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Fri May 17, 2019, 07:08 AM

Work: everyday I come here and everyday those people bother me

I was not sure how to lead this off so I went with that. I say it at work all the time, with a smile.

So yesterday we got a call from our landlord/real estate company that manages this property (Berkshire Hathaway), the owner is selling the house. We have 60 days.

Yes we rent. A ridiculously low $1,200 a month for 1,500 square foot trilevel home. 3 bedrooms (one is a "craft room" suburbian to the nth degree. Great schools - my daughter is locked into a high school program after she got accepted (yes we can apply to high schools here). And so forth.

I've shared a lot here on DU over the years but this is a bit strange for me. Apparently WE'RE BUYING A HOUSE. Like real quick. I've never owned a home, never really wanted to. So I guess part of this is any tips you all can offer. I am eligible for a VA loan and our income should allow for a nice place. I get the feeling we are going to an even whiter place.

My wife and I, since last night, have had several "it's going to be okay" deep breath moments. My main concern at this point is packing. I moved so many times when I was a kid you'd think my mother was in the carnival. My wife on the other hand has every gravy boat her great grandmother ever cast a shadow upon. Plus, she's a "prepper", we have about 6 months of food in this place.

So....here we go. Out into real life.... I guess. Sorry just needed to vent before I go to work.

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Reply Work: everyday I come here and everyday those people bother me (Original post)
underpants May 2019 OP
Lochloosa May 2019 #1
NightWatcher May 2019 #2
boston bean May 2019 #3
Corgigal May 2019 #4
yardwork May 2019 #5
Luciferous May 2019 #10
underpants May 2019 #12
yardwork May 2019 #22
MaryMagdaline May 2019 #6
Guy Whitey Corngood May 2019 #7
babylonsister May 2019 #8
DFW May 2019 #9
Solly Mack May 2019 #11
underpants May 2019 #13
Solly Mack May 2019 #15
Auggie May 2019 #14
catbyte May 2019 #16
onetexan May 2019 #29
MelissaB May 2019 #17
extvbroadcaster May 2019 #18
neohippie May 2019 #19
CanonRay May 2019 #20
TheBlackAdder May 2019 #21
MineralMan May 2019 #23
flibbitygiblets May 2019 #24
SleeplessinSoCal May 2019 #25
Ilsa May 2019 #26
dameatball May 2019 #27
Baltimike May 2019 #28
SWBTATTReg May 2019 #30
onetexan May 2019 #31
AirmensMom May 2019 #32
WiffenPoof May 2019 #33
cally May 2019 #34
extvbroadcaster May 2019 #38
mahina May 2019 #46
keithbvadu2 May 2019 #35
Johonny May 2019 #36
Traildogbob May 2019 #40
csziggy May 2019 #37
ProfessorPlum May 2019 #39
iwillalwayswonderwhy May 2019 #41
bigbrother05 May 2019 #42
missingthebigdog May 2019 #54
Fresh_Start May 2019 #43
Lars39 May 2019 #44
mahina May 2019 #45
Hekate May 2019 #47
mahina May 2019 #51
VarryOn May 2019 #48
ProudLib72 May 2019 #49
shanti May 2019 #50
SeattleVet May 2019 #52
emmaverybo May 2019 #53

Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 07:15 AM

1. I would have a reputable Home Inspector look at any house you are thinking about.

It can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 07:18 AM

2. It'll be a whole new kind of stress but it will pass. Don't sweat the inspections.

When you think you like a place you may have to move fast. Our house went on the market last year on a Friday and we had three offers by that Saturday lunch.

Use your inspectors to tell you things about the place you want to buy. Know what's there before you buy. Go run a ton of water through the bathtubs to make sure they all drain easily (save you a $2000 mistake we made).

Enjoy the madness.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 07:19 AM

3. The rates are good and being eligible for VA even better. You will be paying a bank interest but

towards something that will be your own and a nice investment.


