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Posted: 11/22/2003 5:46:42 AM EDT
I'm currently looking to buy a house. Price range I'm looking at is $70,000 to $100,000. I make about 50k a year. Since I don't make that much money, don't want to get in over my head with the payments. If anything, looking for a fixer upper that has some potential.

Anyway, how does one go about finding the best deal? Mortgage forclosures, estate sales, real estate agent, find some cute little honey who already has a house??????

Your ideas and thoughts, as always, are greatly appreciated.

vmax84
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:47:45 AM EDT
Don't go cheap on the lawyer that handles the sale/contract, ever.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:49:26 AM EDT
One thing to do is look at the house during or just after a hard rain. That way you'll know if it's going to leak or not. Also, don't jump at the first loan offer, get several and compare them. Another thing, a 15 year mortgage is better and will save you some money compared to a 30 year even though the payments will be alittle higher.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:51:42 AM EDT
Take..........your..........time!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:55:42 AM EDT
... If you plan on staying there awhile, make damned certain about size, amenities, location taxes/utilities and neighbors.

... When I had this home built, I envisioned living here for 20 years. I'm up to 14 now. Hopefully, I stay another 14 at least.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:57:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:57:29 AM EDT
"Take..........your..........time!"

Oh my God, you hit the nail right on the head on how I DON'T feel!! I've been working with a realtor, pounding the pavement by myself, and am getting kinda ancy on finding a place. Right now, I have about 90% of my stuff in my folks' pole barn (great pole barn....insulated, no rodents, etc.), but would like to find a place and start putting things back together. But you're right, I need to slow down.

vmax84
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:01:12 AM EDT
One thing my brother-in-law cautioned me on was that I need to sign a buyer's agreement with the realtor, that way they are working for me exclusively. Otherwise, they (the realtor) are working for the sellers and won't disclose all the info they could on the property/situation.

vmax84
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:07:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 6:08:59 AM EDT by 1shott]
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION....

And the TAKE YOUR TIME, is also good advice...

I went and had a place built, I could not find a house that I liked, or a location that I liked...

I just happened to come across this empty lot in a small community outside of town, and the price was ok, so I got it, then I drew up the plans for the house myself, had a builder friend go over them, he made a few minor changes, then got a loan and BAM, that was 5 years ago......

I would go with a smaller house, the bank approved me for $92,000 but I said no way all I want to borrow is $50,000 the house cost me $48,000 to build, move in ready, turn the key.

It was apraised at $64,000 when it was finished.

I also got a fixed rate of 6.5%

Nothing fancy just a plan 2 bedroom, 2 bath large living room, good size kitchen simple 1300sq ft house.... on just over half an acre, lots of trees, nice and quiet......

Just right for a single man like myself...
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:28:57 AM EDT
I have three non negotiables.

1) I must be able to walk out onto my back deck and shoot any firearm I have without anyone being endangered or annoyed (sound)

2) I must have a large unattached shop with nothing inside I don't want there (no xmas stuff ect.)

3) It must have a wood burning stove in the livingroom.

Everything else I can work with.


Hunter out...
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:31:11 AM EDT
1) Be willing to walk away, without any regrets, from any house deal for any reason. Just because you like it doesn't mean you'll fall over dead if you don't get it. On the flip side, don't worry if someone is bidding against you on a house and they "win". There are other houses available.

2) Get a 15 year mortgage if at all possible. Since the house you're looking for is not much more than your salary, it's very doable. You'll save the cost of your house in the long run, i.e., with a 15 year mortgage, you typically pay twice the price of the house with the interest figured in, and with a 30 year, you pay thrice(don't use that word much) the price of the house when figuring in the interest paid.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:31:16 AM EDT
wow, I envy you. If I could get a house for $70k I'd be all over it. I can't even get a mobile home around here for that much.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:35:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 6:39:10 AM EDT by NMSight]
When you find a place that you like go to the county building department. Check their file for any easements or any type of boundary problems. Also check to see if there were any permits issued that were not finaled - if there are you won't be able to get any more building permits until the earlier one(s) are taken care of.

