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The House Hunters Thread

yssie

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kama_s|1290445832|2775529 said:
Yup! The home inspection went excellently, only some minor electrical issues surfaced. The seller owns his own electrical company and did all the electrical in the house himself, so he is fixing that for us before we get posession. We signed off all the paperwork today, and we officially own the damn house!

Can't wait to see the word 'SOLD' written all over the listing in red!

:appl: :appl: :appl:

Nothing like the relief of a done deal ::)
 

partgypsy

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Kama -S I just wanted to say your new house is BEAUUTIFUL and completely drool-worthy! Like something out of a glossy.

My husband and I have been casually looking the last couple years. Basically our top price would be around 240K. We have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, but the backyard is small and we have no on-site parking. Also while it is a 3 bedroom we use one as a den/children's toystoreroom while the kids still share an adjacent room.

We want to stay in close proximity to where we live, because it is so convenient (to our workplaces, our children's school, parks, etc). We were looking for places with an additional room, and nicer backyard. But, it seems our choices are either directly north of us in the 'hood with poorly maintained houses, or houses 50K and beyond (sometimes way beyond) our price range (third choice is move outside outside our neighborhood which I don't want to do while our kids are in school). Basically since our house is modest but in a good neighborhood, we are getting priced out of the neighborhood if we want to move (or we need to bring serious cash).

So, we are going through the process of refinancing. We were first going to do it to save money on interest, but we started thinking about taking out more to finance finishing our attic into a second floor. We are also planning some other updates like replace the flooring in the main bath and redo the fencing to make a parking space in the backyard. My husband is going to talk to someone he knows to see how much it would cost to do the attic, if he did some of the work himself (he is very handy). Either way we will refinance, we just need to figure out if we are going to go for the attic remodel or not (would love to if it's possible).

I wanted to post because I saw the comment about red walls and that our house would definitely not "show" well! My husband is an artist and loves, well collecting things for inspiration. And yes we have red painted walls (well the molding and ceiling of our living room are painted RED!). I am more into the clean minimalist look, so it is a process of compromise. That is also the allure of an attic remodel, maybe we can have a place upstairs as a studio for him to consolidate the clutter versus have it spread over multiple rooms!
 

charbie

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Thought I'd resurrect this thread...anyone putting their home on the market this spring?

DH and I had our house on the market until Christmas, then took it off due to NOT ONE scheduled showing. It was sickening. So we are now renting the home out. We found some great tenants (fingers crossed!) who are now living in the home and will potentially be there for 3 years. Im pretty confident we will be able to keep the home occupied, so that means we can move forward on a new home!

So we started the hunt two weeks ago. We casually looked over the past few months, but became serious now. We have been targeting newer builds ~5-10 years old...foreclosures welcome. We came across a few market homes that had been built by the builders and not occupied which began peaking our interest, and really fell for one of them. Then today we went back to see it and 2 other homes...and it turned out what we thought were market homes were really marketing ploys...unbuilt homes "staged" on a lot on the internet, so we thought there was a home there, but really, there wasn't.

This then started the conversation about, "well, could we build?" Being 8 weeks pregnant makes for a tighter timeline, but we could easily have a home built by June/July. The floorplan for one is a dream come true. Im in love with this home. It happens to be about 25k more than we wanted to spend tho...of course.

DH has played with some numbers and it really is looking more like a reality. He is a very...uhm...frugal man. He is very conservative with money, so when coming up with a home budget, we were looking at the lower end of our spectrum. This would stil be within our means. So tomorrow we should hear back from the builder on the numbers. They are aggressively pricing homes and lots in this neighborhood bc they recently acquired the lots and want to move them. So there are incentives they are throwing our way to help entice us to build.

Squeeee!
 

NewEnglandLady

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Charbie, I know I'm no longer officially a house hunter, but was excited to see this thread resurrected! I'm so glad that you found great tenants for your house--if they will be solid tenants for the next few years, that would be amazing.

How exciting for you that you might be able to swing building your home! I'm sure it feels like a lot to take on, especially since you're pregnant (yay!), but I know you can do it. Meresal would probably be a great resource for you--she and her DH also built their house while she was pregnant. I think that for a bit it seemed the house wouldn't get done before she delivered, but it did and they were able to get moved in before she had the baby.

