aspose file tools*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Buying House in US Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Buying House in US" Watch "Buying House in US" New topic
Author

Buying House in US

Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
This would be our first house.
Do you have any tips on how to go about buying one?
Chumma Fun
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 92
hi,

Based on my experience, following things are important.

0) Reason for buying house(as an short term investment or long term roof to live)
1) Listing out what you excatly need in your house (no of rooms, garage, backyard etc.,)
2) Analysing your affordability or choosing the target price
3) Choosing the right loan option. (This is very tough and very critical!!!)
4) Finding a house satisfying your creteria in one of the best locations in your area
5) Finding a right housing agent. (Better to go with some good referrals from your friends /co-workers)

Good luck!
Saran
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
one small tip:
"with the way electronics prices are evolving, you need to get a house with solid media room". This is a must, because of bang for the buck. You can stay home and watch all those classy movies and such.


Kishore
SCJP, blog
Aj Mathia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 11, 2003
Posts: 478
Originally posted by Chumma Fun:
hi,

Based on my experience, following things are important.

0) Reason for buying house(as an short term investment or long term roof to live)
1) Listing out what you excatly need in your house (no of rooms, garage, backyard etc.,)
2) Analysing your affordability or choosing the target price
3) Choosing the right loan option. (This is very tough and very critical!!!)
4) Finding a house satisfying your creteria in one of the best locations in your area
5) Finding a right housing agent. (Better to go with some good referrals from your friends /co-workers)

Good luck!
Saran


Im thinking of buying a house too in the near future.
My focus is on your first point.
The house/Apartment purely as an Investment.
What should I focus on ?


You think you know me .... You will never know me ... You know only what I let you know ... You are just a puppet ... --CMG
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
I need a place to live, and hopefully I will be living in it for long period of time.

I'm more conserned about following:

-Condo vs House (there are lot of articles on this, and they contradict each other)
-Old house vs New House (how old is ok)
-How to make sure the house doesn't fall apart on me in 2 years
-What percentage of downpayment is acceptible?
-What is more likely to sell after long period of time (6-10 years)
-What kind of heating (other utilities) I should be looking for
...
I will probably come up with more questions
[ February 02, 2006: Message edited by: Sania Marsh ]
Chumma Fun
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 92
Originally posted by Sania Marsh:
[qb]I need a place to live, and hopefully I will be living in it for long period of time.

I'm more conserned about following:

-Condo vs House (there are lot of articles on this, and they contradict each other)

IMO, house is always preferable

-Old house vs New House (how old is ok)
New house(if its brand new get it from the best construction company). anything above 20 years is old.

-How to make sure the house doesn't fall apart on me in 2 years
By not buying 20+ years old house.

-What percentage of downpayment is acceptible?
Now-a-days 0% payment is also accepted. But anything above 10% is great.

-What is more likely to sell after long period of time (6-10 years)
???

-What kind of heating (other utilities) I should be looking for
I'm from CA. Don't know much about heating.
...
I will probably come up with more questions

Will try to answer!


[ February 02, 2006: Message edited by: Chumma Fun ]
[ February 02, 2006: Message edited by: Chumma Fun ]
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
Originally posted by Chumma Fun:
get it from the best construction company


How do I know which one's the best?
Chumma Fun
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 92
Originally posted by Sania Marsh:


How do I know which one's the best?


The company should be well known and look at their history and check out some references. Its same like finding a company to work for.
Steve Gibson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 37
Hello...

-Condo vs House (there are lot of articles on this, and they contradict each other)

I've done both, houses are generally more expensive but most of the time you do not have any association fees (unless of course you move into a development with an association). The single biggest factors in deciding are
1. can you stand being directly up against your neighbors (their lifestyle will impact you)
2. do you enjoy lawn and yard maintenance (condos/townhomes this is taken care of for you, in a house it's up to you)
3. do you have kids, if they are older are you comforatble with them palying in "common" areas or do you want them in your backyard so you can watch over them
4. resale - houses will always and have always outsold condos and townhome.
(list goes on and on but I'll stop there)

condos/townhomes are great "starter homes" or "empty nest homes" but most people outgrow them fairly quickly then regret their decision to buy in the first place.


