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#804018 - 08/18/04 07:37 PM I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
I'm presented with the possibility of buying this house if the loan goes through as planned....

What do you think of this house?

It' 3 bedrooms, in the centre of town, near a hospital and elementary school. It has central heat and air, and a screened in porch in front. It was built in 1936 but refurbished in 1996, when it was electrically rewired and the central heat and air were added. Problem is, there are a few parts on the floor that slope a little, from settling I'm told and the carpet needs replacement. It needs to be painted as well, which isn't a big deal. They're asking $65,000..... I don't know whether to risk it..... I won't have money to make any repairs and could a slightly sloping floor lead to structural problems? I'm told it's from settling and shouldn't get any worse....

There's a photo of the outside of the house found here:

http://listings1.mlsgateway.com/Search/S...19&PropType=Res

I have never bought a house but the monthly payments would only be around $100 - $150 more per month than what we're paying for rent right now..
I thought about what everyone said about improving my life and savoring what really matters and recognizing my blessings.... we'd ben looking for aa house for some time but 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. What do you think? I'd appreciate your advice and suggestions. I'm scared!
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804019 - 08/18/04 07:42 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
Find an independent inspector (someone who is not connected with the realtor) to look at it. Make sure you know all the problems before you buy them. Also, at 100 to 150 a month that sounds like a 30 year mortgage. You will pay an awful lot of interest if it is.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#804020 - 08/18/04 07:42 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Karen Bretz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 215
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
Hire an inspector (who is unaffiliated with the real estate agents) to give you an opinion.

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#804021 - 08/18/04 07:44 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jack Frost Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 4454
Loc: Maine
Melody,

Where do you live? Where I am in Maine that house for $65k would be a very good deal. It is funky and has a lot of potential. Needs some gardens!

Owning is almost always better than renting, but you made some mention of a marriage in trouble so maybe this investment is not timely, unless it is just you and your son.

By the way....I am glad you are back.

jf
_________________________
"Make the pie higher." GWB

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#804022 - 08/18/04 07:44 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
The monthly mortgage payments would be around $350-$400 per month, including home insurance. I would be buying on a 30 year loan, but only 2-5 % dependnig on whether I put down sn $1800 down payment.... It would be a Hud loan with bond program money.....
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804023 - 08/18/04 07:45 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
Yup. Only way to know is to pay a few hundred dollars of your own money to get an independent opinion from an inspector. It would be foolish not to, given the amount of money a mistake could be to you. Don't give into any pressure to buy w/o an independent inspection. Glad you are back posting here. \:\)

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#804024 - 08/18/04 07:45 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
Are independent inspectors expensive, becuase despite this opportunity to get a home loan, I'm pretty poor.
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804025 - 08/18/04 07:46 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jack Frost Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 4454
Loc: Maine
Inspectors are a few hundred dollars and worth it.

jf
_________________________
"Make the pie higher." GWB

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#804026 - 08/18/04 07:48 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
Should be in the low to mid hundreds. But think of the monetary cost of a mistake, if you don't get an accurate evaluation of the structural condition of the house. No way we can know via the internet, not being house experts, whether there is any problem or not.

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#804027 - 08/18/04 07:50 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 Jack Frost:
Melody,

Where do you live? Where I am in Maine that house for $65k would be a very good deal. It is funky and has a lot of potential. Needs some gardens!

Owning is almost always better than renting, but you made some mention of a marriage in trouble so maybe this investment is not timely, unless it is just you and your son.

By the way....I am glad you are back.

jf [/b]
Hi Jack, I am glad to be back! get online as ogten as I can. Actually I applied for the loan on my own. My husband's name would not be on the title at al. I can afford this house on my own, but it would be tight. I truthfully don't know what the future of my marriage is but to be honest, I have been supportnig the family on my own for 2 years. My husband has been out of work for ages, which is part of what is stressing the relationship. I have alredy told him btw that if h lives in this house with us (If I buyit) he MUST work.

I live in Oklahoma. And as for gardens, i alm already dreaming about it. Here we have lots of flowers and plants. I love gardens!
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804028 - 08/18/04 07:52 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Melody, I'm proud of you!

My advice (you don't have to take it)..offer them 50K, then work up a little if you need to. There are companies that can jack the house up later when you can afford it and pour concrete underneath to build up the foundation. Save all you can to do that. Later on, have vinyl siding put on it. Other than maybe carpet, don't spend a lot fixing it up until you've got the house set level again. Then take one room at a time, and do any repairs needed. Build that equity!!

Just saw the HUD thing - don't know if you can negotiate on those or not.... won't hurt to ask though....

I agree with the home inspection thing. But unless the house is deemed a disaster - buy it. Buy it as fast as you can. Remember - one good investment is worth years of hard work.....
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#804029 - 08/18/04 07:55 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jack Frost Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 4454
Loc: Maine
It looks like a lovely house and I can imagine the gardens that will grace it. Go for the inspection because there might be things that you can't see that are important. It's worth it. And then buy the house if you like it.

There is nothing like owning your own house and dirt to go with it.

[Sounds like the guy who won't work needs to get lost or get a job. His time is up.]

jf
_________________________
"Make the pie higher." GWB

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#804030 - 08/18/04 07:58 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jack Frost Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 4454
Loc: Maine
Mel.

