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Goner Message Board / ???? / Home Buyers or other financially-minded peeps...
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 7:44 pm
I am considering buying a home when we move. I was looking online and you can get a house for under $200K down in St. Pete...close in near Downtown!!!! Wha??? I mean, I am stunned.

Thing is, due to a certain husband's credit issues, we would be looking at ME buying. What do I do about this? Can hubby's be X-ed out of the equation? I know his income would also be X-ed out too, but for $150K, I could afford it and if it is in a, um, seedier neighborhood, they may love to give me a loan to start gentrifying that shit up.

Thoughts? Rents are high there for the sq footage and I love the idea of a home for pretty much the same $$$ as rent. Even if it is hoodalicious.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 7:52 pm
Katherine's credit has AIDS, so her name is not on my loan. Her name is on the deed to the house though (but I think it's only titular, like if we had a messy divorce, she would be fucked). They totally did not look at her credit when we applied for the loan even though the down payment came entirely from her. We had to get the money gifted to me and then I put it toward the loan.

It's kind of crazy that it works like that. I think you could probably get your first time homebuyer's exemption twice if "you" bought one house and "Ryan" bought the other.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:16 pm
Sambeaux's situation is the same as one I recently witnessed... You can have your mortgage person check it both ways to see what the better deal is. You may be able to put him on the loan and just have a bigger down payment requirement, if that's an option for you and you need to include his income. But, it's not a requirement at all, and if you don't need his income to qualify, no point in explaining the shit to someone.

I'm so excited for you!
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:18 pm
What if you have NO money for a down payment? I am sure I might be able to borrow some from someone (or a few someones) but it would be miniscule.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:20 pm
you have to do a lot of leg work in the "first time home buyers" programs in the area. are you working w/ a banker or mortgage person?

there are so many programs, it'll make your head spin.

do you have a 401(k)? if so, you can borrow/withdraw money from it for a first time home purchase/downpayment w/ no penalty
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:30 pm
NO money for a down payment?

It sucks. You've got to pay insurance on your loan (in case you default) that, in our case, would have amounted to like an extra $500 a month. Total horseshit.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:32 pm
Yeah, there are tons of programs that will cover closing costs and everything, and you won't have to pay for anything, except maybe an inspection. Definitely have a structural engineer check out whatever you are looking at. Sometimes you can get the seller to pay for this, but make sure you get to choose who it is. Your real estate agent should be able to tell you someone good.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:33 pm
$500 a month

Holy shit! Ours is only about $100 a month, I think.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:34 pm
How much will I need for a down payment? I do have a 401-K and a Roth IRA. They are teeny but hey, every little bit helps. So, yeah, how much???

I also have not committed to working with anyone. It would be really dicey cos I would just be starting a job there etc etc. Maybe I should rent first and get settled. I have hooked up with a cool realtor who has rentals and decently priced properties. Like I said, I am clueless about all this.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:41 pm
You don't have to have any down payment for some loans. Some are even for 105% of the price so you can pay closing costs. I'm sure those carry a higher apr. To avoid mortgage insurance, you'll probably have to put down 20%. We couldn't do it. We only put 5% down. To avoid higher interest rates, we went w/a 5-year ARM. We plan on selling by then anyway. It was going well until Memphis decided to reassess property values and jacked up our escrot payments $200 a month!
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:41 pm
Maybe I should rent first and get settled.

good idea.
get to know the city.
its always different when you know a city as a visitor than as a worker
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 8:46 pm
Oh I gots to go straight to work. I can't afford a days rest, man. Sucks but it will be worth it in the end. I am just thinking maybe rent instead of going out there to buy...though wouldn't my current income be assessed if I buy when I am still employed out here?
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 9:18 pm
I would probably live there and rent for 6months-year before buying. This way you have a better idea of what the market is like down there.

I am in the process of buying a condo right now. (They actually accepted my offer! I'm still freaking out about this and can't believe it's going so well so far!) My brother in law is a loan officer, which helps. There are all sorts of different programs - you can put down anywhere for 0%-20%. If you put down 20% you can avoid paying PMI (private mortgage insurance) which will automatically cost you (usually) $200 more a month.

I qualified for a "fast & easy" loan- my credit rating was really good and as long as I could swing the 10% down I'm getting a 5 year interest only loan - which is way more affordable per month than a 30 year fixed. I just have to plan to sell or refinance within 5 years. And they don't do a detailed history on me - just check my last 2 years work history and credit report as long as I can come up with the 10% at closing.

I would suggest saving as much as you can. I know it's really hard when you move somewhere new because there's all sorts of costs associated with the move...so save, move, rent, save, and keep an eye open for a great deal once you get down there. You never know- you might be able to find something for sale by owner or find some new construction where you can get a great deal if you commit to it early in the construction process. Good luck!
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 9:44 pm | Edited by: carney
There are a lot of differnet ways to go. What my wife and I did was, first clean up your credit the best you can. I had defaulted on a huge student loan, so I got on a Federal program that takes it off your record if you make a small monthly payment. Second, we pre-qualified with a lender so that we knew exactly what we could spend. Our parents loaned us about 5K for the downpayment. It seems much easier with pre-qualifing, that way you go to the table with your offer and they pretty know that's all you can do. The down payment usually affects your interest rate, too.