I know nothing about building a house except what I've seen on TV, haha, but it seems like builders are giving great incentives now (which you mentioned). I would definitely try to get as many upgrades as possible thrown in for the base price. I feel like upgrades are what can really eat into the budget, so it seems a lot "safer", especially with a frugal husband, to be able to get those upgrades without getting nickeled and dimed at the end, you know?

Anyway, do keep us (me?) updated!!
 

elrohwen

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Kama, your house is absolutely GORGEOUS! I can't wait to see pics once you guys move in and set up your own stuff.


I decided to stop into this thread today because we put in our first offer yesterday! We've been searching for 4-5 months now and have found a few that were close to perfect, but not quite right (too far away, taxes too expensive, etc). We know exactly what we want, but there just haven't been any out there.

This weekend we saw just what we're looking for! It was a great house and only 3 miles from work (bonus). The owners are asking way too much though - $25k over what it's appraised at. We put in an offer right below the appraised value (totally reasonable) and their agent already said they probably won't be interested. We're waiting to hear back officially today. It's been on the market since October so if they're serious about selling they should take our offer. We can't increase our offer either because we're at the limit of what we promised ourselves we'd spend.

So keep your fingers crossed! Even if they don't accept there should be a lot more houses hitting the market soon, so I'm excited to see some new ones.
 

meresal

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Fingers crossed El!!!

Congratulations Charbie, on moving on!
I saw that this thread had moved to the top, and love watching other ppl buy houses, so I'm glad I popped in!

NEL is right, we built while preggo.
We signed our purchase docs at the end of October, so about 2.5 months preggo. However, we began meeting with the builder when I was only 2 months along. After signing the purchase papers, we waited 2 full months before they even started to work on the lot. Very frustrating. They finally began right after the beginning of January. The slowest part was getting the land level. The dirt has to be dry before they can lay the foundation, which can make buliding in the winter VERY difficult. (There was one other person on here that was bulding the same time we were, and she dealt with some serious set backs due to snow.) Once they got the foundation down, the house literally flew up! We got in the house 4 weeks before my due date (Closed on the house March 31), and the baby was 2 weeks early!

If you have any questions just let me know! Good luck!

ETA: NEL is right about the "extras". If they won't come down on the price of the hosue then get AS MUCH $$$ in free upgrades as possible. I think we had $10k and still spent about $10k above that. Flooring will eat up ALOT of the budget.
 

charbie

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NEL: thanks! Im learning the ins and outs of building a home, but there really is a ton that goes into it! DH is a negotiator like none other. He remains so stoic and has so much patience.

El! Yay! How exciting that you put an offer in! I bet the bunny will LOVE more space to roam!

Mer: I went back and read a bit about your home buying experience...seems like lots of things come up that will need to be accounted for. Your home is gorgeous...now that you've been there a bit, are you feeling better about the experience overall? Im right at 8 weeks, hoping to sign purchase agreement paperwork next week, and then hopefully breaking ground within the month. They SAY they are working on a 120 day timeline, and have two other homes currently under construction on the street. However, this is northern KY...we do have some snow and a rainy spring, so id be interested in watching this play out.

We priced the home with the options we like yesterday. They always advertise the base price, and I figured we would have a significant amount of upgrades and just blow our budget out the window. We said going into it..."ok, let's price it, just to see how crazy expensive it would be. Add in all structural features we want, and go from there." We basically went to the max on kitchen upgrades (but not appliances...we can do those later on our own cheaper), added things like gourmet cooking island, 42" cherry cabinets, punched the kitchen out, but not granite, since again, their standard was really nice, and if we ever really wanted to, we can do it on our own one day. We upgraded the masterbath, added extra sinks in the two full baths, and also a walkout basement. When all that was said and done, we were about $200/mo above our budget. DH asked them to work things out on their end, that these were all musthaves, and wanted them down to their lowest possible price. If they come close, we will look at if we need to eliminate anything (walkout basement or maybe just the middle road cabinets...not the top of the line). Im really trying to convince DH to add in a bonus room...it would basically be a 5th huge bedroom...but he thinks it is overkill. The only options NOT discussed were flooring options. We will more than likely get their standard, and in a few years upgrade. We know getting this home at this price is a only going to happen now or never. So if we do have to add things later...we would gladly do it if it meant we get this home now. We are looking at a MAX of. 4.75 rate...and so if he gets that lower, I think we are golden...gaaah!

