"House Hunters"(TV show)...who are these people?

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Dave C.
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"House Hunters"(TV show)...who are these people?

Postby Dave C. » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:28 pm

A 26 year old women deciding between a $650K condo and a $625K condo?

A young couple picking between a $450K townhouse and a $500K downtown condo?

My wife watches this show and I peek in from time to time, but I don't get it! Is anyone else curious about the source of such a cash flow that allows $2,000--to over a $3,000 monthly mortgage payment for such young people?

OK, it's a show. It's entertainment, OK. Is it just a fantasy to sneak a look into the world of .005% of the U.S. population?

Some of the homes considered cost in excess of $1M. What's that about? :roll:
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Re: "House Hunters"(TV show)...who are these peopl

Postby bmelikia » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:33 pm

Dave C. wrote:A 26 year old women deciding between a $650K condo and a $625K condo?

A young couple picking between a $450K townhouse and a $500K downtown condo?

My wife watches this show and I peek in from time to time, but I don't get it! Is anyone else curious about the source of such a cash flow that allows $2,000--to over a $3,000 monthly mortgage payment for such young people?

OK, it's a show. It's entertainment, OK. Is it just a fantasy to sneak a look into the world of .005% of the U.S. population?

Some of the homes considered cost in excess of $1M. What's that about? :roll:


The funny thing is I love the show. I have to agree with you though. . .I'm 26 and watch these guys and think "How and the heck do these guys think they're going to afford this house?". . .

. . .that and I wonder if they know something I don't. . .
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Re: "House Hunters"(TV show)...who are these peopl

Postby lightheir » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:34 pm

Dave C. wrote:A 26 year old women deciding between a $650K condo and a $625K condo?

A young couple picking between a $450K townhouse and a $500K downtown condo?

My wife watches this show and I peek in from time to time, but I don't get it! Is anyone else curious about the source of such a cash flow that allows $2,000--to over a $3,000 monthly mortgage payment for such young people?

OK, it's a show. It's entertainment, OK. Is it just a fantasy to sneak a look into the world of .005% of the U.S. population?

Some of the homes considered cost in excess of $1M. What's that about? :roll:


Mommy and Daddy have cash to burn. Seriously.

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bru
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Postby bru » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:36 pm

I'd like to see them revisit people who bought during the bubble. If you think the prices are high now, the shows from several years ago were out of control.

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DiscoBunny1979
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Postby DiscoBunny1979 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:41 pm

I especially like episodes whereas the couple demands to have a 'rental' unit in the basement to offset mortgage payments! Such a deal to go into debt for things you really can't afford.

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tc101
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Postby tc101 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:42 pm

Lots of people in their 20's are making 100K a year. Doctors, some lawyers,
computer programmers, engineers and people in the financial business. A young couple where both are working in well paid fields, or even a single person making 100K could afford the mortgage on a $650K condo if they kept other expenses down.
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Postby lightheir » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:59 pm

tc101 wrote:Lots of people in their 20's are making 100K a year. Doctors, some lawyers,
computer programmers, engineers and people in the financial business. A young couple where both are working in well paid fields, or even a single person making 100K could afford the mortgage on a $650K condo if they kept other expenses down.


These doctors still have big-time loans to pay down. Unless mommy and daddy paid for med school and college.

Even so, a typical doctor in today's era will be at least 29 before starting a 'real' job (age 21 @ college + 4 years med school + 3-4 year residency, and nowadays +1 fellowship). 26 would be young for an attending physician, and even then, I doubt a bank would give them a loan that big without a real credit history and proven earnings, let alone coming up with a 20% downpayment on the purchase home.


Other fields have a faster earnings curve, though. (CS majors can easily command $100+K in 2-3 yrs post college.)

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rob
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Postby rob » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:05 pm

I LOVE :roll: the ones that borrow damn near 100% AND require the seller to pay costs (WTF is that about) AND complain that they have no $ for a fridge.....

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Postby rob » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:14 pm

lightheir wrote:Other fields have a faster earnings curve, though. (CS majors can easily command $100+K in 2-3 yrs post college.)