I was 41 before I owned a home. The front screen porch looks like it must be wonderful. Go fo it.

jf
_________________________
"Make the pie higher." GWB

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#804031 - 08/18/04 08:00 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
[Sounds like the guy who won't work needs to get lost or get a job. His time is up.][/b]

I agree with Jack on this one. Don't sit there letting this guy sit around on his butt and do nothing. You're young, and you don't need a man to make you happy. You have your son. There are other men. Whether you buy this house or not, tell him to get a job, it doesn't matter if the job is flipping burgers at McDonalds - get a job, or get out. So you might get a little lonely for awhile.... hey....you've got us!..... ;\)

But buy the house!!
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#804032 - 08/18/04 08:07 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
Looks like a fairly typical bungalow for that time period, although the listing shows it just over 1000 sq. ft., which seems a little small for a 3 bedroom house to me. Of course, if you're comfortable in a 500 sq. ft. apartment, then it would feel huge! It looks to be far enough away from the U. that the neighborhood isn't overrun with wild partyers on the weekends. But, it also seems to be the cheapest house for sale in the area, and appears to have been on the market for a while now, so an independent inspection is an absolute must!
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#804033 - 08/18/04 08:12 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
There is just something about this house that makes me feel good about it.... I just have to save up the $1800 down and pray that the loan goes through. I'm terrified of the ressponsibilty but I also daydream about having a home (and the dirt below it) of my own. Yes, that porch does look wonderful.... Oh, it's 1065 fet total, plus the porch I think... The third bedroom is tiny, with it's own entrance. (There are 3 entrances in the home.)

It's a hud loan, not a hud home. Don't hud loan inspectors do inspections before approving a loan?
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804034 - 08/18/04 08:14 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
But, it also seems to be the cheapest house for sale in the area, and appears to have been on the market for a while now, so an independent inspection is an absolute must![/b]

Being the cheapest house for sale in the area is a *good* thing, of course. Also sitting on the market for a while also means there is some negotiating room, another good thing.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#804035 - 08/18/04 08:14 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
We're in a 2 bedroom duplex right now, but I don't know the square footage....
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804036 - 08/18/04 08:16 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Oh... and another thing...... if hubby hasn't worked in two years, tell him to get his ass off your computer, and he can use it when *you're* finished!

Seriously.


I'm so proud of you!....
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#804037 - 08/18/04 08:21 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 Larry:


I'm so proud of you!.... [/b]
Awww....

;\)

Um, why?
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804038 - 08/18/04 08:21 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
JoeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 671
Loc: Northern California
Melody,
I think itís perfectly normal to be scared when buying a first house. I know I was. For most people it turns out very well in the long run. Spending money on a house is not the same as spending on a vacation or a car. In 10 years the house will probably be worth more than it is now. Maybe a whole lot more. In that sense it is an investment. Have you looked at the house? Whether the carpet needs to be replaced now or later depends on your personal taste. Paint is cheap and may not be a top priority. An important consideration is the quality of the schools. This may be the single most important criteria. I like the looks of the house and the front screened porch looks like a great place to sip iced tea of an evening and watch the fireflies. The structural problems (settling or ?) are of some concern. If you were buying that house around here I would definitely suggest a structural engineering report. But you would be paying over $300,000 for it. At $65K, spending a bunch of money to tell you what you already know might not be prudent. Do you have any friends who are smart about buildings? Have them take a look. No house (even a brand new one) is perfect. You do need to be smart about a loan. A 30 year 6.25% loan at $65000 should be about $400 per month. There are people out there that may try to charge a much higher rate. Just say no to them. Add to that property taxes and homeowners insurance to get an idea of monthly costs. It goes without saying that once you go into contract and are applying for the loan, donít buy anything on credit. Itís surprising how often people will go out and buy a new car while waiting for a home loan approval. Your credit is checked again just before funding and that a big red flag to the lender. Let us know the progress of your house buying experience.
_________________________
"How, Monsieur, you care not for music? You do not play the clavecin? I am sorry for you! You are indeed condemming yourself to a dull old age!" - Fouquet

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#804039 - 08/18/04 08:23 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
Sure, a 65K house that is in good shape is better than a 90K house in similar shape. But if the 65K house needs 30K of work to be habitable for more than 5 years, the 90K house is a better deal. At least that's the way I look at it. The price and time on the market indicate that too many others have passed on it for some reason. It's best to know what that reason might be....

(Mel, I am a firm believer in home ownership, even for single people. I'm only playing devil's advocate so you don't get burned on a bum deal.)
_________________________
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens

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#804040 - 08/18/04 08:31 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 JoeB:
If you were buying that house around here I would definitely suggest a structural engineering report. But you would be paying over $300,000 for it. [/b]
You California guys crack me up. \:D

I should show you what 200K buys here.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#804041 - 08/18/04 08:34 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Sure, a 65K house that is in good shape is better than a 90K house in similar shape. But if the 65K house needs 30K of work to be habitable for more than 5 years, the 90K house is a better deal. At least that's the way I look at it. The price and time on the market indicate that too many others have passed on it for some reason. It's best to know what that reason might be....[/b]

Well, I hadn't thought of it that way.... I always try to buy houses *under* the value of its neighbors, since this reflects well on the one I'm buying, as for it sitting for a while, my take on it was the seller would be more motivated. You're correct though that if potential buyers are passing on it it would be good to figure out why.

I'd buy it anyway.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#804042 - 08/18/04 08:36 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
How can you tell how long it's been on the market? A realtor told me last night it has been on the market for about 90 days (or was it 60?) but I noticed on realtor.com it's listing doesn't say it has central heat and air, or even that it had been refurbished. So, that apparent lacking would have deterred some buyers I think. Plus, this home is in a college town, and people here tend to be wealthier and pickier about homes. BUT I did ask and I'm waiting to hear back from the owner. The realtor shower it twice to another couple and when I asked why they passed on it, he explained that it's a great house for the price and the pass amounted to a woman not thinking the house was "good enough" for her college bound son....

