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zacb
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17 Oct 2020, 6:59 pm

AuroraBorealisGazer wrote:
^ That's great!

Now you will be able to share with us your tips :mrgreen:


Thanks. I was a little aghast at the closing costs, but as I am in a hot market, I would probably need to bear the brunt. The rental market is a pain as well, so rather a little pain now then when rents go to 1500 in my area. I remember hearing stories from places like NY where people were renting really cheap (comparatively) and now things are through the roof (double or more). I think as the currency becomes erratic, having a place will be a good feather in my cap. I wanted to wait and hold off, but i live in one of the lesser unemployed areas in the country, so I figure between that and how the available land is dwindling, now might be the best time to jump, even if I need a little help from family (which was helpful as it was a last minute decision to be honest). Also 2.85 percent is nothing to sneeze at. Cheers to that.



AuroraBorealisGazer
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17 Oct 2020, 8:00 pm

It seems you made a smart investment :) . I hope the market doesn't get much worse before I can try to buy a place. I'm very tired of renting (and not having my own laundry machines or being able to paint).



zacb
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17 Oct 2020, 8:36 pm

AuroraBorealisGazer wrote:
It seems you made a smart investment :) . I hope the market doesn't get much worse before I can try to buy a place. I'm very tired of renting (and not having my own laundry machines or being able to paint).


I wish you best of luck. I don't know your local market so need to take that into considerations, but my area had low unemployment and does not seem as phased by all this. Prior (about last year) I saw places for 179k that were duplexes. Now those probably go for 220k at least or more. I would have pounced, but I was a temp and did not have my licenses. However, now I have my licenses and now prices have gone up (although this does seem cheap, although my realtor bought a place in here a few years prior for 120k). I really hope you can find something that hits the spot. Prior to moving into a hotel I had 3k. Now I only have 1500, but have investments to make up for it. Meh thus is life, but better than paying 1000 for a hotel. Also if you don't mind me asking are you far from London? It seems like people are trying to leave the city and that might exacerbate things (happened with Californians moving into my area).



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17 Oct 2020, 8:50 pm

Thank you :D . I won't know my local market until Fey gets hired somewhere, which makes research more challenging :P . Thankfully staying in our current cheap apartment have has let us build a good savings.

Oh I'm very far from London. My location is misleading. But I read someplace that my husband was in the UK so I was like "oh crap, I don't know what country I'm in" :lol: .

I'm in the Midwest


I hope to end up in a location that is affordable with historic architecture, nice scenery, and not too suburban or rural. Basically, I have expensive taste for my budget :P .



zacb
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17 Oct 2020, 10:15 pm

AuroraBorealisGazer wrote:
Thank you :D . I won't know my local market until Fey gets hired somewhere, which makes research more challenging :P . Thankfully staying in our current cheap apartment have has let us build a good savings.

Oh I'm very far from London. My location is misleading. But I read someplace that my husband was in the UK so I was like "oh crap, I don't know what country I'm in" :lol: .

I'm in the Midwest


I hope to end up in a location that is affordable with historic architecture, nice scenery, and not too suburban or rural. Basically, I have expensive taste for my budget :P .


Haha trick me. I know people seem to play the move away from London to get cheaper rent game, so sorry for talking up the wrong game. I used to live in the Midwest and depending on what city it can be affordable. In the larger Western US, prices have been booming from Californians, but thankfully I could find close to Midwest prices where I am. Where I was from in the Midwest places were going for 50k, but good luck getting a loan, even with 20 percent down. Where I am they only need 3% (which is crazy) and the rejection rate is like 3.5%. The market here is just different it seems. I have wondered if there are other places I would like to be but between the property taxes, gun rights, medical marijuana, economy, and weather, I think it is a decent compromise in my opinion, and close to a lot of big city amenities, but there are a lot of trees and grass that separate my hoa from the rest the area. Also the amenities are not bad. Now that I have signed I am getting a bit nervous, but my mom said I did the right thing (her idea after I struggled to find a rental) and makes me feel like I am not being foolhardy. I know a colleague at work that bought a place for 350k. To me that is a bit much and makes me a bit nervous. I feel like for what I got I did a decent job.