I second on living there a few months before buying unless you also have a realtor that REALLY trust.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 9:54 pm
My dad probably knows a really good realtor because he lived there in one of the most desirable neighborhoods. I'll check with him. I guess I am simply a little freaked because if the market goes bananas in the middle of us renting/saving, we may not be able to afford what we want. But, realistically, we could use that time to save for the down payment and not have to end up paying a ton for PMI.

Like I said, this will be all me, with my husband basically being my live-in tenant!

I definitely think I should do this and 6 months to a year to wait until I know what kinda $$$ I have isn't too long. I'll just use this time to research all the programs. I found the county there has an awesome program for first time buyers.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 11:26 pm
they pulled some loophole with me so I didn't have to pay PMI. they basically gave me a second mortgage which was a home equity line of credit and used that to make the down payment, the second mortgage was 20% of the cost of the house and the first mortgage was 80%. not sure if you can do this in every state.

you are going to have a hell of a time getting homeowners insurance in st. pete after the last few years of gulf coast hurricanes. good luck with that.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 11:28 pm
Yeah, how much are you paying for that?

I freaked Hollis out and we will be renting until things are more settled. That will be a good idea. But we are gonna get outta here sooner than thought. My hope is to be there by early February/late January.
Posted: Jun 11, 2006 11:58 pm
one thing from buying my house i learned- although maybe because i had a good and sympathetic real estate agent- everyone involved wants you to buy the house. if the real estate agent is good then they know loopholes/alternate ways of financing. you are their meal ticket, so they want you to get into that house & close the deal!
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 12:25 am
Yeah, how much are you paying for that?

right now not much, flood is like $450/year and I think homeowners is similar.. but I expect both of those to jump up quite a bit. it is almost impossible to get a new policy in new orleans right now, if you do you will pay through the roof.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 12:29 am
be careful of any inspection that is done by anyone contracted by a realtor company. that's what i have learned from all my friends buying houses. they ended up getting basically what is a "money pit". caveat emptor!
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 12:44 am
My stepmom just told me gulf coast FLA is indeed going thru the homeowner's insurance hell...rising premiums and lack of anyone doing new policies. Great. Well, we are giving ourselves time but I am not planning on waiting around and missing the boat like I did out here.

The realtor I am in touch with is younger and "cool" and helpful. She also has a ton of rentals of her own and she is selling in the gentrifying areas that, yes, I want to move into!!! Hell yeah. I am one of the gentry!
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 12:47 am
the gentrys!

i bought a house owned by a realtor- watch out for this situation. by TN law they had to provide me with American Home Shield for appliance failure insurance (which actually helped) but some of the stuff seemed kinda shady.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 1:11 am
I am scared of the whole thing, but I am a sponge for info once I get interested in something and by the time it goes down, I'll be awright.

I totally appreciate all this feedback, by the way. Smart cookies all of you.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 1:45 am
bring along a friend with some general contracting experience if you can,

I did this-brought an architect-friend - the seller's realtor said he spent more time than most home inspectors! -anyways, my friend ended up pointing out a problem with the roof that the sellers had no idea about. I still have to hire a home inspector, but was glad to address this whole issue early on if only to take off some of the stress as I go on.

I'm glad you're looking at local problems - you never know what you can find. My town has a down payment assistance program - a interest free loan for 1st time home buyers who don't make a whole lot of money! Perfect for me! I'm scared, excited, and in awe.

HEY RAPE APE!! do you do hardwood floors? what is a fair price for 1250 sq. feet of hardwood floor to be sanded & refinished? Do people typically charge by the sq foot or by the room?
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 1:53 am
I had friends do a hardwood themselves by renting all the equipment. They said it was the hardest thing they ever did but it was AWESOME. It took them about 3 days total.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 2:04 am
Yeah, I'm thinking of doing it myself. There's a layer of plywood over the hardwood in the kitchen and it was aggressively nailed down. Total bummer. This is going to be a project for next winter I think.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 2:25 am
The HUD site can direct you to any down payment assistance programs that may be available in FL. You usually have to sign up for some sort of homeowners class to qualify, but they're probably worth it. I agree with other peeps who've said to rent for 6 mos. or a year. At least you'll get a good feel for the area and where you'd like to live, and have some time to save up a little and transfer funds to wherever they need to go to qualify.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 2:41 am
Yeah, that is the plan. It definitely makes a lot more sense. I am also hearing that even if your credit isn't up to snuff, you can sometimes get the loan. Mine is fine and dandy but Hollis is working on his. It sure would help to have his income on the loan app though!
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:08 am
Don't have time now to talk, but, I gots plenty of recent home owner experience (owned three, flipped one). Most of what everyone says here is right on. There are tons of "products" out there for your financial situation. What Martel is talking about would be ideal, which is what they call a 80 - 10 -10 - which means 10% down, 10% in a line of credit (which you use to pay for the house and gets rid of the mortgage insurance) and, of course 80% covered for the rest. You don't really need that much down, if you don't overprice yourself. More later. I think you really should rent first but, when you first get down there, get started getting pre-approved and get locked into something as interest rates are going to rise. Usually, you can get a lock for something like 1 - 3 months. You really should wait until you are pre-approved before looking, but that isn't really an issue until you want to make an offer. More later, blah, blah. Most important thing is not to be afraid of the mortgage (as long as it's realistic per month) because you will never pay it off and it's really just play money, so, you should think in terms of affordable monthly mortgage. Lots of resources, lots of info. Check out motleyfool.com and I'll write more tomorrow as I gots to go now.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:32 am
Thank you Troll!!!!