I am kind of afraid if I don't jump that I might not get the house. Homes-esp less expensive ones like this, and with the lovely porch, sell quicky in this town. Homes are in demand here.
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804043 - 08/18/04 08:37 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:


I'm so proud of you!.... [/b]
Awww....

;\)

Um, why? [/b]
Because I'm having a conversation with a 33 year old woman who is planning for her and her son's future like a responsible adult.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#804044 - 08/18/04 08:38 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
JoeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 671
Loc: Northern California
 Quote:
You California guys crack me up.

I should show you what 200K buys here.
I visited Norman two months ago on business and thought it looked like a pretty nice place to live. I would have to suspect house prices there are 'normal' for the USA. Here in California house prices have been going straight up for 4 years now. Why? Who knows? But whatever goes up .....
_________________________
"How, Monsieur, you care not for music? You do not play the clavecin? I am sorry for you! You are indeed condemming yourself to a dull old age!" - Fouquet

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#804045 - 08/18/04 08:40 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
I am kind of afraid if I don't jump that I might not get thehouse. Homes-esp less expensive ones like this, and with the lovely porch, sell quicky in this town. Homes are in demand here.[/b]

Jump Melody, jump!!!
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#804046 - 08/18/04 08:43 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
JoeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 671
Loc: Northern California
 Quote:
Well, I hadn't thought of it that way.... I always try to buy houses *under* the value of its neighbors, since this reflects well on the one I'm buying
Good advice. Also you are less likely to overimprove the house (put money into it that doesn't add to the eventual selling price).

 Quote:
I am kind of afraid if I don't jump that I might not get thehouse. Homes-esp less expensive ones like this, and with the lovely porch, sell quicky in this town. Homes are in demand here.
Then don't wait too long. Make an offer.
_________________________
"How, Monsieur, you care not for music? You do not play the clavecin? I am sorry for you! You are indeed condemming yourself to a dull old age!" - Fouquet

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#804047 - 08/18/04 08:48 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
Strangely enough, I just bought a small place in upstate NY (in the finger lake regions, a great place to get away to).

Two things I view as essential: An inspection and a lawyer ==in that order. OK you can skip the lawyer if you want, but.....

Have an inspection done. This is essential. What you, a realtor, or a friend (knowledgeable or not) think about the house is no replacement for getting a qualified evaluation of the house. It's money well spent. In fact, I'd be very surprised that HUD would go forward without requiring inspection.

Realtors should be able to tell you exactly how long it's been on the market.

I would not be pressured, no matter how bad you want a house, into buying one. Period.

A couple of links and possible contacts you might want to check out:


LINK - Home Buyers

OK HUD LINK

Good luck.

N.
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#804048 - 08/18/04 08:51 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
Nettie gives good advice for a change. ;\)
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#804049 - 08/18/04 08:52 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3263
Loc: Midwest U.S.
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JoeB:
If you were buying that house around here I would definitely suggest a structural engineering report. But you would be paying over $300,000 for it. [/b]
You California guys crack me up. \:D

I should show you what 200K buys here. [/b]
Oklahoma City is one of the best real estate markets in the country, IMO. Great values for price. Norman, on the other hand, like Edmond, another metro-area "bedroom community", is overpriced by comparison, even though our prices pale by comparison to California. Houses do not sit on the market very long in either community and it's always a seller's market in both.

There are almost no listings for under $100K in Norman. For a first-time buyer who must spend less, I'd say you could do worse, even if the house needs some work. I've seen houses comparable to this, but needing no work, sell for just under $100K here. But I do know of quite sound "grandma" homes in this category that have gone for as low as $55K even in "better" neighborhoods with other homes ranging upward of $400K. I'd start at offering $50K and try to get it for about $55K (I am confident you could get it for that price if it's been on the market a while and needs some work). That leaves you plenty of room to make improvements as you are able to and keep it well within the Norman market price range. It would leave you a little room at the top for home equity loans later to make improvements as its valuation grows. Good luck!

(P.S. Now that I know you also live in Norman, I understand why I may think I have seen you somewhere before. Not on TV, but probably in real life. I thought from your early posts that you were in NYC, so I thought it must have been there. I never forget a face, even if I can never remember a name. What in the world brought you from NYC to Norman?)

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#804050 - 08/18/04 09:03 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
jkeene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 701
Loc: Central Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by netizen:
Realtors should be able to tell you exactly how long it's been on the market.
[/b]
Well, a good realtor should be able to tell you that. Many can't. A common trick, when a house isn't moving, is instead of lowering the price, is pulling it and relisting with a new MLS number. Same house, but it starts the time on market clock over from zero.

Does your market have buyer/brokers? That would be a realtor who is working for you, rather than the seller. Personally I find them to be a must.

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#804051 - 08/18/04 09:04 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
 Quote:
What in the world brought you from NYC to Norman?) [/QB]
I fled New York hastily, to escape my then drug-addicted, possessive and abusive ex (my son's now deceased father) with the intention of returning once I got back on my feet again. But I ended up staying with my parents for 4 years before meeting my husband. We moved here to be nearer to his former work.

Where do you live? That is amazing that we may have passed one another in Norman!
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#804052 - 08/18/04 09:11 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
WOW. JBryan is also from near me in Oklahoma as well! WILD! There's a bunch of us right here!
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804053 - 08/18/04 09:13 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
Jkeene-WOW.... All of that is very interesting. This realtor I'm working with is a buyer one I think.
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#804054 - 08/18/04 09:17 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3263
Loc: Midwest U.S.
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:
Where do you live? Thatis amazing that we may have passed one another in Norman! [/b]
Just a few blocks from the University, in the Historical [Hysterical] District, old "Professor Row". Love the old big trees and the mix of average and nearly palatial houses. Great neighbors (most important feature!) Matt's right about proximity to the University being a bit of an issue, though, but for the great location and neighbors, I put up with a little noise. Friday and Saturday nights I only have to open my windows to listen to musicians at the regular venues. It was nice, though, when the Stones played the stadium. Opened all the windows and had "surround". But the "noise" is only music, so no big deal. Fine as long as it's not C&W.