I hope you hone in on a place. Depending on what field Fey is in, I would look out west as things have been doing really well out this way. I only moved out here 2 1/2 years ago from the Midwest where I had no job to now working a middle class job and a house to boot. Wish both of you best of luck in the search.



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17 Oct 2020, 11:06 pm

Oh yes, the prices in California are very intimidating! It would take us a very long time to have a 20% down payment, especially for prices there. I'd say the prices in the cities he's applying to, with what we need, are probably around 250k - 350k. We need at least 3 bedrooms because I'll be working from home, we want more space for our hobbies and cats, and we'd like to have a progeny or two. I'm thinking something in the range of 3-5% down and then trying to get the seller to cover most closing costs (as long as the realtor thinks that's okay), because we don't want to blow more than 1/2 our savings.

We're Geoscientists :) so the west could be an option. I want it to be near enough to other jobs for me since I want to look for a new job once we're there, so aka not too far removed from major areas.

Thank you for your kind words :)



zacb
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23 Oct 2020, 10:00 pm

AuroraBorealisGazer wrote:
Oh yes, the prices in California are very intimidating! It would take us a very long time to have a 20% down payment, especially for prices there. I'd say the prices in the cities he's applying to, with what we need, are probably around 250k - 350k. We need at least 3 bedrooms because I'll be working from home, we want more space for our hobbies and cats, and we'd like to have a progeny or two. I'm thinking something in the range of 3-5% down and then trying to get the seller to cover most closing costs (as long as the realtor thinks that's okay), because we don't want to blow more than 1/2 our savings.

We're Geoscientists :) so the west could be an option. I want it to be near enough to other jobs for me since I want to look for a new job once we're there, so aka not too far removed from major areas.

Thank you for your kind words :)


No problem.

I did not want to go overboard as I don't have kids and want to fix one up to either resell or rent in the future, so this would meet those goals. I did see a few 2 bedrooms, but I want to keep extras to a minimum for now. Also the green space and walking paths were a big sell for me (late night code walks). Also I had to pay closing costs as it is a hot market here, but I figured it is the cheapest DECENT condo on the market, might as well not complain too much for now as it at least locks in rent in a growing area. I had to stretch my savings, investments, and help from family to get this going, but then again it was family's idea to get a place as places to rent were snapped up left and right. I close on the 3rd so wish me luck. Not living at a hotel will be a blast honestly, now that I can finger paint on the wall :lol: . Just hoping investments recover so my assets are not so overweight in the house.



idntonkw
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23 Oct 2020, 11:47 pm

I bought a house, but my dad is a handyman and a plumber and hvac by profession. I get tired doing anything with my hands, so DIY stuff I expected myself to do isn't happening.

I would advise you not to live alone if you can, perhaps, very cautiously, you can live with an AS friend? With a condo, your risks are plumbing leaks and unexpected payments to the condo association for things like roof, landscaping, windows replacement, etc - this is called 'an assesment' and it is an extra payment significant one time payment usually in the thousands of dollars that is in addition to the HOA you pay monthly.

How much money is in the Condo Association Reserve? The real estate agent should tell you that. Have they had a Reserve Study done (probably not necessary) - but you should google what a condo reserve study is.

If your toilet leaks - you pay for downstairs damages. You pay for any plumbing repairs and open and close the walls. Basically, plumbing leaks are your #1 worry with a condo. Toilet can leak, sink can leak, something inside the walls can leak.



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25 Oct 2020, 10:59 am

zacb wrote:
AuroraBorealisGazer wrote:
Oh yes, the prices in California are very intimidating! It would take us a very long time to have a 20% down payment, especially for prices there. I'd say the prices in the cities he's applying to, with what we need, are probably around 250k - 350k. We need at least 3 bedrooms because I'll be working from home, we want more space for our hobbies and cats, and we'd like to have a progeny or two. I'm thinking something in the range of 3-5% down and then trying to get the seller to cover most closing costs (as long as the realtor thinks that's okay), because we don't want to blow more than 1/2 our savings.