Definitely write more tomorrow. The realtor told me she can hook me up with a few mortgage people and that I should go ahead and get pre-approved as well. I am sure we'll have to sign at least a 6 month lease, but that (if I recall) was the norm when I was down there last.

But, pardon my ignorance, how in the HELL do you come up with $15K (which would be realistically the kind of $$$ we'd need for a down payment according to this plan)? Is this incorporated into the loan? I am sorry, but these little twists and turns are blowing my mind.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:49 am
It sucks, it sucks it S U C K S ! I haven't read the rest of this thread besides the beginning post, but it totally sucks. I mean, it might be good if you know, you want to live in a certain place for a looooooong time(30 yrs!) or whatever if you know how to flip property, otherwise, think of how much of a commitment it is to get married to a person, and then multiply that by buying the house you live in! Honestly! Then consider how awful things are going to be when the person who is also on the mortgage decides that's not what they want, and EVERY argument leads to how you suckered them into this hellhole! Yeah, this may not apply to 99.9 % of you out there, but thanks for letting me vent. And don't buy unless you think of it as getting married - i.e., I have a husband AND a mortgage - how much more tied down could I possibly be?
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:17 am | Edited by: SAMBEAUX
live in a certain place for a looooooong time(30 yrs!)

I don't really know shit about the different types of loans but I was told that there is a specific type of loan to get if you want to live in a place for 5-10 years. The amortization thing sucks, especially the fact that you're only paying 5 to 10% of the capital in the begining. One thing my loan officer hipped me to was that you should try and add the principal for the next month to the total loan payment due for the month you're paying on then, you pay the loan off in 15 yrs instead of 30. It should go pretty smoothly as the principal amounts ramp up by only a buck or two a month and hopefully, 5 yrs into it, I'll be making more money.

how much more tied down could I possibly be?

A kid? Really though, think about it, at least you're not paying rent, however you are paying:
$500 a month extra in PMI

Yeah, I think I was overestimating a little bit, I was just really pissed off that they could tack that money on there that you would just be pissing down the tubes -like you want to default on a 100K loan that could tank your credit rating?!?!
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:30 am
Well I am all about some Dave Ramsey Financial Peace. Say what you will, but a 15-year mortgage in my neck of the woods is only nominally more expensive than 30-year. I wish I didn't have 36K in student loans. Pathetic.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:35 am
Anytime the word "insurance" is involved, there is money being pissed down the tubes and something very, very unfair happening to you.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:27 am
you say that, but insurance is my bestest friend ever. I have owned this house for 1.5 years now and I am completely free of debt. No mortgage, no loans, no nothing. Insurance rules. Get it and get a lot of it.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:30 am
"Warranty" is the shit you for reelz want to steer clear of.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:57 am
fierydrunk... I'm a real estate title examiner... and to answer your opening question of this thread, it all depends on the laws in your state. In IL there's a thing called "homestead rights", which means that even if ONLY YOU are on the title to the home, every time you do anything with that property, your spouse has to sign off on the document (whether it be a mortgage or deed or anything) as a sign that they are aware that this lien or whatever is being done to the place where they reside. AND... in every state... if there's any question of state or fed income taxes being unpaid either by you or your spouse... they can come after the property up to 20 years after the original tax due date. And if it's a state like IL, even the unpaid taxes of the non-title owner of the home can attach to the property as a lien.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:04 am
OOps... forgot to mention that the non-title holder has to be the spouse of a title owner and they have to live in the premises for homestead rights to kick in.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:05 am
homestead rights apply in california as well, just fyi
and the non-title holder can be persons other than the spouse (like children or family members)
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:10 am
oh yeah, read this and weep...

My New Orleans property tax bill for 2006:

Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:12 am
My New Orleans property tax bill for 2006:


can we trade?
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:36 am
lotsa good advice here from eric, tk, womb, and troll...

my 2 cents: move first, rent for a year. suss out the city, And as troll said get pre-approved for a loan amount and then go shopping for a property. If you do this the other way around you will most likely make a mistake that you will regret and end up getting screwed. by then you have time to find an agent that is somewhat intelligent and understands exactly what you are looking for. be aware that most realtors are hobbyists at best. try to make friends with someone in the real estate business.

look into a FHA loan. you can buy your first home with no down payment. the financing is trickier than conventional. lots of requirements for details on the property but it works well for people in your situation. Also research and budget for annual r.e. taxes.

