Regarding #1. I think it's still prudent, if you have the finances, to put 20% down in order to avoid private mortgage insurance. Wife and I just bought a house and we are stuck paying an extra $150 a month to cover the bank in case we default.
I remember this thread was on foh, don't see it on here - thought it would be good to get people's thoughts/advice/experiences on this.
1) Financing - given today's mortgage rates, best to do as little down payment as is feasible? stick to 30 yr fixed? ARM? if/when
2) picking the right home
- nearby schools quality? do they have room or waiting list?
- size of lot?
-disclosures? can't chop down a redwood on the lawn, have to compost your waste, cant build a 2nd story, etc etc. What to look out for?
- location - finding a good neighborhood. things to avoid (home next to retail or multi-unit complex?), things to look for (private backyards, surrounded by wealthier homes, etc)
3) resale value - primarily affected by #2.
4) atypical scenarios - have a home with a shared tenant? separate unit on your lot? etc
Regarding #1. I think it's still prudent, if you have the finances, to put 20% down in order to avoid private mortgage insurance. Wife and I just bought a house and we are stuck paying an extra $150 a month to cover the bank in case we default.
People get too hung up on PMI, in my opinion. It's gonna fall off eventually, you don't have to pay it for the life of the loan, just until you get 21% equity in or some shit. You need to weigh the costs of PMI versus where you're at in your finances and the housing market. If interest rates end up going up or the housing market booms while you're busy saving up 20%, you could be out way more than $150 a month for a few years. With the market where it's at now, or where it was 6 months ago (probably the low point), you can probably say that you should have been busy over the last few years stockpiling your 20%. But if you're just getting started now and need to get into the market before prices start going up too much (and they already are here, 14% over December a year ago), then just eat the PMI and work on paying into your mortgage early to get it off quicker.
Now, to OP.
No reason to do an ARM with interest rates where they are. 30 year fixed, as good as you can get. My parents had like a fucking 19% mortgage when they bought. That's insane, but they also only financed like 75k too. Get a good rate now and you'll never need to refi.
#2 is all personal preference. That's nothing anyone can help you with, unless you're asking for opinions on specific situations. I dunno anything about any of those disclosures, those aren't typical as far as I know, so I dunno what you're going for there. #3 - just realize that the more "Custom" and "Creative" your house is, the less value it's going to have to most buyers. There's always going to be people who like quirky, but they aren't always ready to buy your home, and you need to appeal to the masses.
Any home appraisers floating around on here? I could use an opinion.
As far as PMI, the benefit of owning vs. renting from a financial standpoint is the write-offs for interest and taxes. PMI in theory is only deductible up to $150,000 in income. When you get past that point the PMI might as well as be a credit card payment as you get fuck all from it. If you have no other option then it is what it is and just do it but if possible you should try your best to avoid it. As I mentioned in some other thread try to get lender paid MI as it's the cheapest but also the hardest to qualify for.
Basically wondering how much an unfinished room will hurt my appraisal. I need my house to come in a certain number for a refinance. The house next to me just sold for 200k. I need
Mine to appraise for 180k. Other comps are 175k+ in the area and they are not updated like my house. So not sure how it would work.
An appraiser can adjust for items that are updated and attached to the house such as flooring and appliances. If the unfinished room is considering a health and safety issue then your problem won't be value but that your house is not financeable as is. This would apply if there is currently no flooring or exposed wiring/AC ducts etc.
I ripped the basement ceiling down.. So you can see the wiring, ducts and pipes... I am redoing the room but its going slow. That's why I'm worried.
Unfinished basements are fine again as long as there is nothing that would be a safety issue and the purchaser is not using FHA, the appraiser will do a cost to cure downward if all the other sales have finished basements. If not then it won't have any effect on the value.
Ok cool. I'm going to take the risk and hope it appraises for 180. Worst case I'm out 400.
For Number 1 it really depends on what you want to do with the home. ARMs are usually for investors who see the equity in the home rising and being a source of income; they don't want to own. 30y fixed is the traditional way to go but rates on 15 and 20y are so low they can be feasible. If you want to own the house go with the fixed rate. It will give you a standard monthly payment and interest rates are only going to get higher. I would put 20% down if you could. Paying PMI sucks. Banks usually don't take it off automatically until 78% loan-to-value. There are lots of good mortgage products out there if you can't do the 20%. FHA, USDA, VA (for veterans), check with your MLO to see what they can do for you.
Just bought a house and agree with Zivany. I'm not sure your credit status but if you have great credit when you look at the interest rate v. inflation it's close to free money. PMI sucks and it will not drop off on it's own anymore once you hit 20% equity in your house you can do a refi and got out from under it.
I think one of the keys things to remember is a house is a lifestyle choice and is truly a labor of love. If your not willing to commit to taking care of it skrimping in other areas for new counter tops etc.... You might be better off renting.