We're Geoscientists :) so the west could be an option. I want it to be near enough to other jobs for me since I want to look for a new job once we're there, so aka not too far removed from major areas.

Thank you for your kind words :)


No problem.

I did not want to go overboard as I don't have kids and want to fix one up to either resell or rent in the future, so this would meet those goals. I did see a few 2 bedrooms, but I want to keep extras to a minimum for now. Also the green space and walking paths were a big sell for me (late night code walks). Also I had to pay closing costs as it is a hot market here, but I figured it is the cheapest DECENT condo on the market, might as well not complain too much for now as it at least locks in rent in a growing area. I had to stretch my savings, investments, and help from family to get this going, but then again it was family's idea to get a place as places to rent were snapped up left and right. I close on the 3rd so wish me luck. Not living at a hotel will be a blast honestly, now that I can finger paint on the wall :lol: . Just hoping investments recover so my assets are not so overweight in the house.


Oh yes good walking spaces would be a major perk. We like to go on night walks (when it's not too far below zero) and having a safe place to do so is important. I wish we didn't have to spend so much for a place. I don't know how the average person does it. It's really making me realize how little my own salary really buys.

When you got approved for your mortgage, did it The approval amount meet your expectations? I'm wondering if my own estimates will come close to the bank's. Did you happen to look at estimates for monthly costs on sites like Trulia? I'm wondering how those compare to the actual monthly cost. It's opening my eyes to how incredibly high property taxes are. It's been helpful to see mortgage insurance estimates, I wish they weren't necessary when you don't have 20% to put down.

Me babbling:
I'm thinking it may be good for us to talk to a financial advisor. Balancing all of the money options for the first go is stressful. We have so many other things we have to allocate funds for, like our student loans (we both have 2 'bad' loans that should be prioritized), we will need a 2nd car, then there's the massive cost of giving birth, and of course we would need to have a substantial amount in savings aside from a down payment to show the bank we aren't going to go broke. Ugh like I said, I don't know how people afford to live.



zacb
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29 Oct 2020, 11:05 pm

idntonkw wrote:
I bought a house, but my dad is a handyman and a plumber and hvac by profession. I get tired doing anything with my hands, so DIY stuff I expected myself to do isn't happening.

I would advise you not to live alone if you can, perhaps, very cautiously, you can live with an AS friend? With a condo, your risks are plumbing leaks and unexpected payments to the condo association for things like roof, landscaping, windows replacement, etc - this is called 'an assesment' and it is an extra payment significant one time payment usually in the thousands of dollars that is in addition to the HOA you pay monthly.

How much money is in the Condo Association Reserve? The real estate agent should tell you that. Have they had a Reserve Study done (probably not necessary) - but you should google what a condo reserve study is.

If your toilet leaks - you pay for downstairs damages. You pay for any plumbing repairs and open and close the walls. Basically, plumbing leaks are your #1 worry with a condo. Toilet can leak, sink can leak, something inside the walls can leak.


Well my realtor owns two places there and she said the association is solid. I also have details of the HOA meetings and what not and so far I like what I see. Also my realtor has said there have not been any major assessments, so it seems like it is decent. Also taxes are low as well. I only got a one bedroom, and while it needs some work, I can probably do it. Granted I may take forever, but we are not professional painters :D . Also the inspector of my place lives in these apartments and went over some gotchas he has seen. I am thinking of having someone to cover the HOA fees so I can live a bit more cheaply or might turn my living room into an Airbnb but we shall see.

