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  • First Time Home Buyer

    Well its that time in life when the wife is graduateing and we need to move to a better area for jobs. Right now we are looking at the marysville ohio area, just north of columbus Ohio. We have pretty much determined that we are gonna buy a house and make a house payments instead of renting. We have talked to a few people, but i figure we have such a diverse group of guys here i know you guys can just give some good bits of information on this topic.

    I am a computer tech and my wife will be an RN. We have pretty much settled on a max price of $145,000, which for that area is low.

    Just any information that you think is good to know or look for let me know, im sure others will be in this same situation in the next year or so.

    thanks in advance
    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
    -Vulcan

  • #2
    Re: First Time Home Buyer

    Nice set of questions. I have two years until I buy but I am getting prepared now.

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    • #3
      Re: First Time Home Buyer

      i have 2-3 months, im a little behind. We just started talking about this last week and then this weekend really got things going
      that sounds like a good idea trooper.
      -Vulcan

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      • #4
        Re: First Time Home Buyer

        Are you looking for new or previously owned? If you go previously owned then be thorough when looking. If residents are still in the house when you look make sure you move things to get a good look at what is behind them. Be patient don't feel rushed when finding a house. You will get frustrated because you will look at a lot of houses and all the details will start to get mixed up. Take notes while looking that way you can separate all those details. Don't settle, get what you want and don't take the next best thing.

        I hope those help if you have any questions I will be glad to answer. I live here in AZ and the housing market is nuts here but if I can help in any way let me know. Goodluck and congratulations
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: First Time Home Buyer

          A bit too small is far less harmful than a bit too big. A house can really get away from you (mortgage cost, maintenance cost, cleaning, etc).

          When you get to the previously-owned house, and it has beautiful landscaping, consider the time and/or expense that will be required to maintain the beauty. If you're not prepared to invest that time or money, but you want the house otherwise, be prepared to put the time and money into redoing/simplifying the landscaping. Otherwise, your "beautiful lawn" will quickly become an eyesore.
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          • #6
            Re: First Time Home Buyer

            some great ideas/comments here. WE just bought a house/condo in UT about 9 months ago. WE went looking for about a year. We also didn't need to be in a house anytime soon so we could take our time to find the perfect one.

            One bit of advice is to trust your feelings. Well, Trust half of your feelings. If the house doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. On the flip side though, don't trust your feelings when you feel that a house is perfect. Still check it out and make sure there isn't any problems. We found a house that we had like and found out later that termites had invested underneath the house. They had been cleared but we didn't take any chances.

            I don't know about the market in that area but we bought a brand new 3-bedroom 2-bath condo here for about $170K. A little bit more than what we were expecting but I got a good job that allowed us to spend a little more. I also don't have to wory about the lawn, which is great for my grad school and my gaming habits.
            Kemotaha

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            • #7
              Re: First Time Home Buyer

              my background is horticulture and handyman. My parents own a rather large greenhouse, so i know plants and we have to do all the fix-it work being anywhere from carpentry to plumbing to electrical.

              Those are 2 things i dint even think about, and the houses we are looking at we are kind already planning for a family in our house choices, 3 bed rooms 2+ baths. We figure if we find a nice place to live whats the point in moving again and again.

              Last night after we got home i did some simple figuring money wise: we pay 430 in rent + 212 in health, and are just fine, but when my wife gets a new job as a nurse she will have full health benifites that cost less and are better. The house payments on some of these places are 600 per month, which we could do that right now. Its just coming up with the capitol to start things going.
              that sounds like a good idea trooper.
              -Vulcan

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              • #8
                Re: First Time Home Buyer

                I did that whole thing about 2 years ago: settled on a condo, a bit on the small side, but in a central area in Boston.

                Some pointers:

                You seem to be ready to do the work yourself (unlike me), so a house might be a good choice. You need to figure out what the motgage cost will be, and what that leaves you for reserves if the room needs to be replaced, or something. Houses tends to eat money. :row__577:

                Next, figure out the mortgage structure: if you won't be there 30 years, it might not be a good idea to go 30 fixed-you might want to to 5 year fixed, then go variable. Also, look into whether you can get around any sales tax by front loading a home equity loan.

                Also, see if you can push closing costs off on the seller. Do not offer to take all the closing costs if you can help it, since they can be exhorbitant.

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                • #9
                  Re: First Time Home Buyer

                  Meet with a mortgage consultant and have him work out your price range. It's probably higher than you think. That said, still try to stay well under it. :)

                  First houses can be purchased with FHA loans, which require a far smaller down payment (if that matters). The cost of this is an added Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) for the first X years/X dollars, but it can put you in the house when you might otherwise not be able to swing getting to the table, and FHA loans refinance pretty easily (as you'll discover by all the people trying to get you to refinance the second you buy the house. :) ) Eventually, you'll probably want to settle into a conventional loan, but FHA loans are nice for getting you in the door and for whittling away at your interest rate with streamlined refi's.

                  <In this space, you hear the echo of kemo's "trust your feelings" paragraph.>
                  [volun2]
                  NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                  Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
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                  • #10
                    Re: First Time Home Buyer

                    My version of Kemotaha's post (which is most valid): your heart must be in the home from the moment you're introduced to it. It will host your family's most intimate moments. Your heart is not enough, however. Get a house your heart longs for, and then begin the very laborious process of satisfying your brain, to which your heart must answer.