I'll preface this post by saying it's going to make me sound really stupid, but I tend to trust information from the people here so I figure this is a good place to ask. Google has been somewhat helpful to at least understand various terms (for example, PMI as discussed earlier in this thread) but I'm still fairly confused.
Basically, my biggest goal for 2013 is to finally buy a small house. I'm finally in a place in my life, job, and credit that it's actually feasible for me to think about buying. There are tons of little 2br/1bath/full basement single family homes in my area for sale for 120 - 130k, which are the perfect size and price for me as a late 20s single guy. The area is nice enough at the moment, and the entire downtown/center of the city is being revitalized as well with new movie theaters, restaurants, shopping replacing the rundown mall (which they are currently destroying). So it seems like a good time to buy.
The problem is that I have absolutely no idea where to begin. All I've ever done is rent apartments, so I've never dealt with a real estate agent, and I've never dealt with any bank beyond setting up a checking/savings account 15+ years ago.
Should I talk to a real estate agent first? Should I try to get preapproved for a loan first and, if so, where should I try to do this? Should I go through a website like LendingTree.com or just go into my bank and tell them I'm interested in buying a house? Some people say that 20% down payment is ideal, and others have said that you should put as little down as the bank will allow. Is there a general rule of a minimum you have to put down, or does it vary by bank?
I don't plan on beginning the home buying process in earnest until Fall 2013 at the earliest, but I'd like to start to get a clearer picture of exactly what I'm going to have to do so I won't run into any surprises later on.
Get pre-approved first. Then you can take the knowledge of how much you can get a loan for, and what the payment on that loan would be and make the correct decision for your property. Note that your pre-approval only lasts for a certain amount of time (6 months? Something like that).
After that, you CAN deal with a realtor, but the best bet is to probably just spend a night a week going thru the MLSonline or something to get a feel for what's out there. That way when you bring in the realtor, you hand them a stack of papers and say "I wanna see these, set them up."
Depending on the lender most pre-approvals only last 60 or 90 days, Fannie Mae guidelines are documents are good for 90 days so that's most common. Keep in mind most banks aren't giving you a true pre-approval as that only comes from an underwriter and most aren't staffed with enough underwriters to do them. In most cases it's just a loan officer giving you a piece of paper he drew up himself which is only as good as he or she is competent.
How much money do you have saved up? Assuming decent credit you probably need:
10% down payment, so 12k. But you'll have to pay PMI. Shop around for a bank that offers the best PMI packages. I found one that allowed me to bake 4k into my loan and lose PMI forever. Else, 20% downpayment if you don't want to do PMI.
Then you need closing costs. That will vary but it's like 3%? of the total cost of the house plus some other fees. Toss on an extra 2k for other stuff.
Then there is the money you need for savings and a ton of shit you'll have to buy and fix for your new home. Depends on the condition of the home.
Then there is Home Owners insurance (cheap).
Then you have to figure in property tax escrow accounts.
Once you're financially ready, go to a real estate agent and they'll walk you through everything. Once you are close to buying a home and getting an inspection, come back to this thread.
Thanks for the information. That's exactly what I was looking for: a short, simple explaination of the steps involved.
Our first step was to go see a mortgage broker. He can take your info and run the numbers and give you very realistic numbers that have PMI, escrow for property taxes, etc included in a monthly payment at various rates and loan amounts etc. You are under no obligation to use his/her services, and it's going to give you pretty solid info, while allowing you to ask all the questions you want.
We had very simple breakdowns for every $10k increment in our price range of monthly mortgage payment, amount needed down, estimated closing costs, etc. Initially it was a really good reality check that allowed us to hone in on our final price range.
You can google shit till the cows come home (and you should), but having that person to ask questions of is gold. Just ask around for reqs.
Like Cut said, you've no need for a real estate agent until you are actually ready to start looking at homes.
Yeah, like OneOfOne said, my mortgage broker was fucking awesome. His estimate on my mortgage was within $10 of my actual payment, and there's no way he could have figured out what my homeowners insurance was without seeing the house, but he did.
I think the maximum one can pay towards a mortgage is 41% of their income. So divide that by 12 and there is the maximum mortgage payment you can get. I use a pretty average rate like 3.75% for a 30y loan and calculate the total home cost with the help of a financial calculator. If I don't have one of those with me. I will usually use http://www.bankrate.com/calculators.aspx and that helps figure it out.
I would go with getting a pre-approval first. It gives you more buying power when you are looking for a home. That way you know you are good for the money and its in the seller's court if they want to take it or not. It will also help you from looking for things out of your price range.
As for real-estate agents. I would ask your MLO when doing a pre-approval. They usually know who good agents are in your area.