Congratulations!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 07:23 AM

4. I used Veterans United mortgage.

They are quick and you know where you'll stand within a few days. Then get a realtor, and away you go.

Moving, go get a u-haul and hire some men for the truck. We hired 3 guys, so they pack your uhaul, drive it for a small charge and place the furniture in the house. No cheaper rate anywhere.

Good luck on your house hunting. We just moved to this house 2 years ago, so if you have any questions.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 07:30 AM

5. Can you buy the house you're in?

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Response to yardwork (Reply #5)

Fri May 17, 2019, 08:24 AM

10. That's what I was thinking. If they like the house and the neighborhood they should try to put an

offer on the house.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #5)

Fri May 17, 2019, 08:47 AM

12. We could but we're not

It needs too much work. Plumbing mostly - yeah we were responsible for that in the lease which was new to me at the time.

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Response to underpants (Reply #12)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:28 AM

22. That makes sense.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 07:40 AM

6. Just a tip: garbage and water bill are separate

First stand alone house we bought (other than our condo) about 3 months in we saw that no one picked up our garbage. Seems the amount escrowed for garbage pick up had expired. My husband grew up in apartments in NYC and condos in Florida and I was just oblivious. The landlord/property management does not magically take care of garbage.

Enjoy your new life and throw as much away as possible!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 07:45 AM

7. I also have rented my entire life. And now we're closing on my first house in 2 weeks. I'm

fucking terrified.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 07:50 AM

8. Very exciting-congrats!

I bet you'll wonder why you didn't buy sooner.

There are moving companies who will pack you up if you need or want that service. Just beware, if you have a receptacle full of trash, the trash gets packed, too.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 08:12 AM

9. I have moved LOTS of times, bought a house exactly once

Moving almost became second nature to me. Between the ages of 16 and 38, I moved from Virginia to Spain to Massachusetts to Pennsylvania back to Massachusetts to Texas to the Ruhr Valley of Germany to the Rheinland of Germany. Round, round, get around, I get around. Not even an army brat, that was all just me (last one with my wife and daughters).

The only house I bought was the one in the Rheinland, the one we live in now, and the paperwork was a nightmare, as I didn't have German residence at the time. I now understand why notaries in Germany all drive cars costing upward of $100,000.

Still, I don't regret any of it, and I suspect you won't either. Be prepared for loud sucking noises once you have signed. That is the noise caused by the rapid disappearance of all the repair money and extra taxes that will reduce your net worth at twice the rate you ever thought possible.


Like you said, real life and all.............

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 08:29 AM

11. We're at the end of the process now. Used VA.

Closing has been put off twice already. Not on our part. We close Wednesday of next week. Finally. Extra hoops with the VA but so far, so good. Have ready about 7k in closing cost - about 2-5 percent of purchase price. Could be more. Could be less. Depends.

Best of luck!

Be sure to stay on top of everything (inspection, appraisal, insurance) - call to make sure they are moving their various parts along. Your agent will push some things along as well.

Best of everything!







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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #11)

Fri May 17, 2019, 08:48 AM

13. Yeah that's first thing next week

Getting cash on hand.

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Response to underpants (Reply #13)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:01 AM

15. We did it all in about 2 months, even with the delays.

So don't let the 60 days part scare you. It can be done.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 08:53 AM

14. If I could do it again, I'd have two home inspections

Either our guy was incompetent or working on behalf our broker, but he failed to give us the big picture on our house (it was a do-it-yourself remodel, a lot of which wasn't done to code).

Second piece of advice: don't discount older neighborhoods. Often the best land was developed first. And even though the house may be older and you'll want to remodel, you'll get to pick the colors and materials rather than have to settle on someone elses tastes.

