June 12, 2007

HP Survey - what do you do and how much do you make? (everyone post as ANON on this thread only)

I think the fact that you found HP means you're

1) smarter than the general population
2) interested in personal finance
3) knew there was a housing bubble
4) have a good job
5) are good with your money
6) make more than the average person

So, informal survey - no user names allowed on this thread. Just list what you do and how much does your household pull down a year.

Bonus points for what your monthly housing costs are (rent or own) and how much you have in savings

366 comments:

1 – 200 of 366   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Lab scientist, making 95k a year, renting for 900 a month, having saved about 50k (401k excluded).

Anonymous said...

PC/Network tech and strip club bouncer...
about 45K most of it off the books...

Perfectly content with buying a starter house in the (909) here in socal (when they return to the very low 200k range :) and renting out some rooms to a couple of friends to build quick equity all the while working more part than full time.

Have no desire to be wealthy ...

Friends, good times and an affordable roof over my head would make me rich enough ;)

Anonymous said...

ok fun stuff

145k 'programmer' - LA,CA
savings about 800k (bubble sitting)
rent=1000 a month=half the rent

Anonymous said...

38 yr old housewife, senior programmer w 1 child. house bought in 2005 for 270,000 - 30yr at 6.5%, no car debt, no credit card debt, 100k in retirement, 50k extra in savings. And BTW, no t.v. for 2 years

Anonymous said...

Business development for a large multinational, making 120k euros a year, wife makes another 75k euros. Renting for 2000 a month a house that would cost about 900k euros to buy (Madrid, Spain). 500k euros in the bank.

Anonymous said...

Small Business owner in New Zealand, earned about NZ$170000 before tax plus car last financial year. Sold house in Sept 06 for $720000. Balance left after mortgage and real estate fees $688000. Banked at 7.5%, have earned about $3000 per month after taxes off the bank. Plus saved hard after drawing out business profits and have increased equity for house to $740000 in 6 months. Renting for $510 per week. Willing to wait to see what market does in next few months with interest rates hitting over 9% fixed, over 10% floating.

Anonymous said...

Pharmaceutical Account Manager.

I am 35, I make 65K a year. My company gives me a car and pays for the gas. I rent a one bedroom APT in LA for $850.00. Admittedly I'm one of those people with very little savings, about 2k. But I have less than 7k in debt including my car. I travel out of the country every year, I eat well and experience most of what I care to. I am getting married this Saturday and everything is paid for CASH. My very soon to be wife makes the same amount of money that I do and we plan to rent at the beach for $1,400. With no plans to buy for at least 8-10 years.

Right now life is good.

Anonymous said...

film editor, 145k/year, renting a 2 bedroom apartment for 1300/mo split with roommate so my 1/2 is 650/mo. Zero debt. 120k spread across various savings plans.

Anonymous said...

Electrical Engineer
$150k
Florida

I think we should add a general location. My salary in Florida is great but would be laughed at by an engineer in California.

Anonymous said...

Upper-mid level Government Bureaucrat, $97K in income paying $1905 to rent outside of DC (sells for $450-$600K). Cashed out $150K gross from real estate 00-06.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I make about 70k a year, we own the house we live in outright, bought it cash and I renovate it since, gave up my job as a lawyer, was fed up with it. Financially we are doing better that way, bought another house and two apartments I renovated and which we rent, with no intention of selling, the P/E ratio is quite satisfying the way it is. For buying the second house, we had to take out a credit which we payed back within 2 years. So I am no bitter renter, but still think prices are just nuts and will have to come down seriously.

Anonymous said...

air traffic controller / massage therapist 68K. Sold just before thevpeak. Now renting dirt cheap. Waiting, waiting, waiting

Anonymous said...

Nonprofit management, $75K a year, rent is $700 a month, $20K in savings (excluding retirement savings of $75K), completely debt free as of last year (had $45K in student loans to pay off).

Anonymous said...

Software Engineering Consultant - $185,000 per year ($20k of which is rental income). Primary residence original cost $202,000 (current value $362,000) ... owe $130,000, monthly payment $1165. Vacation home original cost $220,000 (current value $350,000) ... owe $195,000, monthly payment $1140. Both mortgages 30 year fixed rate at 5.375%.

Anonymous said...

PC tech / Upstate NY / 35K year / Own mortgage 680/mo

Anonymous said...

Gee - me and the lab scientist about the same. I's an engineer - 54- $95,000 per year, $125,000 incl. spouse. Homedebtor since early '80's in SE PA. Mortgage P&I $525 per month. 15 yr @ 4.99% fixed. House probably "worth" $330,000. Approx. $50,000 cash on hand (checking, savings, money market, bullion coins). 401K - $250,000 - 60% cash, balance oil and precious metals.

Anonymous said...

Engineer, $70K/year. Own a home that I bought for around $25K outright and fixed up. I've saved about $10K aside from my 401K. I'm not rich by any means, but I think I'm doing okay for being in my mid twenties.

Most of the people that I know who are my age waste money like crazy. Almost all of them have five figures in credit card debt and owe similar amounts on vehicles they can't afford. Even the people that get lucky and make a lot of money waste it all on stupid stuff and end up broke.

the proud gringo said...

just finished university, looking for a job. I make a grand total of 0 dollars. anybody here interested in a bubble-resitant, multilingual business graduate?

Anonymous said...

Computer admin. in Spain, around $60000. Renting with my girl a $450000 home for $870/mo. Savings around $60000.

Anonymous said...

Software engineer - 50K(in 05 with ~5 months of unemployment) - 85K usually.

Anonymous said...

Network Architect 200k/yr
Wife: Makeup Artist 120k/yr

Rent with additional parking is $2000/mth. We don't pay water and our electric bill averages $60-$85/mth depending on how much we're home and how hot it is outside. We are saving thousands by renting because taxes around here average 8000k/yr and a decent home that's not dilapidated costs around 650k. Not to mention all the headaches of owning. If anything should break, I call the super and it's all taken care of right away.

Every time we contemplate purchasing the numbers compel us to continue waiting. We are literally saving thousands of dollars and tons of headaches.

Anonymous said...

SAHM
Husband's a Welding Supervisor @ major manufacturing company
I'm 28
He's 31
Low $40's
We pay $594.00 on our mortgage.
We have Approx $10,000 in the bank emergency fund.
A little in 401K
And zero debt other than the house.

Anonymous said...

80k sys admin
Smarter than average

Anonymous said...

Computer / Network Security 100k. Renting a SF Home in Bethesda, MD for 1800.

Anonymous said...

Electrical Engineer 91K/yr.

Took a new job two years ago and have been renting a room for 500/mo including utilities! Have puts on CTX, CFC, GM and hold real estate short fund SRS. Life is good.

I'm dating a Chinese American girl. Her American mom thinks I'm a fool for not having a home. Her Chinese dad thinks I'm brilliant. Hmmm......

Anonymous said...

Roadie/Audio Engineer/Tech Support for live events. Good Year, 120,000 Bad Year, 30,000. Girlfriend bought a 3000sf townhouse in Maryland, closed in 2003 with a 30 year fixed in the low 5% range.My total monthly expence, (all in, including cell phone, cigarettes, and half of the house payments) 1380. Six figures in bank accounts /401 / stocks. If everything tanks and the whole country comes unglued I can write a check and pay off the balance of the house, then do day labor and shit work to pay the property taxes and keep the lights on. If my income stays near this year's level (22.5k so far, I took a 6 week break to relax and smell the flowers)then I plan to spend a fair amount of time in the near future on craig's list and various other "Oh Christ buy my stuff I'm Broke!" web sites to toy shop and collect anything my heart might desire. I feel no joy, feasting on the flesh of the fallen - only calm
satisfaction that my planning was correct.