Nadine is right. Real estate laws vary wildly from state to state. you should probably check out Fla's real estate commission site. I'm not sure if Florida has designated or dual agency laws or not. Get title insurance!

If you really wanna be a pioneer check into sheriff's auctions.

I actually used to live in st pete (15 years+) ago and might be able to help you more. I am in the same business as the troll. any questions to eelpie at email dot com
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 7:30 am
Not to bring up an old subject, but I sort of agree with Jason...you might want to rent for a year just to get a feel for St. Pete before you actually buy a home there. You may find it to be a hole. Also, I know alot of the gentrification that's being done in that area is part of a mass exodus of scene kids moving from their parent's house into a house near the FSU-St.Pete campus/ghetto of downtown, then turning said house into a kind of party/punk pad. That's just what I've been hearing. Not really a bad thing, but may make for noisy or annoying neighborhoods...just a random thought.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 2:52 pm
A lease-option might be the best deal in your situation. You can have an agreed upon amount of monthly rent go toward your down upon purchase, like 50 to 100%, and a certain husband can use that time to clean things up for a proper mortgage in something like 3 years.

An owner financed mortgage can also work, and a retiree rich state like Florida may have lots of folks down there that would choose the monthly income over all the cash at closing. There are tons of creative options. Good luck.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:18 pm
Womb Raider::::

I have owned this house for 1.5 years now and I am completely free of debt.

How did you swing that??? Through insurance after Katrina?
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:21 pm
yes. I highly recommend buying disaster prone property and insuring it heavily.

when Katrina II hits, I can retire.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:24 pm
Awesome. Good for you. Did you do all the work in your kitchen and bath? Got any pictures? My bathroom is going to need work ASAP so I'm curious.... (I have to:tear out the walls, install new sink, replace shower walls, and install a fan)
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:35 pm

the kitchen & bath are pretty much done. working on the bathroom was probably the biggest pain in the ass in the whole house, but only because I did ceramic tiles and glass blocks and shit. tile work is very time consuming and hard to master, but still, those plastic shower enclosures are so ugly.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:46 pm
Those pics are great, Chris!
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 3:58 pm
Your tub is AWESOME!!! Pictures can be decieving, but it even looks big enough for two. Tile work....errrr....It looks like a lotta work, but I don't want to settle for anything less, maybe I should sign up for a class at home depot or something.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:08 pm
be careful of any inspection that is done by anyone contracted by a realtor company. that's what i have learned from all my friends buying houses. they ended up getting basically what is a "money pit". caveat emptor!

My sister just moved from Kentucky to a house her husband and her bought in St. Louis. After moving in they had to have someone come by to do some shit and they found out that the furnace didn't have vents out or some shit. Anyway, they had to turn off her furnace completely because they said that if she would have moved in during winter, when the windows are closed and shit, she'd be dead already. She's been over a week without hot water now. She called up the real estate agent and they gave her some line about how the inspectors don't have to check furnaces and stuff, which is bullshit. Eventually she got them to send in someone to fix the shit and the inspectors are liable for the costs I guess but it's been taking a while to get them in there. Unfortunately, all the hassle and bullshit she's had to go through as apparantly ruined the house for her. She hates the place now.

Luckily it's being taken care of, because I was about to make a devestating visit to the motherfuckers that screwed with my family and would have probably never been able to set foot in that state again without going to prison.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:08 pm
OK, can you believe there is so much good info on this thread? Jeezaroo. I am just such an idiot--I have no idea about all these "nooks n crannies" (old Earles joke).

OK, so would a mortgage specialist be the person to fill me in on all the options when the time is right???? How do you know whom to trust?

There are some gorgeous 1920's arts & crafts homes in St. Pete in the hood that have not all been bought up yet...work to be done on them of course, but whoa. CHEAP. Like Midtown in 2000 cheap.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Is there a reccomended book or website that has a checklist type thing? Or maybe Goner needs to put together "A Goner's Guide to Real Estate Investment".
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:10 pm | Edited by: Stephanie
I'm a huge idiot. I just posted a site for wisconsin home buyers only. sorry.

one thing from buying my house i learned- although maybe because i had a good and sympathetic real estate agent- everyone involved wants you to buy the house. if the real estate agent is good then they know loopholes/alternate ways of financing. you are their meal ticket, so they want you to get into that house & close the deal!

This is very true.