As far as living alone I have lived alone before but more for stability sake I might try to have someone live there with me. What have you found living alone vs not?



zacb
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29 Oct 2020, 11:20 pm

AuroraBorealisGazer wrote:
zacb wrote:
AuroraBorealisGazer wrote:
Oh yes, the prices in California are very intimidating! It would take us a very long time to have a 20% down payment, especially for prices there. I'd say the prices in the cities he's applying to, with what we need, are probably around 250k - 350k. We need at least 3 bedrooms because I'll be working from home, we want more space for our hobbies and cats, and we'd like to have a progeny or two. I'm thinking something in the range of 3-5% down and then trying to get the seller to cover most closing costs (as long as the realtor thinks that's okay), because we don't want to blow more than 1/2 our savings.

We're Geoscientists :) so the west could be an option. I want it to be near enough to other jobs for me since I want to look for a new job once we're there, so aka not too far removed from major areas.

Thank you for your kind words :)


No problem.

I did not want to go overboard as I don't have kids and want to fix one up to either resell or rent in the future, so this would meet those goals. I did see a few 2 bedrooms, but I want to keep extras to a minimum for now. Also the green space and walking paths were a big sell for me (late night code walks). Also I had to pay closing costs as it is a hot market here, but I figured it is the cheapest DECENT condo on the market, might as well not complain too much for now as it at least locks in rent in a growing area. I had to stretch my savings, investments, and help from family to get this going, but then again it was family's idea to get a place as places to rent were snapped up left and right. I close on the 3rd so wish me luck. Not living at a hotel will be a blast honestly, now that I can finger paint on the wall :lol: . Just hoping investments recover so my assets are not so overweight in the house.


Oh yes good walking spaces would be a major perk. We like to go on night walks (when it's not too far below zero) and having a safe place to do so is important. I wish we didn't have to spend so much for a place. I don't know how the average person does it. It's really making me realize how little my own salary really buys.

When you got approved for your mortgage, did it The approval amount meet your expectations? I'm wondering if my own estimates will come close to the bank's. Did you happen to look at estimates for monthly costs on sites like Trulia? I'm wondering how those compare to the actual monthly cost. It's opening my eyes to how incredibly high property taxes are. It's been helpful to see mortgage insurance estimates, I wish they weren't necessary when you don't have 20% to put down.

Me babbling:
I'm thinking it may be good for us to talk to a financial advisor. Balancing all of the money options for the first go is stressful. We have so many other things we have to allocate funds for, like our student loans (we both have 2 'bad' loans that should be prioritized), we will need a 2nd car, then there's the massive cost of giving birth, and of course we would need to have a substantial amount in savings aside from a down payment to show the bank we aren't going to go broke. Ugh like I said, I don't know how people afford to live.


No worries. I am not sure about your student loans, but because of the moratorium I have been using that time to save and invest. However, with there being less and less opportunities, I might try to knock out my student debt (which is around the average range) to lower my overall debt load and be able to cash in on property deals if they arise. I used half of what I could have used (166k vs 300k), so I was careful not to fall into that trap, further it probably has a potential for 20k in appreciation in addition to whatever the market does. I could have gotten a 2 bedroom for 40k more, but I wanted to keep my debt levels lower and the neighborhood is set back in a wooded area. I had planned on moving 20 miles away from the metro area, but then those areas caught fire too and this was about how much I wanted to pay any how, so I figured I would jump in. Also outside student loans I don't have any other debt and I also take public transit or walk.

On the inverse I had a portfolio of about 18k in stocks and earned a decent middle income, and even with 20% down no one would lend to me in the old Midwest town I lived in. Where I am not I just needed 3% down plus closing costs and I could get a fixer upper condo. So your local market may vary. As for property taxes I will be paying about 1k a year. I am not going to complain about that. As far as estimates, I would say they lined up with my expectations, except having to carry the closing costs, but we are in a hot area. Also look into first time home buyer loans. It might surprise you what you can get. Also hoping with a bit of luck I can get equity up to 20% to drop the PMI insurance. I might be able to to that with a bit of renovating.