Ill fill in more if I get info tonight.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Elrohwen--congrats on putting in an offer, that's fantastic! You know how in the middle of house hunting when you've seen what feels like hundreds of homes and you think "Oh my lord, am I ever going to find anything I absolutely love?" And then you feel like you should just give up? Well I think that makes it even better when you find something you feel is offer-worthy, haha.

If the sellers don't accept your offer, they're insane. How in the heck do they expect to sell a house for above appraisal value? They do realize a mortgage company will only lend the money if the appraisal is at or above the purchase price, right? The fact that you offered something so close to appraisal should make them jump for joy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that logic will prevail upon them.

Charbie--your husband is my type of guy: frugal and willing to negotiate. I think those skills will lend themselves to this process--I would absolutely push for all the upgrades, including the appliances, granite AND bonus room within your original budget. My mentality in this situation is that you've got nothing to lose. At least it would be a good starting point...who knows, if you negotiate from there, you could end up with the bonus room but not the countertops/appliances. Let us know how tonight's meeting goes!
 

elrohwen

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Thanks ladies! The bunnies can't wait for more room to run around. They told me they hope there is wall-to-wall carpet so they can really get up to speed. :tongue: I told them we're changing carpet out for wood eventually so they should get used to it.

Anyway. Still haven't heard from the seller today. I'm not sure what they're waiting for. They paid $40k over the current appraisal price, so obviously they want to get their money back, but in this economy that's just not happening and they're nuts for thinking it will. I think it's actually worth what it's appraised at, but they'll never sell it if they expect someone to be able to pay more than that. Their agent is probably banging her head on the wall. I also know that they're not upside-down on their mortgage, so if they have a good reason for turning down good offers then they're keeping it to themselves. I'm assuming they've turned down other offers since their agent was so quick to say they weren't interested.


Charbie, congrats on the rental and maybe building! We haven't visited any builders yet but we're also tossing around the idea of building. Unfortunately most builder homes here are out of our price range, but there are some we may see if nothing else comes up in the next month. I can't wait to hear about your experiences and any advice you have once you've met with them.
 

partgypsy

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That's exciting Charbie! If you were willing to share I'd love to see plans/layouts of the house. I love looking at house plans, which is weird since we are no longer looking (decided to stay). We may renovate the attic, and I like dreaming of ways to carve up the space.

It's funny we are redoing our main bath. In addition to redoing the flooring, in place of a pedestal sink we are putting in a 60" vanity. We want only 1 sink (we would much rather have the counter space, 1 less sink to keep clean than an additional sink) but it has been more difficult than we thought. Almost all prefab cabinets assume double sink configuration. Our options was to a) get a center sink, but lose the ability of using the drawers in the middle (they would be false drawers), b) have semi custom built cabinets to avoid that problem, or what we decided to do is c) get an off the shelf vanity but order a custom countertop so we can place the sink where we want (on the left hand side), so we don't lose storage space and have a nice spread of countertop. So while you are spending to get more sinks, we are paying more to only keep it to 1!
 

charbie

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I promise to respond to everyone in a post later...im just exhausted right now because WE JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE!

They came at us with better incentives on the price without even worrying about upgrades...I was worried we would have a really upgraded house...and still a large mortgage. But my negotiating husband got them very close to the financing we wanted, then asked for them to switch from finishing the basement (its an incentive they are adding currently which we could do on our own, cheaper, at a later date) and asked them to instead throw in the "bonus room" aka 5th bedroom over the garage. The builder said absolutely without blinking an eye....at that point we were sold. The builder then bought us a pizza (we both came straight from work and were starving by then) and we settled in for a long night of paperwork. :appl:

Im in shock right now I think. We basically got them to knock $25k off the price of the home. We go Thursday to finalize our lot...one side of the street is a steeply graded wooded side on .9 acre that allows a walkout basement, the other is about .6 acres with more useable space but no walkout option. Pros and cons to both, as they are also on the end of the street, which turns into a private drive that will be used for more custom homes. The neighborhood is nice and small, and not busy at all, never will be either.

My mind is still whirling that we actually purchased this particular home....I can't wait to share it with you all!
 

meresal

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Congrats Charbie!!!!