I used to live closer though, 25 years ago. Literally across from the stadium in the big 2 story brick job that sits furthest back from the road (and I rented "Casablanca" just prior to that--wanted to buy it, but at $2 mil, that was out of the question). When we had an all day concert at the stadium with a good dozen big act bands, I nearly went deaf. But I was a student then and liked being in the middle of things.

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#804055 - 08/18/04 09:27 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
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Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
Wow, Chickgrand, JBryan, JoeB and I all within minutes of each-other. That's either really cool .... or really scary! Haha.
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#804056 - 08/18/04 09:39 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3263
Loc: Midwest U.S.
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:
.... or really scary! Haha. [/b]
Now you know how I feel! \:D

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#804057 - 08/18/04 09:42 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
I am not afraid. \:D
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#804058 - 08/18/04 09:43 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
You know I was only teasing, right? :-)
I think it's pretty cool that we all live in OK. Maybe if I buy the house I'll throw a party and invite everyone!
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#804059 - 08/18/04 09:45 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
Hi Melody-

I'm with Larry - buy that house if at all possible. If not that one, another one - and soon.

Nervous? You bet! Everyone is on their first house, and that nervousness never really goes away no matter how many houses you buy after that. The trick is to get enough information that you can make the best decision you can, then just close your eyes and go for it. That's what we've done over the years, and we've never regretted it.

I recommend you work with a Realtor on this - your first - house. If Real Estate transactions in OK are done the same as they are here, you can obtain the services of a Realtor as a buyer without having to pay anything directly. The process can be quite daunting, and a good Realtor can walk you through the process with a minimum of fuss. If your credit is good, even the lack of a down payment is not an issue - more on this in a minute.

What will the Realtor do? First thing would be to establish the approximate value of the house; first to be sure you are not overpaying for it and second to be sure you can get a loan on it. If it appears that the house is overpriced, an offer below thew asking price is not only customary, but expected. If your Realtor won't do this, find another one.

Another thing the Realtor will do is handle the paperwork - and there is a LOT of paperwork. All that paperwork has to be filled out just-so, and it is in your best interest that someone who knows all of the rules does the paperwork for you.

Part of that paperwork will be a list of "contingencies" in your offer - things that have to be done and approved by you prior to the close of the sale. If they are not to your liking, you can back out of the sale and get your deposit back (less any costs incurred - have your Realtor explain this to you).

One contingency will be the inspection, and you don't want to buy a house without one. I don't, even though I could do it myself. I hire a pro and it is always money well spent.

The house is settling, which is not surprising - all old houses settle to one degree or another. What you need to know is why, what sort of problems the settling has caused (tearing plaster, stuck windows/doors), how likely the problem is to continue and how immediate is the need for repair.

So you hire a house inspector, and this inspection runs about $150 around here. The inspection will also include the roof, electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling, appliances, windows, drainage and everything else about the house. Once you have this info, you can make an informed decision about the house's condition and whether or not you want to own it. If there is a major problem though, don't give up. It would not be unusual to deduct the cost of repair from the offer price, or require that the seller repair it prior to the close of escrow. Again, Realtor should guide you through this process.

Another contingency will be that you qualify for and obtain a loan. If you can't get a loan, you get your deposit back.

You mention a HUD loan, which is usually an excellent way to go if you can get one. I'd also look in to the FHA first-time buyer program if it's still available. 3% down and seller pays all of the fees. I sold a house that way two years ago - worked out great.

If the down payment is an issue, there are loans out there (your credit has to be excellent) with $0 down and the seller pays the fees. The seller may also cover part of the loan. Even an interest-only loan should not be dismissed out of hand. Figure in the tax deduction and you are still paying less than rent, plus you get to keep the appreciation. I sold a house that way 6 months ago - the buyers paid no down, their payment is the same as the rent they were paying and they'll refinance it in ten years when the note comes due. Even if they have to sell at that time, they still made a good investment because the payment will not go up for 10 years (rent will - guaran-darn-teed), and the house is bound to appreciate.

The down payment - you mention $1800. For a 3% FHA loan, that figure is actually $1950 (at an offer price of $65K)plus you will need something for costs - ask your Realtor what is traditional in your area. How do you get it?

Any way you can. Borrow it, sell something, sell lots of things. Work overtime, skip Christmas, take sack lunches. Max a credit card. Whatever it takes. $2K is a lot of money, but not an impossible amount if you're creative. It's been my experience that buying a house is worth doing any or all of these things.

The higher payment. Have your tax person or someone savvy about taxes explain to you how the homeowner's tax deduction works for your situation. Using the figures you give, it looks like you will actually be paying less in house payments than you currently pay in rent AND - your rent is bound to go up. Your payment will stay the same for 30 years. Rent out a room for a while to help make the payment.

The worst thing you can do is wait. Rent always goes up, never down. If the housing market in your town is as hot as you say, prices are going up too. Waiting will cost you money, so if there is any way for you to swing a house now, I'd suggest you do it.

Even if house prices drop (again, I don't know your market), you have still fixed your payment, gotten the US government to make part of that payment for you AND you can make all the holes in the wall you want to. ;\)

Good luck!
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#804060 - 08/18/04 09:51 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3263
Loc: Midwest U.S.
I agree with Steve's good advice on all but one point. I would not max a credit card. If there are any concerns at all about qualifying, keeping your credit obligations to the minimum possible is preferrable to show that you are responsible with your money.