I agree with renting for a while first, too. And yes, get pre-approved first!! ALWAYS! There are SO many programs out there for first time buyers.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:11 pm
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:15 pm
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:22 pm

These might be helpful...
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:27 pm
Tile work....errrr....It looks like a lotta work, but I don't want to settle for anything less, maybe I should sign up for a class at home depot or something.

it is really not that hard, but you have to be very neat and meticulous, which are two things that I am not. hence, there is still grout needing to be scraped up 2-3 months after the work was done. you might opt for mesh tiles, you can do really neat things with mosaic tile blends and installation is simple, but they're pricey.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:40 pm
After a while, a lot of people will say, why pay a mortgage broker/realtor - do it yourself. I would highly recommend avoiding doing anything yourself the first time, other than being directly involved, so that you don't mess up and can learn.

If you haven't already, you should start by figuring out what it is you want in a house. Make a list of needs, haves, have nots. Think about how long do you see yourself living in it? A common first time mistake is over extending yourself financially to get a home that meets all your haves. I don't know how lazy/motivated you two will be, but I would suggest in thinking of buying a home not as the place you see yourself dying in and raising grandchildren, but as an investment towards your next house. With single income financing, you really won't be able to get your dream house (unless your dreams are modest) right off the bat, so you should plan on getting something that you can live in for 4 or 5 years, fix up a bit and sell for enough profit to bump your budget up for the next place. It's a shame you guys didn't start earlier here as P-town has had a booming realestate market for the past 10 years. Anyway, you should prepare your mindset that the first house isn't your dream house; it should be your four year education in homeownership.

Find a mortgage broker - don't worry about trust, just get one that was recommended, you'll review their proficiency later. Avoid banks as they generally aren't as motivated in searching out all financing products. A mortgage broker, who is obviously motivated, should seek out whatever you tell them to find - that's the important part: you need to tell them , sometimes, what to look for as they don't make the same commision off FHA, etc. So, that's where you need to bone up on is financial packages, like everyone else has mentioned. Avoid ARM (adjustable rate mortgage), and balloon mortgages - these are killers if don't plan on selling quick and are mainly there for investors to play around with.

Find out if the place you're moving has something similiar to Portland Maps, which is an incredible tool for the home buyer/seller. This site gives tax, historical, municiple info on properties in the Portland area. What you can do is get your RMLS listing info and then use a tool like the city's to compare things, assess crime, storage tanks (only really an issue for older houses - places that care about DEQ), find out what comprable houses went for.

I don't know, there's too much to wade through on here. I'd start by researching different types of financing. Also, make up that list of what you guys will want in a house; be sure to factor in your home improvement comfort level. I know quite a lot of people who bought "fixer uppers" but discovered that they didn't have the skill or desire to fix up. That's not to say that you can't do your own home improvements, it means, you need to see how motivated and disciplined you will be. That's why I mentioned before that your first house is sort of like a training house. You'll be all aglow with your new nest; you'll spend less time going out, more time working on the yard, buying furniture, painting, passing out on your own floor. Use that time wisely but enjoy.

I'm sure our paths will cross someday and I can yak more about this. It's a year away, isn't it? Plus, you really should live there before committing to purchase. Whatever.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:45 pm
Where is the standard The Troll Disclaimer of "I am not trying to be helpful"?
Great insight, though.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:48 pm
I'm not trying to be helpful (pssst, Jack, it's all lies!)
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:49 pm
We are going to try to move in January now as I really cannot deal with another full winter mentally. Not to sound like a whiner, but man, we are both sun people and get pretty bad off here. I'd move today if we had the savings.

Thanks for the great info. I think we'd surprise ourselves in the skill/motivation once we had a house that was ours. I mean, plumbing and electric...no. But wood stuff and landscaping and interior whatevers...I can deal.

I will start looking into programs and do the wants list. We are definitely renting first so we have plenty of time. I am sure once we are ready, we may even have the ability to use Ryan's income. It isn't as if he is a tax absconder or anyting shitty. He owes money for cell bills. Luckily he didn't have that evil of a bad period in his life!

One more thing, St. Pete does have an FHA program for low-interest, first time buyer loans in certain areas, certain areas I actually want to live in because I know the property is appreciating, even if it is the hood right now. Do these type of loans have the ability to incorporate some sort of improvement piece?
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:54 pm
Do these type of loans have the ability to incorporate some sort of improvement piece?

Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:57 pm
Can you get $$$ specifically to improve the property (esp. if the shit needs some real work).
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:05 pm
I'm not entirely sure if you can get extra money for improvements (I've never had an FHA) but you can always get a line of credit against the property which is generally a higher interest rate. One thing with FHA's is that they can be very picky about the home inspection, I believe because they are assuring the property for the lenders - which means that a home that needs a lot of work may not get approval. That was one reason why I didn't get an FHA loan on my first house - because it was too much of a fixer.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:11 pm
I'll just have to see what is available. Pinellas County has a few good websites for all this stuff and one of their programs would be perfect for me, if it is indeed just me financing. The loans are specific to one huge swath of development area, the hood area South and East and West of Downtown. My dad lived in an enclave behind this hood and well, while it is definitely not swank, we are not talking anything REMOTELY Memphis hood here.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:11 pm
I think an FHA will only give you money towards energy efficient improvements. Check out the EEMs. You can't really replace your floors, but you could get money to update the heating system or maybe a few windows...
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:14 pm
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:15 pm
but, it's all lies, really.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:20 pm | Edited by: Stephanie
and go see a loan officer when you get down there because they can tell you what to do to improve your husband's credit and you'll know where you are financially and what you need to get yet, etc.

and chances are, his credit won't be as bad you think. . . .
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:47 pm
I can't discuss his credit on here anymore...thanks for the tips on that though and keep any other home buying ones coming.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:50 pm
we're going to close on a house on Friday.