It is a VERY good thing that they already have a few houses in process right now. We were one of three that were the first to be built. However, all the houses slated to be built after ours flew up real quick!

I love having a brand new home that is totally customized to us. Haven't come across a single house I like more!

My advice, go over all of your options 4 and 5 times! There may be something that is $50, that you would hate to be without.
-We forgot to have a phone jack put in the kitchen. Not horrible, but not ideal.
-if you are going to have Plasma tvs, then be sure to have as many of the Hdmi cables put thru the walls as possible, so begin thinking of where you want beds, couches, and tv's.
-Make sure they don't put any light switches behind open doors, if possible
-Not sure if you will have this option, but we paid apprx $950 to have blinds put on the entire house. It makes a HUGE difference when you move in.

It's late so I am not thinking real well, but I will try to remember some others in the morning.
 

monarch64

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Joining to say that I am currently fed up with house hunting but happy to be here. We began our search last September and haven't stopped since. We've put in an offer very recently that wasn't accepted and are starting again. Thanks for listening!
 

elrohwen

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Yay Charbie!! I definitely want to see the plans and layout - I love layouts.

Monie, we're in the same position :(sad It's frustrating, but I know you'll find something and so will we!


The sellers on our house counter-offered for $20k more. I think they want us to meet them in the middle, but we're just not prepared to go up $10k from our original offer. Oh well.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Charbie, that is fantastic news! So many good things happening at once!! Which lot are you thinking of taking? I think the .9 lot sounds appealing since the walk-out option is nice and it sounds like slightly more privacy? If the space isn't usable, does that mean it's forest? If so, that might not be so bad...less to mow, but more to rake :)

Elrohwen, so sorry the sellers are being unreasonable. The issue is that you can't go above appraisal or you won't get a loan. Usually the appraisal is done after negotiating and if it appraises for less than the agreed-upon price, you have to re-negotiate or the mortgage will fall through. The sellers will never be able to sell it for more than the appraised value, so they really should just take it off the market if they're not willing to sell it at market value. Anybody who needs a mortgage won't be able to purchase it and I can't imagine there are enough cash buyers out there to justify keeping it listed.

Just curious, why has it already been appraised? Did another deal fall through and they kept the appraisal?
 

iheartscience

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I'm currently the opposite of a house hunter because I'm trying to sell my house, but I figured here was the best place to post since there will probably be similar ups and downs!

To complicate things a bit, we're moving several states away this Saturday, so our house will be empty, which makes it harder to sell from what I've heard. Obviously the realtors took photos of all the rooms with our things in them, but I'm a little worried about that aspect.

Our house went on the market Friday and we had our open house Sunday. We had 6 groups come to that, 2 of which were real buyers. And we had a showing last night and we have another showing tonight. Plus today about 20 other agents from my realtor's office came through this morning to view it for any potential buyers they might have and give feedback. Our house is priced to sell quickly and is larger/nicer than the current comps, so I feel good (okay, maybe more like cautiously optimistic!) about it! We bought it about a year and a half ago so we didn't overpay, and the relocation company will cover closing costs so we hopefully won't have to bring any money to closing.

Apparently the guy who looked at our house last night also looked at 7 other houses and liked ours the best, but hasn't made a decision yet. What is there to decide if you like ours the best, right?! :cheeky: So anyway, I figured I could vent here and also follow your home buying stories, because I love hearing them! We'll probably buy in a year or two in our new area, but we wanted to get familiar with the area, plus we'd rather sell our house before we buy something else.
 

elrohwen

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NewEnglandLady|1296575738|2839370 said:
Charbie, that is fantastic news! So many good things happening at once!! Which lot are you thinking of taking? I think the .9 lot sounds appealing since the walk-out option is nice and it sounds like slightly more privacy? If the space isn't usable, does that mean it's forest? If so, that might not be so bad...less to mow, but more to rake :)

Elrohwen, so sorry the sellers are being unreasonable. The issue is that you can't go above appraisal or you won't get a loan. Usually the appraisal is done after negotiating and if it appraises for less than the agreed-upon price, you have to re-negotiate or the mortgage will fall through. The sellers will never be able to sell it for more than the appraised value, so they really should just take it off the market if they're not willing to sell it at market value. Anybody who needs a mortgage won't be able to purchase it and I can't imagine there are enough cash buyers out there to justify keeping it listed.

