What would you be doing differently if the housing market were better?

Twin Cities home prices fell 3.4 percent from December to January. The decline was the worst reported among 20 major metropolitan areas. Today’s Question: What would you be doing differently if the housing market were better?

  • Katy

    We are moving to a bigger house because of the dip in housing prices. We were able to sell our house for what we paid for it 8 years ago, and because of the declining houses, were able to afford a bigger house in our same neighborhood. Even if we’d made more on our house, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the new house 3 years ago.

  • Wade

    Building the house I want. We bought way to much house this time with the intention of entertaining and having friends come visit. We hardly ever have guests. On top of that, the garage was built by city people who don’t understand the concept of outdoor living and having toys. It’s a “3 stall” but it’s a lousy 700 sq ft.

    Next time we are building a modest house (approx 2000 sq ft) and a huge garage (60′ X100′) for the toys.

    If the market was better, we’d be selling and building new. Currently we could see our home for what we paid for it.

  • Recovering Bachelor

    I would be buying a bigger/better house. I bought the perfect bachelor pad near the peak, and matrimonial bliss has brought one too many people into the address. We need the space, but since we can’t sell this place, we cant start looking for the upgrade.

  • Lou

    We would be downsizing and moving into a retirement townhouse in a small community close to the Twin Cities. As the baby boom generation reaches retirement age, I assume that a huge number of family homes will be placed on the market and there will be a demand for low maintenance townhomes. I hope that builders have taken this logic into account.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Nothing. I’ve learned that I’m happier if I can be content with what I have, rather than longing for what I don’t.

  • Beau

    If it were “better” I wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy my house.

  • Jennifer

    We bought a home with loads of potential just before the dip. Since then we’ve been capitalizing on said potential, but our property tax statements keep telling us it’s worth less and less.

    The Army wanted to move us all over the place, which would have meant financial disaster for us. As a result, my husband transferred to the Guards so we could stay in MN (and not go down burning). In a better economy, we would have had no qualms about going wherever the Army sent us, but we know too many people who’ve lost everything that way.

  • GaryF

    Bought my house 19 years ago. Thought of buying a bigger house 2 or 3 times over the last 10 years but didn’t. Lived within my means and put the extra money in investments.

    Now that my income is lower over the last few years, my low mortgage payment is really nice.

  • Michelle

    Probably nothing. We bought our house when the market was on its way down, got a good deal, and are happy that we have a place to live in a safe neighborhood. Not much more you can ask for!

  • ann

    We wouldn’t be making two house payments.

  • Sally

    I’d be adding a first floor half bath to our old 3-story house that I love. I may do it anyway because it will allow us to “age in place” so that we can wait out this awful market rather than having to sell for a depressed price and move to one-level living.

  • CC&H

    Leaving Minnesota.

  • Amos

    Upgrading to the house that we have been dreaming about. My wife and I have been in my condo for 4 years now and were hoping to see some profit to upgrade to a house to start a family. Instead we’ve lost about a third of the value and can’t figure out how to move up and take advantage of the great deals out there!

  • Kevin VC

    Depends on what you mean on better I would guess. As in the banks really did the refinancing like they are suppose to rather then trying to milk people for the last bits of equity in their homes on loan offers the bank screwed up on?

    In general doing the right thing often is at odds with the economy, at least at odds to a ‘hyper’ economy. If we at least maintained a moderate growth in the housing arena, and not some ‘get the money and run’ attitude that got us here…. I think we would all do better.

    That being said, the answer if its good consistent growth, and not just feeding the already rich banks, then I would likely HAVE a livable job.

    I can understand growing economy, I can not understand greed.

    Responsible desire is one thing, greed at the cost of others is another.

    (I also find it disturbing seeing the infomercials of people getting rich off others who are or have suffered due to the criminal acts of the banks at the cost of hard working middle and low income people. The ones selling and buying foreclosed houses… I wonder how many are legitimately and legally foreclosed or just robo-signer foreclosures. Again, taking the money and running leaving behind violated rights of people.)

  • Erin

    We choose to stay in our home and remodel it instead of trying to sell it in a down market and move to something different. Even though our property values have been dropping, we hope that the remodel will help with our sale if we ever had to move in a pinch. Although I would not reccomend living through a home remodel, not fun, but hopefully worth it.

  • Glad

    I am single, in my 50s, and affected both by changes in the housing market and by job insecurity. If I thought my job were secure and if I thought the old equation held that real estate usually appreciates, I would buy a one-level townhome to age in place. As it is, I am staying out of real estate and instead, painting my apartment.

  • Bob

    I thought BHO was going to fix everything?

    T plus two years. Must still be GWB’s fault.

  • Thomas Castonguay

    We were trend setters in 2004. I was laid off & we had to sell our WI home at a large loss to follow a job to NNN MN & bought. Now we are trapped underwater with retirement looming. We were going to move closer to our support network — now we will be paying on this house long after we die.

  • DNA

    How much better? So much that I can build using Hemp materials grown here in the US? Especially grown and built here in beautiful Minnesota?

    Much would be different and much would be the same (only better).

    Quality of life improving is great thing.

  • steve

    I would be doing nothing different. I like my house and neighborhood and don’t view a house as investment so much as a place to live. It serves that purpose. I still am saving for retirement but started saving with my first job and haven’t stopped. While I am not happy the house value has fallen, I don’t have my wealth tied up in my house. Never have and never will.