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Advice On Buying A House?


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#21 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 04:48 PM

I was pre approved thru Rocket Mortgage last year for a LOT more than I thought I would be and almost jumped. But I want to save up some more on a down payment.

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#22 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 04:50 PM

As for credit score. Don’t worry about getting dinged for a hard credit check. Those won’t be a big deal.

Worry about missed payments. High balances on credit cards and, at most, defaults (charged off credit cards, repossessions etc)

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#23 Dupin

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 09:00 PM

I definitely see how folks get into trouble with loans.  They pre-approved me for WAY more than I should be paying.  At the end of the day, I'm probably going to wind up paying more than I am in rent (because of taxes and insurance; actual loan payment will be 100% less), but not that much and at least it won't be wasted.  After doing the math and realizing I've spent $80k I'm never getting back on rent the past 5 years, it just makes too much sense not to start building equity in my own place.

 

Appreciate the advice.  This is definitely one of those scary but good situations, realizing how much money I'm about to be dropping.  Thankfully the Twin Cities aren't too too bad on pricing relative to other places, but it's a competitive market for sure here.  I never thought as a kid that the kitchen would be the most important thing for me, but it really is right now.  Hoping I don't fall in love with a place and do something stupid.

 

Also it looks like those credit checks ding you ~4 points, but I have some buffer thankfully.  I'm liquidating my account I had been building the down payment and gathering my funds.


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#24 Old Man

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 07:05 AM

I was pre approved thru Rocket Mortgage last year for a LOT more than I thought I would be and almost jumped. But I want to save up some more on a down payment.

Ive been with Quicken since before they became Rocket. Been one of the better mortgage companies that I have dealt with, for customer servicing and pretty much everything is online through their ap.



#25 Mackus

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 07:29 AM

I never thought as a kid that the kitchen would be the most important thing for me, but it really is right now.  Hoping I don't fall in love with a place and do something stupid.

 

If you've got the ability to sort of see past what's in front of you, kitchens are a place where some minor renovation work can go a long ways.  And it can end up being exactly what you want/need. 

 

Changing any structure will get super expensive, so if you don't want a major project make sure you like the layout.  But you can change the aesthetic a lot rather easily.  Cabinets are easy to paint, hire someone for this, don't try to do it yourself, but good painters will make them look brand new.   Appliances are easy to swap out, only exceptions are if you're trying to change the fuel source.  Going from electric range to gas can cost you, especially if you don't have any gas appliances in the house. And if you're going for a serious vent hood, you'll need the proper ductwork to vent outside if it doesn't already exist, which depending on the layout could be anywhere from easy to impossible.  Countertops are very easy to replace.  Light fixtures are easy to replace, a little bit more challenging to add if there aren't enough.  Flooring is a bigger deal, but if you do everything before you move in it isn't super expensive.  All of the above (aside from flooring which is a PITA to do if you're living in it) can be done piecemeal, so if you are out of cash after buying, you can wait and do things in stages. Cabinets first year, counters the next, appliances later etc.



#26 Old Man

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 07:33 AM

If you've got the ability to sort of see past what's in front of you, kitchens are a place where some minor renovation work can go a long ways.  And it can end up being exactly what you want/need. 

 

Changing any structure will get super expensive, so if you don't want a major project make sure you like the layout.  But you can change the aesthetic a lot rather easily.  Cabinets are easy to paint, hire someone for this, don't try to do it yourself, but good painters will make them look brand new.   Appliances are easy to swap out, only exceptions are if you're trying to change the fuel source.  Going from electric range to gas can cost you, especially if you don't have any gas appliances in the house. And if you're going for a serious vent hood, you'll need the proper ductwork to vent outside if it doesn't already exist, which depending on the layout could be anywhere from easy to impossible.  Countertops are very easy to replace.  Light fixtures are easy to replace, a little bit more challenging to add if there aren't enough.  Flooring is a bigger deal, but if you do everything before you move in it isn't super expensive.

Great advice.

 

We added onto our house, and pushed the kitchen back, with the walls open, we was able to wire and plumb everything, how we wanted it. The wife said give me lots of light, and she thought we had too much, and nope. You can almost never have too much. Nice thing about LED, they can put out a ton of light, and no heat and no energy. I went with bright white LED, to not change the color of the food.

 

Depending on how you shop, kitchens can kill the reno budget. But, they are an absolute must, to pay attention and plan it well, to increase the value of your house, for the down the road reselling.



#27 Dupin

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 09:29 PM

If you've got the ability to sort of see past what's in front of you, kitchens are a place where some minor renovation work can go a long ways.  And it can end up being exactly what you want/need. 