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#804061 - 08/18/04 10:02 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

The house is not on a slab, but has either a crawl space or a basement. Any settling should have occurred years ago, if it appears to be later and is in spots rather than a consistent slope it indicates other problems, possibly termite damage to floor joists.

The small room at the back was added later, probably in the early 70's from the way it looks. Any loan company will require some inspections, which you will pay for. I would try to find out what inspections the loan company will require and who they will authorize to do them. If you have inspections done on your own you may have to have them done (and pay) twice.

If there are neighbors that have lived there for a while they probably know more about the house than anyone. Go out and see if you can talk to them.

Anything is fixable in a house, if the damage is not progressive and ongoing, and most are livable the way they are.

The house looks like a decent deal based on where I live.

Go for it!

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#804062 - 08/18/04 10:04 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 Steve so much for your advice as well and Chick, I agree about not maxing a credit card. I am learning so much from everyone tonight!

THANK YOU!

Oh I am excited. I want to go and see this house inside tomorrow if I can. If I can, I'll take a few photos and post them online.

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.
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#804063 - 08/18/04 10:07 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 JoeB:
Here in California house prices have been going straight up for 4 years now. Why? Who knows? But whatever goes up ..... [/b]
.....will keep going up, with occasional short-term adjustments like the one in '90-'91.

Have you seen the population projections for California over the next 20 years? They're quite remarkable, and believable given the diverse nature of both the population and the economy. There are a whole lot of people moving here, and these folks need housing.

The weather's not bad, either. \:D

Add in the fact that the San Diego, Orange County, LA and San Francisco regions are mostly built out AND the 30-35% that regulatory costs add to the price of a new house and you have a RE market that isn't going to drop much - if at all.

What probably will drop is the availability of some of the more exotic sorts of financing I'm seeing these days - especially the 0% down interest-only deals and the 125% loan-to-value second TD's. Even a small adjustment in the market will likely result in a lot of these loans going back to the bank, complete with all of the high-level whining and crying we heard after the S&L fisaco.

How much will this affect prices? Dunno. But nobody ever made any $ betting on falling real estate prices in California - at least in the metro areas.
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#804064 - 08/18/04 10:08 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
ACK, TERMITES? I HOPE NOT!

I don't know uyet whether the slope is in "spots" per se, but I was assured by the realtor that it was due to "settling" and should not be an ongoing, progressive problem. I am not going to just take his word for it though.
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#804065 - 08/18/04 10:15 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 chickgrand:
I agree with Steve's good advice on all but one point. I would not max a credit card. If there are any concerns at all about qualifying, keeping your credit obligations to the minimum possible is preferrable to show that you are responsible with your money. [/b]
Good advice as far as qualifying.

When trying to gin up an amount like $2k though, credit cards are not always a bad way to go. If you have only one credit card and it maxes at $2K, then no, don't use it for the down. But if you have other cards too, or the credit limit is say $6K or $10K, I wouldn't reject a credit card as a way to raise the down if there is no other way.

In a pinch, put the $2K on someone else's credit card and pay them back with a second on the house in a year or so.

Whatever it takes. Buy a house.
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Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#804066 - 08/18/04 10:18 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:
ACK, TERMITES? I HOPE NOT!

I don't know uyet whether the slope is in "spots" per se, but I was assured by the realtor that it was due to "settling" and should not be an ongoing, progressive problem. I am not going to just take his word for it though. [/b]
Don't take the Realtor's word for anything as far as the condition of the house. They're not all liars, but they're all very "optimistic".

As far as termites, all lenders (at least in CA)require a full termite inspection and the seller is required to make any required repairs.

This could be the best of all possible outcomes for you. If termites are causing the settling, the seller will be obliged to make the repairs and it won't cost you a dime.
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Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#804067 - 08/18/04 10:24 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
In my case, the credit card thing is a moot point. I don't have a single credit card. I own my car outright. I have no debtsm other than daily living and utility expenses.
I have excellent, non credit beareu (spelling?) established credit. I am on a fixed income but I am thankful for what I have. This house would be our home, even more importantly than being an investment. I day dream about decorating it, planting a garden-I already have plants waiting for a patch of earth. I dream of buying a piano to put in it and play to my hearts content without fear of disturbing nieghbors. I dream of seeing my son play out in the yard on a tire swing in the sun and sitting out on the porch. My parents had a porch when I was a child and we so enjoyed it. I like the idea of having a spare bedroom for visiting family and friends. I like that I would have the room to make others welcome. I want something that is ours, something secure, something that belongs to us, where we can relax and grow and feel comfortable and secure, where we feel and know we belong... I have moved so many times in my life. I have wanted to buy a big doll house just so I could own a home of my own I could fix up just how I liked.... to think we may one day soon own REAL house of our own excites me.
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#804068 - 08/18/04 10:38 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 lb:
The small room at the back was added later, probably in the early 70's [/b]
Agree on the addition (the tails on the fascia boards don't match the main house), but what tips you off that the addition is 1970's?

