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home buying tips

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long story short since I suck at telling stories.  I'm too old to have never bothered buying a house without shame. lol  I've rented a townhouse since 2006 and for a while it was perfect. 2 bd, 2.5 bath and a garage for $800 a month.  no maint, no lawns to mow etc. and only has 5 units so it's not a big crappy apt complex.   but recently the place was sold, the new owners are intrusive and come over to look at the place every 2 months.  (what it must felt like when Henry Ford did it to employees)  and their 2 little bastard grandkids moved in and run around and throw balls against peoples cars.  broke my grill by knocking it over too.  I'm just fed up and want to finally buy a house.

so, I know most of you have probably bought 2 or 3 by time you were my age (41).   so I'm asking for some pro tips.  

skip all the finance parts for now.  I do have about 9k for a dp.  a 750 credit score. 

Edited by serpentracer

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Not gonna tell you to NOT buy a house since I've been a homeowner since 1972 and am on my 4th.  However...

Based on your intro to the above "story" and reading between the lines of "never bothered buying house without shame" and "no maint, no lawns to mow, etc" I have to posit the serious question as to why you simply don't move and find a different/better rental?  Or for that matter, have a frank discussion about your concerns with your landlord(s) and point out that reliable stable, long-term renters are a precious commodity for any owner/landlord, and your move would necessitate an energy- and time- and money-consuming process for them to find a suitable replacement tenant.

Even though mortgage rates aren't that bad currently, it is definitely a seller's market and you'll most likely pay top dollar for something nice on the market right now.  A house CAN BE--and certainly has historically been--a decent ROI that keeps pace with or outpaces inflation, but they also require a serious time/energy commitment to maintain as well as the willingness to stay put and ride out market dips, possibly for a period of many years, in order to make a profit on the eventual sale.  I'm not convinced that you'll see home values appreciating as rapidly over the next 10-20 years compared to historical values.  There are MANY GOOD THINGS about home ownership that have value to the owner that aren't necessarily "quantifiable" in your financial net worth statement, but you will be forced to make certain sacrifices to enjoy those.

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I know that you wanted to skip the finance stuff,  but it may be advisable to buy a house that you can pay off with a 15 year loan. It would be paid off before retirement, and you will save a bunch of interest expense.  (Don't buy a more expensive house that will take you to the age of  71 to pay off.) 

Edited by Connie14

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Homeowners have certain rights that renters don't have.

Buy something that's structurally sound but needs remodeled. I did one room at a time. Been here ten years and it's now worth 3 times what I owe.

Good Luck!

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Here's what info I can offer after owning my 4th home:

Location (school district, taxes, neighbors, trains, noisy highways, lot size).  As you know, neighbors can be awesome best friends, or total douche bags.  This can really come into play if you have a shared driveway or similar arrangement.

Watch out for homes that have been heavily remodeled by the homeowner - many of them are not carpenters/electricians no matter how awesome they think they are.  I've spent way too much time/money fixing "improvements" the PO made.

Old homes, I mean like anything built in the 40's or earlier, are a bitch to work on.  The studs are hard as a rock, they usually have very little or no insulation, plumbing was added decades after the house was built and is a bitch to work on - and you will work on it.  Lath boards and plaster suck.  Old aluminum cloth covered wiring, and iffy fuse boxes.

I've come to hate any wood on the exterior - this is all stuff that will need painted every 5yrs or sooner.  Love the vinyl or aluminum siding, soffets, etc.  Watch out for the fiber-board fake cedar looking siding, some of this stuff rots from the inside.

Get a good inspection, make the inspector (or yourself) get into the crawlspace and look for black mold, especially under the showers/tubs/refridgerator/kitchen sink.  Black mold, if found and recorded, will stick whoever owns the house with an expensive professional remediation bill.  Oh, and if there is black mold it's because the plumbing leaks.

Most banks want 20% down.  Keep your payment at 25% of monthly take home pay, and 15yr mortgage is best for lower rate.  However there is a good argument for longer term (20 or 30 yr) mortgages, in that the payment is lower so that when financial times are tough, it's easier to keep your house - but when times are good, pay extra every month, then you can pay it off in 15, or maybe even 10 yrs.