As for saving money, I am mixed. Unless I am putting it into something (like stocks or other investments), I get a bit antsy as holding cash seems dumb IMO, especially if inflation kicks in. I want to diversify into something more, but as I mentioned, biting into principal during this covid stuff might make more sense, depending on the election results.



idntonkw
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30 Oct 2020, 1:49 am

zacb wrote:
idntonkw wrote:
I bought a house, but my dad is a handyman and a plumber and hvac by profession. I get tired doing anything with my hands, so DIY stuff I expected myself to do isn't happening.

I would advise you not to live alone if you can, perhaps, very cautiously, you can live with an AS friend? With a condo, your risks are plumbing leaks and unexpected payments to the condo association for things like roof, landscaping, windows replacement, etc - this is called 'an assesment' and it is an extra payment significant one time payment usually in the thousands of dollars that is in addition to the HOA you pay monthly.

How much money is in the Condo Association Reserve? The real estate agent should tell you that. Have they had a Reserve Study done (probably not necessary) - but you should google what a condo reserve study is.

If your toilet leaks - you pay for downstairs damages. You pay for any plumbing repairs and open and close the walls. Basically, plumbing leaks are your #1 worry with a condo. Toilet can leak, sink can leak, something inside the walls can leak.


Well my realtor owns two places there and she said the association is solid. I also have details of the HOA meetings and what not and so far I like what I see. Also my realtor has said there have not been any major assessments, so it seems like it is decent. Also taxes are low as well. I only got a one bedroom, and while it needs some work, I can probably do it. Granted I may take forever, but we are not professional painters :D . Also the inspector of my place lives in these apartments and went over some gotchas he has seen. I am thinking of having someone to cover the HOA fees so I can live a bit more cheaply or might turn my living room into an Airbnb but we shall see.

As far as living alone I have lived alone before but more for stability sake I might try to have someone live there with me. What have you found living alone vs not?


I have found that living alone is a trap. You recharge being away from people. Then, after a few hours alone, you start losing your energy due to the isolation to the point you cannot clean up the simplest mess and the simplest things inside your apartment alone become incredibly difficult. Your place becomes messy and dirty. You end up just sitting on the computer or eating out of a tuna can. This happened to people I know as well, not just me. The lifestyle creep is real with living alone as it robs you of energy, just like being around people all the time can rob you of energy as well. I actually hosted people on couchsurfing.com and while the people did not like me that much and I made some of them uncomfortable, cleaning my place to host people was initially a short term motivator, but I got tired of it and got burned out. The best is to have another aspie live with you part time perhaps.



zacb
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30 Oct 2020, 10:17 pm

idntonkw wrote:
zacb wrote:
idntonkw wrote:
I bought a house, but my dad is a handyman and a plumber and hvac by profession. I get tired doing anything with my hands, so DIY stuff I expected myself to do isn't happening.

I would advise you not to live alone if you can, perhaps, very cautiously, you can live with an AS friend? With a condo, your risks are plumbing leaks and unexpected payments to the condo association for things like roof, landscaping, windows replacement, etc - this is called 'an assesment' and it is an extra payment significant one time payment usually in the thousands of dollars that is in addition to the HOA you pay monthly.

How much money is in the Condo Association Reserve? The real estate agent should tell you that. Have they had a Reserve Study done (probably not necessary) - but you should google what a condo reserve study is.

If your toilet leaks - you pay for downstairs damages. You pay for any plumbing repairs and open and close the walls. Basically, plumbing leaks are your #1 worry with a condo. Toilet can leak, sink can leak, something inside the walls can leak.


Well my realtor owns two places there and she said the association is solid. I also have details of the HOA meetings and what not and so far I like what I see. Also my realtor has said there have not been any major assessments, so it seems like it is decent. Also taxes are low as well. I only got a one bedroom, and while it needs some work, I can probably do it. Granted I may take forever, but we are not professional painters :D . Also the inspector of my place lives in these apartments and went over some gotchas he has seen. I am thinking of having someone to cover the HOA fees so I can live a bit more cheaply or might turn my living room into an Airbnb but we shall see.

As far as living alone I have lived alone before but more for stability sake I might try to have someone live there with me. What have you found living alone vs not?