If you want to know how much taxes are going to run. There is usually a county website that you can use to look that information up. They will also give you a valuation of the property and the prices it was previously purchased for.
I hope that helps a little with the process. Let me know if you want a list of the required financial documents you will need ready. They can be a bitch to get ready. If you have them right off the bat, your MLO will probably love you.
I'm going to be looking for a house soon too. Similar to McCheese, this will be my first. Hoping I could have a few questions answered because the process seems daunting.
Where I live(Ithaca, NY), from poking around on Zillow, it looks like the type of house I would possibly want range from 200k to 275k. I have ~40k saved up. By that, I mean that's everything in my checking/savings account. Obviously, I don't want to put all of that towards the down payment/closing cost. We have two old cars, I wouldn't be surprised if one of them needs replacing soon. If I buy a house in that range, how much should I plan to put towards down payment and/or closing costs(I understand that this isn't as variable as down payment)?
What type of loan should I get? Traditional home loan or FHA? I'm fine with paying more interest/PMI of an FHA if it means I have enough money in the bank to deal with unexpected repairs.
I understand that pre-approval is the entry point, but how does one determine what's a good lender? Is there an online review site specific to this industry? I want to know more than just interest rate/closing costs/fees. Will my loan be sold to another bank that I'd rather not handle it? I'm not even sure of what prospective lenders are in my area.
How does a property's tax assessment work relative to the selling price? I've seen some house listing where the sale price is 30k above the tax assessment. And how do property taxes work exactly? I go to my county's webpage to look at each town's property taxes, in percentages, and they in no way match up for the property tax percentage back-calculated from home listing on zillow.
Closing costs are usually estimated to be about 2% of the sale price, but I could be thinking of something else. We bought for 220k and our closing costs are estimated to be just over $4k, but we won't know the exact amount until we close because they add in shit like homeowners insurance in case you show up without it, etc. We got the seller to give us a $4k closing credit so in the end we will not be paying much, if anything, for closing. Negotiating for the seller to cover closing costs is good if you are concerned about being cash tight after you buy the house, which you are saying you don't want to be, so consider that in your offer.
We did a traditional loan @ 10% down. I was going to put a fixed amount down but my MLO said that PMI is calculated at whole percents, so putting an additional .8% to get me to 10 ended up saving me like $100 a month in PMI, so consider that when doing a down payment.
Your bank probably has to disclose if they will ever sell your mortgage, at least mine did. I ended up signing something acknowledging that I was informed of this and was okay with them doing it.
As far as property taxes go, every county will calculate them differently so I'm not sure if I can give you a good answer on that.
When you go look at a house, it should tell you what the property taxes for last year were, or you can go find that information on the county website. It doesn't matter what the house sells for, it matters what the county thinks it's worth, and unless you request some kind of special appraisal from them, it's just gonna be changed by whatever formula they use to calculate it. That's honestly the best you can do for estimating what they're going to be, since they change quite a bit. Also, almost universally, the county considers your house to be worth less than it actually is. I paid $245k for mine in 2009, and it sold for $310k in 2006, and the entire time I've been in the house, the county's property tax has been based off of less than $230k.
I was also told that if the previous owner has done improvements inside/outside the house, and filed for permits with the city/county, that the assessor will consider those permits as part of the assessment.
No permits = doesn't effect assessment, permits filed = will increase the assessed value.
Ignore home values on Zillow. I have no idea how they manage to fuck up importing that publically available info, but they do. Anything I've looked up that I knew the actual sale price on, has never been remotely accurate on their site. If you REALLY want to know home values in an area, look on MLS.com or realtors.com.
Tax assessments are public info. Most counties have websites you can find the info (just type in the address kinda thing), if not just call up the assessor's/tax/whatever office (you can find out which on the county website).
As far as selling your loan, I'm under the impression pretty much everyone does that, and that's why the big banks own the overwhelming majority of home loans in the US. Wells Fargo owned our loan within a week of us signing the paperwork - our originator wasted NO time selling it to them.
Oh yeah, I should have told you to ignore zillow. Its almost always inaccurate.
and the only time Ive ever seen a bank not sell a mortgage is through Chase's "Union Plus" mortgage system... but it's Chase, so not selling the mortgage doesn't mean shit because they are buying thousands of them a day anyways.
Is Zillow at least a good way to find homes for sale, regardless of value? I really like their map feature for searching homes based on proximity.
Yes but definitely double check against another site...
Once you get hooked up with a realtor, you can give them info on what you are looking for... # of bedrooms, bathrooms, price range, zip codes, etc. and they will generate a list of properties that meet those requirements in the MLS and send you an email every day or every couple days with all the properties that fall into that range. That is the best way to go once you are at that point.
