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Old 09-25-2008, 12:09 AM   #31
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Plenty of good advise so far for you, it might be worth checking which way the market is going, just to see if you will get capital gain or loss if you decide to move later. If you intend on a long term stay then it's not a bother but you don't want to lose money if you sell in say five years time.

We could only wish to be able to buy at that price here now.

If you don't mind my asking, what is the interest rate for you on a home loan, we pay almost 9%
Jeepers! I got my 15 year at 4.875% 5 years ago. It is now a rental though.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:12 AM   #32
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Saph, don't know if this applies in Canada, but I remember you need a prequalifying letter (for the loan) from the bank. Maybe you can shop around for the lowest interest rate. I didn't -- just went with my bank as I've been with them forever. When you see a condo/home you're interested in, find out (on line) what comparable homes/condos are selling for in that complex & surrounding area - i.e. same sq footage, # of Bedrooms etc. If it's a condo, find out how much the last one in the complex sold for & how long ago. (You might go to "what's my home worth?" on line, & key in that address.) I think? the seller can only ask for market value -- unless they did major upgrades, granite etc. Even then, not sure if they can ask for more than market value. Ask the realtor why the seller is selling? Forgot one, look UP at the ceilings as well as the floors.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:27 AM   #33
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Jeepers! I got my 15 year at 4.875% 5 years ago. It is now a rental though.
That's a great rate!
I took a risk and kept a variable rate for the entire 15 year term. Started off at around 7%, saw a bit of ups and downs, did not opt out to convert to fixed by the end of the 5th year, and rode the interest rate down as it fell as low as 2.75% during the 14th year. But by that time, I was paying almost all in principle that it really didn't matter...
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:58 AM   #34
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One thing we did when looking was to take a camera with us so we could take pics if we liked the house. It helped us remember things better. The checklist is a good idea and I second whoever said get your own inspector. Ask around for a reputable one from people you trust. DH worked with a PE who did home inspections on the side and it was wonderful. He found so many things we wouldn't have known about. We walked away from 2 houses because of the things he found that were cosmetically cleaned up for the sale but would have caused trouble early on (foundation problems on one and water damage on another). Don't be so quick to buy. Take your time. Learn about escrow, mortgages, taxes etc. Also discuss what will happen if you and your guy end up splitting. Will you each own half? Will one be able to buy out the other? There are many times unmarried couples will buy a house together and then the relationship sours and there is big legal mess with the house. Check your credit rating to be sure you're getting the best interest rate available. If you can't afford a down payment, then maybe it would be wise to wait a year and save like crazy so you have at least 10% you can put down.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:34 PM   #35
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Are you sure about the square footage? Your original post states that this condo is over 1000 sq. feet. I'm assuming that it is very close to the 1000 foot mark. This is a very small condo for being a 3 bedroom unit.

Remember three words: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Make sure your home is located in the best school district you can find, close to freeways, shopping, hospitals, etc. This is be a big factor when you decided to sell and can be a deal maker or a deal breaker. My husband and I had no school aged children but we bought a 3 bedroom 2 story home in the best school district in San Diego county. We sold our home in 4 HOURS for the asking price. We had people lined up to put in a bid in case this one fell through mostly because of the location. People who move into 3 bedroom homes will more than likely have children so the school and shopping areas are very important.

Remember too that condos don't appreciate in value as much as homes do, so consider that. And be sure to evaluate everything in the house so you're getting what you need and not what your heart tells you. You have to like the house you buy, but emotions go away quickly when you find you've made a mistake.

And no one needs to tell you not to overextend yourself on mortgage payments. Look at the mess we're in here in the states because of that.

Enjoy looking and I hope you find that home you really love. But please take this with you: NO home is perfect. Be sure you buy the one that comes the closest.

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Old 09-25-2008, 12:46 PM   #36
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[I]Are you sure about the square footage? Your original post states that this condo is over 1000 sq. feet. I'm assuming that it is very close to the 1000 foot mark. This is a very small condo for being a 3 bedroom unit.
I do not think it is necessarily very small. My house is 1,100 square feet with 3 bedrooms. Granted we do have a finished basement downstairs with a full bath and kitchen which is not part of that 1,100 square feet, but our upstairs living space has a good amount of space with three bedrooms and four of us living comfortably. We would LOVE more space and it is a bit tight with all the toys and kid stuff, but I would not call it very small.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:08 PM   #37
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I do not think it is necessarily very small. My house is 1,100 square feet with 3 bedrooms. Granted we do have a finished basement downstairs with a full bath and kitchen which is not part of that 1,100 square feet, but our upstairs living space has a good amount of space with three bedrooms and four of us living comfortably. We would LOVE more space and it is a bit tight with all the toys and kid stuff, but I would not call it very small.
Well I guess it depends on what you call "small." I live in a 2 bedroom (one made into a den) house that is 1,068 sq. ft and it's very small. I have no wasted space, no hallways except a 5 foot long hall going to the garage, and I can't even begin to imagine where a third bedroom would fit even at another 40 sq. ft. A bedroom at 10 x 10 is small and that is 100 sq. ft. I live alone so this house is great and I absolutely love it but it IS small. BTW I have NO dining room, just an eat in kitchen.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:16 PM   #38
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Well I guess it depends on what you call "small." I live in a 2 bedroom (one made into a den) house that is 1,068 sq. ft and it's very small. I have no wasted space, no hallways except a 5 foot long hall going to the garage, and I can't even begin to imagine where a third bedroom would fit even at another 40 sq. ft. A bedroom at 10 x 10 is small and that is 100 sq. ft. I live alone so this house is great and I absolutely love it but it IS small. BTW I have NO dining room, just an eat in kitchen.
Like so many things, it's all in what you're used to 1,000 to 1,100 square feet is not bad at all for a starter home.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:23 PM   #39
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I like small, cozy homes. Now that both of our kids have moved out, we have no use for half the sq footage of the house.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:21 PM   #40
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Like so many things, it's all in what you're used to 1,000 to 1,100 square feet is not bad at all for a starter home.

Starter home? NO. This is my fourth home. The others were all over 3,000 sq. ft. This is my Last home. And truly the best. It's really about the orginal poster, just a head's up on making sure she has enough room for a growing family.
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