NMSight

Edited to add - I don't know what part of the country you live in, but make sure the place you pick does not need to be covered by flood insurance. At least here in Orygun that is VERY expensive and will add much to the cost of a house over the years.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:36:46 AM EDT
If you don't have 20% to put down you will be required to pay mortgage insurance up front and monthly. An 80/20 mortgage (actually 2 loans in one) will get you around that. You may have to pay a higher interest rate so do the math to see what works best for you. Also, learn about closing costs/title fees. Find out what's legitimate and what's not. Inspections, appraisals titling fees etc.can run up past$3,000 in a hurry. I'm closing on my first at the end of December. Good Luck
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:45:49 AM EDT
I can put about 30k down. Right now I'm living in a little crummy one bedroom apartment, compliments of my divorce. Oh well.

All my snowmobiles, dirt bikes, kids stuff, furniture, guns (well, they are in warm storage in good hands) are all at another location.

Gets pretty old living like this, but have to keep the faith and keep working on getting out of here.

vmax84
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:50:08 AM EDT
Ditto on the wood burning stove. We just put one in about a month ago. With natural gas prices set to go higher and a possible bad winter coming wood is about as cheap as you can get to heat your house. Heck, I can even cook on mine. Made up a nice pot of beans and bacon the other day, uumm good.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:03:52 AM EDT
Have a professional inspector look the house over top to bottom. Get a warrantee if available - makes sleeping easy that first year when funds might be tight.

I had almost forgotten that you need a lawyer and or a team of them to buy homes in some parts of the country we're non-union out here!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 8:47:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
Have a professional inspector look the house over top to bottom.



Excellent advice. BUT, do not rely on the inspector for critical systems like the furnace. Making that mistake cost me thousands of dollars. Get a furnace company to come out and inspect the heating system. it will be worth the money.

Also, I had good luck with www.realtor.com for finding interesting houses and properties. That's how I found my current place. Gave "my" realtor (never forget that they work for the seller) the MLS # and went from there...
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:32:43 AM EDT
I second the being willing to walk away from any deal at any time. We were a week away from closing on a house when we started having some questions about the inspection report. We hired a structural engineer to come out and he gave us a lot of stuff the home inspector missed so we backed out. Two months later we found a house we liked ten times as much.

Don't rush, it will happen.

And damn, you can't even get a 1bd. condo here for $100,000.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:55:09 AM EDT
If you end up buying a new house, DO NOT CLOSE on a house that isn't 100% finished the way you want it. Regardless of agreements or letters, the builder will forget you exist as soon as your check clears.

It is possible to get things finished after that point, but the amount of effort, hate and discontent expended to do so is prohibitively high. I might post that story sometime.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 10:34:14 AM EDT
borrow a friend with a dog and take it for a walk in that neighborhood. do this about 11pm. make sure none of the immediate neighbors have obnoxiously loud barking dogs. mrs667 and i didn't think of this but we got real lucky. there are 4 or 5 homes within a mile with exceptionally loud mutts that will go off at anything after hours. in a non-violent `hood, this isn't really appropriate.

good luck!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 10:36:24 AM EDT
What everyone already said (I like the idea of a wood-burning stove, btw).

This may not be applicable to you, but personally, I'll never buy a house again. Not when I can build a better one for half the price.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 10:44:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vmax84:
I'm currently looking to buy a house. Price range I'm looking at is $70,000 to $100,000. I make about 50k a year. Since I don't make that much money, don't want to get in over my head with the payments. If anything, looking for a fixer upper that has some potential.

Anyway, how does one go about finding the best deal? Mortgage forclosures, estate sales, real estate agent, find some cute little honey who already has a house??????

Your ideas and thoughts, as always, are greatly appreciated.

vmax84



Check with your state government and see if they have a first time home buyers program. You will get a much better interest rate and have to put less money down.

Link Posted: 11/22/2003 10:45:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
Have a professional inspector look the house over top to bottom. Get a warrantee if available - makes sleeping easy that first year when funds might be tight.





