Posts tagged ‘House Hunting’

January 6, 2011

House #10 – Lake Orion

by brandt

We viewed this house last year.  Yes, I know “last year” is only 6 days old, and it’s weird to say that about something that happened a week ago, but it’s true.  I was working from home during the break, and after juggling schedules with the owners of the house, my agent, and our schedule, we finally got a chance to tour the house.

This one was a long shot.  I was scouring through the listings (after getting an updated pre-approval for a much higher amount), and this one was on my radar.  I knew the subdivision, had friends in high school who lived there, it met our location requirements, but it was priced high.  I got in touch with my agent, and figured it couldn’t hurt to take a look.

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December 31, 2010

House #9 – Rochester

by brandt

After we went and toured House #8 – Lake Orion, our agent asked if we had enough time to go see another couple of houses.  Not wanting to miss a chance to view more houses and take advantage of every house out there, we went about 20 minutes away to Rochester to view a house that had been on my “interested” radar, even though I had some reservations on the house.

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December 29, 2010

House #8 – Lake Orion

by brandt

So much for resting during the holidays, eh?  Ashley and I both thought that the availability of houses was going to really hit a low point because of both the winter months and the holiday.  That was, until we found out that we were pre-approved for a much higher amount under a Homepath Renovation mortgage.  Right now, I’m in the process of getting an updated FHA pre-approval since ours expired on the 22nd.  After we informed our agent of the increase, we asked for the MLS listings to reflect a higher price.  Wow.  All I know is that there were a lot more houses that were really interesting as soon as we made that jump.  Which gets us to House #8.

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December 28, 2010

The Huge Epic Post-Christmas Weekly Update

by brandt

I didn’t think the holidays were going to be this busy.  I mean, it’s only Ashley, me, and our two dopey cats.  I figured that it would be one of the “lounging” Christmases that we’d had over the past couple of years.  I was wrong.

First, the cats have finally forgiven me.  I’ve been working from home this past week, and Ashley has had work off since Thursday (today was her first day back).  That means people are constantly coming and going, in and out of our apartment.  I’ve never seen them this tired at night.  Their cat napping has taken a big hiatus, and recently I’ve caught them finding some sort of sanctuary in their cat-carrier.  Poor cats.  Instead of getting their normal 16 hours of sleep per day, they’re down to about 12 hours of sleep.  I know, it breaks your heart.  The interesting thing about me working from home is how much they follow me.  We’ve got boxes upon boxes stacked up in the office in our apartment for that eventful day when my agent calls to tell us we finally have an accepted offer, and the cats love jumping up to the very top boxes and snoozing away while I’m crunching numbers.  Heaven forbid I actually shut the door.  I start seeing paws under the door, and the small “meows” grow larger and louder until it sounds like Jack Bauer is interrogating them in the hallway.  Nope.  They just want to come in and visit.

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December 13, 2010

SWING and a miss…

by brandt

The pitch was high and tight, and we swung low.  Looks like we’re on the hunt again.

House #7 – Rochester appears to be off the table.  We got a response back from Fannie Mae saying they rejected our offer.  While that’s a sharp jab to the chin, it’s not a devastating knockout.  Our agent then said that it was a long shot to get Fannie to accept on the first offer, especially since we were offering way under the listing price.

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December 7, 2010

House #7 – Rochester Part 2

by brandt

Part 1 is here.

OK, so I said it was a Homepath house, right?  And you remember what it meant to be a Homepath house, right?

You forgot?

Oh dear…

OK, a Homepath house is a house that is foreclosed on and the Government (most notably, Fannie Mae) is selling the house with loads of incentives to get someone into it.

First, they offer lower down payment and lower sale prices than other homes.  Conventional loans typically want 20% down, FHA loans require 3.5% down, but Homepath homes usually are OK with as low as 3% down.  Less cash to put down on a house, more cash in pocket.  Second, they are great for people who have less-than-great credit (which isn’t an issue for us).  Third, NO PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE!  Talk to any homeowner who has to pay PMI, and it is one of the worst parts about home ownership.  Fourth, no appraisal fees (which can be upwards of $300-$500)…again, more cash in pocket.  Fifth, because of the real estate economy, they’re also willing to chip in 3.5% towards closing costs – which is what we’ve been asking every time we’ve made an offer on a house.

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December 2, 2010

Brandt’s Craziness and Other Issues

by brandt

Short version – I’m picky because I’m over analytical with life.

A few nights ago, one of my friends sent me about our housing situation.  During the ADD nature of our text conversations (between mutually agreeing that Detroit Lions suck, the University of Michigan needs to fire Rich Rodriguez, and Brock Lesnar will hold the UFC Heavyweight Title again), he asked an interesting question about our little situation with the houses.

“So…now what?”

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November 30, 2010

Home Runs and Heartbreak

by brandt

I received a very interesting email on Wednesday from my agent on Friday.  See, once we found out that we lost House #1 back in September, we were curiously interested for what it went for.  According to our agent, they could have offered more for the house than we did, they could have had a bigger down payment, they could have had a conventional loan vs. our FHA loan, they could have asked for less in concessions, or they might have had a longer credit history than 2 first-time home buyers.  Whatever the case, we looked at it as someone getting a house for more than we were willing to pay, and moved on with our lives.

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November 12, 2010

Wheelin’, Dealin’, and Stealin’

by brandt

It’s time for another Q&A Session with Uncle Brandt, where I type till my fingers are blistered trying to answer the deep soul-searching questions you all have sent in!  First, obligatory CAT PICTURE.  STORY TIME after the jump.

Thinking kitteh is….thinking of the answers to your questions.

 

After Ashley and I graduated college in Idaho, we moved out to Michigan.  The economy wasn’t the greatest, I didn’t want to be a farmer in Idaho, and Michigan is where I had the most networking contacts to find my first job out of college.  I was hired by a mortgage company, and my first job while I was there was to take the big packages of mortgage documents and be in a “quality control”-type role.  Basically, I sorted them, made sure all the forms were there, and passed the stack on to the next person.

From what I was told, the only way to learn mortgages, and the only way to learn the industry, is to be around it.  That was the extent of my first-day-on-the-job training.  And considering many people buy 2, maybe 3 houses through the course of their life, much of the details and paperwork are left to real estate agents and loan officers, with us the consumer taking their advice.

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November 3, 2010

House #6 – Lake Orion

by brandt

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the housing market……

As many of you saw a few days ago, House #5 (that’s 5 houses we’ve toured overall) looked like a wonderful prospect.  It was huge, it could use a lot of TLC and a designer’s touch, it was priced wonderfully, and most importantly, it got both Ashley and I geeked.

Naturally, as we’ve learned during the course of this whole home-buying procedure, that means that something is going to go awry.

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