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Old 03-15-2013, 02:40 PM   #16281
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Don't worry about a big down payment. You will save a TON more if instead you get a 15 year mortgage. When I was looking at houses, a 30 year mortgage for 90k paid an extra $50k (55% of the loan) in interest vs the same loan over 15 years.

Lets say you put $5k down on that for a $113k loan. For 30 years @5%, that's $260k total over the life of the loan. For 15 years @5%, it's $180k.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:43 PM   #16282
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So does anyone have any advice or knowledge that they would like to pass on to a first time home buyer?
Do you currently have, or do you expect there is a reasonable possibility that you will have, offspring? I might be concerned that it will prove a little cramped for more than 2 people.

Do you have a reasonable expectation that you will live in that area for many years to come? If there is a reasonable probability that you or your significant other may want to move in the next ~5 years, I would not buy.

I also agree with putting more down than is required. FHA loans today only require 3.5% in some cases. You'll be upside down based on real estate agent and title fees alone if they get rolled in.

You definitely want a recommendation for a home inspector. You want to ask the person giving you the referral, "How thorough was he?" If they don't tell you they were really impressed with his attention to detail, keep looking.

How are the schools in the area? It may not matter to you, but it could matter for resale.


As far as price, you could check Zillow for recent sales in the area. Don't worry about the "Zestimate" as much, but actual transaction prices. For example, it looks like that house sold in 2004 for $113k and then again in 2011 for $111k. I'd be curious as to why it's on the market again so quick, unless it was bought by a RRE flipper.

Do not ever think of your primary residence as an "investment." It's a place to live and, historically, the real, real rate of return on primary residences barely keeps up with inflation.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:06 PM   #16283
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Lars - RE: length of loan.

I think you have the right thought process. I would almost always prefer to take the longest available term and then pre-pay vs. a shorter term with a higher required minimum payment. Verify there is no pre-pay penalty, of course.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:18 PM   #16284
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Don't worry about a big down payment. You will save a TON more if instead you get a 15 year mortgage. When I was looking at houses, a 30 year mortgage for 90k paid an extra $50k (55% of the loan) in interest vs the same loan over 15 years.

Lets say you put $5k down on that for a $113k loan. For 30 years @5%, that's $260k total over the life of the loan. For 15 years @5%, it's $180k.
I could afford to do a 15 year loan, but it would require me to cut the amount that I am saving for retirement a large chunk and would make my play money about non-existent. Like I said the plan is to pay a little over half the mortgage payment every other week when I get paid. I will also slowly start paying more and more as my income goes up. I am hoping to have it paid off in 10-12 years.

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Do you currently have, or do you expect there is a reasonable possibility that you will have, offspring? I might be concerned that it will prove a little cramped for more than 2 people.

Do you have a reasonable expectation that you will live in that area for many years to come? If there is a reasonable probability that you or your significant other may want to move in the next ~5 years, I would not buy.

I also agree with putting more down than is required. FHA loans today only require 3.5% in some cases. You'll be upside down based on real estate agent and title fees alone if they get rolled in.

You definitely want a recommendation for a home inspector. You want to ask the person giving you the referral, "How thorough was he?" If they don't tell you they were really impressed with his attention to detail, keep looking.

How are the schools in the area? It may not matter to you, but it could matter for resale.


As far as price, you could check Zillow for recent sales in the area. Don't worry about the "Zestimate" as much, but actual transaction prices. For example, it looks like that house sold in 2004 for $113k and then again in 2011 for $111k. I'd be curious as to why it's on the market again so quick, unless it was bought by a RRE flipper.

Do not ever think of your primary residence as an "investment." It's a place to live and, historically, the real, real rate of return on primary residences barely keeps up with inflation.
I have no intentions of having off springs in the next 5 years or so space is not the hugest concern, and that makes worry about schools not an issue at least for the next 8-10 years.

There is absolutely no plans of leaving the area anytime in the future. The only other place I am possibly interested in moving to is Texas and that won't be until I can afford to retire and open a speed shop there. So that is 20 years down the road. I absolutely do not see a primary home as an investment. Any one that does is an idiot. I am interested in purchasing only because it is cheaper for the garage space then actually renting right now.

I am having my realtor pull up all the other listings in the neighborhood and what recently has sold to get a good indication of prices. The owner of the house currently lives and works in TN and wants the house gone. At least that is what I got out of the next door neighbor who I talked to for a bit. My plan is to probably start around $112,500 with them paying closing costs and I get to keep the fridge.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:45 PM   #16285
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I can't help but giggle during a national geographic documentary about the science of dwarfism.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:48 PM   #16286
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I'm not in TX anymore, so no need to go there now lars
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:18 PM   #16287
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Lars - Based on all you've said and my total lack of understanding of that particular neighborhood or that particular house, I do not think the probabilities skew to the downside. The proximity to work is a real boon in terms of quality of life.

You seem to have a decent grasp of things to look for and people to work with. Do also be prepared that every damn thing or project with a house seems to cost a couple of grand. You think cars are money pits...
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:43 PM   #16288
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Interest rates on home mortgages are at historical lows. I would not put yourself into a cash-poor position just to get a higher equity stake in the house. You're almost certainly better off long haul continuing to make your retirement contributions rather than reducing them to make larger house payments.