I would be very leary of any so called home inspection outfit. Just about every one I have seen or have heard of have you sign a disclaimer so that they cannot be sued if there are problems on down the road. If you can find one that will stand behind their report, then use them. Some of these guys are also not really qualified like you might think. A very good friend of mine just sold a house and the buyer paid for a home inspector and it was amazing what this guy did not find that was very obvious. It was a joke.

I would only use one if they were certifed by whoever certifies them and they do not have a disclaimer as far as being sued for what they do not find. I would much rather have someone look at it that is a friend and has some background in building.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 10:49:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 11:08:43 AM EDT by DigDug]

Originally Posted By vmax84:
I can put about 30k down. Right now I'm living in a little crummy one bedroom apartment, compliments of my divorce. Oh well.

All my snowmobiles, dirt bikes, kids stuff, furniture, guns (well, they are in warm storage in good hands) are all at another location.

Gets pretty old living like this, but have to keep the faith and keep working on getting out of here.

vmax84



Put down only the amount you have to. Money is cheap right now. Interest rates are low. Lock in a low interest rate for as long as you can. People back in the early 80's had 17% and higher house loans. I just refinanced a few months ago at 5.625%. Thats cheap money. Stay liquid and don't tie your money up into the house. Remeber, you have to sell the house to get your money out of it (or get a second morgage which has higher interest). It's called leverage.

Edit: You can always pay more per month on a longer term mortgage if you want to.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 11:12:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rebel_rifle:

I would be very leary of any so called home inspection outfit. Just about every one I have seen or have heard of have you sign a disclaimer so that they cannot be sued if there are problems on down the road. If you can find one that will stand behind their report, then use them. Some of these guys are also not really qualified like you might think. A very good friend of mine just sold a house and the buyer paid for a home inspector and it was amazing what this guy did not find that was very obvious. It was a joke.

I would only use one if they were certified by whoever certifies them and they do not have a disclaimer as far as being sued for what they do not find. I would much rather have someone look at it that is a friend and has some background in building.





Where's ETH when you really need him? I need a sixteen-letter word for DITTO!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 11:24:47 AM EDT
$70k for a house is nothing. Sorry, but my down payment was $70 and that was over a decade ago.

More seriously, try to put 20-25% down and that'll make your loan more manageable.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 1:06:55 PM EDT
Sadly, you pretty much have to buy your first house and live in it a while to learn all of the things that you should have been looking at!!

Look at things like the age of the roof and furnace, condition of the windows, drainage, plumbing and electrical, etc. The list goes on and on and on.

If you anticipate having kids while there, look at schools. Look at shopping, look at roads. Look for nearby seedy areas – they might not be a problem now, but could be later. Try to envision what the area will be like in five or ten years.

Look at property taxes. In some areas, these can be horrendous!!

I suspect your lender will require a termite inspection. Make absolutely certain you have one regardless!!

As someone else said – take your time. A home is generally the biggest thing any of us buy; it’s not something to do impulsively.

Good luck!!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 2:51:27 PM EDT
You guys (as usual!!) are beautiful!! Thanks for all the good advice. With my divorce 3 months behind me, Dad diagnosed with lung cancer, I do have a lot on my mind, but realize I need to push on forward. I am committed to making forward progress with myself (my mental outlook) and a place to live, but am taking things slowly.

Do have a few things going my way......still working out every other day, visiting my parents a lot and helping them out, have 50% physical custody of my kids (thank God), and starting to get to know a few ladies. Taking baby steps, but working hard on myself and doing the right things.

What's really wierd is that all thru my divorce (am I switching topics here??!!) I have been very polite and nice to my ex. Now that we are divorced, I am still very nice to her and very upbeat/happy around her. She seems more bummed out as the days go by and I'm working hard (although it is taking less and less work, starting to coming easier) on making myself happy. She drops the kids off every morning at my apartment before she goes to work and I ALWAYS have a big smile (also got my teeth whitened....they look killer and make me feel great) for her and the kids. Seems the happier I get, the more bummed out she becomes. Kinda strange.

