House buying questions

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Laurelin, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    So I've been looking at Zillow just to see why is available. Here is my dilemma:

    I am looking at the area I live in now. It's close enough to work that I can get home during lunch if I new to (puppy). It's also about 15 mins from agility so I can do classes after work.

    My friend is selling her house on the south side of the city (opposite suburb really) and it is a mid 2000s build and about 20% cheaper than my budget. In the area I'm looking at I be looking at 20% more just to get a decent house but the ones I really like size-wise are another 10-15% over budget. And these are all built in 70-80s.

    South side I could get a nicer cheaper house but I'm far from the places I go several times a week. Also the newer neighborhoods tend to have no trees and no yards really.

    Is there anything else I need to consider? Would it be much worse buying an older house than a newer one?
     
  2. ruffiangirl

    ruffiangirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,681
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Fort McMurray, AB, CA
    I dont know how it is where you live, here older houses tend to be better because:
    a)bigger lots
    b)house has settled (we live on muskeg which is crap to build on)
    c)they were not slapped together as quickly to compensate for the growth of our city


    If you are looking at any house and inspection is paramount so make sure you find someone who will do a very thorough job of the inspection. The last one we had done was a binder FULL of things he looked at.
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Oh and another thing that is totally superstitious but the south side seems to get wiped out by tornados more often.

    He newer lots seem to be completely leveled and houses crammed together. I do tend to like the more modern interiors but I suppose that can be fixed later on I you want to do renovating.

    I just feel weird having distance to agility being a major factor in where I'm looking.
     
  4. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    7,058
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Beautiful British Columbia!!
    So Tyler and I went through the same thing you are going through right now, but like a year ago when we where looking for houses. We pretty much made a pro and con list of all the houses, but we went for a newer house for a few reason.

    All of the older houses we looked at needed a new roof, the hot water tank and furnace needed to be replaced soon. The appliances where very old and the houses all needed renovations for us to be happy.

    The house we bought was bran new and we are very happy in it, honestly its up to you and what you would be happy in.

    Would you be able to do reno's if the house needed it or buy a new furnace or hot water tank if it went?

    Have you started looking at homes yet? like with a Realtor? I would suggest that and see what you like and what you don't and what you are willing to compromise on and what you are willing not to compromise on.
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    How far in advance do you talk to the realtor? I do not want to move until spring or summer next year preferably. I am trying to save up a bit more downpayement cushion so I can avoid PMI.
     
  6. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 not counting ducks, chickens, and fish
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I admit, I chuckled a little at old houses being built in the 80s :) To me that seems so new! I have never lived in a house built after maybe 1920s? The one I live in now was built in 1865.

    Honestly, I think often older (pre 70s usually) is actually better as the materials and quality were better. The actual structure itself tends to be better .....of course this totally depends on the area and builders as well. And yes, older houses sometimes need more TLC to get back up to par.

    I can not trade yard and trees though....they are musts for me.
     
  7. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Dog, Dog, Cat, Fish
    Location:
    Oregon
    I wouldn't dare buy anything built in the 2000s. Actually, I might, but it is not better just because its newer.

    They were designed and built to go up fast during the boom.
     
  8. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 1 cat
    Location:
    NC
    Home Page:
    Our house is an 80s house that was renovated relatively recently and we love it! Whenever we looked at new houses they just seemed so cheaply made we never could bring ourselves to really consider them seriously.

    Keep in mind too that a lot of the newer subdivisions will have HOAs with rules and fees - our older subdivision has an inactive HOA and no fees, so yea.
     
  9. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    You are buying quality of life. You get to determine what will raise that quality of life. Is it new floor plans? Big yards? A neighborhood with walking trails? A short trip to work so you can be home more often? There is nothing wrong with what you choose, it's all personal preference.

    Our house was built in 1973. I don't feel like it's old. In Northern Virginia, to get new construction you are either looking at a townhouse, or going an hour further outside the city. Are those new houses nicer than what I have? Absolutely, yes. Would the niceness balance out the extra 2 hours in the car each day for me? No way in heck.

    I totally took into account commute length, both to work and to agility (for Zach, his hobbies came into play too). I wanted to be within 10-30 minutes of work (needed that 10 minutes to decompress, but more than 30 drives me insane), relatively close to grocery stores and our vet/trainer/a dog park. That meant that we had to sacrifice house size and age. I am not the least bit sorry we made that tradeoff, but other people clearly have different preferences.

    If your area has redfin available, that was by far the best website for searching for new properties. We didn't use them as a realtor (we had someone else we liked), but I was constantly looking at their search page.
     
  10. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Around 3-4 months before we actually got serious, I started playing the open house game, popping into places on Sunday afternoons to get a feel for what was available in my budget in different areas, what I liked/didn't like, how neighborhoods I wasn't super familiar with felt, etc. We met several realtors we liked that way too, so when we were ready to purchase we had someone in mind.

    It took about 2 months of intense searching to find the right place, and another month or two for escrow/closing. So it can be a long process!
     
  11. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I already have a realtor in mind.... Is the next step getting pre-approved? Or should I wait until closer to time (more $ to put down).

    So exciting and also scary! :D
     
  12. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    My house was built in 1925. I don't think there's a problem necessarily with buying an older home. And a newer home isn't necessarily "better" - just newer.

    But, having said that - there have been cases here and there where a bunch of homes built in a particular area during a particular time frame had some kind of defective building material used. So, say, a bunch of houses built in the 80s in such-and-such neighborhood by Builder XYZ had faulty siding or insulation or something. So I would do some research to make sure there aren't any issues like that regardless of when the house was built. I would think your friend would know about any problems in her own neighborhood, though.
     
