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Thread: Decision regards housing

  1. #1

    Decision regards housing

    So I live in south suburbs of Chicago and it looks like Ill be moving out on my own. Its not a big deal because I lived on my own before but I wasn't paralyzed. I am L1 that is in good shape. Need opinions whether to go look for a nice ranch house to put my money into or should I rent? I work and make 1k a week. Got about 40 k in savings. 23 years old. Any Chicagoans have any idea what I should do? Or maybe know anybody that is renting/selling?

  2. #2
    You might want to rent while you take the time to find something to buy that is what you really want. Buying definitely has tax advantages and the ability to build equity so that you can sell a house down the road and recoup some of your investment...unlike renting. In addition, with a purchase you don't have to ask anyone's permission to make modifications/remodel to meet your needs and desires within your home.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Check Andy's posts in this forum. He is once again thinking of heading out of Chicago metro and heading much further out. I think a real biggy in midwest cities is parking due to snow. You do not want to miss work because you're parked outside and the plows take a day to get you or they plow you in. Condos often have the bennies of large rental communities but with the tax benefits of home ownership and the ability to make most changes without any more hassles than dealing with a contractor. And do you drive normally or depend on mass transit? Newer ranches are nice as far as many now are open concept and have wider halls and doors. Wasn't it last year that Joliet got hit by a tornado? So basement or an underground garage is always nice too. In a house that can be easy with a pan type lift and for a condo look for underground parking (nice during cold winters too) with access from the outside without an elevator if possible. If you go condo always go for at least 2 bedrooms even if you turn 1 into a man cave, exercise room or den. One bedrooms do not keep their resale value as well as 2 and up and are rarely that much cheaper unless you're in the golden mile or Napierville, etc. Probably your best bet is to go talk to a few realtors and ask them to compare renting vs buying and how much you can afford and where.

    No, I have just spent a lot of time driving through and when younger going to the museums and concerts there. Now Barrington is our nearest LL Bean and Oakbrook is the nearest Nordstroms for another year. We moved back to WI when my husband retired 3 years ago. Last job after the military had us in Maryland for 20 years. I am still happy we moved back. I find both WI and IL more accessible then many places out east. You've done great for your age with the savings so I'd suggest buying but that's me and with state income taxes down there you do get to deduct interest and property taxes from mortgages on your federal return as well as many access items you might need.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  4. #4
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    I'd say stay out of IL, NW Indiana is close to where you are and has the benefit of less insane property taxes. Keep an eye on how much the government will want yearly under threat of stealing your home out from under you. Ideally get a multi unit place so your tenants pay for the joint, having someone else pay for the place is a nice bonus. You could rent, but that seems like a PITA. And finding a rental unit could be a pain also. I know I probably would not rent to a wheelchair user, and I use one! I see how much damage to baseboards/doorways I do. Having to pay to fix that after someone else...I think not.

    What areas are you looking at? Where is work? Oh yeah, when shopping, check out realtor.com, nice sales history and tax information. Make sure when checking the tax that it isn't showing a senior freeze amount also, look at surrounding properites. Yeah, I'm on a tax vendetta, but when living in a state that has one foot in the bankruptcy grave, you gotta watch out for that. The only reason I'm still here is because I work downtown...once that is over I'll not grace this state with my presence, lol.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I'd say stay out of IL, NW Indiana is close to where you are and has the benefit of less insane property taxes. Keep an eye on how much the government will want yearly under threat of stealing your home out from under you. Ideally get a multi unit place so your tenants pay for the joint, having someone else pay for the place is a nice bonus. You could rent, but that seems like a PITA. And finding a rental unit could be a pain also. I know I probably would not rent to a wheelchair user, and I use one! I see how much damage to baseboards/doorways I do. Having to pay to fix that after someone else...I think not.

    What areas are you looking at? Where is work? Oh yeah, when shopping, check out realtor.com, nice sales history and tax information. Make sure when checking the tax that it isn't showing a senior freeze amount also, look at surrounding properites. Yeah, I'm on a tax vendetta, but when living in a state that has one foot in the bankruptcy grave, you gotta watch out for that. The only reason I'm still here is because I work downtown...once that is over I'll not grace this state with my presence, lol.

    I work in midlothian so it's very close to Indiana border. It would be ideal to buy there because of the prices and taxes. I also own a car that is paid off so driving wouldn't be an issue. I just down want to move so far from my friends and little of a family I have here because I'm afraid of being.. Lonely. I already found some houses in south suburbs that friends realtor sent me but I'm afraid of losing it if something happens to my income. I don't want to start all over like I had to after my accident.

  6. #6
    First, I'm really impressed that you are doing so well. Great job, paid off car, amazing savings at your age .... and good health with a SCI. And now you are thinking carefully about the future. Most people your age are doing no where near as well as you. Great job.

    I would probably rent first if I were you, since it's your first time on your own post-injury and there are a lot of variables to adjust to. You need to figure out what kind of place to live in, where, what apartment/house care issues are a pain in the A$$ and what you like doing. Then in a year think about buying. What's the hurry?

    We live in the Chicago area. My Dad's a para, and he still lives in a small relatively inaccessible house which is just awful in the winter. His taxes are brutal. If you are thinking about a ranch (good), I would favor an attached garage. But do you really want to have to maintain a house in Chicago? This means lawn care half the year, and snow removal all winter and keeping an entire house clean. It gets quite expensive if you hire out and it is very difficult to find reliable snow removal on your schedule. And probably the last thing you want to be doing is managing these issues yourself if you are working/commuting. But maybe I'm wrong? Houses also tend to have higher taxes.