Get an inspection done, follow the inspector around as he/she does the inspection. They should check everything. Of the two we have done, both have been very thorough. They labelled every outlet that lacked a proper ground, for example. A good inspector knows what to look for.

RE: ocean proximity - are you in any danger of storm surge? What is/isn't covered by homeowners insurance? It's the painstaking details in the policy that can be the difference between a covered claim or a total loss.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:14 PM   #16289
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It annoys me that, in the US, we have for some reason adopted this philosophy that the phone and the carrier are one, and that the cost of the phone shall be subsidized by the carrier in exchange for a higher monthly rate and a multi-year service contract.

In Europe, they don't have that philosophy. You buy the phone. You buy the SIM card. These are two unrelated transactions.

On the plus side, T-mobile allows you to just purchase a phone, and then acquire service from them on a monthly basis at a lower price than most others.
Yeah, you can go ahead and buy a phone outright, but they are expensive. (Everything seems dirt cheap in the US compared to this part of the world.)

I have opted for the 2 year plan with a major carrier, and got myself a deal that way, too.

(Ditched the pos iPhone and got a NoteII, blows the doors of the limited, update hungry, tiny screened batterymonger.)
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:25 PM   #16290
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I da man!

I swapped out my MSII and converted my ignition to sequential today!

Pinhead size solders under the glove box is no fun, tho.

I also went ahead and touched up the VE table, made quite a few fine adjustments, and cleaned up some grounds on unrelated electrical stuff.

Car runs even better now. 14 AFR all the way to redline.. (kidding)
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:39 PM   #16291
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My once clean engine may isnt so clean anymore... damn.

This month was kinda brutal on the cleanliness of my supra; rain and dirt mucked up everything from my last trip up to Travis AFB.

Time to re-sleeve wiring, buy new connectors, replace more brittle wiring, and repaint my scratched up valve covers from banging around tools and ****.

Vlad needs to fine tune my fuel controller too.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:32 PM   #16292
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1. I'm watching Battle Beyond the Stars
It's on Netflix streaming. Pretty bad ***. You know you loved this as a kid if you're not currently child age.

2. I just received a pizza that I ordered "well done". Magic! It's crispy and not soggy. Wish I had known and tried this secret earlier.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:07 PM   #16293
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1. I'm watching Battle Beyond the Stars
It's on Netflix streaming. Pretty bad ***. You know you loved this as a kid if you're not currently child age.
I vaguely remember seeing part of that film many many years ago. I don't really recall the plot.

I assume Firefox is next in your queue?


Quote:
2. I just received a pizza that I ordered "well done". Magic! It's crispy and not soggy. Wish I had known and tried this secret earlier.
I must enquire as to where you ordered this pizza from, and of what style it is. I commonly order french fries well done from In-n-out (they come out nice and crisp, rather than McDonald's style) but I'd never considered it when ordering pizza.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:53 PM   #16294
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I vaguely remember seeing part of that film many many years ago. I don't really recall the plot.

I assume Firefox is next in your queue?


I must enquire as to where you ordered this pizza from, and of what style it is. I commonly order french fries well done from In-n-out (they come out nice and crisp, rather than McDonald's style) but I'd never considered it when ordering pizza.
My queue jumps around. transformers dark of the moon is in there. so is metropolis. I tried to get all the bad scifi I could muster in that list.

I ordered it from Bricks, which means nothing to you.

they do a hand-tossed style and a thin style crust. I chose the latter (we usually get the former--it is their default, and very good) and I had them overcook it.

It was borderline too-well done, but the resut was satisfactory. I hate soggy pizza.

Just try asking the next place you order pizza to do it well done and see what you get.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:54 PM   #16295
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I must enquire as to where you ordered this pizza from, and of what style it is. I commonly order french fries well done from In-n-out (they come out nice and crisp, rather than McDonald's style) but I'd never considered it when ordering pizza.
I know Papa Johns has a drop down menu where you can select "well done".

I spent this past weekend out at CMP crewing for Team Sputnik. I want to give Soviet a big thanks for inviting me out. It was a ******* blast.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:25 PM   #16296
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Hmm...

To be honest, I can't remember the last time I ordered a pizza from a restaurant. I shall have to try this.

Sidebar: Firefox was actually a pretty good film, if you're a fan of that sort late late 70s / early 80s cold-war / sci-fi action / drama. Usual disclaimers apply (the book was better, Clint Eastwood is a robot, etc.)
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #16297
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I spent this past weekend out at CMP crewing for Team Sputnik. I want to give Soviet a big thanks for inviting me out. It was a ******* blast.
awww yeaaaah

we got home at 5am after changing an alternator on the Tsuru at a random gas station
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:20 PM   #16298
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Just picked up a 60k mile VVT motor. It also had a squaretop attached to it. Now I has two
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:57 PM   #16299
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Just picked up a 60k mile VVT motor. It also had a squaretop attached to it. Now I has two
Ooh. I sense hatred from
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:59 PM   #16300
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About a week ago I bitched about the local dealer and their shoddy repair work. I contacted them through their website (feedback page), and got no reply. After a couple of days, I contacted Chrysler directly. Today, after a call from the regional service rep the Jeep is back in the shop. They claim they'll fix it (for free), but I also need a muffler and inspection. I fully expect they'll bend me over the counter for whatever crap they can.

I've bought two vehicles from them in the past. Tomorrow (or whenever they get it done) will determine whether I continue to do business with this particular dealership in the future.
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