Not any more.... has not really been true for a while in general (sure if you can crack the google riddle or alike).
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Helloeeze
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Postby Helloeeze » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:23 pm

I was curious about one of the homes in Mexico from the show, so I Googled it. It turned out the couple owned the house in the show for two years before they filmed the show. They just pretended like they were shopping the other homes. It's entertainment, folks!

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Re: "House Hunters"(TV show)...who are these peopl

Postby NightOwl » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:31 pm

Dave C. wrote:OK, it's a show. It's entertainment, OK. Is it just a fantasy to sneak a look into the world of .005% of the U.S. population?

Sure, it's entertainment, but I think it's problematic that they don't present it as a show about the top few% of the population; they present it as normal for a mid-20s couple to be buying a $450k house. That's one big reason that it's so tough for young people to understand that they can't afford to buy a home -- everywhere they look, people like them seem to be managing it just fine.

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Postby FedGuy » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:35 pm

My favorite part of these shows--admittedly, I think this is a bigger issue on "Property Virgins" than on "House Hunters"--is when they first reveal the buyers' budget. We're usually told something like, "They've been approved for a $450,000 mortgage. Combined with the $3,000 they've saved up, their budget is $453,000!"

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Postby fishndoc » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:52 pm

FedGuy wrote:My favorite part of these shows--admittedly, I think this is a bigger issue on "Property Virgins" than on "House Hunters"--is when they first reveal the buyers' budget. We're usually told something like, "They've been approved for a $450,000 mortgage. Combined with the $3,000 they've saved up, their budget is $453,000!"

You beat me to the punch!
I was scrolling down about to type the same thing. The real estate agent on Property Virgins drives me crazy.
I bet half of the buyers from these shows are now in foreclosure.
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Postby Opponent Process » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:05 pm

yes TV sells fantasies. it's escapism. don't consume too much.
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Postby White Coat Investor » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:11 pm

tc101 wrote:Lots of people in their 20's are making 100K a year. Doctors, some lawyers,.


That's hilarious. Doctors in their 20s don't make $100K a year. Doctors in their late 20s are called residents. There are no doctors in their early 20s. Think about it.....

College from Age 18 to at best 22, more likely 23-25. Med school from at best 22-26. Most residencies are 3-5 years long. At best you might find a practicing doc at age 29. More likely, he'll be in early to mid 30s and still have a negative net worth.

Lawyers might get out of school at 25 or 26 if they're lucky. In today's market, they won't be able to get a job so they'll have to go back to school for a real career.
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Postby jginseattle » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:27 pm

You should check out Selling New York. It just goes to show that some people have a lot of money.

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pointyhairedboss
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Postby pointyhairedboss » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:35 am

The show has been outed multiple times. The show recruits buyers who have already ratified a contract (or who have already purchased the house). The other two homes are shown to fulfill the selection process but are often homes that the buyers may have never seen.

It kind of makes sense. You never see an episode where they like the house but get out bid, or the house closes before they have the opportunity to make a bid. You never hear about counter offers.


http://hookedonhouses.net/2010/06/02/th ... s-on-hgtv/
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dave66
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Postby dave66 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:57 am

Having worked in TV for 15 years, I can say, yes... It's all 99% BS.

But there really are people that age buying stuff like that... Especially in the major urban markets. A lot of it is the last of the; grandma and grandpa, WW2... 'we were actually responsible in our day' trust fund money.

Near the end of the housing crash, had a college girl buy one of the new condos down the street here for 850k. Four story condo. Made like garbage I might add. What on earth does a college girl need a four story condo for? Her parents came with her one day and they were the most ridiculously passive people I've ever seen. It was like that spoiled girl in Willy Wonka.

God only knows how many yuppie house flipper wannabes were taken down by those types of shows a few years back. Notice all those shows instantly disappeared after the meltdown. But I guess some people never learn.

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Postby cheesepep » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:32 am

I still like the shows. But I would guess that 1/2 of them have lost their houses by now.