These days you're better off searching the MLS for yourself. I haven't met a realtor yet that doesn't give up on you in pretty short order if you can't find a house to buy within a couple of weeks. With the way the housing market is now, that's pretty much everyone. Figure out what you want to see, then tell your realtor which ones you want to see tomorrow and have them set it up.
The buyer's side of real estate can probably be completely eliminated here within the next 10 years, there's really no purpose an agent serves these days other than having the appropriate paperwork printed up for you and being able to schedule showings.
What website do you use for access to MLS?
I used a different one when I was shopping, but I don't know if it's still free.
Ah, it is. I used ziprealty.com because I liked the format better.
Can't agree with Cut. I realize we got really lucky with our real estate agent (after we ditched a shitty one) but our guy was worth his weight in gold. Very pro-active, and was looking out for our best interests at every step of the process. If anyone is looking to buy a home in the Santa Rosa area I know a guy /wink
When you get MLS listing from a realtor and you have to login, it's an entirely different site, and I found those listings much more informative and easier to read and I actually trusted that they were up to date.
Since I posted here about my appraisal I figured I would update. It came in at 185! Still have the whole basement unfinished but that's 35k over what I paid 3 years ago.
The longer the process goes on, the less money your realtor is making off you for his time. I can't fault them for it, it just is what it is.
The realtor who represented the bank and sold me my house was really awesome about everything. There were a lot of extra bills laying around as a result of the foreclosure and she helped take care of a good chunk of them and helped us out quite a bit even AFTER we bought the house. When my sister started looking for a house, I gave her the referral. It's the same shit, once you see 20+ houses, things start to taper off and go from a daily listing, to a weekly, then to once every couple of weeks, then you don't hear from them at all.
Then I guess we won the real estate agent lottery. Yeah my first shitty agent did exactly what you say - after showing us a bunch of homes she really tapered off until we weren't hearing from her much at all (with her for 4 months). The second guy, who we were with longer (5 months)- hell I was on the phone with him minimum 2-3x a week, if we weren't out looking at properties. The dude was responding to my emails at 11pm at night and shit. And like yours, he was still doing stuff for us after the sale went through. Hell, he even pays secondary insurance on his clients new homes for additional repairs for a 1 year term (about $260) out of his own pocket as a thank you. He even offered to save us the cost of a notary and drive the 2.5+ hour roundtrip to the hospital we were in (wife giving birth) to sign documents. Luckily our son was late, so we didn't need that, but who else offers that? When I was busy doing the final packing with my wife freshly home with our new son, he offered to meet with the locksmith to get the locks changed, to save me the drive. Even with another 20ish clients while we were with him, at all times we felt like his only client.
Heck, just him vetting all the homes that popped up on MLS was a big time saver. He'd call up the agents and then give us the skinny to see if we wanted to look at them.
My only point is, a good agent is WELL worth it. Look for one, and don't be shy to ditch someone you feel isn't serving you well. I really wish we'd ditched our shitty agent long before, but I felt like we "owed" her since she spent so much time on us. Won't make that mistake again.
Yeah, I'm sure they are out there, but they seem to be few and far between from the people I've talked to.
So, in that circumstance, don't expect your realtor to bust his ass for you like they used to. The realtor wants to sell you the most expensive house he can, not the house that's best for you. They routinely show my sister properties that aren't even in the same city she wants to live in, or are way outta of her price range (and this is the "good" one I know, mind you). So just be mindful of that as the buyer - do your own homework and come up with the shit you want to see, because there's a good chance your realtor is gonna lose excitement for a new customer in a couple weeks of you saying "Ehh, I'm really not feeling this house."
I'm not saying that all realtors are like that, and that it's definitely gonna be the case, but it very well could be, so be prepared for that.
Honestly I'm wondering why you haven't counseled your sister to either tell her agent to fuck off, or at the least said "dude, this isn't what I'm looking for, nor the areas I'm looking to live, don't waste my time".
Mostly because it's winter now, and the home search has been suspended. No one here wants to sell, nor move in the winter. We'll see what the spring brings.
She's already been through 2 realtors. How many more should you waste your time with before you just do your own research online (because you can) and just use your realtor for the paperwork and communication? You know better than anyone else does what you want in a house, cut out the middleman.
Hey, that's great that you had a good one. But if I ever sell my house (doubtful) and am looking for another one, I'll just find my own house, and simply be using a realtor to let me in to look at them. I don't need to waste my time with someone else trying to figure out what I want to see in a house. I can do all of that myself and save us both some time.
No one has talked about schools (in #2)? In general, the better the schools, the more the property values will increase (or in this case, hold their value). It's like when we lived in Atlanta, you could get a cheap home, but the schools sucked, crime level was high, and property values didn't do well. We recently sold our house (in Missouri), that was in the best school system in the area, at a profit, while other people we knew lost their asses selling.
