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Archive for April, 2009

House value just keep dropping...

April 20th, 2009 at 09:19 am

Every month for the last 6 months, I get a monthly news update from Zillow.com to my work office computer on housing value. For a while, our house value stayed relatively flat especially at the end of last year. It hovered in the mid $230Ks. But now with all the “foreclosures” in full effect, "COMPS" are way depressed. Many existing homeowner’s are just foreclosing on their primary home for bigger and cheaper. For example, we found 4 to 5 bedroom homes, 2 ½ baths, and 3 car garage sold in the low $220Ks to the mid $230Ks. In fact, 3 houses down the street from where we live; a family just moved across the street (yes, just across the street!) because the previous homeowner foreclosed on it and it was now $100K cheaper than what they paid on their original house. It’s the same house model and square footage. It’s was unbelievable! We certainly feel the “times” have shift; low interest rate and plentiful foreclosures for many buyers.

Just like our neighbor, we’d like upgrade to a bigger home for a lot less. Of course that would be ideal in today’s time. Boy that would be really nice…. On the other hand, we are also responsible person.

The good news, however, we can still afford our house payment of about $1,563 a month. Actually, we can afford our house even if it caps at 10% or $2500 a month. We still owe $274K. We’d like to refinance before our interest reset in Jan 2010 into a 30-year fixed rate. But having a negative equity, no late payment history, and good-paying jobs still doesn’t help us qualify for any refinancing options or loan modifications of any kind. We’ve asked my lender and a relative of ours who does loan medication. The best option we’ve heard so far is for us to buy the bigger home for a lot less while putting up our existing home for rental. But that means carrying two mortgage.

With any luck at all, we are just hoping the current interest today will remain our existing interest rate @ 5.0% when it reset. But still. I can’t help asking the question.

Where’s my BAILOUT?

It's been a while

April 17th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

It's been a while since I blog on here.

So this year our main focus is to pay-off our van (Odyssey). So far, we are staying on-course in achieving this goal by the end of the year.

We also had a slight changed of plan on this year's family vacation. Instead of using all $2K vacation in July, we are now planning to use just $1000. Our TV is showing degrading resolution. So we kinda force to buy new TV eventually. That's fine. We plan on staycation instead. Maybe take a few trips to Bodega Bay, Marine World, or San Francisco Zoo, but no over nighters.

Oh, I almost forgot. We now increased our EF to $17,300 in trying to reach $36K goal. We are still socking away $1,125 a month that began Jan 08. That's means, no more starbucks (for over 1 year half), brought lunch from home, less eating out, and sticking to our family budget. It's a beautiful thing. Smile