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School me on buying a house

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Old 02-05-2016, 12:23 PM   #21
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It's a pretty weird feeling. I'm a little worried it won't be a good investment since I'm still semi-young, but I guess I'll have to wait and see!
lol I know what you mean, I am 24 and will be buying by myself. luckily I have a couple friends that are very interested in renting out a room so that will help out a lot.

around where I live, it is pretty common to have a septic tank instead of a sewer system. my parents house still has the original septic from the 70's and it still looks and is working perfectly fine. obviously going to inspect any septic system at a house I am interested in to make sure.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:00 PM   #22
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Not sure if this was mentioned, but go to Zillow and see what houses have sold for in that area. Your realtor should also have that info.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:18 PM   #23
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Septic tank might be unavoidable depending on his part of the country. Some areas run sewer lines all over the place, other parts of the country the sewer line stops at the city limits. Really if you have the right type of soil, septic systems are very reliable and trouble free.

Also look for moisture in the basement. That can cost you big $$$$ if you have water leaking through the block/concrete or if something is wrong with the sump pump system. You have to dig out the soil in front of the house and fix whatever the problem is.
Anything I'm looking at will be city sewer. I have to stay within the city limits to get my bonus. As far as moisture in the basement, any pointers on spotting it? I'm guessing that is something a shady seller would do their best to cover up.

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lol I know what you mean, I am 24 and will be buying by myself. luckily I have a couple friends that are very interested in renting out a room so that will help out a lot.

around where I live, it is pretty common to have a septic tank instead of a sewer system. my parents house still has the original septic from the 70's and it still looks and is working perfectly fine. obviously going to inspect any septic system at a house I am interested in to make sure.
Haha, I just turned 25, and people say our generation sucks....
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:07 PM   #24
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1. "Is this address in a flood plain?", meaning has it ever been flooded, and is Federal flood insurance available and cheap.
2. Go to the County Clerk and check the title yourself for mechanic's liens, back taxes, lis pendens, etc.
3. Check the seller's name (Civil Court) for litigation (evictions, foreclosures, property claims), and criminal history (Criminal Court) such as fraud, embezzlement, larceny.
4. Getting cash back from a mortgage: explain to the seller that you need some cash on hand when this is done, and make the sale price at least $10 K more than what you agreed on. Now the bank loans you XX% of that (higher) amount, which the seller refunds to you at closing "for repairs". Upside: you have payments for a year. Downside: there may be a mortgage recording fee as high as 2% ($4,000 on a $200,000 mortgage). Despite the fact that people attend (and pay for) seminars that give the same advice, it's illegal. Be careful.
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:37 PM   #25
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Anything I'm looking at will be city sewer. I have to stay within the city limits to get my bonus. As far as moisture in the basement, any pointers on spotting it? I'm guessing that is something a shady seller would do their best to cover up.
I have this right now in my rental. Looks for black or white substance buildup near the bottom of the walls, or any mold or other such things.

A white powder substance is usually efflorescence and black will be small particles of sand or clay that have leaked in with the water.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:18 PM   #26
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I just bought my first house 6 months ago @ age 28. There are many things I wish I checked before hand that I never thought of. Stuff like cell phone service. I get pretty much nothing. Internet providers. I have 2 options and they both suck. The weather and what it does. Around my house it is always windy. Go down the mountain a few miles and nothing. Sames goes with the rain. Pours at my house and floods the streets but a few miles down the road, its sunny. Pre existing problems (or headaches) that the inspector might over look. Example, the wiring in my house sucks. You would think that the light switch by the door would turn on the main light in a room. Nope. Its at the other end of the room. I have vaulted sealing so guess what? I have to rip the drywall to change out wiring. No crawl space in the attic.

What is nice about getting a house is the first year warranty. I have already had the plumbing back up, one ac unit went out, fence blew over, leaky faucets and a garage door that would always get stuck half way down. Probably $3k worth of fixing stuff and all I had to pay was $200.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:50 AM   #27
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I just bought my first house 6 months ago @ age 28. There are many things I wish I checked before hand that I never thought of. Stuff like cell phone service. I get pretty much nothing. Internet providers. I have 2 options and they both suck. The weather and what it does. Around my house it is always windy. Go down the mountain a few miles and nothing. Sames goes with the rain. Pours at my house and floods the streets but a few miles down the road, its sunny. Pre existing problems (or headaches) that the inspector might over look. Example, the wiring in my house sucks. You would think that the light switch by the door would turn on the main light in a room. Nope. Its at the other end of the room. I have vaulted sealing so guess what? I have to rip the drywall to change out wiring. No crawl space in the attic.