 

Changing any structure will get super expensive, so if you don't want a major project make sure you like the layout.  But you can change the aesthetic a lot rather easily.  Cabinets are easy to paint, hire someone for this, don't try to do it yourself, but good painters will make them look brand new.   Appliances are easy to swap out, only exceptions are if you're trying to change the fuel source.  Going from electric range to gas can cost you, especially if you don't have any gas appliances in the house. And if you're going for a serious vent hood, you'll need the proper ductwork to vent outside if it doesn't already exist, which depending on the layout could be anywhere from easy to impossible.  Countertops are very easy to replace.  Light fixtures are easy to replace, a little bit more challenging to add if there aren't enough.  Flooring is a bigger deal, but if you do everything before you move in it isn't super expensive.  All of the above (aside from flooring which is a PITA to do if you're living in it) can be done piecemeal, so if you are out of cash after buying, you can wait and do things in stages. Cabinets first year, counters the next, appliances later etc.

 

Yes, I've come to terms that painted cabinets are unfortunately a thing for a lot of houses up here.  So much white, just why it looks awful.  My sticking point is more the gas stove.   I don't want to deal with the hassle of getting a gas line put in, and I want at least space for an island so I can have a dedicated prep area.  I'm in a galley kitchen now, so I'm really looking forward to being able to do some work.



#28 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 10:59 PM

Something working to my “advantage” is that I don’t care about the kitchen *at all* — I never cook. Have no need for anything super fancy.

Instead give me a shower that feels like you’re bathing in Niagara Falls.
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There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

"Now OPS sucks.  Got it."

"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

"I'm too hungover to watch a loss." - McNulty

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#29 Old Man

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 06:59 AM

Something working to my “advantage” is that I don’t care about the kitchen *at all* — I never cook. Have no need for anything super fancy.

Instead give me a shower that feels like you’re bathing in Niagara Falls.

The 2 best investments for remodel projects for most homes that will increase your property value, are the kitchen and the bathroom[s]



#30 Mackus

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 08:35 AM

Something working to my “advantage” is that I don’t care about the kitchen *at all* — I never cook. Have no need for anything super fancy.

Instead give me a shower that feels like you’re bathing in Niagara Falls.

 

Steam shower?  Body sprays?  Heated floors?

 

We put a big three-header in our new master bathroom, so it's got a normal shower head on one wall, a handheld on the opposite wall, and a ceiling-mounted rainshower in the middle.  Also have a giant cast iron tub.  Pretty sweet.

 

 

Stay $20-30k under your max budget, if you have enough cash left over, and you can do a lot to update a bathroom. And thats a project you can live through as long as you have another bathroom you can use during the project.  Can even go wild and steal space from other bedrooms or closets if you want.  Look around at Houzz or other similar sites and know what you want, if you can't find a house in budget that has it, can talk to contractors and find out roughly how much it'd cost to redo and make it exactly what you want.


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#31 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 08:59 AM

Full time rocket scientist, part time Real Estate agent? Cool.


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#32 Mackus

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 09:04 AM

I've just been fortunate enough to have done it a few times now.  It's definitely a big learning curve every step of the way that leads to several lessons learned that hopefully some other people can learn before doing rather than after :)


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#33 Old Man

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 09:18 AM

Dont be afraid to get more than one quote from a company/handyman. The price they charge will be vastly different.



#34 Dupin

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:22 PM

I knocked one house off my list of potentials cause it has no yard.  I'm not going to enjoy mowing, but at the same time I want some space to grow some fresh food.

 

Was supposed to look at one tomorrow, but it just sold.  Looking at two on Saturday.  The market here is so hot, decent properties do not last long.



#35 mweb08

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 08:43 PM

Kelly and I were on the verge of getting serious pre-pandemic, but have taken a step back in large part due to what Mackus has said.

That said, I have very serious concerns regarding buying a house in the United States of America at this point, so there's that.

#36 JeremyStrain

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 10:14 AM

The people in the best position right now are people that don’t currently own and are looking to buy.

It’s a horrible time to buy, but if you can wait a little longer that market is going to shift and it will become a buyers market. Being able to buy low when you don’t also have to sell low and deal with contingency or any of that stuff will be huge.
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#37 DuffMan

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 12:08 PM

Get a good home inspector. 



#38 RShack

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 01:27 PM

The people in the best position right now are people that don’t currently own and are looking to buy.

It’s a horrible time to buy, but if you can wait a little longer that market is going to shift and it will become a buyers market. Being able to buy low when you don’t also have to sell low and deal with contingency or any of that stuff will be huge.

 

This is an excellent post..

 

For folks who own a place and don't have tons of crap to move and don't have too many complications (kids in school, etc.), it might make sense to sell high now, rent a place for a while, then buy when things are cheaper...

 

Sadly, owning a place often means having too much crap to move   ;-)


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#39 Dupin

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 02:59 PM

Well I would've put in an offer on one of the ones I looked at today cause it was pretty dang close, but it already had multiple offers on it and I'm not getting in a bidding war this early.  Don't need a house that bad.  I am worried anything in that school district is gonna be a automatic bidding war though, which sucks cause I liked that area.



#40 Mackus

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 06:04 PM

Yeah, anything halfway decent now will be a bidding war. Zero percent chance of finding a reasonable price on a good house right now.

It's a time when agents actually have value even when you know the area well. They can get a good feel for how high you need to go. But gotta be aggressive if you want something now. That's why I'd strongly suggested waiting if you're able to.




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