Wednesday, August 19, 2009

House Hunting Adventures: Part 1

Last week some of you might of run into some hidden lines in my previous blogs about my husband and I looking to buy our first home! It's true, it's true; I feel so grown up. I thought it would be cool and informative to share our experience and also would love to receive your insight on tips and any useful info for first time home buyers.

1) First things first, we have a lovely realtor which we met through my parents who recently just moved, she has provided us with some contacts of loan officers she knows and who to call to get pre-approved. A good realtor will be able to help you answer all your questions, which I have plenty of!

2) I called three companies to find out their rates, only one has really responded and was super informative in explaining how a mortgage works and she walked me through their interest rates, fees and our credit. When you call loan officers, a couple things, you want to find their interest rate and the APR at the time to get a good idea, these rates will go up or down but all depends on when you close. Bruce was pre-approved and is considered a first time home buyer and may be eligible for the $8,000 tax credit or at least some of it, very complicated all the stipulations but we are currently looking into it.

3) Once you get your pre-approval letter, then the fun begins! Once you find your house, that is when you have to do more homework, your going to want to call around again to find out the best rates and who you are most comfortable with.

The HOUSE HUNTING ADVENTURE started last night, we went and saw four houses that we found online.

1) The first house was cute from the outside, I'm a big fan of brick. 
• As we pulled into the drive way, we noticed the cement was cracked and later it rained collecting water, hmmm. 
• Needed a new garage door, looked warped. 
• Inside lies the horror: Lime green carpets with 70s flare 
• New windows and lots of storage, but a hidden crawl space that we couldn't get too, anything lurking inside?
•  There was a family room with fireplace, floor was uneven
•  The backyard was a nice size but had this strange cinder block structure, plus lost yard space because of the corner location.

The second house, very nice, out of all the houses we liked this one the most! 
• Much cosmetic worked needed: painting, floors, hornets nest, deck older, cleaning.
• Nice size kitchen and huge backyard, bad fencing
• Flood zone?
• Bedrooms medium size, master bedroom small had horrible mirrors on the walls (freaks)
• Huge finished basement
• 2 full bathrooms, including a hot tub, marble floor half ass'd done.
• Nice neighborhood

2 Turf Lane, $209,000
Bruce had found this one, so we checked it out, he was really bummed out after we looked.
• Exterior nice from a far, up close asbestos siding
• No framing for screen front door
• Wonkly drive way
• Horrible cheap stick on flooring in the lower level
• 2 bathrooms
• Lots of light and nice size kitchen and bedrooms
• Above ground pool that had no cover, located next to highway
• No entrance to the backyard from the inside, weird!
• Two high priced for condition.

The online listing had so images of the inside of the house, hmmm.
• Nice from the outside, semi shady neighborhood
• The only + of this house was the kitchen, with new appliances and new cabinets.
• The finished basement was weird, smelled like mildew and looked as if someone painted the walls in the dark.
• Stains on carpet
• Fenced in backyard and deck
• Bathroom good size

So as you can see this is just the beginning of our journey, it was alot of fun.
We have more houses we want to look at soon, so stay tuned! 
We would love to hear from you all on any tips or insight from your experiences buying your first home!

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