Third piece of advice: Paint and new carpeting is cheap. Windows and roofs aren't.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:13 AM

16. When you make an offer on a house, make it contingent on a home inspection. It saved us

thousands of dollars when we bought our house years ago. That said, I feel your pain. Moving sucks. If it's in your budget, have movers help you pack. It can get overwhelming, especially if you've been there a while. Best wishes to you.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #16)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:47 AM

29. yup the home inspection is key

i wonder why on these Home shows (like Fixer Upper) how they start renovation on an old home, then find out it's got major problems costing more money for the home owner. Would make sense to do a home inspection first.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:18 AM

17. Find the inspector known as "the deal breaker".

Last edited Fri May 17, 2019, 09:52 AM - Edit history (1)

He will be thorough and you know exactly what need to be fixed in the house.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:20 AM

18. It's always a gamble owning a house

Houses are always a gamble. Remember three things: You can't fix the neighborhood, you can't fix the foundation, and you can't fix how the house sits on the lot. First, the neighborhood. Look for cars up on blocks, empty lots, bars on the windows, above ground pools, unmowed grass, signs of big parties, etc. Drive by the house at all hours, day and night. See what is going on at midnight on a Saturday. Look for a place where the neighbors keep up their property and are not throwing drunken parties until 2 AM. Next, get out your level and check the door frames and windows. You want things square. If you see water or evidence of water in the basement, run. And finally, if the house is sitting on the lot close to a neighbor, has a shared driveway, is close to a road, or has an exposed backyard run too. You want privacy in your backyard. But going back to things you can't control, a family member bought a house with woods in the back. It was great until the area was sold and they put a self storage complex there. Then it sucked. Finally, a word on home inspections. They are often not worth the paper they are printed on. Get one anyway. And then get an electrician and plumbing company and let them inspect it too. It will cost more money but believe you me it can save you from a big mistake. Digging up a sewer is thousands of dollars and you don't want to have to do it. A word on prices. Realtors and owners always pick a price, add a good 10 or 20 grand and start there. Unless it is a hot real estate market, they will come down when there is money on the table. Good luck!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:21 AM

19. Good advice in here

The quality of the home inspection is important to save you from things that aren't visible, roofs that have multiple layers of shingles on them, gutters that provide proper drainage away from house, foundations, hidden leaks, bad wiring, aged HVAC equipment sized properly for the square footage of your house and so on.

Also make sure you have a clean title and get title insurance

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:23 AM

20. The home inspection is critical

get a good one, somebody you trust and who knows what to look for. The guy our realtor recommended missed a lot of dry rot and even missed termites in the garage (we're in a wet climate), all work I had to pay for after closing. Also, be sure to find out how old the hot water tank is. Over 10, figure it's on its last legs. Good luck!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:28 AM

21. Don't have a Home Inspector inspect it. Get a Structural Engineer. They are held to higher standards

.

Many home inspectors are bullshit, and just take your money. Some are affiliated with the real estate agents to help promote a house sale. Get a structural engineer to inspect the property and issue a full write up of all issues. They will go over every inch of the home and pinpoint things that home inspectors wouldn't know about the foundation, and other structural issues. While home inspectors are around $400 in NJ, for an average home, a structural engineer is around $1100. But, since you are investing a lot into the house, it would be good to get a full analysis. The one I used brought a co-worker and they both went room to room, crawled into crawl spaces, etc. It took them almost a full day to inspect the house, and when finished, I received a 60 page report detailing everything.

Most home inspectors are not insured or barely insured. If they get sued, they just close up shop and start under a new name.

Structural engineers, especially well established ones, insure their work and are in business for a decade or more. Look around for the best in your area. You won't regret it.


You also want a raised-seal stamped and signed certification. Without that, any report, from anybody, is bogus.

If you do use a home inspector, which would be a serious mistake, you still need to get the raised-seal stamped and signed certification from them too. Many will charge $40 or more for it and will tell you you don't need one. The reason is, that certification means that if they fuck up, it's their ass and they could be on the hook for a lawsuit. If anyone refuses to give one, don't walk, but run. Their report won't be worth the paper it is written on.