Anonymous said...

Customer service rep. - less than 20k. Homeowner, single parent, kids, no mortgage.

Anonymous said...

50k govt. job which after you add in the fact that I don't need to save via a 401K and my health benefits are paid after retiring and I have a pension...well you add it up. Did I mention that the last 5 years, I get paid double my salary and I will have built up enough sick time to actually be paid double and not even show up for most of that time. You see in govt., your sick time builds up unlike in the slave world of corporations where you are just a 2-bit whore for an overpaid CEO.

Anonymous said...

Sonographer 70000 base and 15000-20000 in call in Colorado. A 20yr old plain house in need of work goes for 250000 here. Anything decent is 350000 plus. I pay 1500 a month to rent a so called 600000 house.

WolfieCR said...

network admin , 40k, wife makes about 70k......we both live out of the US (in a place where cost of living is much much lower)

wife is American...she wants to buy a house there and spend 50/50 between here and there (she misses her family) so we are monitoring until the right time comes along (I would much rather rent for several reasons but we will see how low the prices go) :)

extra bonus, she is from Michigan.....so on top of the bubble there is the job situation which devaluates property values even further

Anonymous said...

IT management consultant ($106,000 full-time W-2) / Small business financial management consultant ($36,000 part-time 1099)

$2,071 monthly mortgage payment (P.I.T.I.). I paid less than $67 per square foot for my home (now four years old), including the 11 acres of land it sits on, and the detached 3-car garage. The home has appreciated considerably in the past two years (in great part due to buying it for far less than it would cost to build), and I do not live in or near a bubble area.

Anonymous said...

Retired chemical technician.
40k per year including SS.
Own free and clear, 3k/year T&I.
250k cash savings.
no debt.

Anonymous said...

Insurance - wife is a teacher. Combined income of about 105K. We bought a house for 82K (Tampa) in '01, then when the bubble became very apparent to us (around '03), we worked our tails off to pay off the mortgage - last payment was made in Dec. '06. So, no housing expenses, and saving about $3000/month for a down payment so we can snap up a nice house in a couple of years. We would stay where we are, but we have had 2 kids since we bought, and the 1300 sq. ft. is getting TIGHT. Anyway, love the blog - keep on keeping us informed!

Anonymous said...

GIS Analyst

85K - Washington, DC area

Not buying so overpriced housing unit at these bubblicious prices.

Anonymous said...

Certified Financial Planner-$180k

Net worth $1.5M (I love to save!)

Sold my California home during the frenzy. Renting a $600k house for $1600/month.

Anonymous said...

Mortgage Broker in Ohio for 15 years.
Never did a Option ARM loan.
Never did an Interest Only loan.
Income fluctuates -- $82,000 last year, project about the same this year.
Built a new home in 2002, 2700 sq ft. ranch on 6 acres for $279,000.
Neighbor just sold a similar home for $365,000.

Anonymous said...

loans and collections

58k

Anonymous said...

Me - Pilot - 75K+Benefits
Wife - Prof - 75K No Benefits

Rent in large SW city at 850.00 (brand new resort-like apt.)

100K+ in savings

Purchased home in distant ski resort from builder after almost three months of haggling. The guy just couldn't believe that someone was actually "low-balling" him after several years of "taking orders". Not looking to profit or flip the place, just want to pay it off. Weekend/retirement home.

Anonymous said...

financial analyst but currently in night school taking calculus & engineering (right now general). 78k/yr. rent for 650/month. drive a beater p/u that's been paid for since 2000.

Anonymous said...

Age 28 - Operations manager - Investment Firm. $53,000 a year. My Husband is 33 years old - 3D medical animator$85,000 a year (with freelance) .

We just moved to Vancouver WA where our rent is $1,345 for a large three bedroom townhouse. We moved from the Boston area, where our rent was $1,000 a month including all utilities and the mortgage on the house we almost purchased at the end of 2005 (Thank you Housingpanic for saving us from that one!) would have been $2,800 a month.

We have no debt and save about 33% of our income.

We currently have $134,000 in 401k's & Roth IRA's & $50,000 in cash savings.

Anonymous said...

Last year: 160k as software developer
This year: $0 (developing a software product that will be on sale by July)

Rent is 750/month
no debt
75k in gold/silver bullion

Anonymous said...

Attorney from DC. 140K/year.

Just moved to Tampa to continue renting and wait out the crash. Could be a while by the looks of the for sale signs down here. The downpayment is ready, but I locked myself into a renewable lease to avoid temptations. Considered buying a condo in 2005 but quickly stumbled upon blogs like this and decided to let it crash first. Have been researching the bubble ever since. Thanks, HP!

Anonymous said...

Webmaster for gov agency and own several websites. Wife is a lawyer, so together we pull in over $200,000 in a mid-sized Midwestern town, which isn't too bad.
Sold the house last fall and currently renting a nearly new house for about 30% less than what 30 y mortgage would be. Not planning on buying any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Banking- $200k a year

$200k tax preferred retirment plans
$400k other savings

$1100 a month in rent.

Anonymous said...

financial forecasting
250k

D@ck tease said...

Don't really make a lot of money but try to make the most of what I have.Figure I have saved 100,000 by not buying during the bubble.I haven't worked in 6 months but have cash reserves waiting to put to work when the time is right.

Anonymous said...

Electrical sales, 65k year, bought a forclosure in 1998 for 170k sold in 2004 for 410k(a little early) renting right now for 1k per month. All proceeds are in intrest bearing accounts cd's,mmf..
Waiting for the hammer to drop. Its been real hard to convince my wife that taking out a 450k-500k mortgage would equal suicide, but she is finaly realizing that we made the right move and that its only a matter of time until we find our new home

Anonymous said...

Hedge Fund 600k a year on average. I would trade places with the strip club bouncer anytime. Hell, can I pay you $500 to let me bounce for a week (you get my hourly as well)

Still renting in NYC. Went to an open house for a 2 bedroom on Park avenue - 1,200 square feet. Ask is 1.8 million per the realtors sheet. He cut the price to 1.5 during the walk thru (I was the only one there). Why did he not just amend his sheet to 1.5 instead of giving me a 300k verbal reduction?

Anonymous said...

Mech engr./drafter - 56K gross
Wife is translator - 49K gross

We rent a 2br./1ba. apt. for $925/mo.

Roth IRA - 38K
Reg. IRA - 36K
Cash(in online HSBC) - 26K

Anonymous said...

economist, 37 years old, making 160K, 100K in savings (includes 401K, college savings etc), renting for $1,000, but I have been losing some money in gold recently. Well, maybe I should not complain, I bought it at $320.

Anonymous said...

printer, 60k year

Anonymous said...

Dr.'s wife, husband makes $440K. We own our house outright ($800K). Have $315K in mutual funds. Set to retire in 14 years at 55. Live on half of what we earn, save the other half for college x3 and retirement. Life is good.

Anonymous said...

occupation: Software Engineer

income: 70k single income in area where avg *household* income is less than 40k

housing: was renting a couple rooms for $250/mo, just moved to a townhouse for $550/mo, waiting for correction in housing costs before buying another house

savings: $45k readily accessible, $60k in retirement accounts

debt: NONE

lifestyle: Do what I want, when I want!