-First time home owners
-her name is on the loan, mine is only on the title
-FHA loan, our specific mortage was Ameridream

The Ameridream thing is weird. You know how the asking price of a house is basically inflated by at least 10%? Well, with Ameridream you just pay the asking price. The seller pays closing costs and down payment, our seller has to pay this up front, but then at the end of the closing, seller gets a check for the money fronted. We still paid for inspection and insurance, about $1,500, thanks inlaws!,

Also, here's a nice anecdote from our buying experience. House we want to buy has been vacant for over a year. Seller is cool with the Ameridream thing, since he's going to finally sell the place at 8% below asking price (good deal for him!). After inspection, which was done by family friend (good for us) we find out that we need 10 new windows, new water heater, 50 year old electrical box replaced, and some plumbing in the upstairs bathroom fixed (real slow corroded nasty pipes), and the furnace should be replaced.

We ask for all of that to be fixed in our first offer, about $10,000 worth of repairs. Seller counters: he'll give us $240 to fix the hot water heater. Damn, fuck you motherfucker, no fuck him. Our counter offer, 5 windows, waterheater, fix plumbing, fix electrical, no furnace. He agrees.

fiery, I'll get my wife on here if you want to know more about that Ameridream thing. And we've got relations in St. Pete if you need more input.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:52 pm
Hey, uh, just wanted to say I'm really embarassed about my rant up there, it's really not so bad. I'd just had a few too many yesterday was freaking out. I actually love my house. One actual bit of advice on here that I totally agree with is not trusting the home inspector they set you up with. Our "new roof" that was listed on the inspection turned out to be a new roof covering up so many old roofs that we have something like600lbs of excess wight on top of our house which is going to be really expensive to fix. We didn't discover that until our insurance adjustor inspected our roof after Katrina. He said maybe we should sue, but I don't know if we could really do that.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 5:53 pm
Just remembered, but don't forget your $500 to $1500 "Earnest money"...
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:00 pm
Hell yeah, Useless Eater! Thank you VERY much!

Connect me up. It will be awhile but I would love to be connected to anyone they know who is a realtor, mortgage person, inspector et al, when the time comes.

This whole thread is making me really happy. I sort of never thought this would be in my reach because only in the last year have I made enough money to really start considering it out here, but I was never interested in living way the fuck out just to own a home in a city I was already itching to leave. St. Pete is at that place where you can live close in for around $150K in a home that may need work, but it is max 20 blocks from Downtown where here, all our friends are having to buy 45-80 blocks from Downtown these days.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:01 pm
What is Earnest $$$?
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:02 pm
Yeah, if you're a buyer and really want to screw with the seller, do the latest fads (at least here in P-town) and do a sewer scope. Of course the sewer pipes are almost 100 years old. Of course they will probably "fail". Of course they've been working just fine but wouldn't you really want the seller to shell out a couple grand to you for fixing it? Same for buried oil tanks. Good money once you ask for a soil test and get denied.

Just a warning. The real estate agents are in cahoots with excavation companies to pander to the latest crowd fears about sewers. With some recent laws passed, this really fucks over the seller as any sewer damage found requires the scoping inspector to submit the info to the city - which can force the owner to fix before selling. Evil and quick way to end the transaction, especially if you are a party sewer.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:03 pm
Earnest money is the % applied to purchase price that you tender once your offer is accepted. It is negotiable.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:08 pm
Troll--you are over my head with that first paragraph up there. I am getting so damn scared now.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:10 pm | Edited by: Jack Stands
The Troll is absolutely right about the Earnest money. Here in Memphis, though, it's typically the money to give to the seller that says "I'm serious about buying". If you buy the property, you get it back (usually can be rolled into down payment or elsewhere); if the deal breaks for any reason, seller keeps it.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:16 pm
Oh, it's just one of the things that buyers' agents suggest when inspecting - do a sewer scope, do a soil sample. As a buyer, it's no big deal (extra $100 for the scope, more for soil sample). Basically, it's two test that will net you, the buyer, some sort of compensation. It's also two tests that the seller will not wish you to do or that their agent will try to get them to do themselves under the guise of knowing up front. Both tests are for things that aren't really a problem, they are just hot topics in town right now because of how costly they become for sellers to deal with. Nothing for you to fear. When you get around to the inspection period, ask your agent if they have similiar practices in FL. Don't forget to go with the inspector or your choosing when the inspection occurs because you'll learn alot more than what gets put in the report. It will also give you a chance to let the inspector know what you may or may not be concerned with so that something that might be a loan killer doesn't get into the inspection.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:20 pm
Hi. This is not Useless Eater.. this is his wife :)

Our friends who bought a house told us about the Ameridream Program. It's a type of money moving program where the seller actually pays downpayment and closing cost like UE said, but they give it to the Ameridream program as a "gift", then the program gives us the money. They do this so the seller can write the money off on their taxes and somehow get it back.