.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:30 AM

23. Just take a deep breath and try to relax.

Buying a home is a big decision, but it's also a big opportunity. Look at lots of homes that are in your budget and in your area. then choose one.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:32 AM

24. Negotiate discount on anything found in the inspection

Our inspection found the roof and furnace needed replacement. We asked for, and got, $14k from the seller for those items. Then we put that money in savings, replaced the furnace after a year. Roof is still holding up after 3 years.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:35 AM

25. lock in a good interest rate. We couldn't with our mortgage.

We"ve refinanced a couple of times since we bought our first home/condo in 1998. We were advised not to use the VA for our loan. We had no idea which was best and relied on the kindness of strangers.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:41 AM

26. 6 months worth of food isn't too bad, and really

is not being a prepper. Prepping gets much more complex.

I live 5+ miles from a grocery store. Having some extra food items can be very helpful. I hate running out of stuff we use regularly. But I'm not a prepper. I don't store 100 gallons of water or 1000 rolls of t.p. to use for barter.

Make sure you have plenty of disposable income available after making your mortgage payment. That's my 5 cent tip.

Good luck with home ownership!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:44 AM

27. Find a reputable realtor that knows the area and that will save you a lot of stress. Chances are

the seller already has the home listed with a realtor, so you would most likely have a split commission anyway. Plus you will have someone representing your interests and guiding you through the process.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:47 AM

28. GET AN INSPECTION...EVEN TWO....AND CHECK FOR MOLD

MOLD IS INSIDIOUS and lots of times, people just paint over it with kilz or whatever, put the house on the market and "pretend" they had no idea.

Get an inspection. Get two. You won't want to spend the money. Spend it anyway.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 09:57 AM

30. Buy title insurance too on your new property. It'll help in case an issue comes up w/ the title ...

in some manner. I've brought for my last several places and it's a relief knowing that should something happen regarding the title etc., you'll be protected. It's not too terribly expensive either.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:02 AM

31. Budget for yearly property tax and home maintenance

if you have an FHA loan and they're doing the escrow for you then that's planned, but you have to pay home mortgage insurance.

Also make sure you're not "house poor" because much of your income is going into the mortgage. I believe the recommended for housing is no more than 1/3 of your income, but depends on what your income is i guess.

The key is to way below your means, and this includes housing costs, so you can afford whatever else in life you need and be able to retire comfortably. Warren Buffet bough his home for $31,500 (now worth more of course) but as wealthy as he is he has lived in this modest home till now. Today it's worth $652K but a modest amount compared to the wealth empire he's built for himself.

Pride in home ownership is great if you love where you live, and buy in an area where home prices are rising, or in the least holding steady. Having room to stretch out, create your own garden, relaxation/entertainment space is awesome. Good luck!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:02 AM

32. Get a structural inspection.

It's an entirely different animal than a home inspection, but worth the price.

YOU decide on how much you want to pay for your house. Don't let the realtor make that decision or you'll be looking at more expensive houses and potentially end up "house poor."

Don't automatically get a 30 year mortgage. You can usually get a lower interest rate with a shorter term, and the payments may not be significantly different. It's worth exploring. Whatever way you go on that, though, you can save significantly in the long run if you round up your payments (but make sure they extra is marked "principal only" to the nearest hundred or thousand dollars, or make extra "principal only" payments. This is worth a lot if you do it towards the beginning of the loan, when most of your regular payment goes towards interest.

If you don't want the moving company to pack up everything (and you usually won't), at least let them pack things like framed artwork, big mirrors, grandfather clocks, etc. that really do better with custom-made boxes that they have experience making.

I always like to unpack the kitchen first. It just feels empowering knowing you can make a cup of coffee or sandwich in an organized area while you tackle everything else.

Most important, though, is to find ways to relax so that it's not too overwhelming. I've moved over 20 times in my life (military brat, etc.) and still find it stressful. Don't work too late into the evening and don't skip meals.