Just curious, why has it already been appraised? Did another deal fall through and they kept the appraisal?
The appraisals we're using are the town tax appraisals, so they're not necessarily what the house is worth. The 2009 appraisal is about what we're offering, though the 2010 appraisal is another $30k less than that (which my agent pointed out to their agent). Their agent then pointed out that they lobbied to get the appraised value down in order to lower taxes, but that doesn't mean their house is worth less. I agree that it's not worth the super low value, but I still disagree that it's worth what they want for it. We've seen cheaper houses that we liked (but didn't make an offer on for one reason or another, usually location or taxes) so I'm sure we'll find another. They argue that they finished the basement and it adds a lot of value, but we could always finish a basement in 5 years - it's not a must have.

Our agent does think it's worth the amount we'd pay by meeting them in the middle, but we feel like we should stick with what we told ourselves we'd pay. It's tough though! It's so easy to say "Oh, it's only $100 more a month or so ... "
 

NewEnglandLady

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Elrohwen--Ah, I got it. Here that is called the assessment, so I think I was just confused by the term appraisal. Sorry about that!

I've been told the assessment isn't a great tool to use when determining price, but when we bought our house I still negotiated using them and it worked for us (every other similar comp was selling for below assessment). I also felt the assessment for our house was really low, which was great for both negotiaing AND tax reasons--the actual appraisal came back $100K over what we paid.

I think it's great that you are sticking to your guns--your budget is your budget. A couple of times we walked away from an offer when the sellers wouldn't go any lower and they asked us to come back and make a second offer. I'm wishing you tons of luck!
 

elrohwen

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NewEnglandLady|1296598903|2839795 said:
Elrohwen--Ah, I got it. Here that is called the assessment, so I think I was just confused by the term appraisal. Sorry about that!

I've been told the assessment isn't a great tool to use when determining price, but when we bought our house I still negotiated using them and it worked for us (every other similar comp was selling for below assessment). I also felt the assessment for our house was really low, which was great for both negotiaing AND tax reasons--the actual appraisal came back $100K over what we paid.

I think it's great that you are sticking to your guns--your budget is your budget. A couple of times we walked away from an offer when the sellers wouldn't go any lower and they asked us to come back and make a second offer. I'm wishing you tons of luck!
I didn't know there was a difference between assessment and appraisal - thanks for the definitions! My agent used the word appraisal too, so I guess it's just a confusion of words, but I'll use assessment now that I know there's a difference.

And yeah, I agree it's not necessarily the measure of the how much the house is worth, which is where the seller is annoyed that we won't offer more. Our agent said it was worth pretty much exactly what the assessment was even before she saw it, so I think it's valid in this case. Yes, it might be worth the $10k more than our offer, but I think we can find something cheaper.

I've also seen some nice houses go very very quickly, so the fact that this one has been on the market since October must mean that they're being a bit unreasonable. There were three other houses we kind of liked that had accepted offers a week after listing! It's only the average houses or the overpriced that say on the market for 3-6 months.
 

february2003bride

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charbie|1296537002|2838997 said:
I promise to respond to everyone in a post later...im just exhausted right now because WE JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE!

They came at us with better incentives on the price without even worrying about upgrades...I was worried we would have a really upgraded house...and still a large mortgage. But my negotiating husband got them very close to the financing we wanted, then asked for them to switch from finishing the basement (its an incentive they are adding currently which we could do on our own, cheaper, at a later date) and asked them to instead throw in the "bonus room" aka 5th bedroom over the garage. The builder said absolutely without blinking an eye....at that point we were sold. The builder then bought us a pizza (we both came straight from work and were starving by then) and we settled in for a long night of paperwork. :appl:

Im in shock right now I think. We basically got them to knock $25k off the price of the home. We go Thursday to finalize our lot...one side of the street is a steeply graded wooded side on .9 acre that allows a walkout basement, the other is about .6 acres with more useable space but no walkout option. Pros and cons to both, as they are also on the end of the street, which turns into a private drive that will be used for more custom homes. The neighborhood is nice and small, and not busy at all, never will be either.

My mind is still whirling that we actually purchased this particular home....I can't wait to share it with you all!

