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Old 09-24-2008, 06:34 PM   #1
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Buying a House

Does anyone have any advice for me? We are looking to buy a house. Just looking for generic tips and hints :)

As for me, I hope we can get a good deal on one that we are really interested in. Check out the kitchen, all appliances included too.. It's amazing (for me, coming from tiny kitchens lol)



My stand mixer will fit just to the left of the stove....

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Old 09-24-2008, 06:39 PM   #2
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That's very nice. What are single family homes going for these days where you're at?

My step-daughter is in the market for buying her first home here in LA but I'm telling her to wait as home prices are still dropping. But on the other hand, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are starting to look very attractive again.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:40 PM   #3
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My advice is do not make your decision based on emotion. Look at a number of places before making a decision.

We fell in love with our first house and decided we wanted it even though both sets of parents told us it was going to be too small for us in no time. Well 5 years later we are realizing they were right. We are very happy here and do not regret buying this house, but we will need to find someplace bigger within a few years.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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This place is 3 bedroom, two story with partially finished basement (needs ceiling and floor, wall covering, but is all concrete so good for storage and laundry). It's a semi attached condo, end unit, over 1000 square feet, private backyard. There are condo fees, but we dont have to mow the lawn or anything, and the roof, driveway, etc are covered so we don't have to worry about replacing a roof... lol

That one is asking for 139,400. It's in a nice family neighborhood on a bus route. The kitchen is a huge plus for me. It is newly painted, all hardwood floors which is a bonus we both have allergies. It looks great. I can even put a small garden in the back :)

And we could get KITTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*jumps up and down*


Erm, edit.. got too excited and went off track, sent it before i was done lol.

We are looking at a bunch of places on friday evening with our real estate agent.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:47 PM   #5
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Never take the first one!!
Keep looking because that dream house is around the corner.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:47 PM   #6
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THis was the second one ;) lol
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:05 PM   #7
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THis was the second one ;) lol
Look at least a dozen homes so you get the general idea and feel.
It also helps to pre-qualify for a home loan. This saves some time and gives you a realistic range of price on homes you should be looking at.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:06 PM   #8
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If at all possible make the down payment large enough so you don't have
to pay morgage insurance every month.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:07 PM   #9
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If at all possible make the down payment large enough so you don't have
to pay morgage insurance every month.
Oh let me second this advice. This will save you a lot in the long run!
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:08 PM   #10
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We are putting a down payment but not 25%. We'll be paying insurance.

There isn't alot left in our price range that we are interested in now, everyone is buying up places because on October 15th you will no longer be able to get a 0% down mortgage.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:14 PM   #11
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My best advice is to have the home inspected by a qualified inspector before you make your decision. He may find things you'd never know till too late, or he may tell you that the place is very sound and in great working order.

Also, if you know anyone who has a relative who has been in the construction business for a long time, ask them to come take a peek. My dad was really helpful when we were buying our first house. He saw things and possibilities (and would-be disasters) that we never thought of.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:19 PM   #12
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My best advice is to have the home inspected by a qualified inspector before you make your decision. He may find things you'd never know till too late, or he may tell you that the place is very sound and in great working order.
I should also point out that for an unbiased inspection report, the OP should find her own inspector, not the one recommended by her agent.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:21 PM   #13
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We are definitely going to have whatever place we decide on inspected. It is a regular clause to have in the buying contract that the sale is pending until a successful home inspection is completed.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:27 PM   #14
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jkath - very sage advice. I would check the inspector out as well. The one that inspected my current house missed that the oven was not working, the bathtub in the downstairs bathroom didn't drain, and that the downstairs bathroom was illegal to begin with. Moved in just before Thanksgiving, Imagine an oven not working for turkey day.

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Old 09-24-2008, 07:36 PM   #15
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first congrats .. buying your first home is a very exciting
and frustating thing ...
get a home inspector (as already said)
and walk through with the inspector ..
check everything .. ask lots of questions ..
and take your time ..
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:46 PM   #16
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I tend to only see the good things when I look at a new house or anything. Purposely try to find some bad points, then take some time to decide whether you can live with them or not. Also, make a list of "must haves" and "like to haves" before checking out any more houses.

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Old 09-24-2008, 08:40 PM   #17
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Buy the best location you can comfortably afford and I underline financially comfortably afford. Put down as much as you can - at least 20%. Choose an inspector whose credentials you have checked. In addition, before you put your name on documents that commit you, be sure you hire an appraiser to determine market value and be careful about that - prices are inflated on bunches of houses that won't sell because of the financial condition. That is different from a inspection of the physical house.

Against my advice my daughter paid top dollar for a cute little house - not terribly expensive but inflated in price - this about five months ago. Guess what, the hospital is now cutting back on her nurse's hours and she is starting to feel the pinch. She just told me that a real estate agent is coming by there tomorrow to talk about listing. Is she going to lose money? Yes.

You said it yourself - you are about to overpay because you are competing against buyers who are putting zero down. That is what has inflated prices over historical fair market values so you are about to over pay only to see the market value of your dwelling decrease as soon as there is no more zero down or 5% down financing. Be careful!

Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:53 PM   #18
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just want to say, do the prudent thing and then just enjoy the process. it doesn't need to be a chore. buying a house is a happy thing . and it is very exciting!
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:55 PM   #19
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Just one basik thing, make sure that payments are no more than a 1/4 of your income.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:10 PM   #20
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In the words of my maternal grandfather, "Take it easy; make it nice."

Go slowly and enjoy the process. Look at lots and lots of properties. Evaluate the pros and cons of them all and see how they measure up to what you want/need. Begin as modestly as you can. Build equity, which will allow you to move up next time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

And, as CharlieD already said, DO NOT get in over your head. Don't set yourself up to work just to pay your mortgage. There's more to life than that.

Have a great time and best wishes on your adventure.
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