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DA
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Re: "House Hunters"(TV show)...who are these peopl

Postby DA » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:12 am

Dave C. wrote:OK, it's a show. It's entertainment, OK. Is it just a fantasy to sneak a look into the world of .005% of the U.S. population?

Exactly. It's entertainment.

How many people would tune in to watch if they showed couples buying the average $200K house in a plain vanilla, middle class neighborhood?

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Postby awval999 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:36 am

As a 20-something that makes >$100K I love the show, and I love it because I roll my eyes. I know how much I make after taxes, student loans, 403b withholdings and emergency fund stashing. I drive a Hyundai. Still my college beater. I can't even afford a shiny new car. Well, I mean I'm sure some bank would loan me the money, but to me affording something is actually having cash you know. Call me old-fashioned. I have friends that are already monthly-paymented out to death. It won't be me.

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Postby NoVa Lurker » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:15 am

pointyhairedboss wrote:The show has been outed multiple times. The show recruits buyers who have already ratified a contract (or who have already purchased the house). The other two homes are shown to fulfill the selection process but are often homes that the buyers may have never seen.

It kind of makes sense. You never see an episode where they like the house but get out bid, or the house closes before they have the opportunity to make a bid. You never hear about counter offers.


http://hookedonhouses.net/2010/06/02/th ... s-on-hgtv/
http://mothersofbrothersblog.blogspot.c ... ll-we.html


These links were great, thanks for putting them up.

I have only watched HGTV a few times, but I think I'd buy a book called, "Behind the Scenes of Every Reality TV Show." I'd love to hear how the various producers convince people to do strange things, and how much people get paid for it (my guess is, very little).

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Midpack
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Postby Midpack » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:36 am

I agree many of the buyers seem completely unrealistic, as if they are blissfully unaware of the housing bubble (buying too much house and 100% financing - why is that even allowed any more?). I also like the mid 20's couples who must have hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, with upscale finishes throughout. I just watched an episode with a very young single woman, masters degree, 1 year into her career who could not be satisfied with a $600-700K condo in Boston's South End. She ended up buying a $900K (listed at $995K) 1350sf 2 bed basement flat with an almost $300K loan from Mummy & Daddy (living in Beacon Hill). A world I'm not familiar with.

But I enjoy and watch House Hunters and Property Virgins a lot because I expect to buy our 4th home in the next year or two. And the shows seem to include budgets in all ranges, as low as $120K or so. Some buyers are realistic, but admittedly many seem otherwise...

Selling New York is another matter, and people wonder what Occupy Wall Street is all about...
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Postby djw » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:03 am

To those wondering when a particular House Hunters episode was first shown on TV (as discussed above, NOT necessarily when the sale took place) you can visit tvguide.com > what's on tv > tv listings, roll down to the particular House Hunters episode on the time schedule, and click on House Hunters. The listing details includes the year, which is most often 2010 or 2011 these days, but sometimes 2008 or 2009, especially when they're running an all-day marathon.

I was not surprised to learn that all of us are thinking pretty much the same thing about this show. Fun to watch but insane to follow the example they set for naive buyers. When my wife and I have bought a house, we've ALWAYS begun by searching realtor.com and getting a list of properties beginning at $1.00 and increasing.

We roll along, sampling listings as we go, until we find the CHEAPEST entry that might satisfy our actual needs, might possibly have a flaw that we don't care about, or a truly desperate seller who needs the money NOW. We would NEVER tell a Realtor that if we hit up mom and dad and counted up every penny we had, we MIGHT be able to come up with $X and we want to blow it all on our first oversized mansion! Holy failure to diversify, Batman!

We own our house free and clear and I'm unhappy that it represents 30% of our net worth. I'd be a lot happier if it were less than 20% and I'm working on a strategy to make that come true.
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Postby bungalow10 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:23 am

awval999 wrote:As a 20-something that makes >$100K I love the show, and I love it because I roll my eyes. I know how much I make after taxes, student loans, 403b withholdings and emergency fund stashing. I drive a Hyundai. Still my college beater. I can't even afford a shiny new car. Well, I mean I'm sure some bank would loan me the money, but to me affording something is actually having cash you know. Call me old-fashioned. I have friends that are already monthly-paymented out to death. It won't be me.


