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Thinking of buying a house - a little overwhelmed

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Q&A Thinking of buying a house – a little overwhelmed

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 54 total)
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  • #509657

    Twixlen
    Participant

    rustbelt said:
    Speaking as a former home owner, now renter —

    In this market, be fairly picky about what you want. There’s lots of houses out there, priced much more cheaply than even a year or two ago.

    I keep a close eye on my neighborhood (Westgate), and what I am noticing is houses that are move-in ready, and priced well are turning over really quickly. Less than a week, sometimes.

    At around $100K (and my advice is this – no matter what the mortgage person tells you – do not buy at the maximum you can “afford”; you still want to have a life outside of mortgage payments), it’ll be difficult to find a true “move-in-ready” house. Like rustbelt mentioned – even a house that’s really clean will likely need a coat of paint somewhere. There’s a lot you can do yourself – tearing out carpet, laying down certain kinds of vinyl (some of the newer styles – like plank – look much nicer than the old sheet stuff), painting, switching out light fixtures… you have to figure out how much you’re willing to tackle. You’ll want enough money left over for those projects, and for window coverings (which can be really expensive, when tackled all at once).

    Don’t forget about cost saving stuff like thrift stores & craigslist for furniture/household goods/appliances/yard equipment; the Habitat for Humanity ReUse It stores for more construction-level stuff (cabinets, doors, wood, hardware, light fixtures, windows, etc).

    #509658

    ricospaz
    Participant

    Twixlen said:
    I keep a close eye on my neighborhood (Westgate), and what I am noticing is houses that are move-in ready, and priced well are turning over really quickly. Less than a week, sometimes.

    At around $100K (and my advice is this – no matter what the mortgage person tells you – do not buy at the maximum you can “afford”; you still want to have a life outside of mortgage payments), it’ll be difficult to find a true “move-in-ready” house. Like rustbelt mentioned – even a house that’s really clean will likely need a coat of paint somewhere. There’s a lot you can do yourself – tearing out carpet, laying down certain kinds of vinyl (some of the newer styles – like plank – look much nicer than the old sheet stuff), painting, switching out light fixtures… you have to figure out how much you’re willing to tackle. You’ll want enough money left over for those projects, and for window coverings (which can be really expensive, when tackled all at once).

    Don’t forget about cost saving stuff like thrift stores & craigslist for furniture/household goods/appliances/yard equipment; the Habitat for Humanity ReUse It stores for more construction-level stuff (cabinets, doors, wood, hardware, light fixtures, windows, etc).

    +1 Very good point about watching how much you spend. Don’t be house poor.

    #509659

    melikecheese
    Participant

    Good luck, its not as scary and hard as it seems once you get started. Go talk to a mortgage person, they will at least fill you in on the requirements so you know what you need.

    Some people say 6K is not enough, I would say it is, my down payment was much less then that, it’s a personal choice for you to make. Mortgage insurance will run you about 45 bucks a month, but after a few years (I cant recall the exact rule) you can get it removed.

    Checkout the areas just south of German Village for your price range. Good luck finding anything for that price in Grandview or the southern part of Clintonville. I had about the same budget and also wanted a stand alone house. I didn’t want to buy something that was made to rent with shared walls.

    #509660

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    My wife and I recently bought a house for the first time. I can second most of the advice you’re getting here. We saved and saved and saved some more so we could have put 40% down on the house, but instead we did 20% and bought a house that needed some minor/moderate updating. That’s a whole different thread, and I don’t recommend you get something like that unless you’re really sure its feasible. I’m handy so I’ve done a ton of the work myself, but I learned the skills over many years working on my parents house. Don’t believe the house flipping shows on TV that show people with no experience going in and making it big. Everything also takes three times longer than you think it should.

    I can’t emphasize enough the need to have some extra money in the bank; I had to spend $900 to have three fallen pine trees removed after the Great Derecho of 2012. Never would have thought about it going in but fortunately it wasn’t a problem for us.

    Basically if I were you, I’d wait a while longer and save. Don’t believe the hype that the market is ready to explode. It’s certainly getting better and the homes in my neighborhood have sold very quickly of late, but you’re better off making yourself financially sound even if it means you end up paying a higher interest rate and slightly higher home prices.

    #509661

    leftovers
    Member

    susank said:

    I am really not looking for too much to start with at first, just a starter home. The HUD house in Old Town was listed at $35k, but it probably would have needed work in the near future as the mechanicals were older.

    I was really disappointed that I missed out on that one. I assume that there is no such thing as the perfect house and that I will have plenty of other missed opportunities in before my search is over. I was more hesitant about it until it ‘got away’.

