Well, after a lot of discussion and holding of breath we finally found out – Mrs AB was accepted into the PhD program!!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!! So, what does this mean for our plan? First and foremost, we need to find a place to live. As we discussed previously, we are planning on purchasing a home and will live there for at least the next three years. As we’ve started to look more closely we’ve increased our budget a little…. In my earlier post I based my assumptions on buying a $125k house, but we’ve found that there aren’t many houses in the areas we like or the style we want for that price. So now we’ve increased our maximum house price to around $200k. The math isn’t as favorable, but in the end it should still be comparable to or better than renting – assuming we stay there several years.
That Sounds EXPENSIVE!!!
Before anyone asks – yes – I am having some MAJOR heartburn at the possibility of spending $200k (and maybe even more) on a house! Some of the houses we’ve looked at aren’t in awesome condition (outdated, closed off, just plain old), and would need anywhere from $5-$50k worth of work once we’ve bought them to bring them up to our standards. At this point we’ve decided that if the house is going to cost over about $140k (including any work that needs to be done) that we’ll probably just put 20% down and get a mortgage for the rest. Then, we’ll do any work that needs to be done and put whatever cash we’ve got (minus our emergency fund of course) left over towards paying down the mortgage as fast as possible.
Enough of the boring stuff, I know all of you are anxious to know – “AB, what cool new stuff are you going to buy when you get the new place?”. Well, I’m glad you asked, because I have a few things planned.
- Speakers – I love all things audio. Watching a good action movie isn’t the same if you don’t have surround sound and couch-shaking bass to keep you in the middle of the action. The problem with this (according to Mrs AB) is that the speakers I have are large and ugly, and the wires are everywhere. To be fair, the front speakers are over four feet tall and weigh over 60 pounds each. In the next house I’m thinking about moving to a “satellite” speaker system that can be mounted either on stands or the wall/ceiling to keep everything out of the way. I can run the wires through the wall and I think it’ll be a pretty sweet setup. The natural choice is Bose, and they’re are a lot of believers for their Acoustimass 10 series that I’ve shown below. My main issue with them are that $1k is a lot to spend for some tiny speakers and a mediocre subwoofer. I’ll be doing a lot of research before making any purchases, but this is a good representation of the type of thing I’m looking for. Anyone out there have any suggestions? (Don’t despair – my current speakers will live on in my study/man cave/media room/somewhere when I need some “real sound”!)
- Router – We are currently using a combination of our cable company provided modem/wireless router combo and an old wireless router I’ve had for many years. Well, between computers, tablets, phones, streaming devices, etc we have LOTS of connectivity issues with this current setup. In addition, our current routers max out at the wireless G standard – when most current devices are shipping with wireless N and wireless AC starting to be rolled out! With all that in mind, I stumbled upon this Kickstarter page that looked AWESOME! It is basically a touchscreen router that allows you to perform all setup and changes on the touchscreen or through an app instead of on a computer. This will be much easier to explain this to Mrs AB if something needs to be done when I’m out of town. If something goes wrong today, I have to go into the settings through the 192.168.1.1 setup method which is clunky and outdated – especially considering it’s 2013 already! As with almost everything on Kickstarter, you’re just funding a dream, so there’s a chance they will never deliver the product – but considering their track record (they already have a version on the market that gets AWESOME reviews) I’m willing to take the chance. The estimated delivery date is September, so it’ll be a while – but I think it’ll be worth the wait.
- A BOAT!!! – I know – this doesn’t sound very frugal – but hear me out. When I was in college I bought a catamaran for $1,500, spent a couple of hundred dollars on it and had a year plus of great fun with it. I ended up selling it for $1,750, so I came out ahead – especially when you factor in that I parked it in my driveway, it was powered by wind (and not expensive gasoline), was cheap to insure, and required almost no maintenance. High up on my list for our new home is to be close to one of the local lakes – which is very realistic, so I’m feeling good about this one and it will definitely help with my contentment factor. I think I’ll end up spending somewhere around $3-$4k to get something decent that Mrs AB will be happy to go out in and hopefully it should retain its value pretty well, so it won’t be a money pit like most fish/ski boats! The picture below is of the type of boat I used to have (Hobie 17), but isn’t my actual boat – mine didn’t look this nice!
So as you can see, while I’m uber-excited for Mrs AB, I’m also a little excited because I get some new toys too! As a very frugal person by nature, I’m definitely looking forward to upgrading and changing out some of our existing items for the new ones listed. On the other hand – I know we have a LOT of stuff we have to get rid of – so now that we know a move is imminent, I need to finish this up so I can start throwing stuff away, giving it to friends, and listing it on Craigslist and eBay!
When you moved were there things you planned to buy that you were excited about? Did you end up buying them, or figuring out that you could do without? Let me know your thoughts below!