Anonymous said...

Just got out of graduate business school, working as a non-profit lender in the community development finance world, make $55K per year plus bonuses of about 10-15% annually.

Have about $14K in gold/sillver bullion, about $17K in retirement accounts, and about $10K in liquid investments i.e. online savings and brokerage account. I do have about $40K in student debt but that is priced at under 2.75% so it makes no sense to pay it off quickly when I can make 5% in an online savings account. Other than that, no other debt, thanks to my dad teaching me how to manage my finances as a youngster.

Rent is $775 a month in Northern Virginia area for my own personal bedroom and bathroom in a 3-person household. Saving about $1000-1200 a month and looking to move back to the Bay Area in a few years. I figure the housing slump will have finally hit Oakland and I might be able to buy a nice little home there in a few years, with a $50K-75K down payment of course.

Similar to someone who posted above, my job is satisfying because I am helping financing schools and health centers, I save money every month, I live below my means, and if I had a little home in the Bay Area close to my family and friends, I think life would be fine.

Anonymous said...

Me=postdoc, spouse=lawyer. Household 140k, rent 1k, 40k cash, 6 figures of other assets scattered around. Will not buy in LA ever. Maybe San Diego to Oceanside in another 2-3 years.

Anonymous said...

I am a Manufacturing Engineer at a medical equipment firm. Ten years out of college and I am making $70K. My wife is a chemist and pulls in $35K.

Our rental house (purchased in ’97) adds another 13K to the pot, which brings the grand total to $118K/year. We pay $37K in combined house payments, which includes an extra $100/mo. on each house.

We have $33K in CD’s and another $110K in our combined 401k plans. This income plus the savings sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? It looks good on paper, but the reality is that we do not feel wealthy at all. We drive older (but reliable) vehicles and live frugally, but balance this out by having a fun splurge every now & then – a mini-vacation, a nice dinner out with friends, or a clothes shopping spree for the lady.

At age 47, accumulating ‘things’ just doesn’t seem very important; what is truly valuable in life is having the free time to spend as you please, and unfortunately there isn’t enough of it thanks to our jobs and long commutes.

In another ten years both our houses will be paid off, so we will need less income to get by on, plus the rental house will be generating some income for us.

Then we will quit our “establishment” jobs and find part-time work close to home. The pay will be lower but so what? It will be a better quality of life, and this is what really matters, after all – having the time to do what you enjoy doing.

Think about it…

Anonymous said...

Software Project Manager
Household Income $218,200
Mortgage Payment $2,149
Savings $594,809.48

Slumming it in Phoenix.

Anonymous said...

Computer software developer - contract work/consulting only, average 10K/month.
No debt, car paid off, rent is 1050/month for 3 BD with an office. Total monthly expenses + other spending are around 3K/month (including rent).
About 40K in the bank right now, not including IRAs. Also hold about 8K in physical gold and silver.

Anonymous said...

33yrs old, Wife, 2 kids - Asst Vice President 125K/yr household salary
35K in Emergency Fund in High Yield Savings Acct 4.65%
110K in 401Ks, now mostly in balanced.
Sold all stocks at Peak- transferred 160K to Highyield Liquid Savings 5.05% thanks HSBC Direct and ING
20K in gold
20 million iraqi Dinar - Street value $20K.

Rent a 3000 sq ft house for $1450 per month, but hey the flop lord says we could have bought it for a measly $3000/month for the pride of homeownership. Its dropped 100K since he offered it to us.

Currently have paid off all debt, so are debt free and waiting for the crash. Most people I talk to think I am insane when I tell them whats coming, but thats OK, they said I was insane when I sold my house so I could rent. "Real Estate never goes down, don't you know that?" My best friend told me I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I don't know, I feel great:). He is sweating not being able to sell his house if he has to move for his job.

Anonymous said...

I sell obscure gadgets to the aerospace industry and federal government. The business shares a 5 acre lot with my home, and I've automated everything so there is one employee, me. On average I earn $200K a year.

Anonymous said...

Write software for a living.
Own my house free & clear, so my housing costs are the taxes and upkeep.

Anonymous said...

Technology consultant 110K. My wife is a nurse 40K. We are both in our late 40's.

We lease a six year old 3BR, 2.5 bath SFR in Irvine CA (former subprime capital of the world!) for $2,900 a month.

The kids have moved out and recently graduated from college so we will finally be able to start saving.

15K in credit card debt, no other payments except two vehicles, each 500 a month.

Nothing saved now, but hopefully, 25K - 35K starting next year.

Anonymous said...

landlord in philly suburb(90 units),and used car dealer making around 120 to 140k per year. real estate has treated me quite well the last 10 years,but prices got silly around 3 4 years ago when rentals no longer had a cash flow. did the realtor thing for a few years(i wasn't a whore i helped people find bargains) I started following this site and telling others about it because no one believed me when i told them it coouldn't last forever

Anonymous said...

Field Service Engineer, $75k
Wife, $25k
Savings including 401ks=$205k
Rent=$350/mo. (own a travel trailer)

Anonymous said...

Hedge fund - 600k a year renting for 3,200 a month.

Anonymous said...

Geologist (oil and gas): $110k/yr salary with 15-25% bonuses on top of that.

Our monthly payment (including principal, interest, and property tax) on our house is almost $1400.00. We live well below our means.

Anonymous said...

legal secretary, $140k year which includes overtime and bonus; mortgage $1700; $355k in 401k; $40k in college savings for kids

Anonymous said...

Sold our overpriced California house and moved to Oregon, where we bought a new house for 1/2 the cost and retired at 60. Drive an old car, have no debt, do satisfying volunteer work and enjoy life. We never thought of our home as an "investment" and thereby avoided the real estate frenzy. Have an income and savings sufficient for our current needs, but with the Feds cranking up the money presses and our penchant for starting illegal and unaffordable wars, we may all be poor soon.

Anonymous said...

Director of Quality Assurance. $85 k. House paid off in 2000, but, monthly carrying costs for insurance and tax of $508. $ 210 k in CDs.

Anonymous said...

120K per year, real estate marketing consultant.

Yes, really.

And yes, I rent at $1300/month, 1200 sf near downtown Houston.

"Do as I say, not as I do"

Anonymous said...

Employee at big megacorp. Make $200K per year. Renting an apartment for $1250 per month in Pasadena, California and pocketing the rest of the of the money for a home purchase. BTW - I sold a condo in 2004 for a nice profit.

My neighbors in the apartment complex all make approximately $45-$65K per year, paying pretty similar rents.

Anonymous said...

you pretty much hit it on the head i think:

electrical engineer
age 25 - single
$50k
interested in personal finance
frugal lifestyle
$610/mo rent
$50k in savings

Anonymous said...

electrical engineer working in an IC design center in the northeast US, age 44

base salary $94,000
annual bonuses about $10,000
2000 or so stock options per year

housing costs:

$856 monthly priciple and interst on mortgage, 10 years left and a balance of about $84,000. Original loan was a 30 year fixed started in 1997, re-fi'd to a 15 year in 2002 when rates bottomed.

RE taxes about $3200 per year

RE insurance about $650 per year

savings:

about $220,000 in retirement accounts
about $40,000 in other accounts

Batman said...

professor, entrepreneur, consultant

150k in salaries. Investments don't count.

House: 1100/month, will be paid in 8 years. Annual property tax 3000/year. House currently listing at 600k (not that that matters unless I move out).

Anonymous said...

