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silentgods

House Buying Tips...

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i used to work for a mortgage company for a while.. so heres some tips.

1) always get an inspection and an appraisal, and NEVER use a person suggested by the bank you are using.

2) definitely check out the neighborhood at night.. especially midnite to 4am...during the week and on weekends you can pick up on any weird neighbors, if sounds from nearby businesses, etc

3) try to get into the property during bad weather... rain/snow, really cold temps... you can check for leaks, bad insulation, basement taking on water etc

4) bring a small lamp or multitester check all the outlets

5) flush the toilets, let tubs and sinks run for 5+ minutes to check the drains

6) radon / co2 tests in the basement...

7) check the roof to find out how many layers are up there, and when it was last installed... you can add a 2nd layer, but a 3rd is not a good idea... so you wanna know how long you have till it needs to be replaced.

8) research nearby water sources, and look into the possibilities of flood water

9)research the property on public appraisal sites like zillow.com and whomever the local municipality uses... check sales records and how much the house went for.. check on dates of additions... make sure the public records the town has on file match the property (for tax reasons) Low price sales, a lot of sales in a small period of years etc can be something to be concerned about.

10) check on the oil tank / septic tank and other things that are underground which could lead to huge issues if they aren't in lne with regulations

11) do not be afraid to walk away if the bank pulls a fast one and changes your rate at the closing... this happens more than you'd imagine.

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I should sell my house and move out of NJ. The prices people throw out here are ridiculously low by what I paid. I dream of returning to Florida if I ever thought I could find work down there in my field.

The PA house looks great btw - I got really into gardening and see a lot of possibilities there.

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we just bought a house a little over a year ago for $74,000. I am currently working on remodeling the downstairs bath. It's been fun so far.

dude you doing the remodeling by yourself or you hire someone?

i started mine last april and it is still not done. doesnt help that the girls came early but i plan on finishing in the next couple of weekends.

doing it myself. about 8 months into the project still not done. i didnt have any tools before this now i have a bunch.

and as far as the screen door, its on the list of things to update. i do the front door though. is it the screen door or the front door you guys dont like?

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dude you doing the remodeling by yourself or you hire someone?

i started mine last april and it is still not done. doesnt help that the girls came early but i plan on finishing in the next couple of weekends.

doing it myself. about 8 months into the project still not done. i didnt have any tools before this now i have a bunch.

and as far as the screen door, its on the list of things to update. i do the front door though. is it the screen door or the front door you guys dont like?

Yeah man...I like the front door. Maybe if anything you could stain/paint it a cool color. OR TYE DYE IT!

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dude you doing the remodeling by yourself or you hire someone?

i started mine last april and it is still not done. doesnt help that the girls came early but i plan on finishing in the next couple of weekends.

doing it myself. about 8 months into the project still not done. i didnt have any tools before this now i have a bunch.

and as far as the screen door, its on the list of things to update. i do the front door though. is it the screen door or the front door you guys dont like?

The front, yes. Both doors. But just getting rid of the screen door in and of itself would be an improvement. I wouldn't replace it. I think all screen doors are hideous and unnecessary.

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both, for me, personally.

i think a white front door (or even a dark brown/mahogany) would tie things in beautifully. even if you just painted the door that is there, if you like it.

For me, the whole door needs to go, painted or not. Those three little windows look ridic. Really, ANY little windows look ridic. to me.

Either a solid door, or a door that's mostly glass.

Doors with little windows are the brass fixtures of your home facade.

But whatever. It's your house and if you dig it, that's cool.

Also, whatever vines you have growing up the wall just look unkempt. Shrubs FTW.

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both, for me, personally.

i think a white front door (or even a dark brown/mahogany) would tie things in beautifully. even if you just painted the door that is there, if you like it.

For me, the whole door needs to go, painted or not. Those three little windows look ridic. Really, ANY little windows look ridic. to me.

Either a solid door, or a door that's mostly glass.

Doors with little windows are the brass fixtures of your home facade.

But whatever. It's your house and if you dig it, that's cool.

Also, whatever vines you have growing up the wall just look unkempt. Shrubs FTW.

well, i don't like the door either, but he said he liked it, and painting it would be better than nothing.

also, ivy/whatevers growing on the house scares me. i worry that it's trying to burrow itself into my house and it will just slowly crumble apart. i also watch too many horror and sci-fi movies.

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I replaced my front screen door with a full glass one. My front door is the houses original door from the 1930's painted an off-red color. The glass door lets the cool accent come through fully while offering a layer of insulation against the elements. In the summer I consider taking the glass door off and storing it but it isn't necessary since it doesn't detract from the focus placed on main entrance. The glass door is needed though in the winters to help keep the cold out.