If you have the time and skills, buying a fixer upper is a great way to get into a home at low cost, improve while you live there, and make a nice profit.  My first house was built in 1895.  It sat on a 2.5acre yard, and paid $75k for it.  Remodeled the interior during the 10yrs I lived there, then sold it for $160k.

Renting has its good points too.  No need to cough up 20%, easy to move in/out - it can take months to close on a home sale, no mowing/painting/plumbing work to do.....

Good luck to ya bud.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Lawrence1 said:

Homeowners have certain rights that renters don't have.

Buy something that's structurally sound but needs remodeled. I did one room at a time. Been here ten years and it's now worth 3 times what I owe.

Good Luck!

This is great if it's something you'd like to do. 3 years ago we bought our current house because it was already done and a good price in a good neighborhood but not quite where we wanted to be. 

Next house is going to be where we want and I am planning to go the remodel route, trying to find a house that has a good structure and get it cheap.

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I just want to find some land and build a pole barn type home with a 4-6 bay garage. 

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1 hour ago, TimTheAzn said:

I just want to find some land and build a pole barn type home with a 4-6 bay garage. 

If my wife ever leaves me this is my plan, I already have the land picked out :lol: 

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I need to get more serious about that idea. Need to convince myself not to move first though.

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just do it now and quit putting it off because one day you'll wake up with a wife and kids and ask yourself what the hell happened

Edited by Bad324

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42 minutes ago, Bad324 said:

just do it now and quit putting it off because one day you'll wake up with a wife and kids and ask yourself what the hell happened

You saw this coming. Don't act like you didn't.

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24 minutes ago, TimTheAzn said:

You saw this coming. Don't act like you didn't.

well yeah it's not the wife and kids that killed it, it was the career change that killed my 4-6 car garage :lol:. For now my 3 car garage and shed will do

Edited by Bad324

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On 1/9/2018 at 8:35 PM, Bubba said:

Not gonna tell you to NOT buy a house since I've been a homeowner since 1972 and am on my 4th.  However...

Based on your intro to the above "story" and reading between the lines of "never bothered buying house without shame" and "no maint, no lawns to mow, etc" I have to posit the serious question as to why you simply don't move and find a different/better rental?  Or for that matter, have a frank discussion about your concerns with your landlord(s) and point out that reliable stable, long-term renters are a precious commodity for any owner/landlord, and your move would necessitate an energy- and time- and money-consuming process for them to find a suitable replacement tenant.

Even though mortgage rates aren't that bad currently, it is definitely a seller's market and you'll most likely pay top dollar for something nice on the market right now.  A house CAN BE--and certainly has historically been--a decent ROI that keeps pace with or outpaces inflation, but they also require a serious time/energy commitment to maintain as well as the willingness to stay put and ride out market dips, possibly for a period of many years, in order to make a profit on the eventual sale.  I'm not convinced that you'll see home values appreciating as rapidly over the next 10-20 years compared to historical values.  There are MANY GOOD THINGS about home ownership that have value to the owner that aren't necessarily "quantifiable" in your financial net worth statement, but you will be forced to make certain sacrifices to enjoy those.

 

On 1/10/2018 at 9:00 PM, Lawrence1 said:

Homeowners have certain rights that renters don't have.

Buy something that's structurally sound but needs remodeled. I did one room at a time. Been here ten years and it's now worth 3 times what I owe.

Good Luck!

 

On 1/10/2018 at 10:06 PM, Rodehard said:

Here's what info I can offer after owning my 4th home:

Location (school district, taxes, neighbors, trains, noisy highways, lot size).  As you know, neighbors can be awesome best friends, or total douche bags.  This can really come into play if you have a shared driveway or similar arrangement.

Watch out for homes that have been heavily remodeled by the homeowner - many of them are not carpenters/electricians no matter how awesome they think they are.  I've spent way too much time/money fixing "improvements" the PO made.

Old homes, I mean like anything built in the 40's or earlier, are a bitch to work on.  The studs are hard as a rock, they usually have very little or no insulation, plumbing was added decades after the house was built and is a bitch to work on - and you will work on it.  Lath boards and plaster suck.  Old aluminum cloth covered wiring, and iffy fuse boxes.

I've come to hate any wood on the exterior - this is all stuff that will need painted every 5yrs or sooner.  Love the vinyl or aluminum siding, soffets, etc.  Watch out for the fiber-board fake cedar looking siding, some of this stuff rots from the inside.