Good luck! Can't wait to see pics and hear how much you love owning a home!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:03 AM

33. Might I Make A Suggestion

I recently moved and finally used my VA benefits.

Their ads may be s bit "used car-ish" but New Day USA is everything it's cracked up to be.

I got a low interest rate, no down payment and no penalty for a short sale on our old home. There were other benefits.

You would do well to give them a call.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:08 AM

34. Be there for the home inspection

You will learn much more verbally than in the written report. Also, be willing to walk away. Try to separate emotion from pragmatism. Home repairs are very, very expensive and disruptive. Realtors tell you it's easy to do this repair, and it is not.

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Response to cally (Reply #34)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:36 AM

38. Yes! Be there for the inspection

The second house I bought I hired an inspector (not one recommended by the realtor). I showed up at the appointed time and the door was open and the realtor and inspector were already there in the kitchen. I asked when we were starting and the inspector said he already did it. The realtor let him in early. He said he would e-mail me the report and was gone. I was mad at the realtor for letting him in but I figured he did a professional job. Wrong! He missed some electrical problems, a foundation problem, and he said on the inspection the water heater was 5 years old. Later when I had plumbing issues the company was leaving and the guy remarked my water heater was really old. I said "how old"? - he said let's have a look at the serial. It was made in 1979! So the inspector was too lazy to check or incompetent. In hindsight I would have told him and the realtor upfront that I had to be there for the entire inspection and would not pay if I was not.

Another quick word about neighbors. Do your best to avoid rotten people living next to you. Get out of the car, talk to people raking leaves, go up to people on porches. Introduce yourself and say you are interested in the house that is on the market. Get the low down on the neighborhood. Good luck!

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Response to extvbroadcaster (Reply #38)

Fri May 17, 2019, 11:56 PM

46. this. Walk the dog or whatever. Not a bad idea to check crime maps

Just in case thereís a problem. Itís easy to spot the problems/drug houses with both those steps.

Most people are wonderful.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:14 AM

35. Get a fixed rate mortgage, NOT an ARM or balloon payment.

Get a fixed rate mortgage, NOT an ARM or balloon payment.

They can be unpleasant down the road.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:18 AM

36. No matter what you buy, make sure you have money for repairs

People don't factor that in the "price" of the house. I've put an extra 5 to 10 K a year into my house so far. No matter what the home inspector says, roofs need fixing, termites, plumbing, painting, appliances, water heater etc ... You really don't know until you've bought it and lived in there a while what things really need fixing.

House's are money pits. So make sure you add "home repair" to whatever mortgage payment a month you think you can afford.

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Response to Johonny (Reply #36)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:43 AM

40. Mortgage

Choose a lender carefully. I purchased my home 15 years ago on a 30 year fixed rate. I went with my local credit union to keep it local and love my CU. The mortgage has been transferred 5 times to banks and mortgage companies without any input or approval from me. Evidently it is common. I have been under Ditech for the last 4 tears. Got a notice I am being transferred again 2 weeks before a due payment. I could not get a person at the newest loan company to tell me where to send the due payment, (required to be on time). Called Ditech to find out where to send the new payment. They talked me into refinance with VA with them. (Why transfer to begin with?) That Was 4 weeks of hell, denied because of heating system, which is extremely efficient, never paid more than $60 a month in most extreme weather. I still had to pay out of pocket for inspections. Meanwhile, I have received 4 bankruptcy notices from Southern District of New York for Ditect. Ditech says no worries, we are just restructuring, just continue payments on time. Never missed or late for a payment. Credit score 815. I have three times the balance in savings and was treated like a poor begger disperate for their money. So find a bank or lender, make them sign document that they will keep your loan throughout the mortgage, if that is a thing anymore. The loan and bank industry is corrupt and will destroy you for a buck. At this minute, I have no idea where my mortgage is and what is going on at Ditech. Thanks tor letting me rant. Wish you best.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:27 AM

37. VA home loans require specific things

My husband is trying to sell his mother's house (was ready to do so when Hurricane Michael hit and ripped off 2/3s of the roof). The roof has been replaced and the house is dried in but there is water damage inside and maybe some trace of mold. In addition the house was built in 1962 and has never been updated. With the remaining damage and needed remodeling, VA will not approve anyone buying the house until it is all fixed. He had a realtor contact him with prospective buyers but they were using a VA loan and the VA said "NO!"