It's going to cost more, but that's always the first criteria for us. Even if you don't have kids (or ever plan on having them), no one wants to put their kids in a shitty school system. The buyer behind us was willing to pay top dollar to be in the better school system, as they had three young children.
Haven't checked this thread in a while, just some info to throw out:
Debt Ratios - FHA actually doesn't have a debt ratio requirement themselves, it's all based on what the lender you are using decides is their limit for risk. When I was at B of A you could get away with a 50% debt ratio, MetLife was 55% and now my current employer is a 50% again. For conventional you'll usually get a DU approve at 45% and below which any underwriter will do because Fannie Mae's own system is saying it's a loan they will buy. Up until the next Mortgagee Letter FHA doesn't have FICO score requirements either, in theory you could have a 500 FICO score with a 60% debt ratio and if you find the lender that will do it you can get a loan as crazy as it sounds. Front End Ratio's don't matter whatsoever anymore, no idea why guidelines even show them.
Websites - Zillow is fine for giving you an idea on value but all it does is compare sqft, bd/ba count and lot vs. all other sales in the last year within a certain radius. It can't tell the difference in quality of construction, views, street traffic, etc. Also most appraisers are instructed to only use sales in the last 90 days. Your area's MLS is a paid service that realtors use, sometimes you can look at the properties there as a guest but otherwise RedFin is probably the best way to go as a non-realtor.
Realtors - Cut always cracks me up with how simple everything is. I don't remember who handles closings in MN but here in CA we use an escrow company and they can very easily fuck up your day if they suck ass. There are multiple parties involved in any transaction unless you're paying cash. Having a realtor that can negotiate for you to insure that some shit heads aren't part of the transaction when it comes to escrow or title, knows the area and has a relationship with the other realtor as well as sets proper expectations and ties in with your lender just will make your life that much easier. Those 30 days from signed contract to closing (if your lucky it's 30 I guess) are just a rollercoaster of emotions. Deciding to take it all on yourself cause your a manly Nordic man just seems like more trouble than it's worth but more power to ya.
Last edited by Brando; 02-03-2013 at 03:51 PM.
I'm not sure what all the bagging is on Zillow, but as I've moved so much, it's helped me get a good feel on home prices. Hell, one time the Realtor tried to get me to pay way over what Zillow said, and it helped me negotiate. As with anything on the Internet, your mileage may vary.
You just have to take it as a starting point, there is nothing wrong with Zillow. Just what they use to determine value is not the same as what appraisers use. If there are plenty of other sales in the neighborhood it should be pretty accurate. My house for instance is not that accurate though as it's listing me below a recent sale as it has my bd/ba count wrong as well as my sqft without accounting for how I'm at the end of a cul-de-sac and the sale wasn't.
Zillow lists my house as worth 430k. It's never even sold for more than 310k.
FYI, I never once said don't get a realtor, I said don't assume your realtor is going to find a house. It's in the first post I made on the subject. Get a realtor to deal with the fucking paperwork for you, but don't rely on them to find your house for you. You have the tools available online to do it yourself now. Obviously you want someone to deal with the fucking paperwork and bullshit, but I never said that, did I?
Get off your fucking high horse. Just because you sell mortgages for a living doesn't mean you're the authority on the entire home buying process.
Last edited by Cutlery; 02-03-2013 at 05:25 PM.
You're right Brando, Zillow is fine for giving you a completely wrong idea of what a house is worth.
Yeah, I didn't say starting point and said it should be taken as absolute fact. Were we neighbors back in MN and I don't realize it and my dog took shits on your parents lawn every day or something? The previous thread on FoH or Netz in regards to the home inspector was just ridiculous and now here we are again nit picking little bullshit.
You can stop nitpicking any time you want. You're the fucking expert here, and you make sure everyone knows it too, and no one else can possibly have a different opinion than you.
Here, lets break down what "nitpicking" is to you.
I paid 245k for my house in 2009. It's worth probably 220k today.
The most my house has ever sold for was 310k in 2006.
Zillow lists my house's value as 430k.
I contend that the website is fucking useless and provides absolutely no measure of actual value whatsoever. You say that it's fine for giving you an idea on value. That's not accurate, and no matter how many qualifiers you want to put on it, it's never going to be. If you want to come into every home buying thread and pretend that you're the all knowing, all seeing deity for all home sale knowledge and then slap that down on the table, then you're gonna get called on it by people who disagree with you.
That's the beauty of the internet, dickbag. It's okay to have different opinions on shit. You can continue to jerk off to Zillow all day, and people who know it's complete bullshit can come here and say so, and at the end of the day, the people reading it get to decide whether you know what you're talking about and their house is in fact worth a half a million dollars, or they can decide that particular website is useless as a source of any kind of relevant data at all. There are many different ways to gauge a home's value, and in my experience, Zillow is right up there with the Magic 8 Ball for reliable information.
