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  #11  
Old 08-19-2013, 04:26 PM
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I already have a realtor in mind.... Is the next step getting pre-approved? Or should I wait until closer to time (more $ to put down).

So exciting and also scary!
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2013, 04:29 PM
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My house was built in 1925. I don't think there's a problem necessarily with buying an older home. And a newer home isn't necessarily "better" - just newer.

But, having said that - there have been cases here and there where a bunch of homes built in a particular area during a particular time frame had some kind of defective building material used. So, say, a bunch of houses built in the 80s in such-and-such neighborhood by Builder XYZ had faulty siding or insulation or something. So I would do some research to make sure there aren't any issues like that regardless of when the house was built. I would think your friend would know about any problems in her own neighborhood, though.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I already have a realtor in mind.... Is the next step getting pre-approved? Or should I wait until closer to time (more $ to put down).

So exciting and also scary!
Either. There are free calculators online you can play with to see what an extra $10k down would qualify you for, so you can see if it makes a difference to you or not. I would contact your realtor friend and ask what their preferred process is. Ours wanted us to be preapproved before he started putting for the effort of showing us houses, and was able to recommend a mortgage broker to go to that he had good experience with.

I believe the preapproval is only valid for 6 months or so? They aren't anything final though--you'll have to run all the paperwork again when you actually find a property to buy. The preapproval just says to the realtor, "I'm serious, you aren't wasting your time." If you have more money in the bank by the time you're putting in an offer, fantastic--they'll run numbers again.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:43 AM
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Either. There are free calculators online you can play with to see what an extra $10k down would qualify you for, so you can see if it makes a difference to you or not. I would contact your realtor friend and ask what their preferred process is. Ours wanted us to be preapproved before he started putting for the effort of showing us houses, and was able to recommend a mortgage broker to go to that he had good experience with.

I believe the preapproval is only valid for 6 months or so? They aren't anything final though--you'll have to run all the paperwork again when you actually find a property to buy. The preapproval just says to the realtor, "I'm serious, you aren't wasting your time." If you have more money in the bank by the time you're putting in an offer, fantastic--they'll run numbers again.
It depends on your bank. We had one bank tell us 30 day and another 60. We have also heard different things from realtors. Our realtor showed us houses regardless of preapproval. Our friends had a realtor tell them "don't even bother until you have a preapproval letter."

The problem with a preapproval is they run a credit check, which brings your score down a bit. It's not a problem until you run 3 or 4 of them if you haven't found a house yet.

On any used house always pay for a home inspection. We had one done on our house before we made an offer so we knew what kind of things needed to be fixed.

Tell you relator what you're looking for, how far you're willing to drive, the fact that you have dogs and need a yard. They will be able to show you the listings they think fit your needs. Then of course, shop on your own and have them show you anything you find that they haven't already shown you.

Good luck.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:49 AM
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Also, save WAY more money for down payment than you ever though necessary.

You may not be able to get out of PMI anymore. We didn't qualify for a conventional home loan because our land was worth more than our house, so we had to have 10% down for an in-house loan and we got out of paying PMI. I've heard a few different things like 30% down you don't pay PMI. Then again we heard from one bank if you refiniance after so long and have 30% of your loan payed off the PMI drops off, and another bank told us that was no longer the case and PMI is there for the life of the loan if you don't do the initial 30% down.

Don't forget closing costs and any initial repairs, the cost of moving if you aren't doing it yourself, etc. Lowes is currently our best friend. Our house was built in 1967 and it had not been updated much. Structurally it's in great shape, but I'm not a fan of wood paneling, and the carpet had to go since we have dogs.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:38 AM
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How much money do you need to save on addition to the downpayement? I've always heard 20% downpayement to get out of PMI?
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:50 AM
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It was 20% to get out of PMI when I bought a year ago. Even when I was initially looking it was 20%, and it was actually very very cheap because I was quite close to 20%. Like 17%. But if you're not that close it's more expensive, sometimes MUCH more, and they don't recalculate the PMI as you get closer - but it does end once you are 20% in. PMI is there to ensure the bank doesn't lose their ass if you bail before you're "invested" so there's no reason for PMI to be there perpetually after you're 20% in... that is weird.

My intention was to actually put down everything I had in my saving's account, but my lender talked me into just the 20% down, which was good because turned out I needed the rest for all the repairs and junk.

I would not get an official preapproval - as said, when you have a preapproval done, they run your credit check, and if you have too many credit checks that can ding your credit score - but you CAN meet with a bank and they can run numbers with you; they can give you a non-official preapproval "letter" if your realtor wants one just basically stating you intend to do such-and-such loan amount with such-and-such down for a total of such-and-such. My realtor never asked me for anything like that though. Plus I looked at houses that were less than what some banks told me I could afford, because I didn't want to spend that much money. Keep that in mind... lending has REALLY calmed down a lot lately what with the crash a few years ago, but what the bank will tell you you can afford versus what you are actually comfortable with might be two different things.
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  #18  
Old 08-20-2013, 10:02 AM
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I'd have no problems buying an older home. I doubt I'd buy a "newer" one unless I built it myself. Way too much crap was just thrown up to fill the market. Your brand new house looks 30 years old after 10. Cheap doesn't hold up over time and many newer subdivisions were built as cheaply as possible.

It's easy to make things look good for the short term, but when all your trim starts bowing and pulling away from walls, and drywall is cracking out, siding is falling off, your roof rots because they didn't ventilate it properly because of shortcuts and all your plumbing and light fixtures need to be replaced, it gets expensive.

of course not every newer home is like that. it's just like buying a dog or anything else. You have to get in there and look yourself and if you don't know what you're looking at, find someone you can trust to do it for you.

Other than that, buy what you want to live in and where you want to live. Nothing worse than having a 30 year mortgage in a house or area you want to leave.
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  #19  
Old 08-20-2013, 01:07 PM
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I have heard checking occasionally, like once every three months or so, does not hurt your credit score. Checking it at ten different car dealers the same day will.

I got the pre approval as soon as we started thinking about looking again. Here when something pops up its gone soon. No time to get the preappeoval once you see something.

A good mortage broker is the best thing to have. Any question we can call text or email ours day or night. They will let you know what you should spend, down payment you should have and money for closing etc.

It is much easier without the land requirement though lol!

Yet to find a realtor we like. Tell them ten acres and they show you two acres 30,000 over what you want to spend.

We had an offer accepted in a house less than ten years old. Both roof and septic were bad. You'll start to recongnized signs of cheap construction.
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  #20  
Old 08-20-2013, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
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I have heard checking occasionally, like once every three months or so, does not hurt your credit score. Checking it at ten different car dealers the same day will.
The opposite, I believe. Pretty sure all credit checks run within a certain time period count as one hit.

Regardless, Laurelin, if you have a realtor in mind, shoot them an email, let them know your timeline, and ask what the next step is (and when you should do it). They know the process
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