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  • Archive for July, 2006


    2006 - 07.26

    This is my rant on communities.  When purchasing a house one of the biggest questions (or at least the first big question) you will have to answer is where do you want to move.  Unlike a bunch of other purchases, it is not easy to undo the purchase of a house.  Well, that isn’t 100% true, but that can be an expensive proposition.  

    When we (Yacha and myself) started looking for a house we had many questions about where to look.  Issues we had included:

    1. Strong local community
    2. Good local shul
    3. Local resources
    4. Proximity to family
    5. Proximity to work
    6. Proximity to job market
    7. Value for our money

    To us the hardest thing to find was a community we felt comfortable with.  We wanted to make sure there would be good neighbors for our daughter, that we would feel comfortable in the synagogue, that it was a place where we could get involved in the community to the extent of our desire.We also don’t like having to get into a car to get everywhere.  We wanted to make sure that we could walk or take a bus to run simple errands should we need/want to.  We also wanted to make sure that we could go for a walk at night and not feel that we were in a ghetto.  

    Quality of life is a major issue.  When we started looking I was working in NYC and Yacha was looking for work.  Therefore, I wanted to ensure that I would not have a painful commute to work and that we would be centrally located for whatever job Yacha found.

    Lastly, I wanted to move somewhere where I felt we would have a lasting value on our investment.  Therefore I was a little nervous with some start up towns or some towns where a few people made all the decisions (and not necessarily the correct ones).

    We talked to our friends who moved and asked them about the communities they moved to.  While most seemed happy, many admitted they moved to be near other people they knew, but were really outsiders in their new neighborhoods.  A couple (although a vast minority) had gotten really involved in their new shuls/communities but that seemed to be the exception not the rule.  It also seemed like they knew of the community leadership prior to moving in to their new homes. The most important thing we did was visiting towns.  This was done in a number of ways.

    1. Visiting relatives
    2. Visiting friends
    3. Going to community events
    4. NCSY

    Now most of those seem obvious, but let me explain #4 – NCSY.  NCSY is a youth group that my wife and I have been involved with for nearly a decade.  One of the major group of events that NCSY runs are youth weekends in different local communities.  I have been to over 100 of them (over 150 [not all with NCSY, some with other organizations] actually, but who is counting).  While I was working on these weekends I was always thinking in the back of my head would I like to live here?  For some towns the answer was sure, for some it was never and for a few it was not sure.  For that third group we would do more events in that town to help us decide whether it would be a possible town to move to or not.That last thing I want to say about communities is it has to be right for you (or you and your spouse /child(ren).  Just because it is right for your friends does not make it right for you.  You have to come first in this decision or you won’t ultimately be happy.  If your friends are happy in a town, great!!  Check it out.  Just remember, you will be paying for your house, not your friends.  Therefore it has to be the town for you, not your friends.

    Buying a house – lesson 1

    2006 - 07.24

    Let me start off with a legal disclaimer -I am not a lawyer, realtor, mortgage broker nor do i work in real estate.  This blog and future posts are my first hand observations of this process and are my personal opinion.

    Now that I got past that let me say that the first and most important thing in purchasing a house is looking at houses.  While that might seem obvious to some it is not to others.  Yacha and myself looked at over 50 houses over a more than one year period prior to finding the one which we hope to be moving into soon.

    Over the 13+ months we learnt a lot.  Our styles changes, are likes and dislikes changed, and more importantly we learnt how to rate a homes value based on other houses in the neighborhood.  It also has helped us apprecaited the house we are buying so much more as we know what our alternatives are.

    When we started we had already looked at communities (more on that in a later blog).  We had finally chosen the one we wanted to look at and had two simple requirements for our Realtor.

    1. Near the Shul we wanted to daven in (although we looked a full 2 miles around it)
    2. In our price range (good luck on that one)

    Our realtor showed us many houses.  Some cost more than we could afford but were good to look at so we understood what was out there.  He showed us others that were smaller than we wanted, but again, it is hard to find the exact thing you are looking for and you as a buyer should have unlimited options.

    When looking at houses we started to develop taste as to house styles.  We liked the Colonial and the split.  We had mixed feelings on the tutor.  We had some issues with Capes.  The most important thing was by seeing many many many houses we could see how even some capes could appeal to us, and how other houses, even if in our price range were just not for us.

    We also placed bids (or tried to) on some houses that feel through.  While this upset us initially it helped us realize the entire process.

    That is my intro in a nutshell, and I hope to post much more in the near future.  Feel free to e-mail me at myblog@mo-b.com with any questions.


    Welcome to my blog

    2006 - 07.24

    Welcome to my website, www.mo-b.com.  It has taken me 8 years to aquire this domain and I plan to use it to help others.  How you may ask?  That is a great question, thank you for asking.

    I plan on giving advice on random things that are having effecting my life.  I though I would start my upcoming move which should be happening next month.

    More on that later today.