Find out what the VA needs as far as qualifying a house for purchase. If I remember correctly, it has to be habitable, no fixer uppers, and has to clear certain inspection criteria. As a third party, I am staying out of the day to day work about my mother in law's house so I don't know all the details.

With your time line and maybe having to move before you can close on a house, packing ahead of time is a good idea. Start boxing up stuff that is not needed every day (those gravy boats). Figure out where and how you want to store stuff.

You can just rent a storage unit or two and pack stuff up. U-Haul has smaller "crates" they call U-Boxes. They will deliver, you pack, then they will store at one of their facilities. Some reviews say those are kind of flimsy. Pods has metal containers in various sizes, same deal, you can pack them, they will move them and can put them into one of their storage units (both U-Haul and Pods can put their containers in climate controlled storage if you have things that should not be left to variable temperatures and humidity).

Consider paring down to the absolute minimum in your current house so you are sort of camping out there until right before you have to move out. That way if you have to move into a motel for a while (or other temporary housing) you won't have much to worry about. And start thinking about where you could move for a short period if you find a house and need time for closing.

Good Luck! This is a big step!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 10:39 AM

39. good luck underpants

I love your posts here and I'll be wishing for a quick and beneficial outcome for you and your family

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 11:27 AM

41. You'll be surprised at how much you can do yourself

From flooring to simple plumbing problems to gardening, youtube will have a decent tutorial on how to. Plus, the more you do yourself, the more it feels like you.

When looking at a house, donít get caught up with paint colors or carpeting that you hate, those things are easily remedied. Look for nice neighborhood, good layout, etc. Iíd buy a fixer upper over a move in ready any day.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 11:42 AM

42. Ask the seller for a Home Warranty for the 1st year

Especially important if the house is over 5 years old. Covers repairs to plumbing/electrical/etc. for a set service fee, usually $75 - $100 dollars. Good insurance against big bills on something that didn't show up in the inspection.

Helps give peace of mind in that first year when every new sound makes you second guess your decision.

We've done that with our last two houses and kept them on our own dime afterwards.

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Response to bigbrother05 (Reply #42)

Sat May 18, 2019, 09:19 AM

54. A word of caution on the home warranties

The company that we received a warranty through when we purchased our home has refused to pay for every repair we have needed. In each instance, it was because, according to them, the former owners did not do the required scheduled maintenance on the system.

For instance, when the a/c stopped working one month into our ownership, a technician came out, looked at the unit, said it was a bad bearing, and called the warranty company. The warranty company said the manufacturer recommends inspection and lubrication of the bearings annually, and since the previous owners had not done that, this failure was not covered.

This subsequently happened with the dishwasher and the well pump, then we stopped calling.

Be sure you read the fine print.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 12:47 PM

43. consider home warranty insurance if you are buying at the high end of your budget

you might even negotiate for the seller to include it.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 12:57 PM

44. House insurance...

the kind you see advertised on tv....400-500 per year, but it covers appliances and plumbing and stuff that messes up right after you sign the paperwork.
Our realtor tried to get the owner to buy it for us to make the sale, but she refused. Within 2 weeks we had to have the plumbing redone and a new dishwasher installed.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2019, 11:46 PM

45. Meet the neighbors. Come by at night.

Neighbors are so important to a peaceful community. If you come by and itís wild noisy, consider. If the neighbors are friendly, +++++ super good!

Last, try not to fall in love. Itís harder when things go differently than plan then. Good luck!

