Archive for October, 2010

October 29, 2010

House #4 – Lake Orion

by brandt

Well, we’re off on another house hunt. I wasn’t able to get any pictures of the outside of the house this time, but I got lots of inside pictures.  If you’re on a slower internet connection, be warned.

This is a Homepath house, which means it’s a home that Fannie Mae has foreclosed on. Fannie will get in there and try to make the house liveable and somewhat “move-in ready,” but they’re sold as-is, so get a good inspection. If you can land a Homepath in a good location, you’ll have benefits out the wazoo.

-Low down payment and flexible mortgage terms
-Available to both owner occupiers and investors
-Down payment (at least 3 percent) can be funded by your own savings; a gift; a grant; or a loan from a nonprofit organization, state or local government, or employer
-No mortgage insurance
-No appraisal fees

The 2 biggest things are mortgage insurance and appraisal fees, which means you’re getting a phenominal deal, but sometimes a more “worn out” house.

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October 27, 2010

Step One: Cut a Hole in the Box – Things Learned Along the Way

by brandt

Note – I’m not a home-buying expert. I just play one on TV. All advice that is given is my opinion only, and should be taken as such. Please consult with a loan officer and real estate agent before making any decisions. I’m just giving you a little taste of what my experiences have been. Information on this website is provided “as is,” with no warranty, because I’m cheap. You know the rest of the legal mumbo jumbo. To quote one of my college roommates when I asked him a question he didn’t agree with, “Dude….don’t be dumb.”

This whole first time homebuyer process can get frustrating.  Many of the emails that we’ve received thus far come from people who have had the same questions and want the same things from buying a house; namely, to snag a good deal at a great price and have a fabulous resale value. The market is good right now, and people know it, and many of our friends want to make the jump before the real estate market gets turned around. Heck, that’s the reason Ashley and I are doing it. But there’s a lot of little tidbit’s and facts we’ve learned along the way (and we’re still not done).

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October 21, 2010

House #3 – Lake Orion

by brandt

Because we’re in a holding pattern for the Rochester house, we decided to go look at another house – this one was listed at 164,000, had been on the market for a while, another short sale, and we wanted to take a tour to see if we could possibly low-ball them and use the excess money we would have saved for possibly fixing it up or customizing it.

Here are the details:

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October 18, 2010

Manic Monday

by brandt

Uh oh.

Bank of America might be in some big trouble.

Brandt might be in some big trouble.

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October 13, 2010

Where’s Ashley?

by brandt

My brain works late at night.  I can’t tell you how many major projects I’ve taken on at 10:30, or 11:00 at night, realizing that I’m going to hate myself in the morning.  And I’m not talking about “Oh, I’ll just pick up my office a tad before I go to bed.”

No.

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October 12, 2010

Short Sales and Strong Stomachs

by brandt

Over the last week, I’ve gotten a few emails from a college friend asking about the home buying process and picking my brain on all the situations and circumstances that we have gone through in finding and purchasing our house.  She had asked me about short sales, and I told her “it’s been my experience that if you’re going after a short sale, you had better have a strong stomach.”  I thought I had a strong stomach.  Now that thinking is being put to action.

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October 8, 2010

House #2 – Rochester

by brandt

You will have to excuse the quality of the pictures.  These were taken on my phone during a quick walk-through of the house.  You can also click on any of the pictures to see them full sized.

This is house #2 on our home-buying search.  The first home we bid on was rejected by the bank.  This house is listed as a short sale for $159,000.

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October 8, 2010

The Beginning of the Adventure

by brandt

“What is this new devilry?”

– Boromir, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring


I always thought you had to be old to get a house.  I thought that you had to be working for 5 years, and have a lot of money to be able to afford one, and once you had a house, what were you going to do with an upstairs PLUS a basement PLUS a garage?  That’s so much space, and there’s no possible way we could use all that!

When I graduated college in April of 2009, my first job was working for a small mortgage company in Michigan.  After learning the ropes of what mortgages were, I started looking more closely at the details of what people were borrowing, and what they were paying.  I worked there for about 4 months until suddenly, it hit me.  There were some people who were paying less for their mortgage per month than we were for rent!  I looked closer, and realized that they weren’t getting shacks, they were getting good quality houses.

And so it began…

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