There really wasn't any problem with the seller accepting the program. Plus, we don't have money for a downpayment so this worked out really well. The 0 down programs are almost the same, but from what I could tell more bullshit. Plus if you are going to buy the house for 100,000 it's actually something like 110,000 and hopefully you'll get approved for that.

Our loan was approved just with my income which was pretty fucked up. I teach... which means I don't make too much money. I also have 53,000 in student loans. But I got the loan with only minor stress. (Bullshit paperwork they need but don't tell you)

Total investment up front was: $400 earnest money (when you like the house you give the realtor money so the seller will agree to start the process with you and only you), $175 for inspection (we had a coupon which included a pest inspection with our regular inspection, because you need pest inspection but should get regular inspection too), $320 for loan application and credit check, $540 for upfront one year insurance (teacher rate so pretty cheap).

The nice part is that the Ameridream program will give all of this back (except for the insurance money) at closing. So we sign the papers and get a check. Sounds fucking sweet to me.

Oh yeah, and when people say how much their mortgage is and tell them that it's cheaper then rent, this is true. BUT... your total payment will include taxes and insurance. So our total payment ends up being a little more than our total rent. But in the end totally worth it.

OUT... back to real UE
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:35 pm
Ah. OK, got it. I think we will be good to go with the right connects as my dad knows a lot of people etc down there. And he comes off really well as an accompanying person in any situation I have ever asked him along with...people don't try to fuck with him. Probably because he looks like a tall, beardless Sadaam Hussein.
Posted: Jun 12, 2006 6:37 pm
Our friends who bought a house told us about the Ameridream Program. It's a type of money moving program where the seller actually pays downpayment and closing cost like UE said, but they give it to the Ameridream program as a "gift", then the program gives us the money. They do this so the seller can write the money off on their taxes and somehow get it back.

GENIUS. This is the sort of thing ye olde Floridian retirees would go for. Tax breaks.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 4:18 am
ha... one of my mortgage broker customers used to be called Ameridream mortgage and was SUED by the company that manages the Ameridream home buying program... so my customer had to change their name to the equally horrid Dreamerica.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 4:18 am
shit... $200,000 couldn't even get you a decent condo around the Bottle in Chicago
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 7:48 pm
That FHA.com page really makes a lot of things more clear, if you are a home-buying neophyte such as I.

I checked on FHA loan limits for Pinellas county and we are good. I can't afford anything over $150K anyway. We decided to definitely rent for the shortest amount of time possible and get on this train. Rents are going up anyway.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 8:15 pm
glad to hear! I have an FHA loan. You'll be alright!

In between reading the goner board and surfing various internet sites, I'm a real estate secretary and I've got my license, too. And on the side, I assist the loan officer here at work, so if you've got more questions during the process. . .I'd be happy to try and answer them for you, but everyone has been so helpful to you!

or if you just want to bitch, too! Buying a house can be so fucking stressful!
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 8:15 pm
$200,000 couldn't even get you a decent condo around the Bottle in Chicago

ain't that the truth! i gasp in horror as i see gentrification on Augusta

my uncle, who has been on Milwaukee/Wabansia since 1970 has seen the value of his little plot of land rise exponentially. in january, someone offered him a MILLION for the property. in the end, the buyer couldn't close on the loan, so there's still one more old school beat up as shit diner in yuppie ville.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 8:29 pm
Another thing to consider as a reason to own, not that you have any doubts now, but, if you ever consider starting your own business, nothing helps the business loan along like owning property to lien against.

On a side note, I can't understand why anyone older than 30 would throw money away renting. If you are relatively geographically fixed, I don't see why you wouldn't do it. It's an easy way to invest and see a return without spending more than a little above your monthly rent.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 8:34 pm
offered him a MILLION for the property

I hope you're working on a way to secretly kill off your cousins before offering to work the diner and subsequently, you know, inherit. It would kind of be like Russo novel.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:13 pm
if you ever consider starting your own business, nothing helps the business loan along like owning property to lien against.

Ah ha! This is my next step after the house purchase. As youa re aware.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:21 pm
A very important thing to find out when choosing a business loan is to make sure that the loan will be transferable if you decide to sell your house. Some business loans will require you to pay in full if you sell the house that it's attached to, so, make sure you can transfer the lien to the next house you buy, that is, if you ever find time to move.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:31 pm | Edited by: fierydrunk
Troll, have you considered starting your own financial planning empire?
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:36 pm
There is no need for such measures...

besides, you can never leave the family.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:45 pm
On a side note, I can't understand why anyone older than 30 would throw money away renting.
Why do I rent at age 38? Because the median cost of a home where I live is $700,000 and the wife and I live in a rent controlled apt. with $672/month rent. If we bought a place, we'd pay AT LEAST 3x our current rent for our mortgage. Everyone I know around here that owns a house is broke all the time. We're gonna keep renting until we finally move out of the Bay Area.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:54 pm
Well, if you did own it, and had enough equity, you could do what all the other Californian's do, and sell and move up here and buy a McMansion. No offense, but I should've qualified my statement to apply to people who don't live in CA or NY. Carry on.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:55 pm
This is the case anywhere in coastal California. We have friends that just moved to PDX from LA who are going to be able to buy a nice perfect SE PDX cottage for what they consider a steal. They are beside themselves with joy.

