30-Somethings - House Hunting




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SBD Sass
10-16-2008, 11:36 AM
Who would've thought it could be so frustrating! It's supposed to be fun, right? Well, after looking at house after house and loving one or two and then finding out there is a downfall and such...it really tires one out.

I found two townhomes that would fit us all perfectly, but alas, none of the basements are finished. Only one we saw was finished, but the sqare footage was not enough for us and the master bath was tinier than all the other bathrooms in the house.

The new build was beautiful and I wanted it until my man saw the basement...yep, unfinished. It would cost us 15-20k just to finish it on top of paying for the house. Plus, the HOA would not allow us to privatize our yard and put in a jungle gym for the baby and we cannot have certain breeds of dogs there (my future step son's dog is a pitbull- when he comes to visit) so I was so heartbroken. Here is the listing of the home http://www.weichert.com/search/realestate/propertyimages.aspx?p=19684838, mind you the picture does it no justice - the place is, new, huge and beautiful AND in our price range. Lots of windows because it's an end unit. I am so sad. :(

Anyway, we're still looking and it seems like everytime we think it's the one...something takes it out of our reach. I need advice from people like me who have searched, bought and love their homes.


GONNABE165
10-16-2008, 01:24 PM
Wow! that was a nice place.

You know they rank buying house up there with the same stress level as death or divorce.

I too went through the same thing when searching for a house and it seemed the ones dh and I really liked or wanted were the ones we didn't get for some reason or another. We kept looking and finally found our home.

Remember when it's the right place for yor family EVERYTHING will fall into perfect place.

Good luck!

LBH
10-16-2008, 04:17 PM
Sass, that house is gorgeous! Are you trying to move to PA from NJ, or are you just near the border and looking everywhere? :lol: I can't even tell you how many houses we looked at! We're up in Morris County, and of course the prices are insane! We ended up getting the worst house in the best neighborhood, which is what my FIL told us to do. I LOVE our neighborhood (well, except for the crazy old man across the street that annoys everyone). Our house needs tons of work though, most of it decorative/updating. Good luck! Keep posting links! I love looking at houses!


SBD Sass
10-16-2008, 04:23 PM
Wow! that was a nice place.

You know they rank buying house up there with the same stress level as death or divorce.

I too went through the same thing when searching for a house and it seemed the ones dh and I really liked or wanted were the ones we didn't get for some reason or another. We kept looking and finally found our home.

Remember when it's the right place for yor family EVERYTHING will fall into perfect place.

Good luck!

Wow, house hunting is like going to die??? :lol: I totally see how. This house feels so right to me, but I don't want anybody dictating what I do with my backyard. :( This is so depressing. Every unfinished basement we have to pass by because my man wants his "movie theatre / sports bar" room feeling like a real movie theatre and sports bar. haha

SBD Sass
10-16-2008, 04:28 PM
Sass, that house is gorgeous! Are you trying to move to PA from NJ, or are you just near the border and looking everywhere? :lol: I can't even tell you how many houses we looked at! We're up in Morris County, and of course the prices are insane! We ended up getting the worst house in the best neighborhood, which is what my FIL told us to do. I LOVE our neighborhood (well, except for the crazy old man across the street that annoys everyone). Our house needs tons of work though, most of it decorative/updating. Good luck! Keep posting links! I love looking at houses!


The house is gorgeous and it's the first townhome I saw with crown molding so I got really amped up about it. We live in Jersey and trying to move to PA, but we will still be working in NJ. I work in New Brunswick and he works in Livingston so it's just a 40-60 minute ride home up Rt. 78 for both of us to home when we move. I already drive about 40 mins home now and I live 10 mins away from NYC.

We would love a single family home, but they tend to need a lot of work done to them and it's money we don't want to spend. We want to take that money and buy good appliances and furniture, but if we do come across a decent 4 bedroom home with a cool basement and a master bathroom (which the ones we looked at didn't) then I'll go for it. We will have to pay HOA to do our lawn and keep up the maintenance if we go with a townhome, but that's fine because we're not into yard word or anything like that. We won't have time for it working so far away anyway.

Yes, and the homes in PA are cheaper and we found that we will get more for our money.

mandalinn82
10-16-2008, 04:47 PM
Sass -

I have been trying to purchase a house since January of this year. We placed our first offer in February. That offer was accepted in April, at which point we entered escrow on the house. At which point I signed all of my closing paperwork, got my loan, and put a good portions of my savings into the escrow account as down payment.

Then we realized someone had neglected to file a piece of paperwork (on the seller's side). The deal falls through, but my money stays in escrow because the seller won't release me from contract. The deal fell through at the end of May (and we literally had signed the closing paperwork and were told we were getting keys the next day). We got the check for our money back (with no INTEREST, but thats another saga) in September.

Now we have an offer on another house, placed in September. We were told the next day it was accepted. We open escrow again. Turns out...not accepted in reality, and the bank has taken a month (so far) trying to sort out whether we're actually going to get the offer accepted.

