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Old 08-19-2013, 02:19 PM
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Default House buying questions

So I've been looking at Zillow just to see why is available. Here is my dilemma:

I am looking at the area I live in now. It's close enough to work that I can get home during lunch if I new to (puppy). It's also about 15 mins from agility so I can do classes after work.

My friend is selling her house on the south side of the city (opposite suburb really) and it is a mid 2000s build and about 20% cheaper than my budget. In the area I'm looking at I be looking at 20% more just to get a decent house but the ones I really like size-wise are another 10-15% over budget. And these are all built in 70-80s.

South side I could get a nicer cheaper house but I'm far from the places I go several times a week. Also the newer neighborhoods tend to have no trees and no yards really.

Is there anything else I need to consider? Would it be much worse buying an older house than a newer one?
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:26 PM
ruffiangirl ruffiangirl is offline
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I dont know how it is where you live, here older houses tend to be better because:
a)bigger lots
b)house has settled (we live on muskeg which is crap to build on)
c)they were not slapped together as quickly to compensate for the growth of our city


If you are looking at any house and inspection is paramount so make sure you find someone who will do a very thorough job of the inspection. The last one we had done was a binder FULL of things he looked at.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:34 PM
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Oh and another thing that is totally superstitious but the south side seems to get wiped out by tornados more often.

He newer lots seem to be completely leveled and houses crammed together. I do tend to like the more modern interiors but I suppose that can be fixed later on I you want to do renovating.

I just feel weird having distance to agility being a major factor in where I'm looking.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:34 PM
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So Tyler and I went through the same thing you are going through right now, but like a year ago when we where looking for houses. We pretty much made a pro and con list of all the houses, but we went for a newer house for a few reason.

All of the older houses we looked at needed a new roof, the hot water tank and furnace needed to be replaced soon. The appliances where very old and the houses all needed renovations for us to be happy.

The house we bought was bran new and we are very happy in it, honestly its up to you and what you would be happy in.

Would you be able to do reno's if the house needed it or buy a new furnace or hot water tank if it went?

Have you started looking at homes yet? like with a Realtor? I would suggest that and see what you like and what you don't and what you are willing to compromise on and what you are willing not to compromise on.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:37 PM
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How far in advance do you talk to the realtor? I do not want to move until spring or summer next year preferably. I am trying to save up a bit more downpayement cushion so I can avoid PMI.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:42 PM
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I admit, I chuckled a little at old houses being built in the 80s To me that seems so new! I have never lived in a house built after maybe 1920s? The one I live in now was built in 1865.

Honestly, I think often older (pre 70s usually) is actually better as the materials and quality were better. The actual structure itself tends to be better .....of course this totally depends on the area and builders as well. And yes, older houses sometimes need more TLC to get back up to par.

I can not trade yard and trees though....they are musts for me.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:55 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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I wouldn't dare buy anything built in the 2000s. Actually, I might, but it is not better just because its newer.

They were designed and built to go up fast during the boom.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:21 PM
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Our house is an 80s house that was renovated relatively recently and we love it! Whenever we looked at new houses they just seemed so cheaply made we never could bring ourselves to really consider them seriously.

Keep in mind too that a lot of the newer subdivisions will have HOAs with rules and fees - our older subdivision has an inactive HOA and no fees, so yea.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:19 PM
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You are buying quality of life. You get to determine what will raise that quality of life. Is it new floor plans? Big yards? A neighborhood with walking trails? A short trip to work so you can be home more often? There is nothing wrong with what you choose, it's all personal preference.

Our house was built in 1973. I don't feel like it's old. In Northern Virginia, to get new construction you are either looking at a townhouse, or going an hour further outside the city. Are those new houses nicer than what I have? Absolutely, yes. Would the niceness balance out the extra 2 hours in the car each day for me? No way in heck.

I totally took into account commute length, both to work and to agility (for Zach, his hobbies came into play too). I wanted to be within 10-30 minutes of work (needed that 10 minutes to decompress, but more than 30 drives me insane), relatively close to grocery stores and our vet/trainer/a dog park. That meant that we had to sacrifice house size and age. I am not the least bit sorry we made that tradeoff, but other people clearly have different preferences.

If your area has redfin available, that was by far the best website for searching for new properties. We didn't use them as a realtor (we had someone else we liked), but I was constantly looking at their search page.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
How far in advance do you talk to the realtor? I do not want to move until spring or summer next year preferably. I am trying to save up a bit more downpayement cushion so I can avoid PMI.
Around 3-4 months before we actually got serious, I started playing the open house game, popping into places on Sunday afternoons to get a feel for what was available in my budget in different areas, what I liked/didn't like, how neighborhoods I wasn't super familiar with felt, etc. We met several realtors we liked that way too, so when we were ready to purchase we had someone in mind.

It took about 2 months of intense searching to find the right place, and another month or two for escrow/closing. So it can be a long process!
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