As someone who was a 20-something who made 100k (I'm a 30-something now) - I'm with you. I'll take my $140,000 mortgage, paid for cars, and retirement accounts.. although the $14,000 we spend in daycare doesn't help - we could get a much nicer house if we could spend that money on it.

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Postby taurabora » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:52 am

I like these kind of shows, because it gives me an idea of what housing is like in different cities.

I don't really pay attention if the budget is $400k+, though.

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Postby Dave C. » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:51 am

awval999 wrote:As a 20-something that makes >$100K I love the show, and I love it because I roll my eyes. I know how much I make after taxes, student loans, 403b withholdings and emergency fund stashing. I drive a Hyundai. Still my college beater. I can't even afford a shiny new car. Well, I mean I'm sure some bank would loan me the money, but to me affording something is actually having cash you know. Call me old-fashioned. I have friends that are already monthly-paymented out to death. It won't be me.


Hats off to you and your mind set. In ten years you will feel twice as smart, in 20 years you will have realized the financial "bullet" you dodged by not following the "buy it all NOW!" crowd. Keep rolling those eyes.
8-)
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Postby marylandcrab » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:59 am

When the show firsted started years ago it was plain vanilla houses in California with prison walls for a backyard. Every house looked virtually identical and was really boring. We'd laugh when they'd walk into a room... so spacious - lol.

My favorite is when people can't see past the coat of paint or something decorative that is easily fixed. These hunters are who house flippers go after - the ones more interested in the granite countertops and paint color than the price of the house or understanding how any house you move into will be personalized by you over time.

I filled out the application about 8 years ago to be on the show. You had to already be in escrow.

One little hint - you know the house they'll pick because it's usually the one that is empty.

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Postby hand » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:01 am

We own our house free and clear and I'm unhappy that it represents 30% of our net worth. I'd be a lot happier if it were less than 20% and I'm working on a strategy to make that come true.


I'm picturing matches and gasoline.

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Postby V572625694 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:37 pm

Helloeeze wrote:I was curious about one of the homes in Mexico from the show, so I Googled it. It turned out the couple owned the house in the show for two years before they filmed the show. They just pretended like they were shopping the other homes. It's entertainment, folks!


Wow, another myth destroyed. However, the Wikipedia article did let me know that the current voice-over narrator is someone named "Andromeda Dunker," which is pretty wonderful all by itself.

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kramer
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Postby kramer » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:42 pm

This is why I call HGTV (Home and Garden Television) "The Consumption Channel"

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My First Sale

Postby davidkw » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:20 pm

The show My First Sale is more realistic. It shows the true troubles of real estate.

I love HGTV too!
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Postby campy2010 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:53 pm

House Hunters, as well as those house flipping shows, need a couple of "where are they now?" episodes. That would be entertaining.

Getting sucked into these stupid shows is one of the primary reasons why I don't miss cable. No temptations to watch this pro-consumerism junk.

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Postby HornedToad » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:54 pm

I actually really like "Property Brothers." If it's overly fake please don't tell me... :)

I find some of the househunting show unrealistic but not all of it. Probably because my wife and I bought an upper 400k house in the bay area recently and are in our 20s. High 20s for me. It's interesting to see different houses and styles and makes me appreciate that neither one of us wanted to live in a shoebox in the City for twice the price.

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Postby Curlyq » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:55 pm

.....
Last edited by Curlyq on Mon May 14, 2012 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby lightheir » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:24 pm

Curlyq wrote:
djw wrote:We roll along, sampling listings as we go, until we find the CHEAPEST entry that might satisfy our actual needs, might possibly have a flaw that we don't care about, or a truly desperate seller who needs the money NOW.


To buy my current home, I had my realtor pull-up the cheapest ten properties in the general area where I wanted to live and I looked at those and the cheapest for-sale-by-owner homes. Made an offer on the second cheapest home I saw (the first cheapest went into contract during my search) and bought it.

