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Topic Options
#804078 - 08/19/04 06:11 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Liesle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/04
Posts: 192
Loc: Southern Illinois
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:
couldn't find anything we could afford that was liveable and so we sort of gave up and then I got an email about this house... It's an unexpected opportunity. [/b]
Dear Melodie, it's been my experience that unexpected opportunities do NOT often come up in the housing market. Rarely is a home offered for sale at a devalued rate, very rarely. The unexpected opportunity could very well be financial burden in the future, requiring repairs.

You mentioned having problems with your spouse and the fact that he has not worked. I would be very careful about acquiring debt with a person who did not financially contribute.

When making a 65,000 dollar decision, I think it would be best to be cautious. You are applying for a loan. That is good. You will know what type of house you can qualify for and will be pre-approved. I don't know if Fannie Mae's are available for first time home buyers still. Banks can make a killing on loans to people with little equity. It would be best to educate yourself about the loan process. An extra interest point may only seem like 1% of the total value of the house, but in the course of a 30 year note, could add 10s of thousands of dollars to what you pay to borrow the money.

I would apply for loan and set a goal of buying a house within a year after looking at 50 properties, or more. Good luck to you.

(The house does look lovely, on the other hand. If you are set on it and cannot afford an inspector, ask a contractor or carpenter or maybe just a smart practical guy to check it out for you and give you an opinion)
_________________________
Liesle

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Piano & Music Accessories
#804079 - 08/19/04 06:16 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
cathys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 917
Loc: Virginia
Melody,
What a very exciting time; looking for your first house. I would also agree with the person that recommended a buyer's broker as opposed to real estate agent especially on your first house. In some cases even a real estate agent that is looking for properties for you is still beholden to the seller; on the other hand, a buyer's broker is contractually obligated to represent the buyer (you).
The only other thing I would add is try not to get too emotionally invested in a particular house until it's a done deal (I know easier said..) and don't get discouraged if it doesn't work out because something else will come along if you stay focused on what you want.
When I bought my first house the house market in Denver was extremely hot and I could barely look at a place before it would be under contract by someone else. There was one place we absolutely fell in love with and we made an offer, for some inexplicable reason the seller just decided to take it off the market. We ended up getting a home just a few blocks away in the same neighborhood and it was a great house but every so often I would drive down that other street to see the house that wasn't. Each time, I would realize more that I was much happier with the house that happened.
We've since sold that house (grew out of it) and second time around was much easier but no matter how many times you've been through it the whole process is nerve wracking. There is just something about that first house purchase and entering the world of home ownership, best of luck!!

Cathy

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#804080 - 08/19/04 06:52 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
How is the roof? how is the furnace? How is the foundation? Is there any termite damage? How are the windows? How is the plumbing? How is the siding?

All those questions - and more because those are some of the basics - can be answered by getting an independent inspection for a few hundred dollars. You do not really have an option. Worst case: you could pay 65K for a house, discover it has a major problem, and not be able to sell it for what you bought it. That would leave you thousands of dollars in the hole.

How long has the house been on the market? If it's been on the market for a long time, why?

You say the down payment is $1800. How about closing costs, attorneys fees, school taxes, property taxes, homeowners insurance, etc. Make sure you have enough to cover them.

Houses just about everywhere have been appreciating at near ridiculous rates over the last few years. It's possible, even though yours is just 65K, that price reflects the overall trend in inflation.

Having said all that, owning a house is a great idea. It's more work and worry than renting, but overall it's worth it.

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#804081 - 08/19/04 07:02 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
If you don't have enough money to hire an inspector, you don't have enough money to buy the house. It's that simple, although I hate to be a kill-joy.

A house inspection (particularly for an older house with settling) is an absolute must. The flip side of the coin is, in your excitement, you will buy a house that will saddle you with unexpected and large repair bills. We're talking thousands of dollars, and you may be looking at foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.

Get the house inspected by a professional.

If all checks out, go for it! Good luck! \:\)

Nina

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#804082 - 08/19/04 07:53 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14057
Loc: Louisiana
Melody,

I'm going to differ slightly with Nina (first time, huh? ;\) )

Somebody should look at the house, and dig around for hidden damage that may not at first be apparent. But you don't necessarily have to pay someone. Do you know a good carpenter, or a builder that would do look-over for a cup of coffee and a fresh plate of home-baked cookies?

I'm sure they will find a few things that need fixing. However, if you are lucky, they may not be major, or they may be things that can wait for a little while.