-Old house vs New House (how old is ok)

doesn't matter, AS LONG as the house was well maintained. I've looked into 100 year old to new construction that was crap and 100 year old to new construction that were superb.


-How to make sure the house doesn't fall apart on me in 2 years

GET A GOOD HOME INSPECTOR WITH GREAT REFERENCES.... this is the thing most people screw up. Don't use the realators guy, becuase he is working for the agency that wants you to buy the house. FIND YOUR OWN AND ASK AND CHECK for references



-What percentage of downpayment is acceptible?

0% - 3% - is becoming more common
10% is considered the standard
20% if you can afford it is the best beacause with less than 20% you will have to carry PMI (personal mortagage insureance) which can add alot to the monthly payments until you build up 20% equity in the house. Also note the mortgage comp. do not automaticlally remove PMI you must request it and it is usually a fight to get it removed once you have your 20% equity


-What is more likely to sell after long period of time (6-10 years)

House, absolutly one of the best mid-term investments you can buy. i built the house I'm in know for 129k and 8 years later it's worth 350k

-What kind of heating (other utilities) I should be looking for

depends each has their pro's and cons.
Gas Dryer, gas water heater and gas stove w/electric oven is considered the best appliances.

I went with central air and heat becuase it was the cheapest to install, central air with baseboard (or in floor) heat is considered to be optiaml but you have to maintain two seperate systems/

electric heat sucks (really, really expensive) if you live anywhere that has real seasons (fall winter spring) that can be cold. If your in southern calif, florida you could probably get away with electric.




Hope this helps
Steve

[ February 03, 2006: Message edited by: Steve Gibson ]
[ February 03, 2006: Message edited by: Steve Gibson ]

An insane man is perfectly sane in his own mind - cira 1984 a very young chemically altered S.Gibson<br /> <br />Yes we do build our software idiot proof, problem is they keep building better idiots. - (used by S.Gibson to break the tension during a confernece call with the CIO)
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
Steve, that was great!

Just few more questions:

* If I to look for Home Inspector, should I look in Yellow Book? or are there some web sites? (I don't have any friends that own houses, we are very young and are the first ones among friends to be buying a house, and all my relatives are in Russia, so noone to suggest an inspector)

* You mentioned PMI before 20% downpayment. It would take us another 5-8 months to save up to 20% ( we have somewhat about 10% now). Do you think it would be better to wait and save up 20%, or go ahead, buy a house and pay upto 20% as soon as we can and fight to remove the PMI. I'm just hoping that instead of trying to save and paying $900/month for rent, I could use the rent money for the new house.
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
Also,

What are the houses in US mostly built with?

I see some constructions going on around and they all use wood. (I'm in North-East US).

Aren't there any brick houses? and are they more expensive?


Thank you for all the answers. They are very helpful.
Steve Gibson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 37
Glad to help out Sania

I'm in the north-east (New Jersey to exact)

* If I to look for Home Inspector, should I look in Yellow Book? or are there some web sites? (I don't have any friends that own houses, we are very young and are the first ones among friends to be buying a house, and all my relatives are in Russia, so noone to suggest an inspector)

-Finding one is the tough part, you can certainly try yellow pages, but agian save yourself a lot of aggravation and get references. I have friends right now that are in homeowner hell because the home inspector missed some major issues, luckily none were structural but all were hazarads and should have been caught.

If I were you I would pick one out of the yellow pages, talk to your banks mortgage department and see if they would recomend a second one, then ask a co-worker (if you can) and then call all of them and go with the one your most comfortable. Once you pick one check his/her references, if his/her references don't check out start over again. It sound like a lot of work but 4 or 5 hours of up-front time will save you years of headaches (AND MONEY).


