First-time home buyer, unusual situation

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Kevin108, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. Kevin108

    Kevin108 THIS IS IN ALL CAPS

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    I've pondered home ownership plenty of times before. The last time was back in 2004 or so just as the housing bubble was starting to inflate. I knew enough about math even at 23 to know I didn't like what they were trying to sell me.

    Anyway, here I am 6 years later. My girlfriend and I have been together for four years and lived together all of that except for maybe the first 3 months. We both have decent jobs, work full time and have managed to pay down some debt. Over the last few months, she's been really interested in buying a house. My earlier experiences left a bad taste in my mouth and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Stagnation is easy, right?

    I looked at all the starter home listings she e-mailed me completely half-heartedly - as in I gave them enough thought to tag them as Houses in Gmail before clicking the Archive button. Okay, I wasn't quite that bad but 75% of what she sent me to look at was in the ghetto and almost all of the rest just didn't interest me.

    Last Monday I happened to be driving through a local neighborhood and saw a house for sale that caught my eye. It belonged to my grandparents until my grandma passed away in 98 when I was 17. My grandparents had 5 kids - 3 girls and 2 boys. The house was left to the youngest son, still living at home in his later 30s. He was a nice guy that was very bright but only worked when his addictions would necessitate or allow.

    The house was paid for and at that time taxes and insurance amounted to a whole $125 a month. 5 months after my grandma passed she was followed by her oldest son who was the only one that could ever get the youngest son back on track.

    Needless to say, he was losing the place in short order so when my parents got their tax return that year, they paid back up on the house and the family did what they could to get it sold as quickly as possible because that was better than simply losing the home that my grandparents had worked so hard for and taken so much pride in owning. The house was sold for a pittance and divided between the 4 living children and the widow of the oldest son.

    The tax records I've seen only go back 5 years. It looks like last year the house was foreclosed on and then sold for around $70,000. The current owner bought it to flip and it went on the market 7 months after he bought it. It's been on the market for a couple months now.

    We went to look at the place last Tuesday. The current owner has prettied the place up although it doesn't appear to have ever gotten into bad shape. The kitchen is where most of the work was done. It has new tile, new cabinets, new counter tops and a new layout. The whole house got new carpet and paint. It sits on about ¼ acre with a decent back yard. The detached garage was much larger than I remembered but I had only ever seen it stuffed to the gills with all my grandpa's junk. It had some rot repaired, got new siding and doors and was wired for permanent electricity.

    The neighbors to the left are the same ones that were there when I was little. They were as much family friends as anything and often my sister and I stayed over there and played while our mom took my grandma to get some groceries or to go to the bank.

    I spent a lot of time at this place when I was young. My Gran is the most special person to me I've ever lost. Despite how much of the family has died off, nobody ever passed away in this house. That would probably change my feelings about it quite a bit. Other than the difficulties that led to the sale of the house there's been nothing but good memories made there.

    I'm meeting with my agent tomorrow to sign the papers and to give him the check to submit our first offer. My heart won't break if it doesn't all work out but I'm going to do everything I can to get this place. If you don't mind, say a prayer or cross your fingers for us.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  2. Herb Twoleaf

    Herb Twoleaf qxPfZzhK

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    On the one hand I'm not sure it's a great time to be a buyer, but if you can get the rate etc. you want... well, it's a hell of a lot worse time to be a seller. Also seems like awesome serendipity that "home" becomes available just when the gf is ready to take any old thing.

    A heartfelt "good luck" to you there. Fingers crossed. :thumbsup:
     

  3. jp3975

    jp3975

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    If its not a good time to buy when is? Arent houses harder to sell right now meaning costs are lower?


    ...

    Dont forget about the govt deal. Im pretty sure you can still get it. For first time buyers anything over 75k you get 8k. Anything less than 75k you get 10%
     
  4. sawgrass

    sawgrass

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    Good Luck!

    I closed recently, and it's a great time to buy. Prices are down,
    interests rates are down, and yes, the 8000 first time tax credit is
    great. The 6500 for repeat buyers isn't bad either.

    Make sure you get your own realtor! One who works for you and not the
    seller. My realtor was fantastic. She negotiated the seller paying 8 grand
    in closing costs, putting on a new roof, and doing a little landscape work
    to correct runoff. The seller was more than happy to do some work, for
    a solid close.

    You might want to consider the deal being contingent upon a home inspection,
    by a qualified home inspector. Surprises later stink.

    Good Luck! Prayers said.
    Sawgrass
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  5. GreenDrake

    GreenDrake Rip Lips

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    There hasn't been a better time to be a buyer in over 30 years. Go get it. I remember buying my first home and we were happy to get it under 10% for a rate. Don't expect double digit appreciation or 2005 levels, the housing recovery will be much slower this time around. Enjoy home ownership, the tax credit runs out soon.
     
  6. G30SF/F-250

    G30SF/F-250 Pinky Out Platinum Member

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    Good luck! I hope it all works out for you.
     
  7. Naptown34

    Naptown34 NRA Life Member

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    Any thought to getting married, then buying the house?
     
  8. Dandapani

    Dandapani

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    +1 :wavey:
     
  9. Kevin108

    Kevin108 THIS IS IN ALL CAPS

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    Thank you for the kind words!