This is a common style house around here, and it's the kind that begs for sweat equity, especially if there are nicer houses in the neighborhood. How handy are you and your husband? Paint? Paper? Rudimentary carpenter skills? PVC plumbing wizard?

If the sills ain't rotten, the roof isn't shot, and the terrible mites have left it alone, it's worth it. It can be made much nicer than it is, and possibly make you some money.

Oh, one other word of advice...take everything Steve Miller wrote in this thread, and read it again. It's that good.....
_________________________
www.coffee-room.com

Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#804083 - 08/19/04 08:03 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
newpianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/01
Posts: 362
Loc: CANADA
Melody
Investing in a house can be one of the best investments you will ever make. I bought a house that had been on the market a long time. It was simply overpriced for the market. The owners were anxious to sell so I made a really low offer (half of what I could afford to pay). The offer went back and forth 3 imes and they we settled on a price that was still much lower than the listed price. I sold the house 10 years later for 3 1/2 times what I paid for it.
Maintenance was very expensive, more than my budget would allow. Keep in mind the house should be maintained so it is in line with other homes in the neighbourhood. When I resold, I provided a house inspection as part of the deal. Experienced real estate buyers can predict what the final price will be based on the starting offer and your bartering tools( appliances, move in date etc.)
_________________________
Please excuse me. I have to go practice

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#804084 - 08/19/04 04:55 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
Thank you for your advice! It is SO HELPFUL. I am learning a great deal and well, I'm thinking about pros and cons to home buying I hadn't considered before. I found out some new info about the home today.:


MLS # 88633
Status ACTIVE
Type Single House
Address ----
Address ----
City Norman
State OK
Zip 73069
Area CORE CENTRAL
Class Residential
Asking Price $65,000
Sale/Rent For Sale
Bedrooms Three
Full/Baths One
Half/Baths None
Liv Area One
Garage Capacity None
Approx Sq Ft 1001-1200
Approx Sq Ft See Item #18
Age 61 years or more
Lot Size City Lot
Existing Finance None
Listing Date 7/6/2004
S/T/R NE30 009N 002W <-- What does this mean?
Subdivision Code Name Highland Add
Disclosure Disclaimer
Listing Type 1
Original Price $72 <-- Does this mean $72,000?
Price/Sq.Ft. $61.32
Comp to Selling Broker-Var/Dual/Y/N n
Detailed Directions Cont. .
Legal Highland Lots 32-33 BLK 7
Lot/Block 32/7
Lot Size City
Year Built 1936
Square Feet 1060 DISCLM*
Yearly Taxes .
Days On Market 44
Features
Will Sell Conventional or Cash
Broker Services Full Service
Levels One Story
Entrance Into Living Room
Dining Liv/Din Combo
Style Traditional
Construction Frame
Floor Wood/Raised
Roofing Composition
Heating Central Gas
Cooling Central Electric
Miscellaneous
Inside Utility Room
Interior Extras
Shades/Blinds
Carpet
Vinyl Flooring
Burglar Alarm
Smoke Detector
Reseved Items
Kit Formica Counter Tops
Ceiling Fans
Pantry
Exterior Extras
Screen Enclosed Porch/Pat
Storm Doors
Lot
Trees
Interior
Utilities
City Water
City Sewer
T.V. Cable
Flood Insurance Status Unknown
Possession At Closing
Showing Instructions
Appt/Show If Not Home
Condition Good
Remarks
Home renovated in 1996 by City of Norman Housing Rehabilitation. Has Central H/A and electrical re-wiring/ carpet/ paint/ bathroom all done at time of renovation. Buyer to verify schools.
Addendum
Has Norman lockbox and combo lock. Square footage from courthouse. Reserved Items:Washer and Dryer. <--Does this mean they're being left with the house?


Disclaimer
Information not guaranteed - Buyer must verify before purchasing! Square footage, size, condition, age, etc. are estimates only!
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804085 - 08/19/04 05:00 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
Coming late into this but,...Melody, did you ever investigate the cultural advantages of owning a double wide trailer?

Just a thought.

Seriously, you're doing a great job.

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#804086 - 08/19/04 05:20 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Smitty Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 17
Loc: East Coast
_________________________
I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be darling at it.