Get a good inspection, make the inspector (or yourself) get into the crawlspace and look for black mold, especially under the showers/tubs/refridgerator/kitchen sink.  Black mold, if found and recorded, will stick whoever owns the house with an expensive professional remediation bill.  Oh, and if there is black mold it's because the plumbing leaks.

Most banks want 20% down.  Keep your payment at 25% of monthly take home pay, and 15yr mortgage is best for lower rate.  However there is a good argument for longer term (20 or 30 yr) mortgages, in that the payment is lower so that when financial times are tough, it's easier to keep your house - but when times are good, pay extra every month, then you can pay it off in 15, or maybe even 10 yrs.

If you have the time and skills, buying a fixer upper is a great way to get into a home at low cost, improve while you live there, and make a nice profit.  My first house was built in 1895.  It sat on a 2.5acre yard, and paid $75k for it.  Remodeled the interior during the 10yrs I lived there, then sold it for $160k.

Renting has its good points too.  No need to cough up 20%, easy to move in/out - it can take months to close on a home sale, no mowing/painting/plumbing work to do.....

Good luck to ya bud.

 

 

 

21 hours ago, Bad324 said:

This is great if it's something you'd like to do. 3 years ago we bought our current house because it was already done and a good price in a good neighborhood but not quite where we wanted to be. 

Next house is going to be where we want and I am planning to go the remodel route, trying to find a house that has a good structure and get it cheap.

you guys bring up something that I've thought about.  I have a lot of construction background.  so working on something isn't a problem. it was just something I don't necessarily want to have to do before I can even move in.  from what I've been reading banks anymore wont even lend money to you for a house that needs work right off the bat.  even though it is a lower price point and works better for me.   you'd have to pay cash for a fixer upper what I'm being told. 

as for why I want to,  I guess I'm getting older and crankier. I'm done renting.   I just can't fing stand people having control over me anymore.  their grandkids have toys strewn all over the property,  they play around everyone's cars,  the 9 year old boy was throwing a basketball against the flimsy alum garage door a few doors away and dented the fuck out of it.  the lawn care guy (another relative of theirs) crashed his mower into my front fender of my truck and denies it.  it's yellow paint same color as his mower and I have a van I drive to work so I know he did it when i was at work.  the grass was mowed and wasn't that morning.      I just want something I have control over.   it's time..

I'm going to look for a ranch.  I'm fed up with stairs.  I have to come up 15 of them just to get the floor 1 (kitchen and living room)  then another 15 to the bedrooms.  so fuck stairs lol  and it has to have a nice garage.  people often think that's weird when I say this.  I guess it's a man thing.  I have bikes and a lot of tools.  

someone I work with gave me some good advice, check out a satellite view of the surrounding land.  he bought his first house and didn't bother to climb over the big hill in the back and it was a train track and factory.  eek.  he said they had a 3rd shift and made a lot of noise.

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1 hour ago, serpentracer said:

you guys bring up something that I've thought about.  I have a lot of construction background.  so working on something isn't a problem. it was just something I don't necessarily want to have to do before I can even move in.  from what I've been reading banks anymore wont even lend money to you for a house that needs work right off the bat.  even though it is a lower price point and works better for me.   you'd have to pay cash for a fixer upper what I'm being told. 

as for why I want to,  I guess I'm getting older and crankier. I'm done renting.   I just can't fing stand people having control over me anymore.  their grandkids have toys strewn all over the property,  they play around everyone's cars,  the 9 year old boy was throwing a basketball against the flimsy alum garage door a few doors away and dented the fuck out of it.  the lawn care guy (another relative of theirs) crashed his mower into my front fender of my truck and denies it.  it's yellow paint same color as his mower and I have a van I drive to work so I know he did it when i was at work.  the grass was mowed and wasn't that morning.      I just want something I have control over.   it's time..

I'm going to look for a ranch.  I'm fed up with stairs.  I have to come up 15 of them just to get the floor 1 (kitchen and living room)  then another 15 to the bedrooms.  so fuck stairs lol  and it has to have a nice garage.  people often think that's weird when I say this.  I guess it's a man thing.  I have bikes and a lot of tools.  

someone I work with gave me some good advice, check out a satellite view of the surrounding land.  he bought his first house and didn't bother to climb over the big hill in the back and it was a train track and factory.  eek.  he said they had a 3rd shift and made a lot of noise.