Seems ageless to me, but we stopped building wood-sided houses in the 20's in CA so there is plenty I don't know about later styles.
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#804069 - 08/18/04 10:46 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
The small room is the third bedroom, but I'm told it's tiny. Useful as an office. I am curious as to why it was added with it's own entrance as well. Do you think when it was renovated in 1996 that the roof was redone? I know the electrical wiring was redone and central heat and air was added.
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#804070 - 08/18/04 10:48 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
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Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
Is 1065 feet plus the porch footage tiny?
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#804071 - 08/18/04 10:51 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3263
Loc: Midwest U.S.
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:
The small room is the third bedroom, but I'm told it's tiny. Useful as an office. I am curious as to why it was added with it's own entrance as well. Do you think when it was renovated in 1996 that the roof was redone? I know the electrical wiring was redone and central heat and air was added. [/b]
I would bet it was originally added as a utility room, but that sometime since, some rearrangment put the washer/dryer elsewhere and that became a "3rd bedroom" instead. Not uncommon here to see utility rooms added in the 30s or 40s, with their own third door for access to the outside clothesline. It may at some time have had a separate garage and drive on that side that door served.

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#804072 - 08/18/04 10:54 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3263
Loc: Midwest U.S.
 Quote:
Originally posted by MizMelody2001:
Is 1065 feet plus the porch footage tiny? [/b]
A realtor would say "cozy" or "modest". For a family of three, you can be comfortable. European families of 3-4 typically live in just over half that space, as do Japanese. We Americans with all our wide-open space are the only ones likely to think "tiny".

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#804073 - 08/18/04 11:00 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 Chickgrand, for all of your insightfulness!
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#804074 - 08/18/04 11:08 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
I'm curious about something and I'm guessing you are all knowledgeable enough (far moreso than I, obviously) about such things to ask you. If I buy this house and eventually we decided we need more room, i.e. a den or another bedroom for a baby, (I am not pregnant. But I would like another child in the future.) Would it be possible to add on a room to this house and how expensive and complicated would it be? Would I need special permits or anything?
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#804075 - 08/19/04 02:45 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
johnmoonlight Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 2384
Loc: Lancaster, pa
Sure, you can always add on at a later date. It can get pretty expensive but by then you will be more established. You will need a permit.
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Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
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But rather get you down in the hole
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#804076 - 08/19/04 04:20 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
lkplatow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 216
Loc: Philly burbs
Hmmmm...I think there's something here that no one has mentioned yet....the ongoing cost of maintenance. You said you were concerned about it and I think you are right to be so. First let me say that if at all possible, I think you should buy a house - it is one of the best investments you can make. But you need to be wary of just how much maintenance houses take. We have a 5 year old house and even with a new house, things break and they are not cheap to fix. A visit from the plumber runs at least $100. A furnace cleaning is $100. A new water heater (they go every 10 years!) is around $150 + labor to install it. And even though housing prices may vary from place to place, I have found that the cost of housing maintenance really doesn't vary so much. For example, in the town where I was born, you can buy a twin house (1/2 of a duplex) for less than $20K. But to put a roof on that twin house will still cost $3K. To put a new furnace in, same thing. So whereas as a percent of total housing value for a $200K house, a new roof or furnace isn't much, it's a considerable hit for someone living in a $20K house. I've often wondered how anyone actually affords to fix up their houses there - it seems like within a short amount of time (heck, just remodeling a kitchen!), you'd easily spend more than the entire house is worth! (Not to mention that for most people there, their cars cost more than their houses - weird, huh?)

Anyhow, don't just look at whether you can scrape the down payment up and whether the house passes inspection now. I've bought 2 houses now, both of which passed inspection with flying colors and both of which ended up costing me big time in maintenance anyway - that's just what houses do. The "experts" recommend setting aside 1% of your house's purchase price for annual maintenance - can you scrape up another $650/year -maybe more, since your house is "vintage"? You don't want to get stuck with a broken furnace in the middle of winter and no money to fix it -- remember, there's no landlord to call anymore!


Good luck with your decision!

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#804077 - 08/19/04 04:23 AM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

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

Just guessing base on material used/available in my area in that time period.

The foundation blocks on the addition are different from the house that has sculpted blocks. This type of block was available into the 60's here and I would hope that a contractor would have used matching blocks if they were available. The window appears to be the type and style that was used here around that time. From mid 60's and back the window would have been a double hung. The fascia is differet also but as you say is ageless, and only indicates later addition.

Like I said, its only a guess and I could be way off.

lb

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#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)
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#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.....
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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.)
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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!
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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
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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.
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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?
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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?
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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#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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#804108 - 08/20/04 02:53 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2339
Loc: Massachusetts
Melody you have gotten lots of great advice.

The house is charming, the price unbelievable. Do your homework, get a home inspection. Another thing I have done in buying our houses is to ring the doorbells at the neighbors and have a chat. They can tell you the history of the house, the neighborhood, schools. Perhaps there is an issue with the house or area you didn't know about. The bonus is that if you get the home, you will have already met the folks you will be living with!

Repairs are something you can do mostly yourself, get a good encyclopedia sort of home repair book. You would be amazed what a gallon of paint with do. Be creative, I hired an unemployed neighbor to help me paint my first house. He painted only the areas too high for me to reach, I painted the rest. You can work out bartering arrangements too. I have done gardening for others in exchange for help at my place.

I bought my first house as a single woman at age 24 some 20 years ago. Folks thought I was crazy.. They didn't think I was so crazy when I sold it 4 years later for twice the price! (Remember, this is greater Boston). In fact one of the neighbors was a buyer! \:D

Good luck and I agree with Larry, this is a monumental step in making your life better.
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#804109 - 08/20/04 03:48 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
WAHHHH! *TEARS* The house just went under contract by another couple, while I was waiting to hear back from the realtor!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

*sniffle* I'm sad....
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#804110 - 08/20/04 03:50 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
Just some stats, not all of which are relevant to Melody's situation, I admit.

According to Business Week, national housing price appreciation was 1% over inflation from 1950, .5% if the costs of home remodeling are taken into account (new kitchen/bath, new roof/paint, etc.) On the coasts and big cities, the appreciation was 2-3% over inflation over the same time period, so that many people from big cities can retire to small towns on just their house appreciation.