Don't even ask what my loan pre-approval/interest rate were like in APRIL, before the financial market went all to heck and back. I don't want to talk about it :-)

That was a ramble but - I feel your pain. But hey, it could be worse!

poppyseeds
10-16-2008, 07:05 PM
I was a Realtor in Bucks County for 4 years (2002-2006)... I saw the market dying and got out before it took me with it.

First things first is to decide the pros and cons of living in an HOA. Right now I would never allow an HOA to tell me what I can do with home. I bought a SF and would do it all over again. BUT I sold a lot of townhomes while I was in the biz. It's just a matter of what you can tolerate. Older folks like it because of the maintenance aspect.

The market is so bad right around here that you don't even see for sale signs except for land. I feel very bad for my old realtor friends who thought that this was just going to be another down market and that they could get a sale here and there and be OK. It's not happening... not here anyway.

I wish you lots of luck on your househunt. Get a GOOD Realtor and make sure they are a REALTOR. Also, there are some agencies like the one I was at that have an in-house lender (the person should have a permanent office inside of the RE the agency) because they tend to be able to preapprove faster and you don't have to wait for a wire transfer the day of settlement. You are just in and out in a snap. I hated when my buyers wouldn't listen to me because they had a "friend" in the business. I'd get the call the day before settlement from the "friend" that the loan fell thru. It happened EVERY time. And banks are just as bad, especially Wachovia. In either case, I would call my guy and he would have them financed and at the table by the settlement. He didn't skip a beat. It's not just about the Realtor, its about the team of people they have working behind them. Your best best is to stay away from brokers and banks and deal with direct lenders only.

Hope this helps!!

PS... if you want me to tell you who I worked for and the phone number, PM me. :)

SBD Sass
10-16-2008, 07:59 PM
But hey, it could be worse!

I'm so sorry!!! I thought I was in a bad place. I hope to not go through the mess you went through. I think I would die especially if it's THE house I want. I couldn't imagine being told yes I can have it and then have it taken away. Thanks for sharing and I'll remember your advice. :D

SBD Sass
10-16-2008, 08:16 PM
I was a Realtor in Bucks County for 4 years (2002-2006)... I saw the market dying and got out before it took me with it.

First things first is to decide the pros and cons of living in an HOA. Right now I would never allow an HOA to tell me what I can do with home. I bought a SF and would do it all over again. BUT I sold a lot of townhomes while I was in the biz. It's just a matter of what you can tolerate. Older folks like it because of the maintenance aspect.

The market is so bad right around here that you don't even see for sale signs except for land. I feel very bad for my old realtor friends who thought that this was just going to be another down market and that they could get a sale here and there and be OK. It's not happening... not here anyway.

I wish you lots of luck on your househunt. Get a GOOD Realtor and make sure they are a REALTOR. Also, there are some agencies like the one I was at that have an in-house lender (the person should have a permanent office inside of the RE the agency) because they tend to be able to preapprove faster and you don't have to wait for a wire transfer the day of settlement. You are just in and out in a snap. I hated when my buyers wouldn't listen to me because they had a "friend" in the business. I'd get the call the day before settlement from the "friend" that the loan fell thru. It happened EVERY time. And banks are just as bad, especially Wachovia. In either case, I would call my guy and he would have them financed and at the table by the settlement. He didn't skip a beat. It's not just about the Realtor, its about the team of people they have working behind them. Your best best is to stay away from brokers and banks and deal with direct lenders only.

Hope this helps!!

PS... if you want me to tell you who I worked for and the phone number, PM me. :)

I really want to live in Forks. Are you familiar with Forks? It's in Northampton. We are working with a Realtor at Weichert located in Easton, PA. They have a lender who pre-approved us for a loan already. I was going to put my info into the Lending Tree to see what I come up with, but so far so good. We just have to find a house now.

I know what you mean about the HOA. This HOA for the house we want are the strictest so far. The other properties would allow us to put up a fence and even put in an above ground pool. In the backyard there is a golf course so maybe that's why they want to keep the land open and maintained. Not sure though.

We figured out last Saturday, with our realtor, that we need four bedrooms instead of three. We also need a finished basement and he said that's going to be tough for him to find, but he'll send me lists of those he does find. I would love an open floor plan on the first floor and I want a master bath and I want ample closet space all over the house. A two car garage is also a plus.

Should we be buying a house in this market? Maybe not, but people are saying it's a good time to buy since prices are down. To me, it seems like prices are still up.

Thanks for your advice. If any of you have anymore - shoot!

SBD Sass
10-25-2008, 06:51 PM
I'm back from more house hunting and I think we found "the" one. It's not a WOW house, but it is humble. It's a twin house located on a cul-de-sac. The pictures are terrible and few, but in person it's really nice. The kitchen does need some updating and needs an island and stools. It has a separate living room, dining room, family room and kitchen is attached to family room with a fire place. Washer and dryer is on the first floor attached to the guest bathroom. All together it has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. It has a very big yard and deck out back. I love it.

http://www.weichert.com/search/realestate/propertyimages.aspx?p=15464762

What I don't love about it is that the master bath and master bedroom is kinda on the small side. I was hoping to get a King sized bed but that's not going to happen. The bathroom has one sink and it's small, but has a tub which is a plus. It also has a medium sized walk in closet.