Not true, banks will lend you money for a house based on the appraised value. So you can't roll major upgrades into your primary mortgage. 

However you maybe able to take a construction loan to do improvements, since that loan is not secured by actual property it is usually at a higher rate. When you finish the work, you get it reappraised and refinance both loans (primary and construction) into a new primary mortgage. Ofcourse if you can self finance the construction you will save yourself alot of money.

Like suggested, if you buy a house you can move into in a decent neighborhood that needs upgrades you can make yourself a nice investment. Fix it up yourself a room at a time while living there and you can make a good profit. If you are willing/able to take the time and effort.

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On 1/12/2018 at 8:36 AM, CBBaron said:

Not true, banks will lend you money for a house based on the appraised value. So you can't roll major upgrades into your primary mortgage. 

However you maybe able to take a construction loan to do improvements, since that loan is not secured by actual property it is usually at a higher rate. When you finish the work, you get it reappraised and refinance both loans (primary and construction) into a new primary mortgage. Ofcourse if you can self finance the construction you will save yourself alot of money.

Like suggested, if you buy a house you can move into in a decent neighborhood that needs upgrades you can make yourself a nice investment. Fix it up yourself a room at a time while living there and you can make a good profit. If you are willing/able to take the time and effort.

thanks. that's the info I am after.  do you guys suggest I talk to a bank or a realtor first? I was thinking a banker is only going to tell me the options he can offer and the realtor will have a plethora of info about many options especially for a first time buyer.

Edited by serpentracer

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29 minutes ago, serpentracer said:

thanks. that's the info I am after.  do you guys suggest I talk to a bank or a realtor first? I was thinking a banker is only going to tell me the options he can offer and the realtor will have a plethora of info about many options especially for a first time buyer.

Realtors prefer you get a preapproval letter from a bank first.  Let's them know your serious and what you are really looking/able to spend.

Also, when you are ready to put an offer in, it's a lot easier if you already have the loan ready to go.  You can hammer out the exact terms as you go along, but get that letter.

Edited by jacobhawkins
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yup, start with a the bank then find a realtor you can trust. Now that I've done this a few times I don't even use realtors, just a broker which saves me a ton of $

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On 1/11/2018 at 9:06 AM, TimTheAzn said:

I just want to find some land and build a pole barn type home with a 4-6 bay garage. 

 That's what my friend I bought my current house did right next-door.

it turned out beautiful but beware, you don't think so but it ends up costing as much as a regular house and you have no basement. Also, if you're going to do it in Ohio you better heat that concrete floor or it's never going to be warm.

he has about $180,000 in his not including the land.  And he did most of the work himself besides the shell, electrical, Hvac and the concrete.  We ran the 10 miles of heated floor pipe.  He started in 15 and it's just now getting to a point where you could say it's done.   And in the end it's not worth as much as a conventional house.

Just a heads up that a lot more goes into a pole barn house than people think.

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21 minutes ago, max power said:

 That's what my friend I bought my current house did right next-door.

it turned out beautiful but beware, you don't think so but it ends up costing as much as a regular house and you have no basement. Also, if you're going to do it in Ohio you better heat that concrete floor or it's never going to be warm.

he has about $180,000 in his not including the land.  And he did most of the work himself besides the shell, electrical, Hvac and the concrete.  We ran the 10 miles of heated floor pipe.  He started in 15 and it's just now getting to a point where you could say it's done.   And in the end it's not worth as much as a conventional house.

Just a heads up that a lot more goes into a pole barn house than people think.

Thanks very much for this insight. I know no one that's undertaken a project like that. I've got many friends in the industry, construction, electric, plumbing, etc that have already agreed to help me out for a drastically reduced cost. Resell value is killin this idea for me, especially when dropping that kind of coin. Maybe I should look around the market to see if sheeple are selling their polebarn style residence. *strokes non-existent beard* 

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 If you're going to build it, build what you want and plan to stay there the rest of your life. I think that's the idea when you do one of these things. There are advantages but there are many disadvantages also. I should also say that for his money, he got a lot of house. 2500 ft.²  of living area and I think a 30 x 60 shop with a loft for storage and a workshop underneath.  I believe the exterior dimensions are 60 x 60.  If you have questions I can put you in contact with him, but he's a redneck and not an Internet Bubby. You have to call him.

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