Over the years, it's been completely remodeled, some DIY, some contractor work and is now a nice property still worth twice what I paid for it -- even after the real estate meltdown.


I like the approach of not going big, but in some locales, like the Bay Area of San Francisco, it's not a good approach.

In such an area, all the places in nicer neighborhoods which cost quite a bit more, have gained a fair amount of value through the recession, whereas if you had gone down even by just 20% on the home price and settled on a house in a neighboring more affordable neighborhood, you would have lost 10-20%. I almost made this mistake - fortunately my wife didn't budge on the nicer digs.

Of course, you have to be able to afford this kind of stuff to begin with the make it work, but I do think if you can, it's a better idea to go with the better place for the better preservation of value when things go south as they've been.

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Postby ryuns » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:29 pm

kramer wrote:This is why I call HGTV (Home and Garden Television) "The Consumption Channel"


I'm not a huge fan, but comparing it to tuberculosis seems a bit harsh.
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Postby Sidney » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:31 pm

kramer wrote:This is why I call HGTV (Home and Garden Television) "The Consumption Channel"


Home improvement porn.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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Postby davebo » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:38 pm

I don't think House Hunters is really like that. I've watched it a lot and I think the 20 something year olds buying a house for big bucks are the exception. most are pretty modest houses.

But personally, I liked the old seasons much better with Susanne Whang. They used to focus more on California houses. I don't know...I don't think there is anything fun about seeing some couple buy a $175K ranch in Iowa.

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Postby FireProof » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:15 pm

if you are buying a home in some areas, 400k is about the minimum. And I know plenty of 26 year old dual lawyer couples making 360k+

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Postby FireProof » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:27 pm

if you are buying a home in some areas, 400k is about the minimum. And I know plenty of 26 year old dual lawyer couples making 360k+

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Postby marylandcrab » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:35 pm

HornedToad wrote:I actually really like "Property Brothers." If it's overly fake please don't tell me... :)

I find some of the househunting show unrealistic but not all of it. Probably because my wife and I bought an upper 400k house in the bay area recently and are in our 20s. High 20s for me. It's interesting to see different houses and styles and makes me appreciate that neither one of us wanted to live in a shoebox in the City for twice the price.


I like Property Brothers too. I always think it's funny when they take people to houses they've described and then tell them how much they cost. I'd like to bring them in my house for a renovation. My favorite on that network is Candice Olsen, I'd love her to redo any room in my house.

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Postby BigSwingingD » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:11 pm

I don't know if anyone posted this yet, but I love the International show where they are some couple from England looking for what amounts to a shack in another country. I forget what they call it (a ruin or something), but I think they went to Greece to pay top dollar for something that looks straight out of slum dog millionaire.

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Postby PaddyMac » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:48 pm

If you're interested in what happens to couples who get in over their heads, check out the new series of "Til Debt Do Us Part - Home Edition". (I've only watched Ep. 1 on the DVR, so not sure if the entire new series is all about home purchasing.) This couple bought a house for $500K in the country, the wife's income was cut in half because she's now working from home (massage therapist) and they were now spending 60% of their income on housing and were already $63K in debt. Interesting to see the stress this caused (I won't spoil the ending).

When we were selling our house in CA, I lived on a steady diet of HGTV's "Designed to Sell". Very useful information for staging your house. We sold in 4 days in 2008 after staging it to death. People are so easily fooled by pretty things from Bed Bath & Beyond...

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Postby Pacific » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:05 pm

FireProof wrote:if you are buying a home in some areas, 400k is about the minimum. And I know plenty of 26 year old dual lawyer couples making 360k+


You can say that again.

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Postby tc101 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:10 pm

EmergDoc wrote:
tc101 wrote:Lots of people in their 20's are making 100K a year. Doctors, some lawyers,.


That's hilarious. Doctors in their 20s don't make $100K a year. Doctors in their late 20s are called residents. There are no doctors in their early 20s. Think about it......


OK, I don't know that much about doctors pay obviously. My nephew got a job paying $90K fresh out of college with an undergraduate in computer science. He is real smart though, and he graduated from Cal Tech, so he may not be typical.
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