The one good thing I did like about Zillow and used for every property we looked at was looking at property lines. Sometimes just looking at Google maps wasn't enough, and Zillow did help. That and links to school rating sites is all the props I'll give that site /shrug
Pretty sure I've never claimed to be a home buying/selling expert. I've made a living for 13 years now financing and at times building them but that's about it. Zillow is pulling the information from public records and recent sales in your area. It conveniently has a link that shows those sales and listings when looking at the property in question. That is the starting point I'm talking about as recent sales and how they are different from the property in question is going to dictate sales price and appraised value. But I suppose instead of taking the actual data and interpreting it we'll just say it's all fucking worthless.
As long as you don't take it as the gospel, you are good. Another time, I had a realtor show me her comps, and show me that Zillow was 8% higher than reality. It's just a good starting point for the conversation.
Remember that a large determinant of who is wealthy (and who isn't) is based on information asymmetry.
Last edited by Lyrical; 02-04-2013 at 05:34 PM.
So our closing was scheduled for this Saturday, the 9th. We requested that it be moved up to the 8th to accommodate a scheduling conflict. We made this request a week ago and just got a response from the seller that not only can she not move closing a day earlier, which is fine, but she can't even close on the 9th anymore. She, or her attorney, wouldn't tell us why. Her realtor told our realtor that the seller still has to "throw stuff away" (even though the house was empty... wtf?) and that she hasn't even scheduled any of the agreed upon repairs until this Saturday, the original date of closing which she agreed to and knew for a month now.
Luckily the bank has agreed to extend my rate guarantee until Wednesday but fuck, I guess nothing works out perfectly. Anyone else deal with something like this?
If you're purchase contract specifies a closing of the 9th and no amendment has been signed by either party to change the date then you can ask the seller for compensation for the delay or you can threaten to cancel. Paying the cost of remarket the property and find a new buyer is usually enough to scare a seller into agreeing to any damages that you incur from the delay whether it be from daily rental charges or rate lock extensions.
So we've gotten prequalification out the way and we're pretty sure which lender we're going to go with. The wife and I have been using a few websites and we're a bit confused. Properties we'd like to look at that we found on zillow and trulia are NOT on realtor.com. Homes we found on a specific local agency MLS is NOT on realtor.com, but is on zillow and trulia. How am I supposed to know which shit is actually for sale and if I might be missing certain listings? Or just make a composite list and go to the realtor at this point?
Ok so I found a place i am considering but the disclosures say there are two kinds of termites, and the roof apparently has to be changed. How much will this cost? And is their a way to keep termites away or do they keep coming back?
Crap apparently one of the types of termites is this
Last edited by Pasteton; 02-10-2013 at 05:57 AM.
Damn...Once established, Formosan subterranean termites have never been eradicated from an area.
Deathwing - Realtor.com was our go-to site after the MLS feed from our realtor. Everything else was too outdated/inaccurate. Our dude told us the MLS feed often had listings 1-3 days before everyone else, so perhaps that's where your realtor.com issue is /shrug
PS can we rename this thread "Stop Using Zillow, We Told You It Sucks"?
Sort of a rant, but what's the deal with newer homes being over-sized and on ridiculously tiny lots? This is especially prevalent out west. Just finalized a start date for my first job out of grad school (Pacific NW), and just a day or two of looking at houses online has convinced me that I will need to buy an old home to get a reasonable 1500-2000 ft^2 house on 8000+ ft^2. I just don't see the appeal in houses where your neighbor's living room window is 4 feet away from your own. Scared to death of HOAs as well.
The rest is because people want bigger houses now. Probably because a lot of us grew up in tiny houses sharing bedrooms with 1 or 2 other siblings. No one wants that for their kids.
On that note, the house we settled on is the one I mentioned in the other thread(yes, I'm going to assume people are reading both). The one with water problems. I don't feel I explained this properly the first time, partly because I don't think I looked into it correctly the first time. There's a set of concrete stairs outside leading up to the front door. They were poured over wood and both rest on top of the only unfinished part of the basement housing the drained and unused gas tank. The crack in the steps was allowing a little bit of water in and you can see where it had damaged the wood and where the owners had patched it with asphalt/tar. But the foundation itself is fine. No cracking or signs of water anywhere on the concrete. And this area extends outward that if water ran along the wood instead of dripping downward, it would just go back into the ground. In a few years, we're going to bust up the stairs and haul out the unused tank, lay new wood, and pour new stairs. Probably our first major home project.
Why that long explanation? Don't overlook a house just because of water problems. I imagine it's the only reason we got the place. It had been on the market before(at the wrong time), but the owners have done an excellent job upkeeping the place and renovating. 240k for 2100sqft in Ithaca. And about 1.5 acres of yard My only real bummer about the place. I'm not an outdoors person, so I see mowing lawns as a hassle. But oh well. Anyone got an tips to managing large yards to make it not seem like such a chore?