    We have the Norfolk Naval Ship Yard and the Portsmouth Naval Hospital within a few blocks of each other. NOB Norfolk is just through the tunnel. We have Oceana out in Va Beach and there's plenty more that I don't know about. In short, this area is a military town.

    Two things come along with that:

    Things are fairly recession-proof here as 40% of the population here is employed by the government, be it local, state or federal. While most non-sworn and non-enlisted were hit with some furlough time last year, most still have their jobs. I work for local government as a carpenter and the GF works for a communications contractor that works on Navy ships. I feel pretty safe about both of our jobs.

    The downside is because of the transient work force, homes are bought and sold at a higher rate than usual. Also because of military housing allowances and other factors, the enlisted in the area can afford about twice the home that the locals can afford. It's a small price to pay for an all-voluntary force such as our country has, but there are market repercussions in that the price of homes are driven up because they sell so easily.

    Overall rates are pretty good. FHA is running 5% and lower as long as you shop around some.

    I'm sure the housing bubble is what led to the foreclosure on this house which allowed the current owner to pick it up so cheaply. We definitely qualify for the tax credit and that's really what's making everything possible. We're looking at around $5,000 for our down payment, which we have but originally had other plans for it. Being able to put the money right back has really been what let us make this move.

    Thank you for the prayers! We do have our own realtor. The first couple of times I talked to him on the phone I wasn't impressed but since we met in person things have been great.

    I'm a carpenter by trade and have done home inspections for friends that have bought houses. On my offer I specified that I did intend to get a home inspection, which I'll likely do myself. If I find any problems though, I'll have to shell out about $300 to get someone legit to write up what problems exist.

    I don't really care about the appreciation. I figure as long as that stays low the assessment will stay low. The annual taxes are about 1¼% of the assessed value and I plan to be there long term. Lower taxes are better, right?

    Thank you very much!

    It will happen one day. I think getting into this house will make her happier than getting a ring anyway. :supergrin:
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  10. GlockPride

    GlockPride Glock 23

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    I was gonna ask this too! Too many people putting the cart before the horse. What happened to the days when it was seen as 'sinful' to live with someone before marriage?

    While I'm a sinner and not a saint, this is one of the items I swore to never compromise on when I was young.

    Houses are supposed to be a blessing. When you are ready. I would not want to be tied to a house payment with someone I'm no longer tied to. Also, you realize the roughly 85% of people that live together aren't married a few years later right?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  11. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I'm not a huge fan of buying homes w/ GF's(if you're gonna act like married people, be married people). IF you two were to break up, it just creates a mess, because nothing was really *legal* between you... but regardless... Good luck

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  12. bearshoegun

    bearshoegun

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    If you put down the brunt of the money, just make sure the house is "yours" legally. It's all good and fun when you are still dating and loving life but if you two get split, it's going to be a mess!

    Now if she is providing half of the cost, then legally have the papers written up as a co-ownership so if you split you guys can figure a way out of the mess amicably.

    Just do not, I say again, do not, have her named as the owner because you are in love and nothing can separate you two. Good luck.
     
  13. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Now that.. is funny..

    It does nothing to protect him, and sets him up to be in a war w/ a woman he was never legally married to.

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  14. jp3975

    jp3975

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    You'd rather them rent together?

    If you can buy a house, you're better off.

    You think married people dont get divorced? All marriage is, is a legal document. It has no magical powers to hold people together.
     
  15. leadispenser

    leadispenser

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    go for it. I had a chance to buy my grandparents home and would have but for the poor inspection report. Would have cost me more then the sentimental value. Nonetheless, I wish I had in retrospect.
     
  16. yam

    yam

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    Splitting a house and ownership is no more complicated between a Boyfriend/Girlfriend then a Husband/Wife. In Texas anyway.When/if things go bad, things get split. There are way more reasons to not get married then to get married in my opinion. Just my opinion.

    Good luck on your home purchase.
     
  17. KCHORNS

    KCHORNS

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    Not true. Huge amounts of debt can be stressful and being a homeowner can be overrated and expensive.

    I agree with the folks that said that that you should buy the house and she pays rent until your relationship progresses. and uh, use a condom...
     
  18. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    IF I was the OP.. thats exactly what I would do.
     
  19. Kevin108

    Kevin108 THIS IS IN ALL CAPS

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    I was raised by a married mom and dad on traditional values. If I wasn't in the situation, I'd question it too.

    This is going to be an equal partnership with the mortgage, bills and upkeep split down the middle.

    We have rented together for four years. Obviously we've had more good than bad. I understand the ethical and legal complications of what we're doing but at least this way should we have to split, we can sell the house and we can both walk away with something to help us each rebuild our lives.

    Thank you! It's easier to sell a house in a split than it is to get out of a lease on an apartment you can't afford by yourself. But I wouldn't be making this move if I didn't think I could stay with her the rest of my life. Yes, we've done things in a non-traditional order but who's to say that what we've done hasn't worked any better or worse than any other plan?
     
  20. jp3975

    jp3975

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    Its not overrated if you plan to stay in the same area.

    Would you rather pay $800 rent per month...and still pay it until you die.

    Or buy and have a home paid for in 30 plus have equity.

    Its a buyers market right now and owning isnt much [if any] more expensive than renting.