Live in SE Asia, make $240K per year. Own a place fully - low housing costs. Just having fun and gaining experience.

Anonymous said...

Retired
$170K off books
Own 2 homes fully paid for

Anonymous said...

Procurement Consultant
$80k/yr
Renting at $1,300/mo
$54k in mm fund awaiting downpayment

Anonymous said...

Disabled and retail cashier. $45K a year. Happily paying rent of $1050 per month, for a house on an acreage worth at least $700K. $100K in savings (precious metals).

Anonymous said...

Human Resources Analyst about 55K a yr; Renting for $1000 a month (Los Angeles County)

Anonymous said...

What you make is unimportant. What do you keep? If you make 100k a year and spend it all on housing, etc. you are no better off than those making 25k and not saving. Balderdash you say, "I eat at fancy restaurants, go on lavish vacations, and have a TV in my Escalade; just look at my belly"!! Well... If you loose that job and can’t replace it what do you do??? To me there is a clear difference in creating wealth vs. debit.

What do I make??? None of your $#&*@!? business, even as a anon, for all I know the moderator can see my ip.

Anonymous said...

Maintenance Supervisor make 85k in Seattle area. Own a home @ 473 per month, 30 year fixed mortgage, 28 years remaining.
Waiting for this insanity to end so I can rent this puppy out and buy something closer to work.

Anonymous said...

Live in Mpls. Household income about $140K. Bought a house in 2002, paid $360K, 20% down, 15-year mortgage fixed at 4.375%. Monthly nut (mortgage, tax, ins.), about $3,000.

Love my neighborhood, love my neighbors, very happy with owning a home. Am 45 years old and plan to live in it until they carry me out feet-first.

Anonymous said...

Like 7:15 I'm a Science geek. Unlike 7:15 I'm an academic making 85k a year.

Anonymous said...

P.S. from Mpls guy: My wife and I are both in media/communications jobs. We have about $80K in cash savings, plus retirement accounts.

Anonymous said...

I am portfolio manager (NYC)and have a graduate degree and CFA. Make 300k a year, but things are pricey out here

I am married and have 3 kids and live in a two bedroom townhouse which when I bought it, was a better deal than renting.

I am waiting out the sell-off here in the NJ suburbs. I remember the last housing bust in 89-91 and have been warning others since early 2006.

Anonymous said...

Retail cashier/clerk. Annual income 12k to 18k. Own mortgage free a single family house and have 65k in savings.

tuxedo_junction said...

Retired early (mid 50s); pension and safe-withdrawal from investment funds (currently 75% cash) yields 50k per year.

Sold house in late 2005 for substantial profit. Now rent, a 3 br, 2 ba suburban house for $1,000/mo in a metro area with a population of about 1 million.

Anonymous said...

Tech engineer, making about $90K yearly and renting the cheapest thing I can find in the bay area for $1700/mo.

Anonymous said...

CFO/CIO - $210K annual salary ($335K household income), $300K+ cash savings for down payment (so far), renting for $1100 per month.

Anonymous said...

Husband's and my combined income is $250k, but we didn't want to HAVE to use our entire salary to buy a house here in SF...we're renting a 1500 sq ft place for $2300 (probably a third what it would cost to buy). We're both in technology -- he's a developer, I'm in management.

We have about $100k in savings, retirement funds excluded.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I make about $100k.

We have about $200k in gold, energy, and resource stocks.

We pay $1100 per month in rent and invest about $2000 per month.

We plan on buying a home at some fire sale in a few years for 90% off.

Anonymous said...

Mortgage Broker in Ohio.
Income fluctuates-- $82,000 last year, should be about the same this year.
Own a 2700 sq ft ranch on 6 acres I bought in 2002 for $280,000.

Anonymous said...

Gov't contractor, household income 150K+. Grad student working on an MBA, homeowner @ around 3x income, bout at 13% off peak, plus $33K in incentives/closing/etc. Savings around 12K, not counting 401k/Roth IRA.

Anonymous said...

City Planner, half of a couple with a HH income of $150k. Purchased a house in 2004 with 20% down, fixed-rate. PITI $1150/mo. Not in a big-bubble housing market.

I'm comfortable with those figures. Either one of us could quit our job and still make the payment without a sweat.

Anonymous said...

Environmental Engineer (water wastewater) make about 57k a year not including year end bonus which averages 2-3k.

Rent for 850 a month have about 80k assests mostly US stocks S&P 500 types

Anonymous said...

Software Engineer (Self-Employed)
50K

House in Chicago paid off.
Second home in St Augustine, FL.
Own two rental properties.
400K in the bank.

I was always curious as to how people where living the excessive lifestyle. My husband and I have been the butt of many jokes due to our frugal lifestyle. Nobody is laughing at us now.

Anonymous said...

Tech - 70k NY
not enough to buy anything and barely enough to rent.

Anonymous said...

Web programmer, plus small business owner.
About $4,000 a month (gross)
Housing expenses: 180/month for property tax and home insurance. House is free & clear.

Family of 3 (soon to be 4) and wife is stay-at-home mom. We have about $1200 left over every month -- we don't spend a lot on utilities, gas, etc.

House is 4 bedroom 1350 sq. ft, 1 story in a small town. Cost us $80K.

Anonymous said...

Industrial supply,semi-retired,still go in a couple days a week,company's call,not mine,paid under table. $100-150k a year from widely deversified tax free investments. $6000/yr outlay for utilities/taxes/upkeep but I can afford it.House is paid for completely,just like the cars and everything else.

Anonymous said...

Occupation = Self-employed investor(not real estate)
Annual income - $100k bad year: $240k good year.
Rent - $975/mo....nice duplex w/ killer views.
Savings - impossible to valuate closely held partnerships.

Life Rule #1 - only borrow for appreciating or income-producing assets. SFH might fall into this category in, say, 2009.

Best of luck to all.

Anonymous said...

160k. Sotware engineer in Silicon valley. Currently renting for $2000 a month for a $800k house with a large yard... Quite happy with the current arrangement.

Looking at eventually buying but may need to move as prices are not going down here (too many google and web 2.0 millionaires around...)

Anonymous said...

Web Marketing Specialist & Child Life Specialist

110k Household income

$1350 Monthly rent

Both 23, 2 B.A.'s, 1 B.S. and 1 M.A. between us.

Debating a move out of CA.

Anonymous said...

Engineer and teacher - $90k CAD$. Rent - $1125 / month CAD$
$70k savings (retirement included)
Age - early 30s, late 20s.
no kids, one on the way.

Anonymous said...

actuary, 100K +/-, own modest home (paid off), save 80% of my takehome pay.

Anonymous said...

Sys Admin in Mountain View, CA; $102K/yr(me) + $35k/yr(girlfriend, she's still in college though); monthly housing costs are $1400 split between the two of us.

I don't have that much in savings. Currently I divert $1700 per month into various investments but I'm trying to increase that.

Builderbomb Group said...

Marketing Manager, making 120k, locked in a 5.25%/30-year fixed. I bought in 2002 and have no intention of selling or withdrawing equity.

I will be enjoying kettle corn and diet soda while watching BubbleBowl 2007.

Anonymous said...

TX State Employee - software developer $65,000/year

Pay $700/month rent in South Austin...saving for a home, waiting patiently for a significant correction....perhaps mid-2008???

Anonymous said...

make about 86k.

still can't buy a house in San Diego. Will move to austin or other place if the prices don't come down in the next 2-3 years.

have lots of friends whom I warned not to buy in the last 2-3 years.. bu t they went ahead never the less

Anonymous said...