  13. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Either. There are free calculators online you can play with to see what an extra $10k down would qualify you for, so you can see if it makes a difference to you or not. I would contact your realtor friend and ask what their preferred process is. Ours wanted us to be preapproved before he started putting for the effort of showing us houses, and was able to recommend a mortgage broker to go to that he had good experience with.

    I believe the preapproval is only valid for 6 months or so? They aren't anything final though--you'll have to run all the paperwork again when you actually find a property to buy. The preapproval just says to the realtor, "I'm serious, you aren't wasting your time." If you have more money in the bank by the time you're putting in an offer, fantastic--they'll run numbers again.
     
  14. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    It depends on your bank. We had one bank tell us 30 day and another 60. We have also heard different things from realtors. Our realtor showed us houses regardless of preapproval. Our friends had a realtor tell them "don't even bother until you have a preapproval letter."

    The problem with a preapproval is they run a credit check, which brings your score down a bit. It's not a problem until you run 3 or 4 of them if you haven't found a house yet.

    On any used house always pay for a home inspection. We had one done on our house before we made an offer so we knew what kind of things needed to be fixed.

    Tell you relator what you're looking for, how far you're willing to drive, the fact that you have dogs and need a yard. They will be able to show you the listings they think fit your needs. Then of course, shop on your own and have them show you anything you find that they haven't already shown you.

    Good luck.
     
  15. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Also, save WAY more money for down payment than you ever though necessary.

    You may not be able to get out of PMI anymore. We didn't qualify for a conventional home loan because our land was worth more than our house, so we had to have 10% down for an in-house loan and we got out of paying PMI. I've heard a few different things like 30% down you don't pay PMI. Then again we heard from one bank if you refiniance after so long and have 30% of your loan payed off the PMI drops off, and another bank told us that was no longer the case and PMI is there for the life of the loan if you don't do the initial 30% down.

    Don't forget closing costs and any initial repairs, the cost of moving if you aren't doing it yourself, etc. Lowes is currently our best friend. Our house was built in 1967 and it had not been updated much. Structurally it's in great shape, but I'm not a fan of wood paneling, and the carpet had to go since we have dogs.
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    How much money do you need to save on addition to the downpayement? I've always heard 20% downpayement to get out of PMI?
     
  17. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    14,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Home Page:
    It was 20% to get out of PMI when I bought a year ago. Even when I was initially looking it was 20%, and it was actually very very cheap because I was quite close to 20%. Like 17%. But if you're not that close it's more expensive, sometimes MUCH more, and they don't recalculate the PMI as you get closer - but it does end once you are 20% in. PMI is there to ensure the bank doesn't lose their ass if you bail before you're "invested" so there's no reason for PMI to be there perpetually after you're 20% in... that is weird.

    My intention was to actually put down everything I had in my saving's account, but my lender talked me into just the 20% down, which was good because turned out I needed the rest for all the repairs and junk.

    I would not get an official preapproval - as said, when you have a preapproval done, they run your credit check, and if you have too many credit checks that can ding your credit score - but you CAN meet with a bank and they can run numbers with you; they can give you a non-official preapproval "letter" if your realtor wants one just basically stating you intend to do such-and-such loan amount with such-and-such down for a total of such-and-such. My realtor never asked me for anything like that though. Plus I looked at houses that were less than what some banks told me I could afford, because I didn't want to spend that much money. Keep that in mind... lending has REALLY calmed down a lot lately what with the crash a few years ago, but what the bank will tell you you can afford versus what you are actually comfortable with might be two different things.
     
  18. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Midwest
    I'd have no problems buying an older home. I doubt I'd buy a "newer" one unless I built it myself. Way too much crap was just thrown up to fill the market. Your brand new house looks 30 years old after 10. Cheap doesn't hold up over time and many newer subdivisions were built as cheaply as possible.

    It's easy to make things look good for the short term, but when all your trim starts bowing and pulling away from walls, and drywall is cracking out, siding is falling off, your roof rots because they didn't ventilate it properly because of shortcuts and all your plumbing and light fixtures need to be replaced, it gets expensive. :)

    of course not every newer home is like that. it's just like buying a dog or anything else. You have to get in there and look yourself and if you don't know what you're looking at, find someone you can trust to do it for you.

    Other than that, buy what you want to live in and where you want to live. Nothing worse than having a 30 year mortgage in a house or area you want to leave.
     
  19. joce

    joce Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    6
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have heard checking occasionally, like once every three months or so, does not hurt your credit score. Checking it at ten different car dealers the same day will.

    I got the pre approval as soon as we started thinking about looking again. Here when something pops up its gone soon. No time to get the preappeoval once you see something.

    A good mortage broker is the best thing to have. Any question we can call text or email ours day or night. They will let you know what you should spend, down payment you should have and money for closing etc.

    It is much easier without the land requirement though lol!

    Yet to find a realtor we like. Tell them ten acres and they show you two acres 30,000 over what you want to spend.

    We had an offer accepted in a house less than ten years old. Both roof and septic were bad. You'll start to recongnized signs of cheap construction.
     
  20. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    The opposite, I believe. Pretty sure all credit checks run within a certain time period count as one hit.

    Regardless, Laurelin, if you have a realtor in mind, shoot them an email, let them know your timeline, and ask what the next step is (and when you should do it). They know the process :)
     

Share This Page