We've spent the last few days looking at houses in Chicago.
After the first five they all tend to blend together.
With my wife's help, we have a top four list.
Prices tend to run from $740k to $1.2M.
At the moment, interest is picking up with the spring thaw, yet there are stil lvery many houses on the market for 6 months plus.
We're expecting comps for the top 4 later tonight. We'll probably make an offer this week.
I'm kicking myself for not being pre-approved for a mortgage before beginning the search, however, we have a regular repeat relationship with our mortgage broker so it should move fairly quickly.
We are wondering what our finances will look like after a move to Chicago. The key issues are:
1. new expenses - not sure what all of them will be
2. net cash earnings from salary - we've been making accelerated 401k contributions and don't know our normal post tax payments
3. actual cost of housing - prices vary by $400k - what will it really cost
4. my wife will take time off before starting new job - how will that impact us in terms of cash flow
5. moving costs (Big Company and my wife's new employer will pick up most of the costs)
The big issue now is this question:
Do you buy a $750k house that is in good shape, but would benefit from $150k in improvements OR
Do you buy a $950k house that's in great shape, but you'd like to spend $50k changing the kitchen?
Your thoughts and recommendations?
Oh, btw, I have learned that the houses I would truely prefer frun between $2M - $4M. I have a loooong way to go.