I'm a web 2.0 editor.

$44k a year, bought a 109k house (1400 sq ft or so). Wouldn't be so bad but for the car payment... I got the car before the house though. (In retrospect... I could have kept the old car really.)

And you know... if I lose 25% on the house value, it's not great - but at least I didn't sign up for some nutty jumbo McMansion at 500k+ because a 25% loss on one of those jobbies... yeesh.

Anonymous said...

Job - Laser Researcher 32 years old

Salary - Was $105K but resigned to do another startup at a paltry 90K with options.

Assets- ~$250,000 all liquid.

Residence - $800 per month, 10 acres in the mountains, private pistol range, wildlife, flowing stream. Median housing price in the areas is > $600,000

Anonymous said...

Accountant/Program manager. HH income about $125K. Bought a place in NW Oregon six years ago; the mission is to pay it off. We feed our 401(k)s 15% and pay extra on the mortgage.

Anonymous said...

Where: SW FLorida,
What: Small business owner/ Retail
about $120,000 - $140,000/year

Anonymous said...

mercedes benz sales $100,000.00 year $250,000.00 in bank stocks ,401k, and gold and silver coins. happily paying $1600.00 per month rent,and putting away 20% every month in my 401k

Anonymous said...

Software developer & Accountant.
Family income: $150K
Own a townhouse, monthly mortgage $1135, HOA $290.
About $50K in savings, 401K included.

Anonymous said...

programmer-90K

Anonymous said...

Attorney, married to attorney, making low 300s a year (350 with bonuses). NYC area. Current rent at 2250, buying 750K house. With taxes monthly cost will be about 5200K a month. Insane, but still within acceptable debt and housing limit by conservative estimates.

Anonymous said...

Business Systems Analyst for a Retailer, making $73,000 a year.
My partner a Graphic Artist, making $28,000 a year.

We bought a 2800 sq ft house in NE Florida in December 2005 for $223,000. We have a 6% Fixed for 30 years. Our Monthly Payment is $1553, including taxes and insurance. Current Mortgage Balance is $186,000. The peak price for my house model by the same builder was $255,000 (9 months after we bought). I know the price has come back down but I still think we'll be OK.

There were 2 builders in our development, KB and Maronda (Maronda being the less expensive builder). We bought Maronda and paid about $30,000 less for the same square footage as KB. The only difference was our house came with less frills. I didn't mind buying the cheaper house and adding the better lighting fixtures, landscaping, etc myself.

Our mortgage is not toxic and is comfortably managable. I probably could not rent for much less than $1500. Neighborhood is clean and quiet and has community pool, etc. I am a little worried about the values dropping and there are a few foreclosures (fliptards) in the neighborhood but I would say about 70% of the subdivision is still owner occupied.

Keeping my fingers crossed. I need a place to live and would probably have a hard time selling right now if I tried.

Anonymous said...

Database administrator, 95k.

Own, mortgage+escrow ~980. Not couting water/county utils.

Anonymous said...

fed bureaucrat/engineer.
household 158k yr
renting for 1.5k
74k savings

Anonymous said...

40K renting 20 something renting a room for 370.

Anonymous said...

Fed gov engineer 100K Alabama
debt free
paid-for truck and airplane
20 acres land needs a house built
$35K PMs, $100K TSP, $90K IRA/Roth
Lots of guns, ammo, practice

Anonymous said...

Answers:

1) smarter than the general population - 135 IQ
2) interested in personal finance - love it and addicted to cnbc, bloomberg, and yahoo finance
3) knew there was a housing bubble - yes but got in before it and own 3 properties that all have value greater than book
4) have a good job - senior financial analyst at fortune 100 company and realtor making $100K a year
5) are good with your money - have $200K in net worth at age 29 not including primary residence
6) make more than the average person - yes

Anonymous said...

Electrical Engineer, 110K a year, 40K savings, 2K/month rent (1200 sq ft. 2/2)

Anonymous said...

HVAC/R Technician. Saw that 3 bedroom stucco box in Mesa, AZ sell for 275K and new we had a HUGE problem. Searched the web and found this great place. My income is 55K base pay. Happy as hell to be renting.

Anonymous said...

I am the hare, wish I was the tortoise.

Had too much success too quickly out of school, owned an Internet company, made a lot of money, but spent even more. Got out of that and had too little to show from it.

Now, I am 5 years deep as a real estate agent and mortgage officer. Really, I am one of the good ones, I look out for my clients - most of whom are referrals - even if it means not doing a deal.

I grew up in the trades, did very well on my first two homes by doing complete remodels with my own two hands. Currently buried in a condo that I would be happy to live in, but had a daughter and want to get into a single family home. Will probably lose $30k-$40k on this home or will have to get creative to swap out of it.

At any rate, I probably make about $75k a year. Could make much more, but like I said, I don't whack anybody on loans, usually total fees are less than 1.5% and never mark up a rate.

Also I value my free time and am happy just doing enough to pay my bills and put some money in the bank.

Anonymous said...

Hedge fund manager in Orange County, average about $1.2 million / year income last four years, net worth approx $3.5 million, rent for $3,300.

Anonymous said...

IT Consultant in New Jersey

110K this year (varies from year to year)

Own a townhouse with the wife - about 2K per month in mortgage and property taxes. She is anxious to buy a house and your site is helping me to suppress that desire for the time being. But it's getting difficult convincing her to wait.

Love the blog, you're a true public servant Keith.

Anonymous said...

25, rent at $250 a month, earn less than 25k, about to begin a professional program. 5k savings.

Anonymous said...

Stock broker west coast Canada, 200k+/year income, renting for about 2 years now.
Median home prices here in Victoria (pop 300k, provincial Capital of province) is about $515,000 (up from $225k in 2000), but of course, "there's no bubble, it's different here"...

Anonymous said...

I have a service sector business that brings in nearly $500K/yr after expenses.

My wife works in Marketing for a large online retailer making $65K year.

We are set up to live on my wife's salary, renting for $1400/mo.

I'm 37, she's 29 and we sold our home in 2003 after owning since 1991.

I love to rent!

Anonymous said...

Engineer, sal about 100K/yr, taxes ~ 30K/yr. Buying home: mort, tax, ins ~1000/M.

Just want house paid off, collage for kid and out of the rat race, ideally. Pratically; just want to survive the next 8 years.
Assests - liabilities = ~ +50K.

PS: Stuck in Mexicos most northern provence : Southern California.

Anonymous said...

Software developer, $80K per year, condo owner, mortgage payment $1200 per month and strata fee $170 per month.

Anonymous said...

90k, designer.

Bought in 1995 3 bed 2 bath Berkeley ca for 250K hahaha now that retarded Zillow has it valued at 850K. AHAAHAHA this is going to end soooo soooo badly.

1500 mortgage but been paying extra so it will be paid off in 2013, the 100th anniversary of the bloodsucking Federal Reserve Bank. Then I will never pay any bank any interest ever again.

Anonymous said...

Software consultant making 110k a year, renting a sweet apartment near the beach for 1k a month. Glad I ignored my mom's bleatings to buybuybuy two years ago. I'd have lost the 110k savings I have. Instead I've invested it, recently closed my position in China and some other stocks, now taken up some short positions so I can profit when this housing debacle cascades into the rest of the market. I am consistently amazed when the talking heads still insist this will not spill over into the broader market. It is so painfully obvious that when their MEW dries up and the consumer stops buying, the entire economy will go into a tailspin. By the end of this year we will either be in a bad recession or an inflationary nightmare if the Fed drops rates to the floor in a feeble effort to prop the house of cards up until the election.