What is nice about getting a house is the first year warranty. I have already had the plumbing back up, one ac unit went out, fence blew over, leaky faucets and a garage door that would always get stuck half way down. Probably $3k worth of fixing stuff and all I had to pay was $200.
I'm doing a lot more research on first year insurance from local people. Also curious how long did it take everyone to close? I'm expecting that that will take ~1 month but interested to hear from others.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:20 PM   #28
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3 months. Lots of problems. Nothing ever goes perfect. Biggest problem was the house appraised for less then I offered. The bank will only loan you what the house appraises for. So lots of going back and forth with the seller to come to a compromise. There were also repairs that were supposed to be done but due to the low appraisal and the seller willing to come down ($16,000 at that), nothing got done.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:03 PM   #29
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Took me maybe two months. Nothing was going well until one day our house went down $10,000 and our realtor noticed it now in our price range. Had the house within about 3 weeks.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:54 PM   #30
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Btw this site is like the Bible of buying a house.

http://michaelbluejay.com/house/basics.html
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:16 AM   #31
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Btw this site is like the Bible of buying a house.

http://michaelbluejay.com/house/basics.html
YES! I used that constantly when we were house shopping. Completely forgot about it since then.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:17 AM   #32
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Btw this site is like the Bible of buying a house.

http://michaelbluejay.com/house/basics.html
Awesome link! Thanks for the info! Also E-trade has to have the last of my tax stuff to me by next Tuesday, so assuming I don't owe the Gov like 10k in taxes time to get serious is fast approaching.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:28 PM   #33
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I just bought a house back in October, when I had made the offer, I included a 30 day close to insure the offer was accepted, the day before the offer was submitted the new TRID law was made effective which now allows a minimum of a 45 day close at the earliest. Do some research on it, it definitely protects you and your best interest. Good luck! It's super stressful but worth it in the end when you get the keys to your new house.

Last edited by 11z71; 02-10-2016 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:20 PM   #34
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Wrapped up my taxes this morning and I don't owe the IRS thousands of dollars!! I'm even getting a couple of hundred back. Time to get serious now.

I went and drove around a few neighborhoods and scheduled my meeting with a loan officer to get pre approved. I know there will be a few more houses coming on the market as it warms up so I'm hoping to get ahead of the curve on this one. The Camaro should finally have it's own garage this year!!
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:11 PM   #35
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A good time to buy is in the winter. Most people don't want to move yet and you might get into bidding wars during the warmer months.

Make sure you check whether a neighborhood has flooded in council bluffs. They have a major issue with it.

I switched to state farm for insurance, but I've also never had a claim, so good luck with your choice. It's not necessarily a big deal with who you choose at first either, you can always switch insurance providers with just a phone call to your lender and your new and old insurance company.
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:30 PM   #36
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A good time to buy is in the winter. Most people don't want to move yet and you might get into bidding wars during the warmer months.

Make sure you check whether a neighborhood has flooded in council bluffs. They have a major issue with it.

I switched to state farm for insurance, but I've also never had a claim, so good luck with your choice. It's not necessarily a big deal with who you choose at first either, you can always switch insurance providers with just a phone call to your lender and your new and old insurance company.
Yeah, I'm not even looking at anything that's on the flood plain. After cruising around I'm hoping I can snag a spot on one of the bluffs.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:21 AM   #37
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I've bought 2 houses and have had a lot of friends buy recently, and the biggest advice I could give is BRING A FLASHLIGHT AND A LADDER. Crawl around EVERYWHERE, all over the attic, in the cabinets, under the house, pull back the carpet if you find a loose spot and find out why it's loose (probably water damaged). Don't just let your inspector look, you need to look for yourself. Bring friends or family that know certain trades like electrical, plumbing or an engineer. Go after or during a huge rain storm and see if there is standing water in the yard, how the water flows off the property. Do not buy a house that was flipped, it is probably hiding damage. Get on the roof and bounce around feeling for soft spots. Inspect gutters, especially corners where if someone had not cleaned a gutter and it overflowed for a long time it could have rotted the roof and sills. Make sure the attic is well insulated, smell for weird smells that could be old mold, pull back appliances, check behind the washer and dryer, drink the water, take a huge **** and try to clog a toilet, and rock around as if demons are coming out to see if the floor is rotted from a leaky toilet. Full the tub and sink and drain them together to make sure vents are done right.
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:10 PM   #38
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Slight update, as of Saturday I have my preapproval letter in hand, I went ahead and got approved for 20k more than I'd like to spend just in case a baller house pops up. I also went and looked at 2 houses, and veto'd them right away due to obvious maintenance concerns. I'm sure my realtor is going to get sick and tired of me eventually.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:14 AM   #39
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... and got approved for 20k more than I'd like to spend just in case a baller house pops up.
Keep those rose colored glasses in check.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:22 AM   #40
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Keep those rose colored glasses in check.
Haha will do. The approval was based on my base salary alone, which typically counts for ~55% of my income so even if I go over what I want to spend I should be playing it pretty safe. It was nice though, even after getting verification letters from my companies stock admin group as well as HR for bonuses I didn't even need them. I'm really hoping to be able to pay off whatever I get fairly quick. I've already knocked ~100k of student loans down to ~25k in almost 3 years.
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