Sorry I got sidetracked. I don't post here that much, but do read a lot. Lots of knowledge on the board and I appreciate it. Believe me, it has helped a great deal on keeping my sanity. Enjoy your weekend.

vmax84
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 3:52:26 PM EDT
Go Rent....less fucking headaches
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 4:20:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vmax84:
Now that we are divorced, I am still very nice to her and very upbeat/happy around her. She seems more bummed out as the days go by and I'm working hard (although it is taking less and less work, starting to coming easier) on making myself happy. She drops the kids off every morning at my apartment before she goes to work and I ALWAYS have a big smile (also got my teeth whitened....they look killer and make me feel great) for her and the kids. Seems the happier I get, the more bummed out she becomes. Kinda strange.


Living well is the best revenge. Press on, brother!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 4:26:09 PM EDT
We are living in our seventh house, and we've profited on all, except one. We have owned fixer uppers, to almost new. If you are planning on purchasing an older home, you can almost always make a deal on it if it is empty.

That is because the owners are probably still paying on it and want to get out from underneath it. Also look at crime in the area. You can go to the police station, give them the address of the property, and they in turn will tell you what the crime is like in say, a five mile radius.

Pay attention to whether apartments, HUD or other low income housing is nearby or planned.

If you can do a private sale with the owner you can save some $. I also like to look at the area in the evening to see what it looks like after hours and I also simulate a commute from that address to see what that is like. i also drive for blocks and blocks around that area to examine behaviours in adjacent areas.

I will tell you that I like for sale by owner and an empty house the best. You need to really concentrate on looking at the systems that make up a house, such as the water, heater, and roof. The roof can kill you if it hasn't been cared for.

Pay attention to whether a neighborhood is in decline. Sometimes they are past their prime and nothing you do is going to bring it back.

Don't even consider a house with a below ground pool on your income. It is a money pit, as the present owners already will be aware of.

Don't be in a hurry.

That's all I can think of at the moment.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 6:03:09 PM EDT
1. Buy the most expensive house you can afford.

2. Ditto the advice to buy the worst house in the best neighborhood.

3. Make sure there is no Section 8 housing in the neighborhood. Those people are ALWAYS trouble.

4. Hire an actual engineering firm to do the home inspection. This firm should have a structural engineer to inspect the structure and other experts to examine the other systems. Better to spend $1,000 on an inspection and have it done right.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 12:38:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
<SNIP>

3. Make sure there is no Section 8 housing in the neighborhood. Those people are ALWAYS trouble.
<SNIP>



HEED THESE HUD/SECTION 8 WARNINGS!!! I used to live in a building with that was pretty nice. Then one month they annouced they've started filling 35% of their units with Section 8/HUD housing. Within the next month we had 2 drug dealers on my floor, 1 hooker, several loud & obnoxious fools, and within the next 4 months the building had a cockroach problem!!! RUN LIKE HELL from ANY neighborhood with Section 8/HUD developments!!!
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 1:11:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/23/2003 1:13:04 AM EDT by TwoStage]
Best advice is not to buy a house on the street that Raven lives on, or you to will have put up with the "KID".


www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=21649


Link Posted: 11/23/2003 7:47:47 AM EDT
Relax. I think a lot of these guys are making a bigger deal of buying a house than it is. You could go buy a $100,000 car today in two hours, why they make home buying so complex I'll never understand. Get a good rate, find a house you like, buy it. It's THAT simple. Ninja out.
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 7:56:36 AM EDT
I am on my second house and have found that with my tax refunds I spend just about the same as if I was renting again, I now claim 4 and it works out to be around the same. When I knew that I was going to buy I claimed 9 and robbed peter to pay paul, I came up with the 10k for the closing cost and a few more bucks to fix the place up the way I wanted it. Here in the Bay Area prices of homes are pretty high but the rule of thumb is buy the biggest peice of shit in the best neighborhood. Look over the fences of your nieghbors and make sure there isnt green pools, indoor/outdoor carpet for lawn, etc. If you can find a court to live in they are great but just make sure you dont live to near apartments, or freeways becuase those 2 have alot to do with the crime in an area. Check with the cops and ask how the beat is in that area and do a Megans Law check while your at it.
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