Inflation in the post-war period from 1945 was 4.1 percent in the US (I believe the 3.1 percent number is from 1926, according to Ibbotson). I compounded 11,000 dollars from 1950 to the present at 7.1 percent (4.1 inflation, plus 3 percent) and came up with about 477,000 dollars, close to Steve's sale price. For comparison, the S+P 500 stock index was at 14 in 1950, and is now about 1100. This does not include the effects of leverage (low downpayment) or rental income (or costs of repairs) in the case of Steve's rental property, nor dividends (historically 4-5 percent or more, now under 2 percent) in the case of stocks.

In theory, ownership assets (which include both stocks and real estate) should have similar returns in the very very long run. At present, many financial institutions are wondering about a real estate "bubble" - for example, Goldman Sachs just put out a report saying that big city real estate worldwide should drop over 20%. The Economist and World Bank have similar concerns. I do not happen to agree with them, but their arguments are not crazy. For example, one can value real estate compared to the yearly rental price of a comparible home (similar to a price/earnings ratio for a stock). On that measure, real estate in NYC, SF, Boston, etc, is near an all time high (over 25-30 in some cases, vs. a long term average of 17-18, similar to stocks long term average P/E ratio). This is being kept up by ultra low interest rates, and the perceived undesirability of other financial assets (like stocks). Higher rates spell some danger here (e.g. if 30-fixed mortgages rise over 7.5 percent), though I hope we see muted increases or stagnation in home prices, and not a sharp drop.

But people can lose buying a home. Rosie O'donnell bought a townhome in my neighborhood for 6.5 mill in 2000 and sold it for about 5.5 mill a few months ago (this is from memory, it was in the papers). I know plenty of Hamptons beach houses bought for 4 mill and selling for high 2's now. We have friends in Atlanta who have to sell a few years after purchase and must take a 10% or so loss (house value maybe 140k or so). We bought a house in Iowa and had to sell it losing almost all our downpayment, about a year later, when we moved to NYC. Both houses had the same problem: oversupply in a "sprawl" city, and re-sales were lowered due to much new construction nearby, that seemed more attractive to new buyers. (Same can happen in Las Vegas, for example.) Also, many of my clients lost money in NYC real estate in the early 90's when NYC housing dropped 25 or so percent. Housing has never had a down year nationally, but people can lose as well as make money in personal real estate, depending on location and house and the local economy (try to sell a house in Flint, Michigan).

Owning a home should usually be a person's or family's first investment, given the costs of renting, and the long term benefits of ownership (financial and personal). But I sensed some degree of uncertainty in Melody's posts as to whether this is the right move for her at this point in time (if I misread your internet posts, I can't see you or your facial expressions, and I apologize for reading too much into your words). If there is any uncertainty, I only wanted to say that there is always another house out there, and no one should be rushed into a house purchase, for fear of rising prices, which may or may not happen. I know nothing about construction, or how to evaluate building condition. If this is the right time for Melody to buy, all I can say is - post pictures!

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#804111 - 08/20/04 03:54 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3263
Loc: Midwest U.S.
Psssttt....

No more than about 80 characters per line or we all end up scrolling, not just for your post but for every one that precedes and everyone that follows.

And another pointer--that little icon above your post that looks like a sheet of paper--it lets you edit your previous post at any time. Takes you right to the composition window, where you can change it. Then you just click the little "Edit" button on the left below the box and you are done.

As to the house--just keep looking. Another will come up in your range. Meantime, you have time to save and to look into various financing and rehabilitation options. Since I stay fairly well-informed around Norman about what's available, I'll let you know if I see anything that looks promising. Meantime, get hubby working!

[I see you figured out that characters/scrolling thing, even before seeing my post. ]

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#804112 - 08/20/04 03:57 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!

I fixed the AHHH's right after I posted. I didn't realize it would mess it up so much.

Hubby picked up a job application yesterday.
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804113 - 08/20/04 04:15 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:
Posted by Melody: I have alredy told him btw that if h lives in this house with us (If I buyit) he MUST work. [/b]
My wife tells me the SAME THING!!! All you women are the SAME! You got some kind of girl plot going?

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#804114 - 08/20/04 04:15 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 so disapppointed.
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804115 - 08/20/04 04:17 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 MizMelody2001:
I am so disapppointed. [/b]
Good. Now it's time to go out and find the truly RIGHT house for you.

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#804116 - 08/20/04 04:23 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2339
Loc: Massachusetts
Never fear, another house is out there.

Chalk it up as a learning experience. You'll know that much more the next time and now you have a new knowledge you can use to continue looking.

Best of luck in your house hunt.
_________________________
BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

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#804117 - 08/20/04 04:35 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
Just to add to the good advice above: not once have I seen a friend or client miss a house, no matter how much they wanted it at the time, not come up very soon (weeks or months at most) with a house they liked better in almost every respect. Happy house hunting (and get a buyer's broker, if available)!

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#804118 - 08/20/04 05:02 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
Here's a listing for another house..... Or is it a condo or town home?

http://realtor.com/FindHome/HomeListing....33&lnksrc=00002

I called about it and am waiting to hear back....
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804119 - 08/20/04 05:07 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 everyone!
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www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804120 - 08/20/04 05:09 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
I just sort of prematurely fell in love with the porch and lovely back yard.... IT was right down the block from my sons school and all.... well located.
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#804121 - 08/20/04 05:47 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
JoeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 671
Loc: Northern California
 Quote:
IT was right down the block from my sons school and all.... well located.
That sounds like an important criteria. Even if there isn't another house located so well now, there will be sooner or later. As you spend time house hunting you are also spending time getting house smarter - both in the local real estate market and your own preferences and priorities. Good luck.
_________________________
"How, Monsieur, you care not for music? You do not play the clavecin? I am sorry for you! You are indeed condemming yourself to a dull old age!" - Fouquet

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#804122 - 08/20/04 06:24 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 Joe!
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#804123 - 08/20/04 06:46 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
Sorry that this one got away, but there are lots of houses, all the time. That one was nice, there are others out there nicer.

