Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Something Happened in the Last Four Years

Just recently, I noticed that there are many 4 bedroom single homes that are affordable and costing less than my current home.  My first inclination is to consider moving.  My second thought is to take a look at what is really going on.  If these houses have become more affordable what is happening to my own home?  Is the value of my home staying the same or decreasing?
I recently looked at a four bedroom home about 20 minutes from my house that costs $220,000.  What was the value of that home four years ago?  Have the prices of homes gone down significantly or only slightly.
Some of the home valuing websites have my home listed as having three bedrooms rather than four bedrooms.  This will make some of the valuations lower than expected.  Overall my home has not increased in value.  Sad but understandable. 
Have you looked at your home's value recently?  Is there anyway to increase the value of the home?
Recent upgrades to your property could increase the value of the home.  My home could use a new shed.  We recently installed a remote controlled ceiling fan in one of the bedrooms. 
Another thing to look at is the current balance that you owe on the home.  Ideally you never owe more than your home is worth.  Over the past four years we have refinanced our home once.  If you are not planning to stay in your current home over a certain amount of years refinancing does not always pay off.
One good thing that happened over the last four years is that our source of income (my husband's job) is now local.  We are officially moved.  Both our home and employment are in the same zip code. 
Now the trick is to start paying down the mortgage significantly so that a house that is 20 minutes away non rush hour does not look so appealing because the overall mortgage amount would be less. 
It is time for an epiphany.  A time to realize that if we tighten our belts we can knock out years from our mortgage by doing a bigger snow ball payment each month.