So, the answer to your question is either A) Riding lawnmower, or B) landscaping/projects to remove the lawn. Most people have way more fucking lawn than they need, and I just do not understand the constant watering/maintenance most people put into it.
We have a large-ish yard. The backyard is about 6000 sqft, and the front is another 2000 or so. I'd say our lot is maybe 1/4 - 1/3 of an acre overall. Nothing huge, but definitely larger than average for most middle-class neighborhoods. I don't bother with a riding lawnmower, I just use a self-propelled push mower, and the main thing is to carefully consider your landscaping and what it will do to your mowing.
When we first moved in, all the backyard had was a deck(rectangle), 2 large trees, and a shed(rectangle). Even though the yard was huge, it was just mowing in long, straight lines over and over again. Now(thanks to the wife) we have a garden, several flower beds(of rounded/organic shape, not square), random bushes and such. Mowing takes probably twice as long now because I'm constantly maneuvering and turning around stuff(not to mention all the extra trimming afterwards). So consider that while landscaping...putting in a flower bed that stretches down the whole fenceline on the side of the yard would still be easy to mow past, but if instead that becomes 4 or 5 seperate smaller beds, mowing becomes a PITA.
I second riding lawn mower, I hate mowing lawns and a rider makes it much faster easier and feel less like mowing the lawn, downside is you miss out on so.e of the exercise benefits.
Just dont be that guy who mows his tiny ass yard with a riding lawnmower. We have a guy in our neighborhood whose yard is so small he almost has to just keep constantly turning his riding mower in circles to mow it. Can barely go in a straight line for very long. It's pretty funny to watch. Would probably take 10 minutes tops with a push mower, but he ends up spending an hour trying to maneuver this huge mower around the tiny yard, constantly reversing, turning, going forward, turning again. Its like watching a terrible parallel parker.
No, what you do is pop out a few kids and have them do it. I pay my 11 yr old $5 or some microsoft points and my lawn gets magically done. And when the 11 yr old gets tired of doing it, or when he realizes hes getting ripped off, I have an 8 yr old to take his place.
Its funny , hes already asking to do it this summer.
Last edited by mkopec; 04-12-2013 at 04:12 AM.
Putting an offer in next week for my next home. I wanted some land this time, nearly 10 acres, 2000 sqft shop for the man space, after that I could care less about the house thats on the property.
Christ...you going to have to mow all of that or is some of it wooded?
Please excuse my ignorance, but why is timber worth so much (or have that kind of appreciation)?
Also curious about that. I'm sure it has to vary greatly depending on where you are geographically. I'm due to inherit a couple hundred acres of 99% wooded land when my father passes away, but theres really very little commercial logging done around here that I know of.
There are also lots of products that are made using wood, from normal stuff like houses and furniture to things you'd never think about like toothpaste or clothing. A couple of mills, in south Georgia, were just bought for a few hundred million and are being redesigned to handle some of these newer products.
To give you an idea of value, it's not unusual to see upwards of $100,000 worth of timber (if it's healthy) on 100 acres of land in Georgia.
My business targets people who are looking to manage their timber and educate those who aren't, because managing your timber (thinning/burning/clear-cutting/replanting) can add up to 20% ROI on your timber.
There's a whole lot that I could add to this, so feel free to ask more questions and I'll elaborate.
Last edited by Tmac47; 04-30-2013 at 07:28 PM.
No more unicorns.
What price per acre are you talking to see 7%? I would really like to hear a full run down on buying 50 acres or so
You could easily find some good natural growth timberland, cut $50k of timber off of it, use that money to pay off the land, prep the soil, and replant some high quality seedlings. Then thin at 12-15 years for a small income ($350+/acre), and then do a final harvest at 28 years for $2k/acre for a total of $117,500+ theoretical dollars.
The thing with timberland though, is that most people do absolutely nothing with it. They just leave it there and expect it to produce top dollar. It will certainly bring home the bacon, but not the $2k per acre that if you manage.
I post timber prices on my site, but in GA you'll see like $10 - $15 per ton for Pine Pulpwood and upwards of $40 per ton for Pine Hardwood. You'll be growing the latter if you prep your soil, plant the good stuff and do some minimal management.
Last edited by Tmac47; 11-18-2013 at 09:54 PM.
No more unicorns.
In the process of working towards closing on a property in MA. We had less then 4 or 5 hours to get an offer in after the houses first Open House. Speaking of which, if you are planning on buying a house 6 months out or so... consolidate your bank accounts... it will make shit sooooo much easier. Wife and I have around 10 Bank Accounts and it's making it a pain in the ass with the Broker/Underwriter.
