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Bert Williams
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One out of three would. Would you?


Those of you who live here probably already knew this. Compared to the rest of the country Oklahoma is an inexpensive place to live. Now, USA Today has told everyone else about us.
Just about everything you need or want is less expensive here from gasoline to housing. Without exception people who are transferred here from other parts of the country are always pleasantly surprised at how far their dollar goes in Oklahoma. The USA Today article measured the State in several categories. The categories and comments on housing expenses are excepted from the USA Today article and included below . A score of 100 would indicate the national average in that category.
Cost of Living Index: 90.4
Grocery Index: 92.4
Housing Index: 79.8
Transportation Index: 93.5
Utilities Index: 92.2
Health Index: 96.5
Misc.: 95.2
In the Sooner state, you can rent a home for the median price of $950. Although rent is a bit higher, median home values seem much more affordable, with values of just under $109,000 and list prices of around $145,000 to $150,000. Property taxes are also on the lower end, with a median rate of 0.74%.
Notice the lowest score is in housing. Go anywhere else with $130,000.00 (except for maybe Detroit) and see what type of house it will buy you. Here, that's the starting price for a brand new home! And you can buy a well kept older home for just over $100,000.00. And don't forget the low cost to borrow money. Today at 4.5% it will cost you roughly $5.10 for every thousand dollars borrowed. That's $510.00 a month in principal and interest on a $100,000 loan. I know people who pay more than that a month for their car.
Oklahoma is a great place to live and raise a family. And Tulsa is the best city in the State! If you're planning a move, whether you're coming from somewhere else or you're already here, please give me a call at 918-809-5199. I will be happy to help you find a great value in Oklahoma Real Estate.

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Not long ago a client told me they wanted to build a house and to save a little money they decided that instead of having the house completely finished upon move-in, they would leave portions of it unfinished and do the work themselves. I’ve heard this thought process before. And while there would have been a time when I might have thought it was a good idea, today I can honestly say it’s not a good idea. And there are three reasons why.
First of all it limits your choice of builders. Most of the good ones won’t agree to it. They look at it like it’s their house even though you’re paying for it. Since their name is on it as the builder the finished product either adds to or subtracts from their reputation. If you don’t do such a good job on the finish work it might reflect on them later. And chances are pretty good they’re right. Unless you hire someone to come in and do the work it will probably be amateur hour at the home improvement store when you get around to doing it. It would be like going to the assembly plant at Ford and asking to paint your own car. That’s never going to happen.
Second, you might never get around to doing it at all. I had another client who owned a home that had been built in the late ’60s. It was a four bedroom two story house that had a completely unfinished upstairs. The floor plan called for two bedrooms and one full bath. The studs were up, A/C ducts were in, and electricity had been dropped in all of the rooms. There was even a bath tub. But now, 50 years later the house remains unfinished. Fifty years of wear and tear on the house has made the option of finishing it out financially unreasonable. And the value of the house is severely reduced.
Third, you’re probably not going to save as much money as you think you will. Builders are able to build houses at a certain price because they get contractor prices on their supplies. As a home owner you don’t have those connections. On average you’ll probably spend more for the materials because you have to buy them “one off”; or in other words, in very small quantities. And if you can’t do it yourself you’ll need to hire someone else to do it. Their charge for coming in after the fact and finishing the project is generally going to cost you more than if you had just let the builder do the job in the first place while he was constructing the house. The thought process for the home buyer is that if they’re able to reduce the cost of the house by, say, $3000.00 and finish the room later, it’s a savings. My suggestion would be to increase your down payment by the same amount and have it finished to start with.
The thing to consider is what you’re actually saving by trying to do some of the work yourself. How much will it actually shave off the cost of the house? What does that mean in terms of your monthly payment? If all you’re saving is $20 or $30 a month it may not be worth it. And if you’re at the point where that $30 a month really makes a difference in your budget you may be buying too much house in the first place.
Once you’re in your new finished home you’ll be happy that you aren’t staring at a project demanding your attention every time you walk by it. After you’ve lived there awhile you may want to do upgrades or improvements. But that’s a different story. For now, enjoy your new home.
Now about that new leather sectional that would look great in the family room…
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