Wait, we are already in an inflationary nightmare!!!

Anonymous said...

Software Development Manager (wife is a writer). 220K a year combined.

Mortgage $2400
Prop. Tax $800
Insurance $125
HOA: $275
TOTAL: $3500/mo. for a 2600' 4/3 house in a nice neighborhood in Los Angeles' Westside.

Anonymous said...

Small biz owner - 128K last year (varies). Sold overpriced home last Oct. Husband and I just broke even on sale. We were the lucky ones. Renting on coast for $1595, 1750 sq ft 3b/3ba. Saving about $2K/month. We could barely save $500/month when owning. Total savings is only 47K but adding up quickly w/out mortgage.

Anonymous said...

SW engineer in silicon valley. My husband is a magazine writer. We make almost 200K.

We bought a house here in '93 for 350K. The mortgage is down to 5 figures.

I am looking in to converting one of my 401ks into a IRA that can buy real estate. My kid is going to grad school and I hate paying rent. Might as well pay rent to me. I would be patient, though and wait for a very very good deal even if takes a couple years for the bubble to totally collapse.

Anonymous said...

RN, $125,000 and I rent.

Anonymous said...

Software engineer, DINK income 150k, own a condo in suburban Boston, PITI 1600, fully funded 401k and IRA, with extra 50k saving a year.

Anonymous said...

55K/Own - $900 a month including prop. txs/great with money/had a bad feeling about what was going with mortgage/lending because of the bombardment of advertising.

Have no desire to be wealthy, but would like to reach point where can work less.

Anonymous said...

Moving to New Zealand

Cash: $1,050,000 (home sale 9/06)
401K: $925,000
Stock:$275,000
Gold Coins: $210,000 (310 coins)
Gold Zurich: $75,000 (3+ kilos via BullionVault.
Home: $2,050,000 (Zillow, rented out)

Income:
From Renting home: $3,500/mo
Software Industry: $13,000/mo before tax. $8800 after tax.

Anonymous said...

Computer guy, make about 95k a year.

Renting a 1BR in NJ for 975/mo.

The market's getting better but 2 years ago I simply could not afford a house at my salary. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Recently retired with $60k income.
Sold my Chandler, AZ house in August 2005.

Now renting for 40% of what this house would cost to buy now. $1,300/month.

keith said...

Just as I thought - HP'ers are mainly in finance, software and IT, are fricking loaded, are financially savy, knew a scam when they saw it (RIP housing bubble) and are not very representative of mainstream America

Message: People with money and smarts got out or prepared just when the dumb money was coming in.

But isn't that how it usually works?

Cheers HP'ers - great thread. Our REIC, Failed Flipper and Desperate Homedebtor trolls who think renters and HP'ers are second class citizens are gonna fricking puke

Especially as they practice the "would you like fries with that" or "would you like a table dance" lines they'll be needing soon

I'm traveling in England through tomorrow night so comment moderation will be slow...

Anonymous said...

Keith,

Didn't even make it past half the responses to this thread before skipping the rest and realizing that we're also in a salary bubble. SO many of you folks are just ripe for layoffs and outsourcing. $100k+ for all sorts of jobs an overseas monkey can do for a few bucks an hour.

Anonymous said...

me: $70,000 gov job with amazing pension & benefits.

wife: $120,000 Management.

$80,000 cash emergency fund earning more interest than mortgage debt %(not including retirement funds)

$2600 monthly mortgage payment

Anonymous said...

Business Banker
$150k + per year
Sold my house in Sacramento May of 2005 and now rent a bigger house in a nicer town for $1,600.00 a month, which is about half of my previous mortgage/taxes/insurance.
$160k in the bank
I saw this coming a mile away and all the idiot home debtors said I WAS CRAZY!

Anonymous said...

Low six figures gross. My wife doesn't work right now, when she goes back to work, she'll make $40K or so.

Rent a home for $1600 a month. Same home would cost $400K to $425K to buy. Will buy later this year as my rent is about where PITI-tax deduction would be and I don't see prices falling in this area. I just moved here and wanted to rent before buying more to get a feel for different parts of town than a fear or prices falling.

Approx $350K in liquid assets, about $200K of which came from selling old home in bubble city. Had I sold a year ago, would have had an extra $50K, oh well, can;t complain too much though.

Anonymous said...

Keith,

And yet this very group talks about how the country is in awful shape, how every job is being outsorurced, how the middle class is gone, etc etc.

Either everyone is lying about their situation or this whole talk of doom and gloom needs to stop. A group of people earning $100K on average has no business complaining about the state of the economy. You sound ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Sysadmin for multinational company. Wife takes care of kids at home.

$85K income.

$1200/mo rent.

$200K in 401K/IRA and stocks.

Anonymous said...

Keith -

Great thread. There are some smart SOBs reading this blog. Keep up the great work.

Remember: Sell when everyone else is buying and buy when everyone else is selling (but not yet!).

"Cheers"

Anonymous said...

53k. Chemist. 2nd year working with my MS. Saving a little less than 2000 k a month. Paid off my student loans and credit cards from college (~30 k) and am renting/living for cheap.
Happily un-married with a girlfriend and having fun with friends and family.

Roccman said...

Nope keith...

energy field

and i see everyone played by the rules and posted as anons

so i will be different.

Anonymous said...

Software developer making $110,000 a year. I rent a 2 bedroom appartment on a walking distance from work (2 blocks) for $1200/month. I have $70,000 in 401(k) and Roth IRA which I recently moved to money market accounts. Outside my retirement account I have approx. $20,000 in gold, (which I bought around $640) and $30,000 in cache. Not sure whether I should keep the gold.

Anonymous said...

110k Game Programmer (XBox/Playstation/PC) & Musician

150k savings, sports car 100% owned, and tons of guitars :)

Zero debt.

Anonymous said...

midwest based money manager. $250K a year, fully paid off house (bought for $200K).

devestment said...

And to think, the people with serious money did not show their cards.

Anonymous said...

Software development Project Manger $52K gross
Wife P/T Dental Hygienist $30K gross
Live upstate NY.
Own since ‘98
1 income property with $1,500 positive cash flow bought in ‘01
(this pretty much pays our home mortgage and taxes)
$100 K in 401K
$45K in Roth IRA
$20K in savings.
No other debt. (we drive rust boxes and only maintain an approx $1000.00 on credit cards to maintain our credit ratings)
I have watched the housing bubble very closely since ‘01
Prices have not really begun to come down yet, but I suspect we are in the very early stages of the greatest housing crash of all times

Anonymous said...

Concept Designer, film. 150k/yr. 50k savings. Blew my original savings in .com.bomb, not making the same mistake twice.. waiting min 3years to buy.

Anonymous said...

Governor: 126K

Anonymous said...

police officer 70k renting 1br in chicago for 800 and spliting it w/ girlfriend. 50k in savings, no debt and maxing deferred comp.

Anonymous said...

manufacturing supervisor, 65k/yr
own house(8yrs,50% LTV), PITI=$830/mo
savings:
30k rolling 3mo CD's,
30k stocks
100k in 401k & IRA.

Anonymous said...

24 year old student. Working at mortgage company. 18,000 in savings. No credit card debt. 2,500 in 401(k).

Anonymous said...

