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Buying the "doctor house" was the biggest mistake of my life...

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  • #31
    I’ve painted three of the four bedrooms. I’ve changed out one bathroom vanity. We put in new stainless steel appliances and a garbage disposal. I’ve updated the landscaping in the front of the house. I’m not allergic to the work, I just can’t help but think their is a better use of my free time. I’m starting to change
    out the two prong outlets for gfcis. Hoping to get new garage door in January. I’m hoping this will help offset some of the loss.

    Unfortunately, most the contractors/plumbers/electricians are charging more that I make per hour as a doctor. Another perk of a high cost of living area.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Hatton View Post
      What you should not do is buy another house before you sell the current money pit. My brother was having some marital problems and bought a new house in a new neighborhood prior to selling his old house. He had trouble selling the old house. He nearly declared bankruptcy and got divorced anyway. If you do sell wait before buying something else.
      Yeah I’m thinking we will just rent for a while. I don’t know if I trust myself enough yet to make another major home purchase. I’m not taking the two mortgage risk.

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      • #33
        Buying a house, and especially an expensive one is a trauma, takes time to get over so somewhat normal. So is stuff breaking, maybe try to make a list and focus and stick it out. Otoh...

        I think if you really wanted to sell it, if you do it quickly you're going to have to fix something visible up in order to make it appear to be a flip or something from the outside world. People are going to look at zillow and see last listing photos and these and go WOW, look at what they did, this makes sense. Focus on the visible and high return stuff first.

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        • NWMD
          NWMD commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah. Cheap things that pop. New paint, new landscaping, new appliance, new garage door.

      • #34
        Originally posted by NWMD View Post
        Do you ever worry about how much you are spending or whether you will get that money back when you sell? I can help but constantly think about how things won’t add value and how is rather just buy more index funds then sink money into a sinking ship.
        Everyone has their "thing" that they enjoy/waste money on. My "thing" is my home. I LOVE being at home, I love design, spending time picking out tile and wallpaper and the perfect pillows and throws. So I really enjoy the process. Thus far, the money we have put in has increased the value of the home by at least the amount we spent. If we do the bigger reno in a few years, it'll be because we are sure about staying longer term and it'll be for our enjoyment, not done to make money. Although given our specific situation it is likely we would recoup the cost if we sold shortly thereafter. I just wouldn't want to live through a reno only to sell a year later! So that doesn't bother me. I know it's a consumption item rather than an investment. But we love the location, neighbors, schools, etc so it all makes sense. We also have no other debt ( and will pay off the house before we cash flow the reno), are saving a bunch for retirement and are otherwise on a solid financial track.

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        • #35
          It’s sounds like you just want out which is fine but ownership is always going to involve things breaking and work. If you otherwise like the house and area I’d probably stay put myself. Around me all the houses are 100 years old though short of moving Far away. Our first year was the worst too - roof leak, water heater leak, plumbing issue, etc. it’s been better since then. We replaced electric and did a full kitchen reno. Finding a trusty handyman has helped - they don’t cost 100/hr and are much faster than I am. We love our house with the kitchen that we love. It was worth the money and time to get something that we like. It’s nearly impossible here to get a fully updated house though here (multi offer situations) unless it’s a cheap flip which has its own risks.

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          • #36
            All houses have things that break--even a new house or a "redone" house (especially when "done" cheaply just to look good). With a fixer upper, at least you get it done to your taste, If properly fixed yours will outlast any "redone" house.

            You sound maybe not ready for a house period. If the bones and long term location are good, consider sticking it out. Call it an advanced house repair education timeline. You'd be dealing with similar stuff in 2-15 yrs on a "done" house.

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            • #37
              Wow. You must live in labor/handy man heaven if they're asking more than physician hourly rates. That, or the physicians there are incredibly underpaid.

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              • #38
                One of the best things that can happen when you are a homeowner is to find a handyman who can fix everything and who charges a reasonable hourly fee.

                One of my patients is originally from Ecuador. He currently works as a carpenter for general contractors. He was a furniture builder in his country before he came to the US, and he is incredibly talented. Not only can he fix all of the usual things around the house, but he can also build beautiful cabinets and do minor plumbing and electrical repairs. We have a beautiful wood library in our house, and he custom built all of the built-in bookcases and cabinets. For the big jobs we call an electrician, but for the smaller stuff, he can do all of it. We save up a bunch of small fix-it jobs and perhaps a new project, and he comes over and takes care of all of it. He does the same for the business I own and for the rental properties we own.

                Once you have someone that can work their magic for a reasonable cost, the stress level goes way down. The nextdoor.com website for each neighborhood can be a great place to get a referral for a quality handyman in your area.

                Best wishes on finding a way to relieve your remorseful foray into homeownership.

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                • #39
                  Originally posted by EndlessSummer View Post
                  Wow. You must live in labor/handy man heaven if they're asking more than physician hourly rates. That, or the physicians there are incredibly underpaid.
                  So when you are paid as a physician or a contract physician, you are paid a salary or an hourly contract rate. When you pay an electrician/carpenter/plumber, etc. to come out and service you are not just paying their salary or hourly rate but you are also paying the business overhead.

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                  • #40
                    Originally posted by EntrepreneurMD View Post

                    So when you are paid as a physician or a contract physician, you are paid a salary or an hourly contract rate. When you pay an electrician/carpenter/plumber, etc. to come out and service you are not just paying their salary or hourly rate but you are also paying the business overhead.
                    I'm well aware of how this works. I've done this work and I own numerous rentals. Thanks.

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                    • #41
                      Honestly, I don't think you can blame this problem on it being a "doctor house." You simply made a bad decision about this house. Not knowing renovation costs going in. Overestimating the sellability or appeal of this house. It's not the price as much as it's an unattractive house in it's current situation, both to you and prospective buyers. 900k house or 400k house, it's not what you or others want in it's current iteration.

                      Forever house, doctor house, any house purchase you SHOULD always think about your exit strategy. ALWAYS. You begin with the end in mind. I've bought and sold houses and we've built houses, including our current "dream" or "doctor" house. We designed around our wishes for a hopefully very long term house but also really thought about features that prospective buyers would want as well and how potentially attractive our house would be to buyers due to its appearance, space, layout, features and location. We've lived in it for 2 years now and I have numerous people who stop by every Summer asking us to contact them if we ever sell.

                      Others are suggesting putting lipstick on a pig to sell. I'd be careful how expensive that lipstick is. You'll hear quotes about an "70% return on ........." renovation but that is estimated and you're still essentially "losing" the 30% you put in....and there is NO guarantee you'll get the 70 or whatever percent you hear about. Your realtor will tell you to go for it, but that's likely because selling a more $$$ house usually means more $$$ in their pocket.

                      I'd personally think very very long and hard about taking this one on the chin and selling with only minor (re: cheap) cosmetic upgrades. Then I'd move into a very cheap rental and start re-saving and recouping your losses while figuring out how to maximize the learning experience.....That and I'd make absolute sure that no matter what this house does not cost you a marriage. That would be beyond tragic.

                      Good luck.

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