Tag Archive: houses


I just made this comment on a Facebook thread, but I’ll be darned if it’s not a good post, so I modified it a bit (maybe a lot to make it succinct) such that it worked as a blog, and voilà! Enjoy.

My main beef with property taxes is that you never actually OWN the land. If you think having the title and no leans makes you the owner, try not paying taxes for a year. They will take “your” land. Imagine if they did that with ANY other property in your home. 

Imagine a TV tax that, if you didn’t pay, they’d come take your TV. Now imagine it for your other items like your iPhone…or stove…or furniture. You already bought it, it’s in your home, but you keep having to say taxes on it, FOREVER.

The only other time, of which I am aware, that your so-called property is taxed forever is in business. If you have inventory in your store, it gets taxed year after year…forever. It is NEVER yours. It’s a double whammy because, guess what? The land for businesses also get taxed forever. So, you never own your business or your inventory. Never. It doesn’t even end when you die. They just tax the next owner…forever and ever and ever.

With sales taxes, it’s over once you acquire the item. Done and done. It’s your private property and no government entity has sway over it.

With homes, what is supposed to be your place of solace, your palace, is under constant threat of being swiped out from under you.

I’m not saying sales tax is a magical and lovely thing. I’m just saying that, once you pay it, it’s over. It’s not something that your kids will have to pay, even after you die and leave your house to them. This is what people mean when they say that freedoms are eroding. I have a RIGHT to private property. Since when does that right end when I walk into my home? Oh, yeah, since the statists got elected into office by people wooed by their lofty rhetoric.

We need to quit doing that. Seriously. Stop it. Ignore the R and the D. Vet candidates based on how well they speak “freedom.” Know where you stand.

 

 

 

***This post has been updated to add the part about business taxes***

In Part II, we ended with me promising to discuss inspection results, pools, and closing costs. Yay!

If there is a problem with the house, now is the time to address it. Your realtor can write an addendum to the offer contract and things can be done a few ways. If you have a VA loan, the addendum will require that the sellers fix the issue(s) before the funding can be given the green light. Depending on your loan type, you might be able to borrow more than the agreed price in order to fund the repairs after closing, or you can buy the house “as is.” If you want to buy a house with foundation and/or roof problems, you’ll likely just need to cough up the entire purchase price in cash. If you are in this position, more power to you!!

At this point, the seller can tell you to take a long walk off a short pier, or they can fix the problem(s). We had an offer on a house that needed about $2,000 of really serious repairs to even be ready to sell. That didn’t include all the cosmetic issues and other problems in the house. Once moved in, IF the seller fixed the major issues, we would have had to replace a sink, re-caulk the master shower, buy new faucets for the master bath, fix or replace some interior doors, etc., etc., etc. We didn’t ask the guy to fix any of that. Just the real necessities, and he balked. Ah, well. I mean, if you are going to put your house on the market, make sure the roof doesn’t leak, the A/C has been serviced (ever), and the drains actually drain. Just throwing that out there…

If the seller decides to cancel the contract because of the request for repairs, you’re out that house. Yup, it can end that quickly. It’s like dancing a really tense tango where you’re not sure if, when your partner dips you, they’ll pull you back up. “Oops! Didn’t mean to drop you, there…” But, I’m assured that most sellers are not interested in losing a sale…except for that one guy.

Anyhoo, let’s presume there is a problem (there will be), that y’all come to an agreement on how to fix it, and things move forward. Now is the time for paperwork! They do things online, for the most part, now, and that’s way cool. My dad, the last house he bought, printed out all the documents to read. He’s old school like that. The point is, the papers, by the end, were literally 3 inches tall when stacked. It’s like reading a bill proposed by Congress, only in this contract, you might get something worthwhile for your money and this agreement is voluntary. Okay! Let’s discuss pools.

If there is a pool on the property, the kids will go nuts. I mean, jumping up and down with glee. And, this is because they don’t have to shell out the hundreds of dollars each month to run the thing (write a check). Nor do they have to pay for the separate pool inspection before closing (write a check). Nor do they have to pay for the repairs on said pool (write a check). After looking for houses, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I’d cross “pool” of the “must have” list and transfer it directly to “reject house upon knowledge of the existence of a pool on the property.” But, then again, none of the houses we looked at seriously had pools, so I was not faced with battling against the long faces of the children upon learning we might not get a house due to the presence of a pool. I may have buckled. But, we’ll never know, so let’s move onto closing costs.

Alright, people, we are getting close to the end of the process. You’ve signed 4,000,000,000 pieces of paperwork, written about 85 checks. and it’s time to make things official, make sure your bank has funded their part of the venture, and you are just about ready to take possession of the house. EXCITING!! What is the one thing you want to do when you are getting ready to get a house? YES!!! Write more checks!

Get that checkbook out and get that comfy pen handy because you’ll be looking at papers that show you thousands of dollars worth of closing costs (fee, charges, surcharges, taxes, escrow account deposits, etc.). Oh, man. You’ll have SO MUCH FUN!!

Okay, maybe not fun, but it’s what you gotta do to get the house. If you have this money, great. If you have a loving parent(s) who is interested in giving you the mother of all housewarming gifts by paying the down payment and/or closing costs, that’s awesome, too. I pray I am able to do that for each of my three kids. Aim high, I always say!

Now, you’ve done the final walk through, written all the checks, and your loan is funded. You get the keys, and look lovingly at your new house. Imagine where you’re going to put everything and which rooms each of the kids get. Then, call the HVAC people because I think your A/C just went out.

 

 

***The craziest thing about the check writing is, while it seems old-fashioned to do so, most items along the way are not able to be paid by credit card, or even debit card. You pay with check or cash. Go figure, in this time of electronic everything else, house buying gets left in the dark ages.***

For many years my husband was in the Air Force and we lived on base. Before that, we were just young, stupid kids who rented and never thought past our 6 month lease. Ah, yes. Back when we “knew everything.”

Then, he separated from the Air Force and, after a time, we were faced with the *exciting* prospect of buying a house. Sounds fun and easy, right?! WRONG. It’s the most perplexing thing I’ve done…and I’ve learned French and successfully filled out insurance paperwork.

First, you have to find a realtor. Thankfully, though I hear this can be arduous, in and of itself, I knew one who is trustworthy and good at her job. I feel like we won the lottery, we are so happy to have a competent realtor. If you are in the San Antonio, Texas area and looking to buy or sell a house. comment below and I’ll give you her name and number. Okay, first job done…now, we just find a house, right?

No. First, you have to decide what kind of house you want and where you want it to be located. Think of the price you can afford to pay, the layout you want, the amenities you must have, and extras you’d like. Take some time, write them all down, and make sure you know exactly what you want.

Now, take that list, crumple it up, and throw it away. Don’t be ridiculous. You think you’ll get any of those things?? Nope. The next step is to  search for houses in your price range, in areas with reasonable property taxes, and maybe a few of the items on your list. You’ll need about 10 hours a day for a few weeks to really get your spirit broken. Once you’ve snapped, give in to reality.

You’re going to find a house that is more expensive than you’d ever expect, in a decent (but not great) neighborhood, and you’ll deal with that galley kitchen, no fireplace, and small rooms with no closets. No, in fact, by the time you find a house, any house, that isn’t currently condemned, you’ll be happier than you ever thought possible.

Then, just when you least expect it, you’ll find a great house, just in the location you wanted, with all the things you wanted…and it will have sold two days ago. So, you’ll go back to putting an offer on the house you are going to buy and the real insanity begins.

Next up: Paperwork and check writing…you’ll be an expert in both!

 

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