There is a nice sitting area out in the hall on the 2nd floor which is where I can put my computer and stuff. The basement is finished (thankfully) and is painted an odd color, but that can be fixed. It makes for a nice place for my boyfriend to kick back with his football stuff. Lots of storage space in the basement. as well.

Anyway, the house has been on the market for a while and just went down in price which is great (GREAT PRICE), but my realtor wants to check out why the house is priced so cheaply before we put an offer in.

I finally found a place that feels like the one and it feels good to know that I can put a jungle gym out back along with an above ground pool...a fence if I want to...have any dog I want to. I hope all is well with this house! :( I want it bad!!!

RangerChic
10-25-2008, 07:38 PM
Wow, the pics *are* bad. But, it does look cute. Well, less for the yellow room. :)

SBD Sass
10-25-2008, 07:49 PM
Wow, the pics *are* bad. But, it does look cute. Well, less for the yellow room. :)

It's more like a light orange and yes, it's hideous. :lol:

mojolove05
10-25-2008, 08:23 PM
I made an offer on my first home (meeting my goal of a home before turning 25) a couple of weeks ago and the offer was accepted. Woohoo!!! I close Nov. 20th and moving the 21st. Good luck on your search! It can be frustrating but as soon as everything comes together it will have all been worth it. :)

LBH
10-26-2008, 09:45 AM
Sass, that's not soo bad! Is it a Duplex? As opposed to a townhome? That's more desirable...only one neighbor on top of you. :lol: Nice yard. All you need is a little imagination and some paint.

SBD Sass
10-26-2008, 12:14 PM
Sass, that's not soo bad! Is it a Duplex? As opposed to a townhome? That's more desirable...only one neighbor on top of you. :lol: Nice yard. All you need is a little imagination and some paint.

Yep, a duplex but in PA they like to call it a "twin". So it's a twinhome vs. a townhome. Yep, it's so much more desirable. I should have taken my camera but I just knew I wouldn't have found the right house. I was wrong! My boyfriend says the first thing we're going to do when we move is paint the cellar. :lol:

After we saw this house we went to see some new constructions by the Deluca family. So it's called Deluca home. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I walked in and I see this beautiful homes (there were four models) and all I could think about was that other duplex haha. It's funny. The new construction layouts are very open and stunning! The masters are to die for and so are all of the closets, BUT no back yard!!! I am not about to spend between 240k and 300k on a home with no back yard and unfinished basements.

I won't know anything until tomorrow. I hope the home has a good history or I'll be so disappointed. For the price, that house is awesome! I would have money to redo the entire kitchen, make the basement more desirable, bet my kids a jungle gym, above ground pool and pay for a good fencing unit. I have a big imagination. The rest of the house is perfect. I'm so excited.

LBH
10-26-2008, 01:17 PM
That's great! If you go back, take pics!

Arlene Dallas
10-26-2008, 03:00 PM
I really miss having a basement....we dont have them here in Texas...instead we have gamerooms, media rooms, etc. Mine is on the second floor. We built our house after looking at about 100 developments here. We just got more bang for our buck when we compared building vs. buying preowned. What a differnence it was to build my home when I owned a 1927 Victorian when I lived in NY! The one thing you do need to be careful about is any HOA for the development you are moving into. There were several neighborhoods and floor plans we absolutely loved but the HOA rules were like a **** prison camp- down to telling you what color brick your house could be, what kind of flowers you could plant and how much $$$$ you needed to spend on outside Xmas decorations...

But you will find the home you love and if this last one is meant to be it will happen....good luck to you!

SBD Sass
10-26-2008, 07:24 PM
I really miss having a basement....we dont have them here in Texas...instead we have gamerooms, media rooms, etc. Mine is on the second floor. We built our house after looking at about 100 developments here. We just got more bang for our buck when we compared building vs. buying preowned. What a differnence it was to build my home when I owned a 1927 Victorian when I lived in NY! The one thing you do need to be careful about is any HOA for the development you are moving into. There were several neighborhoods and floor plans we absolutely loved but the HOA rules were like a **** prison camp- down to telling you what color brick your house could be, what kind of flowers you could plant and how much $$$$ you needed to spend on outside Xmas decorations...

But you will find the home you love and if this last one is meant to be it will happen....good luck to you!

You know that was a big turn off to me. The HOA. Some are more lenient than others but I found that I don't want to be told what I can and can't do with my property especially if I'm paying for it. With this twinhome there is no HOA which was a plus. I don't think I can handle an HOA. If we don't get this house then I'm going to be looking for twinhomes and not townhomes.

I wish we could build our own home for 250k or less, but over here it's not possible for us. :(

Thanks for the advice and luck. :)