Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Does it Mean to Me?

With the economy falling flat on it's face due to the mortgage meltdown, what does this mean to you and your renovation projects? I'm curious to hear how the wall street issue hits home for you, if at all, and how you are dealing with it.

I'll post a response later about how it has affected yours truly.


Jocelyn said...

I did a post on this subject recently. It's definitely had a sobering effect on us.

And then one of our tenants has lost her job and may be breaking the lease. It's affecting us!

Being that we are almost at Thanksgiving though, it seems a time to count our blessings. At least we all have homes we may or may not be able to afford renovating to our liking.

Have a great holiday.

Ms. Homeowner said...

I'm actually going to blog about this topic too...way to steal my post! ;-)

We're not even in the States (Canada)- but it's affecting us too, both positively and negatively.

We're finishing our basement and re-landscaping (come spring). Since we didn't have the cash to do the renos, we used our Home Equity Line of Credit. Now is NOT the best time to be digging yourself into 6-digits worth of reno/landscaping/refurnishing debt. Especially since we both work in the oil and gas industry, which is being hit hard by fluctuations in oil prices and the value of the dollar.

On the upside, however, interest rates have been slashed, so we're paying down the line of credit (and our mortgage) faster by putting more towards the principal, and we're a good 30 years from retirement, so whatever we're losing on our RRSPs can be made back.

Garden Monkey said...

Funny you are blogging this... I'm about to start a style sensitive addition to my Minneapolis style bungalow/cottage. I already have the financing.. which was secured before the big crash (oops, downturn). I'm looking at the value of the addition very critically now. If all the work raises the value as much as everyone says.. I will be right back to what I paid for the place 2 years ago (which at that time was a REAL deal)

I also have come the the realization that I'm in this for the really long haul now. Not that I wasn't before, but I figured this would be a 'starter' house, not a retirement house. Since I make A&C/bungalow style tiles I was hoping to hone my skills on this place. But I don't want to destroy what value is left by personalizing it too much. (I'm going to anyway) Ahh!

I'm very interested to see how this is effecting everyone else. Thanks for bringing this up!

Mike said...

Great time to renovate! Prices at the local home improvement stores are dropping! Personal circumstances dictated that I pause between my kitchen and living room/dining room renovations, and as it turned out, it's worked out to my advantage. Everyone's trying to get rid of building materials cheap, and of course, rather than save on the bottom line, I'm choosing to upgrade with the unexpected surplus.

This situation sucks, I've lost a lot of money in the stock market, but falling prices (on everything, really) is one silver lining to this whole mess.

misssphinx said...

Our rowhouse renovating mojo is way, way down.

Sarah said...

We were supposed to have our front porch replaced last month. Instead, we took the money that we had saved up for it, and used it to stay afloat when my company reduced my hours to part time, no benefits, no paid holidays, etc.

We were going to blow insulation into our attic, but instead every cent we have is going towards the medical bills my *(^#$&*%$ insurance isn't covering.

The money we had as an emergency??? Gone with the stock market.

So, we've acheived next to nothing on our timeline of renovations. Simply because we have next to nothing....yeah living paycheck to paycheck! Everything is a mess, but we keep a look out for deals, and hope that one day...we will be back on track.

Patrick said...

As opposed to working on my house on a regular basis (not that the "regularity" that I worked on it could ever be considered regular [make sense?]) I am looking for a second job so I can afford to get all the stuff I need to finish up a few things until the spring ... yes, I am going to take a winter break from working on my house.

Corey said...

Jocelyn - That is horrible about your tenant losing their job - hopefully they are able to find something quickly. From what I have heard, it sounds like not many folks can buy a house now due to credit issues and lack of a down payment, so hopefully this means there are plenty of renters for you if you tenant is unable to find employment.

Corey said...

Ms. Homeowner,

You are so right that while this market has created a lot of impediments, it has also created a lot of hidden opportunities (like low rates). We too have accepted that we will be in this house for a bit longer than we expected. It seems like the idea of the 'property ladder' is dead for at least the near future.

Also, I am glad to see that the basement renovation is coming along well. Hopefully you'll get to enjoy it over this holiday season.

Corey said...

Garden Monkey,

We are in the same boat of once having an 'investment' and now having a 'learning opportunity'. This has really given me a chance to learn design and building, and 10, 20 and 30 years down the line I will be looking back on this favorably as it has allowed me to learn what it takes to really renovate a house.

As long as you do much of the labor yourself you should be ok when the market comes back, and you will be forever proud of what you have accomplished.

Corey said...


I have seen the prices for materials falling, but not fast enough to really effect me greatly. Hopefully you are finding better deals.

I look forward to seeing more of your renovation at the blog.

Corey said...


It sounds like things are hitting you hard, but you're doing the right things by budgeting properly. Once things get back on track again, you should be fine. One positive is that if you're not working on the house you could have time for another way to pick up some income?

Just keep your head up through all of it. :-)

Corey said...


Since you just started demo recently, are you going to do any work? Some light electrical and drywall work in the main area could go a long way in terms of livability. I'd hate to see you lose momentum so early.

Mike and McGee said...

Coming to this a bit late. Hope it is still okay to comment. We have a fixed rate mortgage on our house, so fortunately we don't have to worry about it increasing - just the annual worry of increased property taxes. They're absurd here in TX, but then, we don't have any state income tax, so I guess it all balances out.

We are carrying far more debt though than we'd like, and our goal for 2009 is to pay off as much of it as we can. That unfortunately means that the only real work we'll be doing on the house will be to get our daughter into a "big girl" room.

We're delaying some projects and downgrading others. While we'll probably be in this house for a long time, it likely won't be our "forever" house, so we have to renovate based on what we think we can realistically get back out of it. The reality is that our home is one of the smaller ones in the neighborhood, and if we go with top notch high end products in our renovation, we likely won't get all that money back. Instead, we're opting for nicer fixture, cabinets, floors, etc. than the house already has, but we're trying not to over-renovate.

I took a part-time work-from-home job over the summer that I'm still doing. Unfortunately, they just changed the way they pay their remote staff, and I'm no longer making as much as I used to. That hurts us - and our renovation budget - but we're managing.