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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/15/2005 8:47:51 PM EDT
Hi gang. I am looking at buying my own house, for the first time. While I have some idea as to what I want and where I want to go, I need some advice from anyone in the NE Ohio area who either has, or is in the process of, buying a home.

Here is what I'm looking for (ideally):
- a rural to semi-rural county, with low taxes, low insurance costs, relatively low population and low crime rate.
- a small, detached home, preferably with a basement and at least a few acres (the more acreage, the better).
- less than $100,000 in price.
- NOT in a large city (no compromise on this one).
- NOT in Cuyahoga county, due to higher costs of living, higher population, higher crime rate, higher taxes...you get the picture.

I am willing to settle on a condo if I cannot find a detached home that fits the above parameters. I somehow have that funny feeling that I will not find a home that will fit my desires 100%, so I am willing to make sacrifices. I am namely interested in doing this for the investment and tax advantages, not to mention simply "owning a piece of the rock."

Oh yeah, not to mention that there is some appeal in being able to have bonfire parties in the backyard, and being able to pop off a few rounds on occasion without the neighbors complaining.

The counties I am considering are: Lake, Ashtabula, Geauga, Portage, Trumbull, Summit, Medina, Carroll and Columbiana.

With all of the above in mind, here are my questions:
- are there any counties I should avoid, due to the possibility of losing money on the home?
- are there any counties I should avoid for other reasons?
- does anyone have experience with purchasing a HUD/repo'ed home?
- can anyone recommend a good realtor?

I've probably just opened up multiple cans of worms here. I know that I am asking for a ton of info, and I REALLY appreciate any help you guys can lend me with my questions.

Thanks a bunch in advance.

- Matt
(ProjectMayhem)
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 9:42:18 PM EDT
Contrary to opinions you might receive, you CAN buy a new home for less than $100,000 in the country....and new is always better than used, if you intend on staying on your property long.

I know it's possible, I did it.

Take a good look at some of the manufactured homes (modulars) out there. For around $60k, you can get a 1600 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2-bath completely finished (drywall, 2x6 walls, all appliances and heat) installed on a basement. The basement will cost you $6k-$10k, depending on variables, and your land all add up to a cost probably under $100,000. If you're willing to finish the interior yourself, you might save another $20k by having the home drop shipped to your location, and you complete the build.

Heckaman homes & Unibilt are some of the better modular companies out there, give those a lookeesee and start looking for a nice little piece of property you can afford.

www.unibilt.com/
www.heckamanhomes.com/
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 4:30:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 5:34:52 AM EDT
Excellent info, Swingset. Thank you very much.

The modular home concept is one that I will definitely research; it looks very cost effective, especially in consideration of my goals. I have also heard from other people that modulars are one of the major future trends in home construction.

- Matt
(ProjectMayhem)
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 5:37:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By anothergene:
I avoided the "snow belt" when I was looking...I rake leaves when those folks plow.
I went west, of course depending on where you work may affect where you buy.
It sounds like you are looking for a township that won't expand around you, ending any hopes of "letting a few loose".
Avon, for example, is booming...and our range was closed.
One list I avoid can be found at www.rita.to , unless you like writing a another check at the end of the year just to live there.
Good luck in your quest



Anothergene, thank you for the info. I forgot all about the dreaded RITA tax. That list will definitely help in deciding where not to move to, from a taxation standpoint.

As far as the snowbelt, I've been living in that all of my life. But, I'm always willing to get out of it.

- Matt
(ProjectMayhem)
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 5:54:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 5:59:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RS39:
Carroll, Columbiana.

Get away from the Cleve/Akron jobs driving housing prices, and yuppie encroachment ruining a nice section of countyside.

I assume no commute or schools issues?



That's kind of my line of thinking with regards to the yuppie encroachment and over-inflated prices on some of the homes I've seen, especially for the quality of the workmanship (or perhaps, lack thereof).

I'm not married and don't have any kids, so schools are not an issue for me. I also work in the medical field, so finding a job should not be an issue.

Thanks,

-Matt
(ProjectMayhem)
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 6:56:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 9:26:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shotar:
Check your IM.



Mike, reply sent. Thank you.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 12:23:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ProjectMayhem:
Excellent info, Swingset. Thank you very much.

The modular home concept is one that I will definitely research; it looks very cost effective, especially in consideration of my goals. I have also heard from other people that modulars are one of the major future trends in home construction.

- Matt
(ProjectMayhem)



Some of the old stereotypes still linger about true modulars - people think they're "trailers" or double wides, but the modular homes of the good companies are truly stick-built, only they come in pieces. That has alot of advantages, tho. They're built under roof, on a jig. They're dry, tight, and square. In many ways, superior to stick-built. Also, the good companies don't do anything like days of old like using trailer-sized doors or PVC plumbing. If you didn't walk under my house and see the "seem" where it was put together, you'd never be able to tell it was modular.

The one problem with manufactured houses, is that there are still lending companies that won't give you a construction loan to do one, so you might have to shop around or ask at a dealer who they recommend. Luckily, our bank had no problem with them (Bank One), so we were off to the races in no time.

The last benefit of them is completely obvious - they are up and under roof in about 1 month, ready to walk into and live in. Try that with stick built.

If I can give you any more info about that route, lemme know, I'd be glad to.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 3:51:41 PM EDT
I'm not married and don't have any kids, so schools are not an issue for me.


_______________________________________________________________________________


WRONG,, WRONG,,, WRONG, TAX , TAX, TAX,,,, you will find out what an issue schools are come every June and January. Remember it is the property owners who finance the schools.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:55:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By coaldigger55:
I'm not married and don't have any kids, so schools are not an issue for me.


