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Thread: Buying a House?

  1. #1
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    Buying a House?

    We weren't in the market for a house, but we drove past one that was so perfect we had to take a closer look. And when we took a closer look, it was even more perfect, and we had to talk about rearranging our finances to make it work. So now, in 24 hours, we've decided to try and buy a house!! Today is also only the 2nd day it's on the market.

    Any thoughts/experiences? I don't have any concrete questions or freak outs, but I'm excited/nervous/worried/hopeful/curious and having a hard time processing the ideas behind leaving behind the apartment life for the responsible-investment life.

    The house is just beautiful. It's small, yellow, has original wood floors, built in 1920, and corrugated tin roof in the kitchen. It's also much less than we were planning to pay for a house. It's a great size for just me and my husband- and a little one hopefully in a few years.

    Does anyone have advice, want to share my excitement, or just want to take a little of this nervousness off my shoulders?! Have you a bought a house? Was it a good decision? Should I be worrying about my credit instead of what color to paint the guestroom?? Will I still have time to work full-time, craft full-time, read full-time, and be a full-time wife if I have a house to maintain instead of just an apartment??

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  3. #2
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    Go ahead and make an offer, and specify in the offer that it is dependent on you finding financing.

    If I understand how it works, you can hire a real estate agent and have them handle the offer for you, and it's of no cost to you because the agent of the person sellign the house has to split their commission. That's how it works (any real agents out there correct me!!!)

    Also get your offer in fast and set a deadline ...

    preferably do a tour of the house with an inspector first - may cost you $500 but could save you LOTS (you can ask for a reduced purchase price if some repairs are immediately necessary).

    Get an agent, quick! And good luck!!!

    del

  4. #3
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    I'm in the same boat!

    In fact yesterday I did that Lending Tree.com thing and now I am probably going to regret it. Or maybe not. Can anyone else give me feedback, if you have used it, or why you avoided it?

    The husband and I expect to go to a local bank as well, but I wanted some ammo on paper in case they gave me a quote that's much higher.

    Someone gave us a "Home Buying for Dummies" book that has been pretty helpful.

    Basically it's complicated stuff, and if you go in completely clueless, you could get taken advantage of. A little information, and a broker you can trust, are good things.

  5. #4
    NAP
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    Congratulations! We just bought our first home in April and it was a painless experience.

    We bought a house in Ft Worth so if you need any local info I can help.

    Here was our experience. We started looking without a realtor, that didn't go as well as planned so we got a great realtor specializing in the area we wanted to live (the TCU area). Delqc is correct about the realtorís fees so it is in your better interest to find a realtor to represent you. The seller will have to pay the realtors fees anyways.

    We looked at our house on a Saturday and fell in love, we made an offer on Wednesday and our offer was accepted on Wednesday night. Our sellers were motivated and we offered what they were asking since we really wanted the house.

    After you place the offer you have a few days to get the inspection done and back out of the deal if the inspection comes back bad. Our inspection was $325 and took about 4 hours.

    You'll also want to find financing ASAP. I don't recommend Lendingtree but I work for a Credit Union so we knew who we were going to use. If you are a member of a Credit Union already you can get rates if you aren't I think you are eligible for membership at Community Credit Union or Your Federal Credit Union. Credit Union's generally have lower rates than banks since they are member owned and are all about member advocacy.

    Our house was built in 1926 and sounds similar to yours so if you have any specific questions about owning an older home just let me know.

    Good Luck
    Nicole

  6. #5
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    Thanks everyone and keep the advice coming! We liked the guy who showed us the house so he became our realtor and my parents live 10 minutes away and have a lot of house experience. They're walking through with us again to look at foundation signs and other structural deal breakers.

    The finances shouldn't be a problem- except that life and the wine/beer buget might be a little tight over the next few months. Maybe I could lose weight simultaneously! ;)

    I'm just so excited! I've been feverishly digging out old magazines and cutting out room ideas. It's nerve-wracking, but fun!

    I may have to pick up the Dummies book!

    Thanks for all the specific information, Nicole! How cool that you're so close!! I may be contacting you when the {insert here} breaks because the house is old.

    Thanks for the good wishes everyone!

  7. #6
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    Coos County, OR
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    Make an offer- the worst they can do is say no! :)

    Buying a house is a big pain in the butt, but it's definitely worth it. We went through VA, so I don't know if you'll be required to do this or not, but definitely get the house checked out. You don't want to get all settled into your house and then find something seriously wrong with it.

    To answer some of your questions, we own a house that was built in 1920 and no, I don't spend all of my time maintaining it. I still have time to do everything else. Buying a house was the best thing we ever did! And don't worry about the house affecting your credit, really- it's considered a "good" debt.

  8. #7
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    We JUST moved into our first house so everything is fresh in my mind! It's a scary thing, especially when you start signing the stacks of papers!