34 year old
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Master's Degree in Finance
~170K annual income
Rent in Santa Monica, CA $3,000/mo.

Never owned - who would have guessed the 2001 recession would cause the real estate market to take off?

10yr Treasury hit 5.26% yield today - God I'm glad I don't own -- right now.

Anonymous said...

Not sure spreading your legs for a Doc is a job.

Dr.'s wife, husband makes $440K. We own our house outright ($800K). Have $315K in mutual funds. Set to retire in 14 years at 55. Live on half of what we earn, save the other half for college x3 and retirement. Life is good.

Anonymous said...

$600K Hedge Fund Guy/Girl,

How does one go from IT / Software into private equity?

150K Film Editor, wow a film editor - that must be union? Nice, not a lot of decent non-Gov union jobs left.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have a household income of $165k.

I am a software engineer, she is a licensed clinical social worker. I also run a finance-related business on the side.

We own, not rent, but we rented from late 05 to early 07 and we think it's smart to be renting these days.

Anonymous said...

own aerospace manufacturing business. 175K per year. Sold house in 05. 4 kids, out of college, out of the house. Live in converted offices above our business...it's very cool. No debt. We were positioning ourselves to buy land/home in 07...now we are seriously re-considering buying ever again. Think we'll rent "interesting" homes for 2-3 months at a stretch...to facilitate our love of kayaking, hiking, etc. Why buy when we just want to play now??

Anonymous said...

32 yo

Trading Desk Manager

$120K household income

Renting for $1400/mo

$60K in cash, gold, and fixed income funds.

Anonymous said...

BWA HA HA HA!! Yea right. All the renters here make a gajillion dollars a year and have a bazillion dollars saved up. Why not. After all that's how all the great tycoons in history got rich, by renting and owning CDs. JP Morgan made is wealth by contributing to his 401k and renting a studio in Lower Manhattan.

I think the tin foil hats are on a little too tight this afternoon kids. Better loosen that shit up before you hurt yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Single - no room mates.

Last year $129K. This year maybe $10-$15K more. Los Angeles based sales for financial insurance products. Renting for $850/month in West Hollywood.

$35.5K in liquid savings

$90K in 401(k)

Drive a leased 2005 BMW Z4

I save a lot. After savings, this year I have bought:

60" plasma TV
NHL 10 game ticket package
NHL Playoffs ticket package (Go Ducks!)
Vacation in China

Almost bought a condo but I didn't think it was worth it.

Anonymous said...

Husband retired from telecommunications after 28years, I quit telecommunications after 26 years.
500k in savings/IRA. Cars are 1990 and 1996, paid off long ago. Own four lots. Our rent is $634. We've owned 9 different homes in the past, none were for flipping. We were going to build another home, but I think I've come to like renting for now. No yard work or maintenance. House cleaning is a breeze and a swimming pool that is maintained by the apt complex. I've met more people while renting than when I owned a home. I'm loving it.

Anonymous said...

SW Engineer (30years old) - CAD120k/year (+wife another 30k/year),
savings about CAD100k,
rent below $900/month

Soon moving out from the 'most beautiful city in the World'/'best place to live' (yeah, Vancouver...)

Anonymous said...

I'm a fulltime mom (was in journalism) with one child.

Husband is a lawyer, pulls in about $230K a year.

We have $50K in student loan debt (very low interest) and pay (gulp) 1800 Euros in rent, but we live in a very expensive city overseas.

We have about $80K in retirement savings and $75K in a high-yield savings account.

We will move back to the states when we can afford to buy a house in the DC area -- meaning one with a mortgage of about $1500.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the few RE Brokers that made it.

Self-employed for last 15 years
43 years old
Income over the last 10 years $120,000-180,000/ yr.
Paid for house and farm @ $900,000
$500,000 cash or cash equivalent
$100,000 foreign savings account 7.5% interest
$0 in stocks
$0 in 401k liquidated years ago

Anonymous said...

$150k from computer programming and oil/gas investments. Live in Los Angeles Calif. Own a condo which I bought for $215k in 1993, still owe $75k on it, $1000/month mortgage. Similar condos are currently selling for about $450k (what they'll be worth next year is different, but I'm not planning on selling anyway).

Anonymous said...

Retired, faithful reader of financial and real estate blogs. Live by the adage "IN THE LAND OF THE BLIND THE ONE EYED MAN IS KING"

Anonymous said...

daytrader 160k/last year

Anonymous said...

Assistant Professor of Computer Science, $70K, 39 years old. Wife's an elementary school teacher, $65K, 39 years old. My wife and I have saved up $300K, that should have been paying a mortgage all these years. We put the max into retirement plans. We own both our junkers, I mean cars, out right and in fact paid cash for both and all previous cars that were all bought used, and always pay the credit cards in full. Except for eating out way too much, we live quite modestly.

Here in NYC, we live in the 3 bedroom apartment I grew up in here in the northern part of the Bronx, $800/month (in NYC that's an incredible deal). We live less than half a mile from the University where I teach and less than a mile from the school where my wife teaches. The apartment is rent controlled. I think rent control is bad policy, but I'd be foolish to simply give up the apartment and pay $3K or more to rent nearby. Only thing is the neigborhood is getting a bit dangerous. For my daughter's sake (8 years old) we'll have to move in the next couple of years. Too bad. I like the fact that she has the same bedroom I had when I was little and I get to go and do all the same things at the same places with her that my parents did with me.

My wife and I looked to buy a house back in the mid nineties. 1995-1997. At the time I was working on my Ph.D. and teaching fulltime, but making a lot less money (less than half) and with no job security, (now I have tenure.) We were interested in lower Westchester County. A drive of 25 minutes or less to work, with no bridges to cross. (Crossing bridges in NY is an evil proposition, it could take 1 minute or it could take hours.) Reasonably nice 3 bedroom homes (1800-2000 sqf) on a bit under a quarter acre were going for 250K-300K. It was tough trying to decide whether to buy or not given my employment situation (my wife also made about half her current salary) and the rent I was paying, so we procrastiated a bit, but were ready to take the plunge after a few years of browsing. Then just before we could pull the trigger on one of a handfull of houses we were interested in, a young family member was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My wife and I took care of her for two years, taking us out of the search for a house. After her death my wife was in no mood to look for a house, so it wasn't until mid 2000 that we began looking again. Boy had things changed. Those $250K homes were $600K. We were shocked!!! In looking at homes, I mentioned to the realestate agents that I was concerned that after we stretched ourselves to buy, the prices would return adjusted for inflation to the prices we had seen only two and a half years earlier. That's when we heard for the first time and first hand from real estate agents that "prices never go down." I knew differently in general and specifically because I knew people who lost money on their homes in the early nineties. Each time I heard this from a realestate agent, I decided I would not be using that agent. Until I found the blogs, I thought this was a local phenomena. After I realized I was going to hear this again and again, I came up with my counter attack. I would tell the agents I didn't think that it was true, but of course they would insist that it was so. So, I'd asked if their agency was willing to guarentte it in writing. I don't know why, but none of them ever wanted to do that =>

We looked and waited and waited and looked. I could not see how the prices could stay as high as they were. I looked at incomes in the area and home prices and just couldn't understand it. I had no idea what was going on in the loan industry with all the toxic loans. My wife and I wanted to have a 15 year fixed rate, but reality seemed to dictate that we were going to have to do a 30 year fixed because the payments on the 15 year were just too high, but we were not willing to do any of the toxic loans. We both thought they were foolish ideas, concidering that were planed to buy a house and stay in it for a long time. We didn't know we were competing against people with IO ARMS or worse Option ARMs and worse yet people being approved for loans they couldn't possibly payoff. This was a revelation that surely opened my eyes and convinced me I had to wait this thing out. As we waited we watched those homes that we could have bought for $250K-$300K in 1996 and for $600K or so in 2000 shoot up well over one million dollars.

