April 9, 2016

Lemon House, Lemonade House

This past week we needed the services of both an electrician and a plumber, and somehow managed to escape the week only $200 lighter.

Having a lemon tree has been one of the unexpected pleasant surprises of our house. I am forever spoiled with homemade lemonade.

It feels like we’re spending a ton of money on our non-fixer up home. I need to keep reminding myself that all these little things are to be expected. Or rather the number of them is not unexpected, even if each individual one might be unexpected. We’ve been lucky that so far each of the issues haven’t been too expensive, with one notable exception.

I’m the kind of person whose comforted by numbers. To keep from going completely insane I’ve been keeping a list of our home repair costs. By estimating the closing costs I can then calculated out the sale price we’d need in order to break even. That may seem a bit obsessive. I promise dwelling on them really does ease my anxieties, even if it appears otherwise to the outside world.

In my spreadsheet I’ve actually calculated out several sale prices: (1) what we’d need to break even just including repairs, (2) what we need to break even including estimated closing costs, (3) what we need to break even including all additional costs that come with owning over renting including monthly maintenance and taxes, and (4) number 3 with closing costs factored in.

Obsessive, relaxing. Tomatoe, Tomato.

It may seem like we’re spending a lot, but we’ll likely make it back again when we sell the house. According to both Zillow and Redfin, our home has risen enough in value to meet the first milestone. They disagree about the second one, and both don’t think we’ve reached the third. I guess the advantage of a high cost of living area is that small percentage change in property values translates to pretty large numbers.

I know moving was a good financial decision, but “knowing” isn’t really knowing without hard numbers.

Since we’re not planning on cashing in on the increased equity any time soon, I’ll just try to focus on the unexpected positives in our property – like our lemon tree – with a fresh glass of lemonade.

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