    First you have to get preapproved with a mortgage company so you know how much you can spend. Get them to do the math with a bunch of different prices so you get an idea ahead of time what a monthly mortgage payment would be for a house (for example) that is $175,000 or whatever price. Always expect to pay more, that way if it comes out to be a lower monthly payment, it's more fun! Happened to us.

    Ask about how fast houses go in that neighborhood. Our neighborhood is close to base, so to bid any lower than the asking price would have been shooting ourselves in the foot. If things don't stay on the market for more than a couple of weeks in that area, bite the bullet and don't try to make the bid too low. We jimmied a deal where we would pay exactly what they were asking if they would pay X amount in closing costs. They took it (even though it didn't happen like that in the end, but we still came out with a better deal).

    I know they say the home inspection can be optional, but go ahead and fork out the money for one. And get a GOOD inspector, preferably someone with P.E. after their name. It means they have have a masters in engineering or something to do with being really good at the job. Until the past couple of years, any Joe off the street could take a seminar and become an "inspector", so you don't always get someone who takes the time and is thorough. Expect to pay anywhere from $200 and up for an inspection. The PE guys are a little pricier, but ours was so worth it. Ask specifically about the roof and foundation. They aren't experts at all of it (if you wanted to know more about the plumbing or electrical, you'd have to hire the appropriate people to come in and look at that seperately). Sometimes they can give you a decent idea about how much more life you can expect out of the roof.

    Ask about neighborhood codes. Some neighborhoods are part of the homeowners association and you have to pay dues and such. Also, some neighborhoods have strict codes about what colour your house can be, what you can have in your yard, how tall your grass can get and even what colour your garbage cans are. Those are probably in the ritzy neighborhoods though.

    Ummm...they will probably make sure there aren't any liens still on the house, but ask anyway. It would suck to have it whisked out from under you because the previous owner used it as collateral for something.

    Aks tons of questions. My husband and I were super annoying when house hunting but we nixed several seemingly good choices because of some shady answers. Don't worry about offending anyone, this is a house that you are going to buy to live in for presumably a long time. If you wanna know what the hell that smell is in the basement and how to get rid of it, you have a right to know!

    ALSO! Something we neglected to think about until after we closed was how your stuff will look and fit into the spaces. We are having to pare down on a lot of furniture and junk because we didn't take into account the much smaller livingroom and dining area. The bedrooms are also smaller. This turned out to be good for us anyway since we are military and move everyfew years. This should make our shipping weight better! There were several things we were holding onto "just in case" that we now must get rid of. Just try to visualize how much room you'll have after the furniture goes in.

    Hope some of that was useful, now that I look back it just looks like a lot of babbling!

  9. #8
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    Yeah, my advice is do a budget and don't spend more than 1/3 of your monthly income on a mortgage. NO MATTER how much the bank will lend you.

    And yes, get the house inspected. For anyone who is buying a new home and reading this thread, yes, it is just as imporant to inspect a new home. But don't get an inspector the builder recommends!!! They may be in cahoots! Happened a LOT where I used to live, no matter how many times I would warn people.

  10. #9
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    Corvallis, OR
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    Buying a house?

    This is the third day in our new house! We're first-time homebuyers.

    I would like to suggest that you look into first-time homebuyer programs in your city or county. Not only did our program involve a really informative class (2 Saturdays and $25 for a big resource guide,) but proof that we took the class and our income level made us eligible for $11,000 in loans and grants. Our class covered home inspections, credit, the lending process, working with a Realtor, insurance, title, the whole shebang. It was incredibly informative and prepared us for the entire process. If you've got a house you're interested in right now you should check into the availability of this type of class ASAP.

    We had the best of luck with our Realtor, and I completely recommend having one if they're anything like the person who worked for us. She was very attentive to the numerous deadlines and details, and her previous job as a loan officer at the local credit union enabled her to help us understand the financial end of the transaction too. We had a limited budget and she was sensitive to that througout the entire process. Also, before closing, repairs had to be done and some flooring was replaced. The man who installed it did sub-par work and our Realtor is trying to get us a NEW new floor. Mind you our transaction is closed, we live in the house, etc, etc, but she's still out there advocating for us.

    Good luck! I think it's a smart move especially if you plan on being in the same area for a few years.

  11. #10
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    My SO and I are currently saving for a down payment on a house. Things are complicated because I'm unable to work and my SO was laid off for a while a few years ago, so we now have a loan we are paying off that covered some of our debts. The loan should be paid off in about a year, then we can put away about $500 per month to put toward a down payment. We've taken a look at home prices in the area and they aren't too overly high, so we figure we will need about $7,000 for a down payment, but we might try saving $10,000. So it will be a while before we can buy a house, but we have started the looking process. We are also going to do the first time homebuyer courses. We have a few friends who have bought houses in the past few years and they have been so helpful with advice and recommendations.


 
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