.
Just prior to the crash, I saw a bank offering no deposit home loans, and I heard about a bank offering 110% of the home loan, so you can buy furniture, get it painted, etc.
What the banks should have been doing was their fucking job, and saying 'No, sorry, if you want a house you can only afford to repay this much,' as opposed to letting people loan amounts that meant that a couple of interest rate rises have them terrified.
I agree that banks should be a lot more conservative cf Global Financial Crisis. :(
On a personal level the way to not be terrified of interest rate rises is to assume that the rises will happen before getting the loan and adjust the loan/repayments accordingly.
Which you're already doing so you'll be able to ignore at least the first couple. :)
Unfortunately (for us anyway) banks wont give no deposit loans anymore :( We could easily afford the repayments to buy a 4x2 house, but because we don't have $70k saved, we can't buy. Just means we need to wait another year or two before buying again, but by then it's quite likely prices will have gone up again :(