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#804087 - 08/19/04 05:21 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:

S/T/R NE30 009N 002W <-- What does this mean?
Original Price $72 <-- Does this mean $72,000?
Reserved Items:Washer and Dryer. <--Does this mean they're being left with the house?
[/b]
S/T/R= Section/Township/Range: This is NE Section, Parcel 30, Township 9 North, Range 2 West (of the principal meridian-varies by state)

Original Price = Original price. When built. $72.00.

Reserved Items = Not included.
_________________________
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens

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#804088 - 08/19/04 05:23 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Smitty Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 17
Loc: East Coast
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom-*K:
Coming late into this but,...Melody, did you ever investigate the cultural advantages of owning a double wide trailer?

Just a thought.

Seriously, you're doing a great job. [/b]
For some reason, plebeians do gravitate to homes on wheels. So do tornadoes. And tornadoes are common in Oklahoma. What are you trying to do making such a suggestion?
_________________________
I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be darling at it.

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#804089 - 08/19/04 05:30 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Originally posted by Smitty:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom-*K:
Coming late into this but,...Melody, did you ever investigate the cultural advantages of owning a double wide trailer?

Just a thought.

Seriously, you're doing a great job. [/b]
For some reason, plebeians do gravitate to homes on wheels. So do tornadoes. And tornadoes are common in Oklahoma. What are trying to do making such a suggestion? [/b]
She should go home, of course. \:D

(FYI: NO ONE is more plebian than me.)

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#804090 - 08/19/04 05:39 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom-*K:


Seriously, you're doing a great job. [/b]
Oh my gosh, is that a COMPLIMENT? Haha....

Thanks Tom. That means a lot, esp coming from you hon. :-) How you been doing?
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804091 - 08/19/04 05:47 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom-*K:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Smitty:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom-*K:
Coming late into this but,...Melody, did you ever investigate the cultural advantages of owning a double wide trailer?

Just a thought.

Seriously, you're doing a great job. [/b]
For some reason, plebeians do gravitate to homes on wheels. So do tornadoes. And tornadoes are common in Oklahoma. What are trying to do making such a suggestion? [/b]
She should go home, of course. \:D

[/b]
Oh, you're a mean one, Mr.Grinch!

:p
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804092 - 08/19/04 05:48 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
I'm fine.

I'd like you to be really, REALLY happy and well. I mean the best for you. I sometimes can be a DADDY. I have two girls of my own. And you are such a little girl. (I know your a full growed woman, but to a daddy your still a little girl--SO SUE ME!)

Sorry, if I practice my yelling at them on you. \:\(

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#804093 - 08/19/04 05:52 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
Thank you for wanting me to be happy. I genuinely appreciate that.

How old are you, Tom? How old are your daughters? Just wondering.
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804094 - 08/19/04 05:58 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
44

10,7

But you blond haired girls are all the same age, really. You all need a whack on the hinie and a kiss and you need to promise someone you love you'll be better tomorrow.

And the one you love needs to kiss you on the forehead and say, "I love you, goodnight."

That's all.

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#804095 - 08/19/04 06:27 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3290
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:

Home renovated in 1996 by City of Norman Housing Rehabilitation. [/b]
Hmm - interesting.

Can you get the records from the city from the time of the rehabilitation? That settling did not occur overnight, and there should be mention of it in the city records from when they did the rehab. If they did things right, they probably did something to stabilize it.

It would be interesting to see what all was done when they rehabbed it, and my guess is that they did a whole lot more than heat, wiring and paint.

Does the City of Norman still own this house? If they do, know that there is probably lots of negotiating room and the City is likely to help you get financing on it.
_________________________
Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#804096 - 08/19/04 06:48 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
Steve pretty much owns the bragging rights to being an authority on these issues. You should listen to him carefully.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#804097 - 08/19/04 07:52 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Lots of good advice above, but let me add some ideas. This is based on having done the mortgage for over 100 clients over the last 5 years, and gone through about 60-70 house searches with them.

(1) Think of using a buyer's broker. A seller's broker is legally obligated to represent the interests of the seller. A new buyer without much experience should seriously look into getting a buyer's broker.

(2) There is no perfect house and there is no rush to buy any particular house. Everytime a client lost a bidding war or just backed out of negotiating with a crazy seller, they found a much better place to buy very soon afterwards.

(3) Houses are usually good investments only if you can stay there for 3-5 years minimum, given the costs of purchase. Nationwide since 1950, houses have only appreciated .5 percent over inflation, and after adding costs of maintainance and fix up (source: Business Week). In the city/coastal areas over the last few years appreciation has been much much greater. But this is atypical, and will probably stop when interest rates rise (they are basically still at near 40 year lows).