                    Be careful not to figure out what you can afford. Instead, after you consider alllllll of your expenses, even the "unknowns" you THINK you've adequately planned for, purchase (this is somewhat arbitrary -- your number may be different) 15% LESS than you're comfortable with today, as, in my experience, that's about how much of my expenses are absolutely, 100% unexpected. You can't know what the details will be, but do yourself a favor and purchase conservatively, especially for your first home.
                    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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                    • #11
                      Re: First Time Home Buyer

                      First Good luck. I hope things work out well as I'm sure they will.

                      As I read your post I'm envious of the $$ amounts you are talking. I'm up in the Boston area and the RE market is insane. My wife and I live in our own apartment in my mother in law's house and we've been there for 9 years or so. I've been after my wife to buy a house but she wants to stay where we are because the rent is low, We've been saving money an recently did a cursory look at buying soon. Home prices for a modest 2-3 bedroom home in this area run $400-500 K and if you can find something cheaper that is nice than you've hit the jackpot. Mortgages are anywhere from 1300-2500 a month and from what I've seen it doesn't matter how much you put down as it's really a small drop in the bucket compared to the overall price of a new home here. It's our own fault I know as we are the ones who choose to live in this region. I'm a born and bred Massachusetts native but honestly I'm thinking we should chuck it all and move to a place where we can actually not have to pay every penny we make for housing.

                      PS--the good news is that our lower rent and my adequate salary allow my wife to be a stay at home Mom with our three year old...that's something that really does have a tremendous value that doesn't appear on the balance sheet.
                      sigpic
                      |TG-1st|Grunt
                      ARMA Admin (retired)
                      Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                      • #12
                        Re: First Time Home Buyer

                        Originally posted by Grunt 70
                        First Good luck. I hope things work out well as I'm sure they will.

                        As I read your post I'm envious of the $$ amounts you are talking. I'm up in the Boston area and the RE market is insane. My wife and I live in our own apartment in my mother in law's house and we've been there for 9 years or so. I've been after my wife to buy a house but she wants to stay where we are because the rent is low, We've been saving money an recently did a cursory look at buying soon. Home prices for a modest 2-3 bedroom home in this area run $400-500 K and if you can find something cheaper that is nice than you've hit the jackpot. Mortgages are anywhere from 1300-2500 a month and from what I've seen it doesn't matter how much you put down as it's really a small drop in the bucket compared to the overall price of a new home here. It's my own fault I know as I'm the one who chooses to live in this region. I'm a born and bred Massachusetts native but honestly I'm thinking we should chuck it all and move to a place where we can actually not have to pay every penny we make for housing.

                        I feel your pain Grunt, although our real estate prices are not as high as MA, AZ is in a boom. Houses appreciated at a 50-55% rate last year alone! AZ job market is good but there are few high paying jobs and although I live in a house I need a bigger one due to my larger family and I just can't afford it anymore. The population is booming and we just can't keep up
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: First Time Home Buyer

                          Wow Grunt, not quite as bad here in Kansas City but when we were looking 2 years ago to buy our first house the "starter" houses (which is what we have now) run $115,000 for 1,000 square feet. Anything bigger and you jump up to $150,000 and new houses are on the order of $250,000-$300,000.

                          The flip side is in the 2 years we have had the house the value has gone up almost $7,000 with no major improvements on our part and we aren't in a ritzy neighborhood.

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                          • #14
                            Re: First Time Home Buyer

                            Some things are different wrt mortgages in the US, but here are the best little tips I can offer in no particular order:
                            1. Consider the length of time you plan on staying at the location as part of the equation. It will be a big factor in what changes will happen while you are there. My starter home was good up to 1 child, then I moved to make room for the second child. I was very happy with the way things worked out, and I would recommend a similar plan. Time is also a key consideration when thinking of renovations. You don't want to finally be doing the new kitchen just around the time that you are selling the house. If you expect to leave the house in under 5 years, your major renovations will be for sale value only.

                            Don't buy more space than you need, especially if you plan on moving again in under 10 years. It is hard to save money for a new house if you spent too much on the first one.

                            2. Watch out for major issues and run away if you find them. Educate yourself about house problems, like flooding, rotting, foundation cracking. I looked at a house which was on top of a tall hill and was literally sliding off of the hill. Someone bought it a month or so after I ran away. You just can't fix stuff like that without a HUGE cost. On the other hand, some really ugly house problems can be fixed very cheaply, so don't overlook ugly houses which are free of major problems. ;)

                            3. Location, location, location. Sometimes it is easy to overlook location issues when you see a nice house for a good price. I recommend doing lots of driving around in the target area, considering traffic, schools, grocery stores, and other things which are important to your day-to-day life. Don't overlook noise pollution from buses, trains, and planes. They might not go by at the exact time you go see the place. All of these considerations will vary substantially from person to person, so you need to take stock of your own priorities.

                            4. Neighbours can make a good house into a bad one. This is the toughest thing to control, but you should try to give it some consideration. There is no (legal) way to get rid of them once they live beside you. I had some biker dudes move in across the street from me just before I sold my house. I had to pray when I was selling the house that they wouldn't decide it was time to tune-up the bikes. They really weren't bad other than when they were revving their engines, but they did serve as a reminder to watch out for folks like that when shopping for a house. Party dudes are great until you have a baby.
                            Peace through fear... since 1947!

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                            • #15
                              Re: First Time Home Buyer

                              http://www.zillow.com/

                              Neato site for price comparisons. I don't know how accurate their information is, but it seems to be in line with what I expect out of my neighborhood (so yours may be correct too).
                              [volun2]
                              NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                              Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
                              <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
                              <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

                              Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

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