Charbie- Congrats! We built our house and I would do it again in a second. My one suggestion- get the lot that allows for the walk up basement. Our basement is unfinished and we plan to finish it in the next year or two. But having the walk up allows for an additional bedroom if you finish the basement, it gives so much more light than a basement without a walk up, putting bigger items in the basement is WAY easier with a walk up and when you finish your basement, again, just a lot easier with outside access to the basement! Also, it makes me feel safer that the basement has an easy exit incase of an emergency.
 

partgypsy

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I'd love to see pics of the 2 sites before I made a decision like that. I mean steep means what? I wouldn't want to live on the side of a mountain! Sloped is OK.
 

charbie

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part gypsy|1296679461|2840974 said:
I'd love to see pics of the 2 sites before I made a decision like that. I mean steep means what? I wouldn't want to live on the side of a mountain! Sloped is OK.
DH is going to go out with the project manager and builder on Thursday to the lots. They are staking out a footprint of the house on both of the lots so he can see just how much space there would be behind the home. Obviously we want a yard that has space for the dogs and such. There is a park on the street actually, so we really wont need our own swingset and such. The other thing is that while we doubt the land that's flat ever will be built behind, there's always a chance. There is no chance any homes could be built behind us, since we would own all the woods behind us down the hill do the road at the bottom of the hill. But yes...it is very steep behind the home once it drops off...we will not be building anything in those woods.
 

chemgirl

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Congrats to everyone who is in the process of buying! Also goodluck to those who are still looking.

We just started looking again last week. Had an appointment with our adviser on Friday. I bought a condo earlier this year, but I really really miss having a house. All of the stuff everywhere in the small space is driving me nuts. I also hate battling my way in and out of downtown every day. My work requires a lot of on site work, and I just found out that my new location for the next few years will be a two hour drive from home. DH likes the central location of our condo and the original move was mainly for him. He works from home though, so he can be pretty much anywhere. He just liked the whole trendy aspect of living in a new condo downtown. He calls it "sustainable development" but yeah...he likes it because its cool.

We can rent the condo and cover most, if not all, of our mortgage payments and monthly fees. If we sold now we'd lose out because we'd have to list it for the same price we bought it, so that doesn't make sense when you take real estate fees etc. in to account. Its in a desirable location, so hopefully the price picks up over the next few years.

The thing that really got me when talking with our bank...how much a married couple with a double income can actually borrow. I have never bought as part of a couple before (the condo is in my name) so I never knew how different banks view an application from a couple. I went from being able to afford a modest home, to being able to move in to something better than my dream home. The amount is more than double what I thought I was comfortable spending on a house (with the joint income). Now I understand how some people get in to these million dollar homes and then lose them if one spouse is unable to work. If we borrowed at the top of our approval amount, we'd never be able to make payments on one income. Its scary to even think about.

That said, we are going to stick to our original budget and are thinking of having a townhouse built. I've never had anything built before and I don't know anything about the process involved. Are there any specific things we should know about before going in? Also, any opinions on freehold townhomes? DH would probably prefer a detached home, but the square footage on some of these townhomes are similar to a detached home, but at a significantly lower price. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a townhome? We are looking at online reviews for different builders and have an agent. We're trying to do it right, but its hard to find people without some sort of vested interest in our selection.
 

dcgator

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Hello everyone,

Glad to see the thread is hopping again! I thought that I might dip my toes back in here as we are once again considering a move. We had discussed this in the summer/fall of last year, but with a little one on the way, it has put the whole concept of moving closer to family and somewhere we could afford a nice house and yard, etc back on the table. So here I am...

Charbie - Wow, how very exciting that you guys have decided to build. Congrats on getting a great deal and signing all the paperwork! I wish you luck on choosing the perfect lot today. I would ideally go for the larger lot, since at the end of the day, people would likely prefer a home on a larger lot vs the same one on a smaller lot, but that's just my 2 cents. I think we may be leaning towards that direction too, b/c for the price, you really can't beat making a home customized to what you want, where no one has ever lived before. I second Gypsy's request for home plans, so much fun to look at!