(4) As someone said above, if you can't afford an inspection, you may want to wait a bit before buying a house. There will always be a house to buy at the right time. Don't let anyone, particularly a realtor, panic you into buying now. I know plenty of people who lost money buying houses, as well as those who made money. Housing goes up and down in relation to wages, supply and interest rates. Rates are going up, your guess as to wages, and supply keeps going strong. There is no guarantee houses go up in price, particularly in a short term time period. Buy a house based on your life circumstances and how you want to live, not because of alleged appreciation potential.

Keep us posted on your search. Best.

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#804098 - 08/19/04 08:09 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
I am going to look into it! Thanks!
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804099 - 08/19/04 08:28 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Miller:
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:

Home renovated in 1996 by City of Norman Housing Rehabilitation. [/b]
Hmm - interesting.

Can you get the records from the city from the time of the rehabilitation? That settling did not occur overnight, and there should be mention of it in the city records from when they did the rehab. If they did things right, they probably did something to stabilize it.

It would be interesting to see what all was done when they rehabbed it, and my guess is that they did a whole lot more than heat, wiring and paint.

Does the City of Norman still own this house? If they do, know that there is probably lots of negotiating room and the City is likely to help you get financing on it. [/b]
Some Interesting info:

http://www.ci.norman.ok.us/planning/Revitalization/Rehab.htm#Rehab

http://www.ci.norman.ok.us/planning/Revitalization/Homebuyers.htm
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804100 - 08/19/04 08:46 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:


Seriously, if I threw a party, would those of you in OK come? To sit on the porch and sip lemonade and watch fireflies? Haha. [/b]
I would come and sit with you and enjoy the lemonade. My wife would be there as well and she would probably lean on you with all sorts of health and be well sorts of stuff. She is kind of sweet like that. She will start out by giving you a massage like you have never experienced (my wife is Chinese if you didn't know already) and she will proceed to advise you on all other aspects of health. Probably not entirely a bad thing. I will be enjoying the lemonade. It is up to you. I have the easy part.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#804101 - 08/19/04 08:58 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
Ya know, I could use some advice on improving health and mental well-being. I suffer from terrible anxiety and the effects of it.
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804102 - 08/19/04 09:23 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
MM

Don't worry about it.

lb

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#804103 - 08/19/04 10:24 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
Don't sweat the small stuff.
It's ALL small stuff. ;\)

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#804104 - 08/19/04 10:30 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3290
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
Nationwide since 1950, houses have only appreciated .5 percent over inflation, and after adding costs of maintainance and fix up (source: Business Week). In the city/coastal areas over the last few years appreciation has been much much greater. [/b]
Boy Howdy. The rental house I just sold was built in 1953 and sold at that time for $11,000. 1058 SF, 3Br, 1 1/2 BA, laundry room, 2 car garage. I just sold it for $490,000, and had several backup offers. When you consider that this appreciation was all done against leveraged money ($99 moves you in!), it's not a bad deal - WAY better than .5% over inflation.

Again, SoCA is not Norman, OK., and you are in the finance business, not I. Indeed, I haven't seen a $65K house in some 25 years so there are definitely different market forces at work here.
However, I still question the advisability of renting - renting anything - when a person is able to purchase a house, particularly with favorable financing like a HUD loan.

As an example, I'll use the .5 over inflation figure. Average inflation since 1950 is 3.2% - I Googled it. Allowing the .5% you get 3.7% average appreciation. We'll assume that Norman OK is average in every particular, even though from what I hear now from people who live there, it's undergoing a bit of a housing boom just now.

$65K house x 3.7% increase per year = $2,405 the first year, $2,493 the second year, etc. Not such a hot rate of return when compared against $65K, but you don't have $65K in to the house. You have $2K in to it - the down payment. $2,405 (more in successive years) appreciation on a $2K investment is the sort of return most investors can only dream of - and it's TAX FREE until you sell it without rolling over in to another one.

Now figure in the mortgage deduction. Owing to the miracle of the rule of 78's, for the first ten or so years nearly the entire payment will be interest, and tax deductible. Not so good if you are trying to pay it off, but not so bad in terms of a tax deduction. The payment thereby comes out about the same as rent, with two important distinctions: The payment never changes while rent payments go up regularly (avoid adjustable rate mortgages like a bad habit) and if you keep after it, eventually you OWN it. Once inflation makes your payment seem small, you can add extra principal payments in to this mix and pay it off in half the time.