    We keep our eye out on those HUD houses. I will say though that they generally do a good job of appraising them. A $35k house in OTE is probably going to require more work than you might be comfortable with both emotionally and financially. There are 203k loans which can be tagged on for fixing a place up, but you have to be very careful. Getting reputable contractors and decent work is a whole other thread in itself.

    Regardless, don’t spend too much time worrying about the ones you missed, there are plenty of other deals that will come up if you look. We have had our hearts broken several times, but have found there always seems to be something else down the road.

    You might want to check out some of the new Wagenbrenner built houses/rehabs in Weinland Park. They have several different options for home buyers. It sure isn’t Grandview, but it is a very walkable area.

    #509662

    SusanB
    Participant

    There is an amazing and cheap house in my neighborhood right now (if someone hasn’t bought it already). Move in condition, although I’d put in glass block basement windows and a back privacy fence. Not sure if it has been listed or sold yet, bank owned. PM me for details. You’ll need to do some legwork on it but it is a beauty. Wish I could buy it.

    #509663

    buckette13
    Member

    You might not be thinking about it now, but it is always wise to consider schools in the equation. Even if you do not use them, good schools will keep housing prices stable and in demand.

    #509664

    Mo
    Member

    I second what arualpalm said earlier. The cost to maintain a home is staggering, even if you buy a home that is in good condition. Things go bad, break, etc. eventually. With your income and savings that you noted, I would strongly suggest you really think long and hard about whether this is a step you can/want to take. Aside from the maintenance costs, there is the time involved for upkeep.
    My wife and I bought our house in 2010, and we are now wishing we had rented because of these things. However, every person/case is different, so make sure to examine all the advantages/disadvantages very carefully. Good luck!!!

    #509665
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    buckette13 said:
    Even if you do not use them, good schools will keep housing prices stable and in demand.

    I don’t think that’s always the case. The national housing crisis hit many suburban communities very hard, regardless of good schools. Similarly, housing prices in places like German Village and The Short North have remained stable and in demand, regardless of good schools.

    #509666

    Jman4ever
    Participant

    Mo said:
    I second what arualpalm said earlier. The cost to maintain a home is staggering, even if you buy a home that is in good condition. Things go bad, break, etc. eventually. With your income and savings that you noted, I would strongly suggest you really think long and hard about whether this is a step you can/want to take. Aside from the maintenance costs, there is the time involved for upkeep.
    My wife and I bought our house in 2010, and we are now wishing we had rented because of these things. However, every person/case is different, so make sure to examine all the advantages/disadvantages very carefully. Good luck!!!

    Or you could look at it this way. Take the value of the house divide by 25, and that’s what you should budget for rep and maint. If you can set that aside in a savings account. Use that account only for rep and maint. Think of it as a hedge fund for the homeowner.

    #509667

    bucki12
    Member

    I would just be careful if you are looking at mostly low priced HUD/foreclosure homes. My brother has bought several over the years. There is more of an urgency to buy because of the way the bidding is structured and you really do not get a chance to thoroughly inspect until after you have your earnest money on the line. Everything is as is with no guarantees. It is very tempting to look at houses based on low price but often it is similar to the ‘free puppy’ bargain.

    Regardless of what you buy, I would set up a savings fund just for repairs and maintenance. The other issue of course is that you can fix or change a lot of things about the house, but you can’t do anything about changing its location. That should be a big consideration.

    #509668

    myliftkk
    Participant

    Don’t scratch the itch, it will pass with time.

    #509669

    rustbelt
    Participant

    I keep a close eye on my neighborhood (Westgate), and what I am noticing is houses that are move-in ready, and priced well are turning over really quickly. Less than a week, sometimes.

    I’m one of those who is very happy renting yet continually checking out real estate. At least online.

    Lately, I’ve noticed a good deal of solid houses for very fair (or cheap) prices on the west side. I have not paid attention to how quickly they’ve been selling.

    On the other hand, I’ve followed some similar houses for similar prices in the 43207/Merion Village area & noticed those get scooped up quickly.

    I’m talking like 3BR/1 bath, move-in ready, $90-125K.

    #509670
    Snarf
    Snarf
    Participant

    Are the same people that are against buying houses also who ditch cable for internet tv?

    I feel there’s a Portlandia episode here.

    #509671
    Snarf
    Snarf
    Participant

    SusanB said:
    There is an amazing and cheap house in my neighborhood right now (if someone hasn’t bought it already). Move in condition, although I’d put in glass block basement windows and a back privacy fence. Not sure if it has been listed or sold yet, bank owned. PM me for details. You’ll need to do some legwork on it but it is a beauty. Wish I could buy it.

    I think you get the award for longest location under your username.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 54 total)

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