Look at all you have learned so far. When the next one comes along you can react that much more quickly. Now that you know the City of Norman has programs for first time buyers, you have some time to pay them a visit and see what they offer. You might even be able to pre-qualify with them so you know what you can afford and can move quickly to lock up a house when you find the right one.

I think the "Buyer's Broker" idea is a good one. You have some time now to shop around for one you like working with. Meantime, save what you can toward a down payment - looks like $2- $3K is what you'll need in your market.

Good luck!
_________________________
Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#804124 - 08/20/04 10:32 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
Jeffrey-

Great analysis.

I'll agree that as an investment, there are other ways to go besides houses and in many cases these ways may be preferable. They're not for me; I like investments I can see, touch and hammer nails in to. Everything else seems to me too great a gamble. Not so for others however, and that's fine by me. A couple of them are paying down my mortgages every month.

I am going to consider what you say very carefully, because I work with houses as investments. But we're not necessarily talking about investments for Melody, we're talking about one house - a house to live in. The investment question is rather a side issue in this case, except as it relates to rising prices/inflation and the advisability of waiting.

So here's the question: Assuming an intention to stay in one location for at least several years, would you advise someone to pay rent on a place to live in and invest in stocks or to buy a house for themselves? Fund the IRA or buy the condo?

It would seem to me that although there may be higher profit potential in stocks (relative risk nonwithstanding, and assuming an investment equal to a down payment), any profit you might make on stocks would be quickly consumed by whatever you were paying in rent. Pay tax on the stock profits, pay tax on the dividends, pay brokerage commissions, management fees, etc. and you won't have much left. In the meantime, you write a check for the rent every single month; each of which represents a dead loss. A dead loss on after-tax money.

Even if the house drops in value (not likely over the long term), you will own it when you are done paying for it, and you will pay for it with increasingly inflated dollars over time. Every payment you make brings you one step closer to owning it outright - an desirable position in any market. In the meantime, no one can change the payment, no one can sell the house out from under you, and no one can tell you what color to paint the kitchen.

You're not the first investment pro to tell me that a house is not a great investment, but despite your most thorough analysis I still can't understand how this could be so. Indeed, there is a quote in "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" that states that the poor and middle class consder their house an asset, but the wealthy consider their house a liability. He must have a point - he's sold an awful lot of books - but I still don't get it. It sure looks like an asset to me.

Jeffrey, do you rent or own?
_________________________
Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#804125 - 08/21/04 12:22 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 - I believe what I said in my long post: "Owning a home should usually be a person's or family's first investment, given the costs of renting, and the long term benefits of ownership (financial and personal)." I never meant to imply that "a house is not a great investment." The return on a personal house investment should be calculated as the increase in the house's value (which could be quite high as a percentage, given a low down payment), PLUS any "implied rent" that would have been paid for a similar quality rental unit, minus any expenses for mortgage, taxes and upkeep. On that basis, housing is hard to beat as a first investment outside a company 401(k) plan with a free match, for most people, in most circumstances, provided they plan to live in the area for at least 3-5 years.

I personally own. I owned in the midwest, and lost some money when I had to sell quickly in an overbuilt market against newer units when I moved to NYC. I made a mistake buying in an area I didn't really want to live in long term. I should have rented, in retrospect. I rented in a cheap walk-up for 4 years as I established my self in my new career in NYC, and saved for a downpayment. I bought a 1928 Emory Roth designed pre-war co-op in October of 2001 in Manhattan during a 15% dip in NYC real estate prices, and have a very large increase on that purchase. When I purchased both I and all my friends thought I would lose money given the outlook at the time for the local economy, but I purchased because I loved the building and the apt., and as a statement of long-term faith in NYC. It was the right lifestyle choice for me at the time given my time horizon, and also happened to work out financially.

As to what people "should" invest in outside a 401(k) and a personal home, stocks or real estate, there is no one answer. Each person is different. If you are knowlegeable about how to fix houses, and the responsibilities of being a landlord, rental real estate could be a good investment for you. Your comfort level with that type of investment is a big plus in it being the right choice for you. In general, I find that people who underspend their income, and invest regularly in any decent investment(s) over time, become wealthy, and those that overspend their income and don't invest (I don't care - stocks, real estate, fine art, hedge funds, whatever) tend to be less wealthy. Beyond that, I would never generalize and say that everyone "should" invest one way or another, without knowing the person and their circumstances in much more detail.

I have not read the Rich Dad series. I don't see how a house can be a liability. My main point in challenging the idea that housing always goes up (in addition to my finding the general topic interesting) is to encourage Melody to take the first home buying process a bit more slowly. [Edit: and congrats on your construction business which you posted about elsewhere!]

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#804126 - 08/21/04 08:37 PM Re: I'm thinking of buying a house : Advice please
Jack Frost Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 4454
Loc: Maine
Mel,

I have been away for three days and much has happened since.

I yield any rights of being first responder and encourage you to listen to the lots of good advice you have recieved.

In the meantime, I add only this advice:

Stay on the piano forum. You will find many good people to help you with any task....

jf
_________________________
"Make the pie higher." GWB

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