Oh yeah, and you can LIVE in it too - try that with any other investment vehicle.

Given all of this, unless Norman OK has some sort of outrageous tax rate, the soil is toxic or there are other forces at work in that market, buying a house there sounds like a very good idea if one is currently renting.

 Quote:
But this is atypical, and will probably stop when interest rates rise (they are basically still at near 40 year lows).
[/b]

Agreed, BUT:

The payments won't change. Cheaper house at higher interest = the same payment as more expensive house at lower interest. Buying a cheaper house at higher interest will result in some small tax advantage, but not enough to offset even the average rate of appreciation you will have to pay if you wait a year.

Waiting is losing.


Lots of good advice given here as far as the cost of maintenance - it can be high, particularly if you are fussy about details. It can also be fairly reasonable if you are a bit resourceful and a bit patient.

Being in the biz, I don't let maintenance costs worry me too much, as long as the house is basically sound to begin with. I have the advantage of being able to do my own work, but even if I couldn't I would be willing to give up any and all discretionary spending (and some luxuries in the house itself) for the first few years just to own a house. Yes, I feel that strongly about it.

Again, back to this house in Norman. What might go wrong with it? Looks like the roof went on in '96, and even if it was a cheap roof it should last a good long while longer. If it doesn't, there are any number of ways to limp a composition roof like that along cheaply for years and years. The heating and cooling systems are 8 years old, should make 20+. If the cooling quits you can do without, and if the heating quits about the most it can cost to fix a forced air furnace is about $400. If the furnace were to disappear tomorrow, at least one winter could surely be weathered with space heaters from K-Mart - OK is not AK.

Stoves are $25-$50 in the PennySaver so don't sweat it. Hotplates are $3 at thrift stores until you can find the right $50 stove. If the carpet goes you tear it out and paint the floor until you find some nice used carpet - usually $1 per yard around here. Water heaters are $300 installed - about the cost of a set of tires. House was rewired in '96 and if they did a decent job there should be nothing it needs for 20 years or more.

Plumbing has not been mentioned, but at 70 years old the house must have been replumbed at some point. If it got repiped in '96 there is little to worry about. If the sewer becomes an issue (I see it's connected to city sewer - all bets are off on houses with septic systems) then you can buy a sewer snake for $100 and snake it yourself until you come up with the $ to rework the sewer line. (Hint - it's all about digging - and diggers work cheap). Paint is nearly free - not worth worrying about.

Windows that don't work right are an annoyance but don't have to be fixed if you don't have the $. We've already discussed the settling thing, and the house inspector should pick up any other problems worthy of concern. Termites are handled by the seller and once that's handled you don't really need to do anything for years - they eat very slowly (except in Hawaii).

If things really get out of hand, one can apply to the city for one of their ultra-low interest home improvement loans - the City of Norman mentions them on their website. If your income is low enough that you can't keep up your house, you'll qualify. If you make more than that, you won't need the loan.

One other thing - most house sales these days include a home warranty policy. The seller pays for it. The quality of these policies varies, but for the most part any repairs required in the first year are handled by the warranty people.

I still say go for it.
_________________________
Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#804105 - 08/20/04 01:09 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH. WOW, are you sharp!

I am feeling a lot more confident about this whole thing, now that with your help I'm learnin a little bit more about the process.

I can't thank you all enough, really.
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804106 - 08/20/04 05:34 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14057
Loc: Louisiana
Agreed with all of Steve's last post, except for one small part:
 Quote:
If the cooling quits you can do without,
Brother, I've seen people down here do without grocery money in order to fix the A/C in the summertime. I would expect Norman to be somewhat similar...
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#804107 - 08/20/04 06:27 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Steve - You make lots of good points (re: leverage due to downpayment, and the basic value of buying vs. renting). And you know way more about house construction than I do. I need to go to work now, so I will repond to the financial points above later (some of my points are not totally relevant to Melody's situation). My only reason for posting the information that houses don't always go up, is so Melody doesn't feel pressured into buying before she is ready from a lifestyle standpoint. If she is, and has confidence in the construction of a house in a location she wants to live for a long time at a price she can afford without eating rice and beans at night, I am all for buying. There is also nothing wrong with saving some more money and looking for another year or two, if that's what it takes to find the right house and be financially comfortable overall. I'll give examples of whether housing may be overvalued in some areas now, and the types of housing I have seen people lose money on later.

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