Elrohwen - That's a shame that the buyers won't budge on their price that much. Perhaps you guys could talk to them about maybe paying your closing costs or something, then that way, you feel like you are getting it for less $ and they could get what they want. Just a though...I also had a question about the "appraised value" you mentioned. It sounds like you are referring to the assessed value (ie what the taxable valuable is) as opposed to an actual appraisal that has been performed on the home. They are definitely two different things. I would mention that in my area, the assessed value is based on home sales from July-June of the previous year and does not take into consideration any sales that have taken place in the last 6 months. In this kind of market,where things are starting to rebound, that clearly makes a difference. When I go to place my home on the market, I will be asking a lot more than the assesed value b/c recent sales (in the last few weeks in fact) have been almost 100k more than what the assessed value was. Also, an appraisal is going to look a recent sale (mostly in last few months) to help price a home, not necessarily the tax assessed value, so something to consider...

Meresal - Thanks for the timing tips, I may ask you some questions too.

Monarch - Ugh, what a pain in the tushie. I am sorry the process is taking so long, but hopefully you will find something to suit your fancy soon. Did the rejected offer come with a counter offer, or just a flat out rejection. Do you guys plan on making another offer? May I ask which region you are looking in?

Chemgirl - Sorry you have to move again so soon, but it sounds like you will be making a great move. I wish you lots of luck in your decision on the TH thing, but I think there are a few more issues to consider. First off, I would look at the community/development and see what the restrictions/fees are. They could be different for a free standing vs attach TH. I would also see what the insurance implications would be, for example will you have significantly higher home owners insurance with a detached TH? I'm sure there are other things to consider, but that's what I think of first. Good luck and let us know how it's coming.

Thing2of2 - I am right there with you. We will need to sell our current place as well before we move. It's not the greatest time to sell, but at least in my area, the market didn't get too depressed and there is less "crap" left on the market. So, that means less supply, and hopefully more buyers. We shall see though. I really hope that between your open house and the brokers open house you get some nibbles and don't have to worry too much. That's AWESOME about the relocating company paying closing costs too, score! I would mention though that if you move, you should really put something in there. My DH and I always watch those home selling shows and they say the worst thing to do is have an empty house. Even if you have to go to the Salvation Army or get some stuff from a yard sale, I would say something is better than nothing, IMHO.

*****
Well, as I dive in here, let me share our details. My DH and I currently have a condo that we need to sell. I don't think we could get more than what we paid for it in 2008, but I am hoping that we can at least pay our mortgage off and possibly get back something to help with closing costs. We would ideally like to build in the new location, so we are shopping builders right now. We have already decided on the area we want to be in. It's a huge master planned, TND-style community with two elementary schools, a middle and high school on site, so it would make the perfect place for our little growing family. The thing that boggles my mind the most is that we could build an absolutely beautiful 3000+ square foot home for what we paid for our 1150 SF condo in our area. Ouch. Oh well, we definitely will have our hands full trying to sell and looking to buy at the same time, but I am trying to be optomistic that it will work out well. First things first though, we are going to replace the icky carpet with new flooing ASAP and start patching up some little scratches/marks from our lovely little boy kitty before we put our place on the market. Also, we are going to do some serious decluttering and get the place looking spick and span before taking some good photos. Oh boy, the next few weeks will be busy :shock:

Anyway, that's were we are at. I look forward to comisserating with both the sellers and buyers in the coming months and hope that it won't be a horrible experience...Good luck to everyone!
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 7, 2004
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6,298
Dcgator: I would love to convince myself I was moving so we could seriously declutter and clean our house like you do when you are moving. Why should someone else benefit? Maybe put a hypnosis spell on myself or something.
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
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May 20, 2008
Messages
5,392
dcgator, NEL explained the difference to me - I didn't realize there was such a difference before! The current assessed value is much lower than we offered, but the assessed value from 2009 is right about there and I think it's a fair price (for other reasons, besides that). It was just one of the only bargaining tactics we had since they bought the house 3 years ago for $45k more than our offer and clearly wanted to get that money back. Oh well. Another house will come along.
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,512
Finally a nice evening off to sort of "relax" and post an update.
dcgator: sounds like a plan is starting to fall into place! we were also shocked by the prices of new builds...in a good way. you're lucky to be living in a place where houses are still selling. our area took such a big hit. combine that with the fact many of the homes selling were short sale or foreclosed...we had no chance to make up any sort of closing costs and whatnot. So, instead we are taking advantage of things on the opposite side and getting tons of money off the house we are buying. i must say, i'm a bit stressed about renting our home out and the scary thought that 2 mortgages could happen one day, but if these people we have renting now are there even 2 years, thats two more years of mortgages payments made, two more years of the market recovering, and i feel ok with that.
elrohwen: sorry the sellers wouldn't budge. i can understand a bit on their side, having recently been in those shoes. but people need to understand to sell a house in this market, you're just going to have to take what you can get. obviously they aren't that serious about selling. but you're attitude is great- knowing another house you'll fall in love with will come along is half the battle. being patient is the other half...and that's what i've had a hard time with. we found on one of the realtor websites an interactive map where we can see all houses for sale in a specific city, then click on the little thumbnail to get a picture of the house. this helped us a TON!
chemgirl: personally, i prefer a freestanding home. i'm not sure what housing is like in your area though. i'm the type of person who could NEVER live in a big metropolitan area though...apartment living in a 1000 square feet would make me NUTS!!! my grandparents actually live in a WONDERFUL subdivision in a freestanding TH and love it. its a perfect 2 bedroom home, nice loft, and they've really enjoyed it. its also nice bc they have their lawn mowed, etc. since it is a TH setting. good luck!
Feb: DH has also made all those points. it's funny bc i never felt unsafe in my basement without a walkout before, but now i feel like its necessary. and the walkout will have sliding glass doors, not just a single door, so it really will add in the light and more "luxurious" feel if you will. glad you feel building new was worth it. i'm sure it will be- its weird since we NEVER thought we would.
thing2: holy crap that's a lot of action! i'm SOOO jealous! hopefully that means you'll be selling quickly- very exciting. if it makes you feel better, we actually enjoyed a lot of the empty houses. it allowed us to see the house without bias. if you have pictures of what the house can look like with furniture, that should be good enough. good luck with your move this weekend!
monnie: ugh. sorry your offer wasn't accepted. are there a lot of homes for sale in your area? (i know the general region where you live...)- which part of town are you looking in? my cousins live north of the city in a pre-fab neighborhood and enjoy it a lot, but i know that isn't an area for everyone. read what i wrote to elro about the map feature i've found- its fun!

AFM: yesterday we met with the builder and decided we would go with the wooded, steeper, walk-out lot. :appl: my hubby and i both love the privacy of it, and the possibilities to make that yard such a cool place. you can build tiered decks into the side of the hill, put a firepit into the hill, and even put a retaining wall in to make it flatter. there's enough flat land for the dogs to play, and at least 80 feet off the back of the house that is NOT wooded where we can flatten and seed. we met today with the builder again to sign a waiver that we are making no more structural changes so they can start getting permits. we also have asked that wall be knocked out (they've never done it in this model, but it will open the family room up a bit), changed our cabinets- i really liked the look of the kitchen in the model, and realized that the ones we picked would be too dark to have the black countertops i want. we meet tomorrow with the lender to finalize our loan application, then on valentine's day we choose flooring/countertops. later that week we will choose exteriors and meet with the people who install security and electronic options. we will meet with our project manager then in the beginning of march and should break ground in about 6 weeks! yay!
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,512
and now- i present to you- casa de charbie. hope you all like the floorplan as much as we do!
grrr...it's a PDF and i can't convert it to a jpeg. if you'd like to see it, unfortunately you'll have to DL until i can figure out how to convert it on my laptop. unless someone else can do it :wacko:


basement- we are putting the walkout to the back of the morning room attachment. it will NOT be finished, but will have the rough-ins for a half bath.

main floor: we have added the morning room :love: :love: :love: and knocked out the wall between the living room and family room. not the entire wall, but the 6 feet closer to the end of the house. the middle part (blacked out) is kept for duct work. we also added the gourmet island. did not add the optional windows, as they would be facing a neighbors house eventually and we don't need that view.

second floor: we added the bonus room with closet :shock: :shock: :shock: since it was CHEAPER than finishing the basement. we also added the second sink in both the second bath and master bath. we upgraded the master bath to the stand-alone shower and soaking tub. can i just tell you how thrilled i am that the closet is off the bathroom? and the toilet in its own closet...makes for privacy when DH is taking care of business and i just want to take a shower. :lol: ill admit, i'm sure that door will not usually be closed, as i'll probably feel claustrophobic.
 

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partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 7, 2004
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6,298
I love the upgrades you chose, especially the morning room. I know someone who did a bump out in their kitchen and used it for a tiny play area for their kids. They love it. The master closet and bathroom sound great!
 
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