* You mentioned PMI before 20% downpayment. It would take us another 5-8 months to save up to 20% ( we have somewhat about 10% now). Do you think it would be better to wait and save up 20%, or go ahead, buy a house and pay upto 20% as soon as we can and fight to remove the PMI. I'm just hoping that instead of trying to save and paying $900/month for rent, I could use the rent money for the new house.

Problem is PMI can add a couple of hundred dollars to the cost of the mortgage. You need to establich a relationship with a mortgage co or broker. He could give you the exact PMI amounts for the amount you are borrowing. If your really in a hurry, put what you can down and go for it. Keep track of how much equity you have and when you reach 20% equity, call the mortgage co and cancel it. This way you only pay PMI for when you need it. I know people that went years and years paying PMI, because they got so used to writing out the check for x dollars every month they forgot to cancel it.

Also don't forget about your attorney fees, home inspection fees, etc. This stuff adds up fast and sometimes can be added into the mortgage.



What are the houses in US mostly built with?
- 99.9% are wood framing and sub-framing. The exterior details depend on what region you live in


I see some constructions going on around and they all use wood. (I'm in North-East US).
- Wood is the norm, on either a block foundation or a basement in the north-east. Older houses in the NE may be built on concrete slabs (makes really cold floors in the winter) or on pier-and-beam. Peir and Beam no longer meets code, although it is perfectly safe and concrete slabs just don't work in cold weather.

Outside 99% of the houses have vinyl siding, some have brick on the front only or a brick facad on the front with vinyl on the sides and back. Steel and Aluminum siding are almost never used and wood is usually on more expensive homes on or near the water.


Aren't there any brick houses? and are they more expensive?
-I grew up in Texas, most homes are wood or brick exteriors because brick is imported from Mexico and that only a short drive away.

In the northeast, Brick is outragously expensive because of the transportation cost. The labor cost is more in the north-east so that also drives up the price of laying brick.

Also Brick (the way it used her in the states) has little to no insulation value. Vinyl siding with a house wrap is definitly the way to go.



You also may want to consider, staying away from new construction because building materials in the North-East are sky-rocketing because they are actually getting harder to get. The majority of the supplies are going to New Orleans and Florida causing prices to skyrocket. I am replacing a vood fence that put up 8 years ago. I paid $16.00 a panel, the replacement wood panels are $64.00. I am actually going with a vinyl fence because its the same price as wood.
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
I somehow thought it was really easy to make bricks.. I used to see people making them on their yards back home.. I wander if that has something to do with the quality of mud.. otherwise I don't see why north-east couldn't make thir own bricks..
[ February 03, 2006: Message edited by: Sania Marsh ]
Steve Gibson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 37
I'm sure it's not hard to make bricks, and I'm sure our clay is probably too sandy to make a good brick. But, this is America. We don't make it, we buy it from a poorer country where labor cost are CHEAP.

Just look at what going on in our Industry. Developers are the factory workers of the new millenium and just like the textile workers of the 1970's and 80's our jobs are being sent to countries where workers earn 1/10th or less than us.

Same with bricks, why have to pay union wages or high non-union wages (north east is heavily unionized) to make bricks, when the Mexicans will do it for pennies an hour.

You can certainly get bricks in the North-east, but they are more per square foot than siding. Using vinyl you can completly side a house in 2 maybe 3 days (lowering labor cost) with brick your looking at least 1 1/2 to three weeks (higher labor cost). I like the look of brick, it just not worht the extra cost and lose of insulation here in the nort-east.





Originally posted by Sania Marsh:
I somehow thought it was really easy to make bricks.. I used to see people making them on their yards back home.. I wander if that has something to do with the quality of mud.. otherwise I don't see why north-east couldn't make thir own bricks..

[ February 03, 2006: Message edited by: Sania Marsh ]
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Buying House in US