My wife as good as she's been about this, is a bit ansy. We both would like a house with a backyard and a nice neighborhood that we can feel relatively secure letting our daughter venture out into alone as she gets a bit older. So my wife convinces me to look a bit further north. Sure the prices are lower, but they are crazy too. Houses that would have gone for $150K in 1996 were up around $450K only two years ago. Now down near $375K. But I don't want to drive an hour plus to work each day. I like being able to walk to work in 12 minutes as I can do now, and I wouldn't mind driving 25 minutes, but much more than that, I don't care for it.

Clearly the gas prices and other factors have driven the prices up state down faster than the prices closer to the city which just don't seem to have budged yet.

My wife's suggested buying up state temporarily, and when prices come down selling and moving to where we really want to live. Sure we would lose money on the home we sell, but given the disparity in prices the homes closer to the city should drop more even if percentage wise they drop less. I'm not bitting. Yet.

Anonymous said...

I am a programmer and my wife is a construction project manager. We are frugal but we have also learned money does not buy happiness. "One handful with tranquility is better than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind." That's from the Bible - Ecclesiastes.

It's also very good to give. We tithe, for example. However, I do not believe in blessing the banks or the ruling elites. "Neither a debtor nor a lender be."

Go Ron Paul!

Anonymous said...

32, Investment Applications Manager, make about $220k. Wifey pulls in around $50k.

Have about $300k sitting in banks, 401k, etc.

No credit card debt, no loans, 6 months left in car payments (purchased not leased).

Currently renting a 3-bed for $1850 with garage and 2 additional parking spaces. Heat, water and gas included in rent.

Have been seriously looking at the Manhattan market to buy, but doesn't make sense right now, especially with the increases in mortgage rates that just occurred.

Content in continuing to rent while we build more and more savings.

Anonymous said...

I'm reluctant to even post this since some homedebtor trolls will insist that all renters work at McDonalds but here goes:

I'm a bestselling business book author making around $600k between book royalties, speaking engagements, consulting, and my online product sales. My 2nd book has just come out this month.

I rent for $3,500 in Newport Beach, CA in a house that would cost $8,000 a month to "buy."

I don't quite enjoy renting and would prefer to buy a place I can do whatever I want with, but that would just be stupid right now.

Anonymous said...

86k as system administrator, renting 360k house for 1750/mo. 40k in savings. Not buying until 2012.

Anonymous said...

Engineer. 80k/year. Renting at $800/m.

Anonymous said...

Self employed recruiting consultant
125k
bought home for $87 sq ft 7 years ago in Texas
350K in retirement funds
(good natured wife-healthy kids most important)

Anonymous said...

Software Consultant
London
£85K a year plus bonus
Savings around 175K, 135k in 401K
sharing a flat in NE London @ £750 month
Would love to buy, but London is ridiculous, moving to the NW
at the end of the year, will probably rent for another year

Anonymous said...

Military Dentist (for now) 125k/yr
Rent $2300/mo
$125k in gold
$40k in 401k
20k in bank

mrmx said...

"Just as I thought - HP'ers are mainly in finance, software and IT, are fricking loaded"

um, most blogs I visit are overrun with software and IT folks and, since the housing bubble is a financial thing, you'll also get finance folks.

BTW: I saw a fellow employee, who's up to his neck in debt, just get an BMW X3, so he's piled on more debt!

It would be interesting to know why we're savers...?

Anonymous said...

Senior Program Manager at a Fortune 500 software company.

Annual salary: $110,000 + approx. $10k in bonusses
Savings: roughly $300,000 across various investments and savings plans
Debt: $0
Currently renting 1 bedroom apartment for $1400/month in posh area of Silicon Valley.

Anonymous said...

Male stripper baby.Packing heat.

100k

Anonymous said...

SF Peninsula. I'm in machinery sales and my wife is a biotech manager with combined income of $450,000. Savings $500K, no bills and renting a $2,000,000 home for $3,500/month.

Anonymous said...

Software tester, 37, 75K, wife is an accounting clerk, 30, making 35K. Savings 180K retirement, 4K liquid. Minneapolis, MN area.

Mortgage: $850/mo. with taxes ($1500 annually) and insurance ($720 annually) rolled in, association dues $140, utilities around $180/mo., repairs/maintenance/improvements around $3K annually. Townhome was closed on in 1999.

No other debt except a CD on 40 acres @ $350/mo (price $33K in 2001). My wife is a wreck with 15K in CC debt, truck loan, student loan, blah blah. Good thing we keep our money separate! She's the spender who keeps standards up; I'm the saver who finally replaced his tennis shoes when a sole fell off. :)

Anonymous said...

1) I am smart enough to know that there is so much I do not know.
2) Only more recently upon finally entering the workplace after several years of school.
3) I knew that people were crazy for paying that much money for homes because, to me, they weren't worth that much.
4) Patent attorney.
5) I have only begun to save after putting myself through undergrad and law school a few years back.
6) 120K- vastly underpaid.

Anonymous said...

Entertainment lawyer, 35, married, 2 kids. Wife stays at home to care for the boys.

Salary $145K. $35K in cash savings, @$70k in 401(k).

Rent is $860/month.

Anonymous said...

Investment banker in midwest $700K last year, about half that this year. Spouse makes $80K consulting. $650K home with $280 debt at 4.125% due to balloon in late 2010 - adding another $100K in improvements this year. For the money I would have had to pay a realtwhore to move I can pay for a very nice bathroom renovation! More than $2M is savings...ready to call it quits in three years I hope...

Anonymous said...

80k a year, chemical engineer, no loans but have mortgage and second for 175k. Just out of bankruptcy, learned from an MBA program that credit is crap and BR (e.g.: almost every corporation today) is a great way to restructure your finances to prepare for the coming perfect financial storm.

God Speed.

Anonymous said...

1) Software Development Manager
2) Make 110
3) Knew there was a bubble the minute I engaged in a bidding war for my current crapbox in 2003.
4) I 'at minimum' consider myself smarter than my local population which is mostly blue collar.
5)The only negative is I SUCK WITH FINANCES.
6) But then again I married an accountant so she handles all that shit. Because Suzanne said so!

Anonymous said...

Mortgage Research on Wall St. 350k/yr. Renting 2-bedroom for 4k/month. Waiting for rising long term yields + 2007/2008 ARM resets to crush the housing market.

Anonymous said...

Professor at a university, $105K/year + $15K rental income.
Rent a 2/2 house in Miami for $1400/mo. Same house would cost about twice as much to own. Still owe about $130K on my house in NC, fixed rate at 5.375%, yeah baby! About $450K in net savings & assets. Waiting out the bubble in Miami so I can enjoy home ownership again.

Anonymous said...

Retired chemical technician.
40k per year including SS.
Own free and clear, 3k/year T&I.
250k cash savings.
no debt.

what is your inflation hedge?

buy gold and silver and lots of it and do it soon....

i think they are going to take every penny in the stock market and in all the mutual funds, etc......

its called fleecing the sheep.......they have done it before....

when this happens, all you will have is the worthless ss check coming in......

not trying to scare you, but it is always a good idea to be prepared.....

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