Friday, July 12, 2013


"...the Joker is fouling up closing on that short sale!"

"Robin, you wait here and try not to whine or get caught; I'll handle this."








"Robin, I told you to wait there.  Now you went and punched with a lame sound effect and broke your knuckles.  Go to the Batmobile.  Get in the Batbackseat.  I'm not talking to you anymore." turns up some Bat-tunes and drives to the hospital - kicks Robin out at the ER curb - blasts back to the Batcave

So yes, it looks like we will close on the house next week?  Whoo-who?

I have mixed feelings.  It's lifestyle inflation.  In another mindset, it would be obvious that we needed to buy a bigger house for our stuff and precious things not to mention our childrens - so yes, there is one good reason to buy this house, I guess.  Also, when the seller and their bank have done everything that you told them to do (including repairing a leak in the roof, maintaining the pool, and knocking $7k off the price - and what bank does that?), it would seem perhaps ungrateful of us not to buy it.  What more do we want?

Not sure, I guess.  We're happy in Phoenix, I have a job that seems reasonably steady and pays well, and we have family and friends nearby.  It's just that dumping all our money into a heap of block and timber is a little appalling to me these days.  It used to seem like such a good idea, until I finally disabused myself of the notion that a house was an investment, and concluded that it was a chunk of stuff.  A very useful chunk from which you can derive much pleasure and benefit, but still a chunk of stuff.  After the fix-up, paying off the mortgage will be our next priority.

However, I gumptioned up and said we'd do 20% down.  We had been planning on 10% due to the expected costs of renovation, but as we've been in limbo for a while, we have been saving up money and selling off stuff, so I felt comfortable jumping into no-PMI land.  15-year note, 20% down, seems to me like that's the only way to responsibly finance a house.  If you look at how much interest you pay over the life of a 30-year note it is MIND-BOGGLING.  Cutting the term by 50% cuts the total interest paid by about 70%, assuming a 1.5% rate spread between the loans (about what I saw at Chase today, YMMV).  We'll end up paying ~$40k in interest if we carry to term (we won't - remember our 5-year goal), but a 30-year would cost ~$130k in interest carried to term!  If that's not nuts, call me a squirrel.

In other news, I rebalanced our IRAs yesterday, and MAN OH MAN I used to be so lazy about that stuff.  Several of the funds we help (which come from a limited menu offered by our bank) had expenses north of 1%.  THAT IS CRAZY.  Now, we're down to about 0.3% with a broad-based S&P500 index.  I wish our bank offered Vanguard on their menu, but they don't.  Another time I might think about moving the money to a place that did, but we're already plenty busy, closing on a house, writing journal papers, making lessons for church and school, and having an awesome time with an 18-month old who has ears like superglue and a mind like a steel trap.  I said "Oh, shoot!" about something, and for the next five minutes, he was gleefully saying "pafpa se OHChute!"

It's a wonderful thing.  Have a great day.

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