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oh, and we went out looking at houses in feb/march right after the giant snowfall. good thing we did, two houses we looked at had big puddles of water in the basement from snowmelt and a few others yards turned into swamps.

also, find out if there is a french drain or not. it'll help move the water away from the house.

i loved looking at houses, it was so fun

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I've been a home owner for a year and a half. I bought a nice split-level home, built in 1990 for just under a 100k. It needed all new carpet and flooring, but luckily I have an aunt who owns a carpet and flooring business. I got 10k worth of flooring and carpet for 3k. Also, if you wind up in the same boat, replacing flooring, do it before you move in and consider a fresh paint job for the walls before you put the carpet down. It made things really easy for us.

A lot of good advice has been given already. Find a well-referenced, reliable home inspector and consider the taxes. My mortgage is easily affordable, but then I tack on another $350 for taxes/home insurance that goes into my escrow every month. I live in a nicer area/neighborhood, so to me, it's worth the $$$.

Finally, if you don't want to work and remodel things yourself, try to find a house you're MORE THAN HAPPY with because as soon as it's yours, you'll start finding things you'll want to change. I found a house I was perfectly content with (except the carpet and flooring) and now I'm putting on a new roof, and remodeling the upstairs bath. I also plan on doing the kitchen some year.

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I wish house prices in Calgary were even close to what I've been seeing here. The closest i've seen is the Bay Area. To buy a "starter" home here will cost you minimum 300k... I live downtown and am looking to buy a condo/townhouse around the downtown core, 2 bedroom condos are 350K and up, and townhouses are 400-600k... the worst part is that the condition of the place doesnt matter because most buyers here will completely renovate if they dont like it.

it makes it almost impossible for a first time buyer to be able to afford a new place. the monthly payment isnt a big deal, its the time it takes to save money for a 15% down payment on the 350 or 400k mortgage value

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it makes it almost impossible for a first time buyer to be able to afford a new place. the monthly payment isnt a big deal, its the time it takes to save money for a 15% down payment on the 350 or 400k mortgage value

Thats rough. Im stoked that the place i put an offer on was FHA approved so that means i only have to put a minimum of 3.5% down which makes things sooooo much easier!

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it makes it almost impossible for a first time buyer to be able to afford a new place. the monthly payment isnt a big deal, its the time it takes to save money for a 15% down payment on the 350 or 400k mortgage value

Thats rough. Im stoked that the place i put an offer on was FHA approved so that means i only have to put a minimum of 3.5% down which makes things sooooo much easier!

yikes, although that makes feel a little bit better about what im seeing in terms of prices. i just put an offer on a $137k house. im putting 20% down though because i dont want to pay PMI (mortgage insurance). i dont know if its true but my GF told me she read that if you go through wells fargo for your mortgage (im not), they may now start requiring a 30% down payment. that just seems crazy to me. its taken me literally years to just save 20%.

i agree though - for all the talk about how its the "perfect time to buy", there are definitely still obstacles that make it difficult.

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3.5% is awesome! i wish it were like that around here.

in canada if you put down less than 20% then you're forced to insure your mortgage which costs you around 10,000 more (but that number depends on the amount you're borrowing)

unless you have sparkling credit (or a co-signer with sparkling credit) the lenders wont allow you to take out a mortgage with less than 10% down

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doing it myself. about 8 months into the project still not done. i didnt have any tools before this now i have a bunch.

and as far as the screen door, its on the list of things to update. i do the front door though. is it the screen door or the front door you guys dont like?

The front, yes. Both doors. But just getting rid of the screen door in and of itself would be an improvement. I wouldn't replace it. I think all screen doors are hideous and unnecessary.

Actually, it looks like a storm door, which is not necessary, however helps reduce home energy costs and drafts.

Maybe he should replace it with bulletproof glass?

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Im selling my beautiful house in a very nice town in central Connecticut if you're interested...very willing to negotiate.

I'm looking to buy a place in New Orleans but the quality of homes around 250-350K isn't fantastic. I'm also really leery on buying an apartment or condo for that much. Flooding and bad neighborhoods also worry me but that comes with being in New Orleans. I'm almost convinced I should just wait til I "settle down" and build something because I don't think I see myself in New Orleans past 30 but I don't want to buy land now unless it's in Hawaii or something.

Selling has been a huge pain in my ass though. I've dropped my price 100K from what it would have sold for 5 years ago and I'm still not getting offers. Doesn't help that town is kind of in the middle of nowhere even though it is a very nice town. Property taxes are 9K a year too which is the worst since the house is unoccupied.

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i would love to buy a home in the part of toronto that i currently live (the beaches), but that won't happen for less than $750k. my parents bought their first house here 26 years ago for around $70k, and the same house sold last summer for 1.2 million. they moved out of the city years ago, but yeah, just a little perspective.

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downpayments are incredibly depressing. virtually none of the rentals in my area allow for big dogs, so i decided to live at home for awhile longer to save up for a down payment on a house. i feel lucky to be able to do that. i know soooooo many people who could easily afford the monthly mortgage payment, but since they're paying monthly rent + student loans back, it's impossible for them to save up enough for a down payment.

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