    I would recommend finding a more modern apartment complex with an elevator and covered/attached parking lot. Modern means just not "vintage". It is a very good time to by condos if you want to buy, but condos will stay cheap for several years to come. If you are thinking about buying a condo, make sure you investigate the building's finances carefully.... if many are renting out their condos this is a red flag and you need to check to make sure they have sufficient reserves and how they have financed major repairs in the past. There are definitely risks to buying a condo... I would still favor renting first just to have the convenience of calling the super anytime something needs repair. But maybe you are handy and like home maintenance things.

    There is no perfect choice... rent or buy... condo or house... It totally depends upon what is important to you.

    Andy is probably a great source of advice on this one. I wouldn't worry about beating up the baseboards. A lot of landlords just repaint those before a new tenant comes in anyway.

    Again, I'm very impressed with how well you are doing. I wish you well.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    First, I'm really impressed that you are doing so well. Great job, paid off car, amazing savings at your age .... and good health with a SCI. And now you are thinking carefully about the future. Most people your age are doing no where near as well as you. Great job.

    I would probably rent first if I were you, since it's your first time on your own post-injury and there are a lot of variables to adjust to. You need to figure out what kind of place to live in, where, what apartment/house care issues are a pain in the A$$ and what you like doing. Then in a year think about buying. What's the hurry?

    We live in the Chicago area. My Dad's a para, and he still lives in a small relatively inaccessible house which is just awful in the winter. His taxes are brutal. If you are thinking about a ranch (good), I would favor an attached garage. But do you really want to have to maintain a house in Chicago? This means lawn care half the year, and snow removal all winter and keeping an entire house clean. It gets quite expensive if you hire out and it is very difficult to find reliable snow removal on your schedule. And probably the last thing you want to be doing is managing these issues yourself if you are working/commuting. But maybe I'm wrong? Houses also tend to have higher taxes.

    I would recommend finding a more modern apartment complex with an elevator and covered/attached parking lot. Modern means just not "vintage". It is a very good time to by condos if you want to buy, but condos will stay cheap for several years to come. If you are thinking about buying a condo, make sure you investigate the building's finances carefully.... if many are renting out their condos this is a red flag and you need to check to make sure they have sufficient reserves and how they have financed major repairs in the past. There are definitely risks to buying a condo... I would still favor renting first just to have the convenience of calling the super anytime something needs repair. But maybe you are handy and like home maintenance things.

    There is no perfect choice... rent or buy... condo or house... It totally depends upon what is important to you.

    Andy is probably a great source of advice on this one. I wouldn't worry about beating up the baseboards. A lot of landlords just repaint those before a new tenant comes in anyway.

    Again, I'm very impressed with how well you are doing. I wish you well.


    Thank you so much for your kind words. I try to take advantage of opportunities given. This country has plenty of them and I would never forgive myself if I missed out on them. Still going to school to get my Associates in science (halfway there) and attending therapy to keep myself humble. Life isn't a fairy tale I lived before but Im squeezing the most out of it. I am moving out because my girlfriend I lived with told me Ill have to get on with my life without her. I looked into condos and gotta say that sense of community wouldn't make me feel so lonely but on the other hand I don't want to have my hands tied regards modifications.


    Following Andys advice I looked into houses in IN and WOW! You get what you pay for, houses are beautiful and move in ready! Not mentioning tax issue in IL. I want to buy a house but this situation is so new for me I don't know what to do.
    Last edited by wesmaister; 07-20-2014 at 11:32 AM.

  8. #8
    Yeah, it is SHOCKING when you see how people live in other parts of the country when you are used to prices in an urban area. Indiana certainly has its advantages.

    It is true that a house in Indiana will be more lonely - especially if you are moving away from friends/family. You will have to make a real effort to get out there and socialize - especially on weekends. It is also likely that the people in Indiana that you meet will be different than you are used to in Chicago.....

    But you have already shown that you are a driven individual and I suspect you will make a good life for yourself wherever you go. To hear you are also going to school and therapy and juggling a live in (disappointing....) girlfriend?!?! Just... Wow.

    Part of me senses that this move is a more emotionally weighted decision because of your break-up. Do you feel under time pressure to move out soon? That makes the decision even more stressful. Again, I would favor renting at this point. To move to Indiana right after a break-up seems like piling a lot of change at once. Obviously, I am showing my conservative personality!

    But if anyone is going to make it succeed, or be up for another change in a year if you don't like it.... you will.

  9. #9
    That is why I would recommend renting first...consider renting a condo (I know there are lots to rent in my area) and seeing if you like that. You might even find one that is rent with option to buy.

    I lived in a condo for many years, and they had the advantage of the association taking care of all the outside maintenance, but I bought one new, and then several years later we went through a 5 years horrible construction defect suit against the developer, architect, and many of the other companies involved in building the place. In the end, since the contractor had skipped the county, we were able to get only enough money to fix the defects, but not enough to pay all the owners back for the special assessment to pay the attorneys. I ultimately sold and bought a house largely because I could no longer tolerate the awful board of directors and their failure to carry out their responsibilities, petty bickering, and failure to approve improvements in my unit that were entirely within the Architectural Guidelines.

    So I would definitely NOT consider a new condo, nor one where you have not lived for a while to find out about these types of issues which are never discussed in disclosures...

    (KLD)

  10. #10
    I totally agree with KLD on the condo risks. I would never buy a new construction of any type (house or condo) unless you have extensive research on the companies involved and are going higher end.

    I have always rented condos, and in both situations the owners offered to sell to me. The up sides of renting a condo is the buildings tend to be better maintained and I always got more for my money. The downside is that individual owners are often less experienced with being landlords, so they were slower in fixing problems (ie. plumbing/heating problems) or tried to fix them themselves to save money. In the end, it was worthwhile to me nonetheless and I always try to rent from from condo owners.

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