I didn't want to start a new thread entirely for my questions. I'm buying a new house/car with a new income and I don't know what is safe to buy.
Just got out of the Army after 4 1/2 years Active duty, age 22. I'm going from a 34,455 a year income (tax returns, 2012) to a $45 an hour (100k a year) job. The new job gives me benefits in addition to my salary such as 25% of my income is added into an investment portfolio that I maintain 100% control of (in addition to my income), 6k a year in healthcare (cash), 3.6k in communication (laptops,cellphone) and 100% job security. The job is contracting for the NSA and the company owners are my parents, so it's a very stable job.
The houses I'm looking at buying with a VA home loan are in the 300k-350k range, is that too much or too little ? It's just my wife and I right now. I'd prefer not to rent anymore.
The cars I'm looking at are around 25-35k, one for myself and eventually one for my wife. I need a car that gets better gas mileage than my 05 Pontiac GTO. I will be traveling 90 miles round trip daily.
Zipcode would be 21666, around Annapolis Maryland.
Buy a used Accord/Camry or something that has a history of retaining it's value really well.
No more unicorns.
Works for us, we each pool a certain amount of money into the joint accounts to cover bills and expenses(food, joint entertainment, etc), then we still each have our separate money that we can do with as we please without any scrutiny from the other.
Did we have this discussion in another thread? I feel like we did. Married people with separate accounts, specifically so they can't see what you're buying, seems like a huge trust issue. She can still see that you're getting a new cell phone every year and doesn't need a bank account record to verify it. Unless you're Haus' wife. No idea how she hid all of that from him.
Yeah, I agree Deathwing. Seems like something is off if you must have a separate bank account to do with what you please so you dont piss off your mate. Most of the purchases are fully agreed upon by both of us since the money belongs to both of us. I have nothing to hide from my wife and neither does she. If I want something or if she want something we discuss it like adults and come to a decision. This of course is on bigger purchases of $200 or more, not small piddly ones.
Although I do have a buddy that has a wife with a spending problem. And he does have to hide his money because if he did not she would spend it all on shit. But that would be the only reason to hide money IMO, to protect it from someone which cannot be trusted and is destructive with their spending.
Our main issue is that we started switching banks this year... and never finished it. So we were left with the following
4 Personal Checking
4 Personal Saving
1 Joint Checking
2 Joint Saving
My wife also has a house she is in the process of trying to sell...
Last edited by Vinen; 11-19-2013 at 04:03 PM.
Yeah, it's not a trust issue so much as just a simplicity issue. I have my money, I spend it at will. If everything was joint, I'd feel a bit like I'd need to run fairly large purchases by my wife, since I'd be using her money as well. It's not that I'm buying anything that I hide from her at all, it's just that if I'm at a store and decide I want to drop a few hundred dollars on something stupid, I don't have to think twice about it. She never asks me how much my "toys" (computer stuff, video games, electronics, etc) cost, and I never ask her about shoes or new pictures or whatever. There's no overlap or the possibility of stepping on someones toes.
Not to mention, neither of us religiously balance the checkbook, I always just have a running rough idea of how much is in my checking, and how much I've spent lately. That would be hard to do without jacking it up if two people were spending indiscriminately out of 1 account without telling the other person what they were spending. I mean, we don't have so much money that I don't have to keep track of spending, but we also aren't pinching every penny to get by. A "rough idea" give or take a few hundred bucks is always fine.
If everything was joint, I'd feel a bit like I'd need to run fairly large purchases by my wifeTrust issue.it's just that if I'm at a store and decide I want to drop a few hundred dollars on something stupid, I don't have to think twice about it
It's not your money and her money. It's your, you and her, money. You totally should feel guilty about dropping a few hundred on a stupid purchase. Just because it came out of a separate account from your paycheck doesn't mean it's ok. How do you two agree to buy something that both of you want? Or something the baby needs? Where does the money come from? How is it split it up? Equal from both accounts, or based on who has more money? That last one can cause serious issues either way you go.
And not having a budget is an excuse, not a reason. With a kid, you should have long term goals well beyond the loose sums you're doing in your head. Those big repairs to the house and car 10 months ago factor into your play purchases? Because they should.
Just admit it for what it is. You guys buy stupid shit and you don't want your wives calling you on it. And furthermore, the separate accounts help obfuscate the possible financial impact a purchase like that might have.
BTW, balancing a checkbook, keeping a budget, whatever you want to call it, is really easy. I admit you have to get over a large mental hurdle of trusting a website or program with your bank login info. But after that, you can easily track purchases from multiple accounts. After initial setup akin to tracking calories, it's smooth sailing. I login every few days, check to see if there are any weird purchases, and then update my spreadsheet budget. Takes all of 5 minutes.
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