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Response to mahina (Reply #45)

Sat May 18, 2019, 12:01 AM

47. My husband always walked around the block whistling to check for aggressive barky dogs.

Meeting neighbors is a good idea -- some of them will be at the open-houses being looky-loos; just chat them up.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #47)

Sat May 18, 2019, 02:36 AM

51. Good idea!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Sat May 18, 2019, 12:42 AM

48. If you have a trust...

Have the house put into the trust. While the primary advantages are related to estate planning and potential probate avoidance, I like the privacy benefits. Within days of closing on a house, my county (located in Arkansas) makes it easy via the county govt website to find out who owns a particular piece of property. You can pull up a map of the county, zoom in on a neighborhood, and mouse over any lot to see the owner's name and other info. But, because we put ours in our trust, our name isnt in the public records...or at least it's not on the website.

You'll find that once you close, your info gets shared with lots of entities, many of whom will put it online in some way. Two houses ago, we put our house in our names. You could Google our address and find our names tied to the address on multiple sites. On this last house, we put it in the trust. I frequently Google our address, and it still shows the previous owners's name.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Sat May 18, 2019, 01:03 AM

49. I've owned two homes in the last ten years

Here's the checklist (a lot of what others have said):

- Inspection, inspection, inspection. Definitely be there and follow the inspector around. Get real friendly with him. Inspectors (and some realtors) have connections (handymen, A/C people, movers, etc) that can save you headaches down the road.

- If you are really serious about a house, visit it during different times of the day and night to find out everything you can about the neighborhood. Remember, when you go with a realtor, you will be there in the middle of the day when the neighbors are at work. Go on for a visit on a weekend. Take a walk around. Ask people about the neighborhood. Ask if there have been any burglaries (I really wish I had on our first home.)

- Certain things can be changed easily; others can never be changed. For instance, black and yellow walls are extremely easy and cheap to paint. Lack of central ducting, on the other hand, means you can never put in central air (huge minus in my book.)

- Find out where the grocery store is. Figure out how bad traffic will be. The first house I owned was four miles from work, but in bad traffic it could take 20 minutes. The second house I owned was ten miles from work, but there was never any traffic to contend with.

Finally, renting is bad. It's throwing money away. Paying money on a mortgage is like paying yourself every month... sort of. Just think of it like half the monthly mortgage check is going straight back into your account. Plus, with house prices rising, you could always sell in a few years and make money! It take some effort, but the rewards are astronomical. You get to be your own landlord. When something needs fixing, you fix it right away instead of waiting forever. You don't need to ask permission to cut a hole in the wall for a doggie door. You don't need to wait for the landlord to replace the ancient fridge with a new one that is half the size.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Sat May 18, 2019, 02:32 AM

50. Pay for an inspection

that is #1! As a first time homebuyer 23 years ago, I failed to do this, and it has cost me money in the long run. I knew absolutely nothing about purchasing a home, and nobody close by to ask for advice. My mother called and suggested offering a lower bid, which I ignored. She was probably right though.

Also, when you're serious about a house, look at it at all hours of the day. Orientation is important. I bought a home with a southwestern exposure, and it is so hot during the summers. The siding takes a beating too. Lastly, check out the neighbors if you can. Good luck!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Sat May 18, 2019, 02:52 AM

52. Check with local credit unions about the loan.

I was also eligible for a VA loan, but when we checked we found that our local credit union had a lower rate and we got a MUCH better deal.

Also, do pay for a reputable inspection service.

Welcome to home ownership...and there goes pretty much any free time you were counting on!

Congratulations!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Sat May 18, 2019, 03:14 AM

53. Get packing up help. You can sort, pile up the stuff and they can wrap and pack it all properly.

A reliable college kid can help. They can even do the Goodwill runs or manage a garage or estate sale. You can advertise for temp helpers through a neighborhood online newsletter like nextdoor, task rabbits, or your local college job center.

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