I have found that living alone is a trap. You recharge being away from people. Then, after a few hours alone, you start losing your energy due to the isolation to the point you cannot clean up the simplest mess and the simplest things inside your apartment alone become incredibly difficult. Your place becomes messy and dirty. You end up just sitting on the computer or eating out of a tuna can. This happened to people I know as well, not just me. The lifestyle creep is real with living alone as it robs you of energy, just like being around people all the time can rob you of energy as well. I actually hosted people on couchsurfing.com and while the people did not like me that much and I made some of them uncomfortable, cleaning my place to host people was initially a short term motivator, but I got tired of it and got burned out. The best is to have another aspie live with you part time perhaps.


I do find myself being messy often when people are not around, mostly due to the fact I get absorbed into whatever I am doing. That is a good point. Outside family, friends, and lovers though I kind of don't care about contact, but I do care about finding group as an outlet, but seems to be harder these days.



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31 Oct 2020, 1:08 pm

zacb wrote:
No worries. I am not sure about your student loans, but because of the moratorium I have been using that time to save and invest. However, with there being less and less opportunities, I might try to knock out my student debt (which is around the average range) to lower my overall debt load and be able to cash in on property deals if they arise. I used half of what I could have used (166k vs 300k), so I was careful not to fall into that trap, further it probably has a potential for 20k in appreciation in addition to whatever the market does. I could have gotten a 2 bedroom for 40k more, but I wanted to keep my debt levels lower and the neighborhood is set back in a wooded area. I had planned on moving 20 miles away from the metro area, but then those areas caught fire too and this was about how much I wanted to pay any how, so I figured I would jump in. Also outside student loans I don't have any other debt and I also take public transit or walk.

On the inverse I had a portfolio of about 18k in stocks and earned a decent middle income, and even with 20% down no one would lend to me in the old Midwest town I lived in. Where I am not I just needed 3% down plus closing costs and I could get a fixer upper condo. So your local market may vary. As for property taxes I will be paying about 1k a year. I am not going to complain about that. As far as estimates, I would say they lined up with my expectations, except having to carry the closing costs, but we are in a hot area. Also look into first time home buyer loans. It might surprise you what you can get. Also hoping with a bit of luck I can get equity up to 20% to drop the PMI insurance. I might be able to to that with a bit of renovating.


As for saving money, I am mixed. Unless I am putting it into something (like stocks or other investments), I get a bit antsy as holding cash seems dumb IMO, especially if inflation kicks in. I want to diversify into something more, but as I mentioned, biting into principal during this covid stuff might make more sense, depending on the election results.


1k for annual property taxes is great! Whenever I look at the various areas it's several hundred per month, which seems really high. When I think about that cost on top of the large amount we pay in taxes reach year, my head spins.

Building equity and getting to lower the PMI rate would be ideal. Hopefully we can find a place that we can make a few improvements to, and in a market where the values rise after purchasing.



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01 Nov 2020, 12:47 am

What “hotter real estate market” has $700 studios & $350k houses? :?

Lol definitely not here. Some studios rent for $1800-2100+/mo in some neighbourhoods. Cheap houses cost At Least $1M.

$350k might buy you a condo in the very distant suburbs a 1.5h+ drive from downtown. Maybe.

That’s why I’m probably never going to bother attempting to buy a place and just spend/invest my money elsewhere.


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01 Nov 2020, 12:36 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
What “hotter real estate market” has $700 studios & $350k houses? :?

Lol definitely not here. Some studios rent for $1800-2100+/mo in some neighbourhoods. Cheap houses cost At Least $1M.

$350k might buy you a condo in the very distant suburbs a 1.5h+ drive from downtown. Maybe.

That’s why I’m probably never going to bother attempting to buy a place and just spend/invest my money elsewhere.


Somewhere in the US West with 2.5% unemployment pre-covid and 4% now. Also 3 of the cities in the state have been featured as places millennials should move to and has an , ahem ... unique religion ;) (nice people though).