_______________________________________________________________________________


WRONG,, WRONG,,, WRONG, TAX , TAX, TAX,,,, you will find out what an issue schools are come every June and January. Remember it is the property owners who finance the schools.



Excellent point, Coaldigger. Heck, I live up in Mentor, and we narrowly passed another tax levy not even a year ago. And all because the school system's budget turned up a few million short, which they still have not been able to locate.

What really pisses me off about that is the fact that non-property owners and those who sent their kids to private schools were able to even VOTE in that levy to being with. What a crock!

- Matt
(ProjectMayhem)
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 4:47:31 AM EDT
Yea, kinda like you have to pay to educate them without having the fun of making them
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 6:21:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By coaldigger55:
Yea, kinda like you have to pay to educate them without having the fun of making them



Indeed. Almost like you have to pay, but you can't play.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 7:35:18 AM EDT
I would like to say thanks to everyone who respnded to my questions, your input is greatly appreciated and will help in my decisions in the next few months or so.

Take care.

Sincerely,

Matt
(ProjectMay­hem)
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 2:12:43 PM EDT
Since you are at loose ends regarding family/spouse obligations, why not rent in an area that interests you? Watch the weather patterns, relative sanity/insanity of the area's residents, etc. Build up a bigger supply of cash for the 'what ifs' that go along with home ownership in rural areas. Then make your land and home purchase.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 9:05:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PM2790:
Since you are at loose ends regarding family/spouse obligations, why not rent in an area that interests you? Watch the weather patterns, relative sanity/insanity of the area's residents, etc. Build up a bigger supply of cash for the 'what ifs' that go along with home ownership in rural areas. Then make your land and home purchase.



I have thought about that idea too, but I would prefer the ownership of a home due mostly to the tax advantages, not to mention the status that goes along with owning property.

Still, I will give your idea plenty of thought. I am not in a gigantic hurry to do this right now, as I certainly want to research all of my options very thoroughly.

Thanks,

Matt
(ProjectMayhem­)

Link Posted: 8/21/2005 7:43:35 PM EDT
remember good fences make really good neighbors.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 4:41:48 PM EDT
Matt, depends where exactly you will be working. believe you me, a drive in blinding snow at-10F ain't no fun. Scope out a radius from where you work where you feel comfortable driving. hell, at $2.50/gal, to fill up my pickup is $75.00!

Tip from a old fart like me: if you want rural--make sure there are 1) no sewer or water lines around ,so-called "developers" love this. Easy hook-ups for tract homes or malls. Stay with drilled wells for water and septic--you'll keep rural longer. 2) same with electric lines--you see those big Godzilla-tower mommas? ready for development!

Cities in Northern Ohio are in one hell of a mess. They need money like all get out. How they gonna get it? Easy! From workers in the city, or residents of the county.

Tho, think "resale" the day you buy your home. Since if you have to move real quick, get transferred, or just plain fed up and want to move, "CAN I GET MY MONEY OUT OF THIS PLACE PRONTO?" P.S. Forget real old used ("century" homes) they are endless money pits. GO NEW!
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:53:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sven223:
remember good fences make really good neighbors.



Indeed.

- Matt
(ProjectMayhem)
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:07:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ohio47Woodsman:
Matt, depends where exactly you will be working. believe you me, a drive in blinding snow at-10F ain't no fun. Scope out a radius from where you work where you feel comfortable driving. hell, at $2.50/gal, to fill up my pickup is $75.00!

Tip from a old fart like me: if you want rural--make sure there are 1) no sewer or water lines around ,so-called "developers" love this. Easy hook-ups for tract homes or malls. Stay with drilled wells for water and septic--you'll keep rural longer. 2) same with electric lines--you see those big Godzilla-tower mommas? ready for development!

Cities in Northern Ohio are in one hell of a mess. They need money like all get out. How they gonna get it? Easy! From workers in the city, or residents of the county.

Tho, think "resale" the day you buy your home. Since if you have to move real quick, get transferred, or just plain fed up and want to move, "CAN I GET MY MONEY OUT OF THIS PLACE PRONTO?" P.S. Forget real old used ("century" homes) they are endless money pits. GO NEW!



All excellent advice, and I thank you very much.

I can relate to what you said about driving through blinding snow. I do it all the time up here in Lake County during the winter months. I sure am looking forward to a "few"months of that, once again.

Resale is weighing very heavily upon my mind. As much as I would love a century home, they are a lot of work and A LOT of money, and I don't have that kind of cash flow at this point in my life; maybe in the future, but not now. I am also researching many different localities, so I don't end up in a cruddy neighborhood and have a difficult time offloading my house, should the need arise.

And, as much I would love to live in a rural area, there are many considerations in doing that, namely finding a decent paying hospital job that is relatively close, yet not "forever and a day" away from where I live. Another concern that I have here goes back to the resale factor as well.

Thanks again for your help.

- Matt
(ProjectMayhem)
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 12:18:40 PM EDT
Here is some free internet advice for ya. First off don’t be in too big of a hurry get a feeling for the market. All the national realtors have web sites that allow you to do searches find one that allows you to enter the parameters you are interested in and check back often. Some also provide a service where they will send you an e-mail when a property that matches your search criteria hits the market.

I would talk to more than one bank about the mortgage as well. I took a friends advice and went with his lender. I was treated right but ended up refinancing a year later when I found out my financial situation allowed me a much better deal. Talking with several lenders will also give different perspectives on 80/20 loans, PMI (how to possibly avoid it), fixed v. adjustable interest, escrow accounts and so on. FWIW I went with Third Federal and recommend you at least check them out if they are in your area.

Good luck #93
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