If we were going to stay here, we would likely reach that point where we would just go ahead and buy one of those crackerboxes off Foster and fix it up. I just hate the thought of paying for those kind of crappy houses. I hate the tiny rooms. Unless you have the mimimalist thing going on, they always look stuffed.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:57 pm
On a side note, I can't understand why anyone older than 30 would throw money away renting.

there are many other reasons in addition to what Hugh Jass cited.

a friend of mine won a million dollars in a law suit (he was hit by a UPS truck) and his financial adviser told him to continue renting. this guy is 49. the adviser said that the market my friend lives in (los angeles) is not conducive to buying now. of course, he also suggested my friend my income/investment properties in other states, which he has yet to do - but there were other ways for my friend to save money/earn interest/get tax deductions w/o a mortgage being one of them.

of course, having a million dollars helps --- losing your sense of smell and having to have spent 3 years in physical therapy is a terrible way to gain that kinda cash

people to whom i have complained about my own california-house-owning problems know that even if i sold it, i could never buy another one in the area for what i'd get... and since we own it outright and only pay property taxes...i can't convince my sister that selling our house for the astronomical value it has is worth it to her... because she'd go from living basically for free to having to pay real world money for housing
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 9:59 pm
It doesn't matter. It's your first house. If it has that mysterious "potential", and the market is good, you will easily make 50-100k in a couple/four years time, which will allow you to either buy another crackbox, move on up, or take a nice vacation. You can't lose, at least, not here. Don't know about the FL market.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 10:03 pm
Okay, another example: I have a friend whose brother owned 1/16th, that's right 1/16th of a house in SB. They sold it and moved here and basically didn't work for almost two years.

I know, I know, it entails moving. I just don't think of living in CA as "the norm", so I completely ignore it in my machinations and dreams. Tough tittie.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 10:09 pm
According to cool pops, St. Pete's housing market has appreciated over 30% in a fucking year. When he sold a couple of years ago after owning for about 10 years, his house appreciated 150%. Unreal.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 10:12 pm
well, my problem is that my sister wants her kid to go to school in the school district where they live now.
she won't buy me out.
she's opposed to making payments on anything.
can i hire a posse to "convince her?"

and the kid thing.... i guess if you have them and schools are an issue where you live... that starts to dictate your decisions as much as anything
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 10:14 pm
Let her keep living there until your nephew is out of high school and then bring down the hammer.
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 10:16 pm
Where do you live, Troll? Portland?
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 10:19 pm
can i hire a posse to "convince her?"

Yeah, make her watch the O.C. and Dr. 90210 and tell her to ask herself if that's the sort of environment she wants her precious daughter to grown up in. Unless the kid's 18 and has a say, I say, do what I say. If you're gonna pull the "what's best for my kid" card, you'd better be prepared to back up your reason for doing nothing
--signed he who casts stones from the worst fucking school district in the state
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 10:23 pm
Fuck! Mjy spoil check is off!
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 10:46 pm
If you're gonna pull the "what's best for my kid" card, you'd better be prepared to back up your reason for doing nothing

well.... there is also the factor that she's divorced and the asshole ex played "reduce the child support payment by increased visitation hours" card. she's gotta stay local.

believe me..... i was so "i told you so" with her.... including demanding she get a pre-nup.... but she didn't listen and now she wishes she had
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 11:19 pm
my wife bought our first house w/out my credit being checked. we're looking at a second one we'll both buy.

here's what you can get 40 miles outside of cleveland for (asking) $150K. built in 1874, 5 bedrooms, yadda yadda. hopefully we make an offer soon.



Posted: Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
holy crap. that's a lot of house for 150K (asking) !!!
Posted: Jun 13, 2006 11:54 pm
that's what they said in amityville...
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 12:12 am
Jeez. That is the stuff of mansions.
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 12:58 am
How much will I need for a down payment? I do have a 401-K and a Roth IRA. They are teeny but hey, every little bit helps. So, yeah, how much???

genereally you need 20% of the loan amount to avoid PMI(insurance). PMI should NOT run you 3 digits, if it does you need to shop around.

i would advise against taking money from any 401(k) because you will ultimately be taxed twice against it, once when you pay it back and second when you take the funds fur retirement. And while you generally pay yerself interest on a 401(k) loan (one percent above prime), if you leave the money in the account it may earn even more.
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 1:19 am
Yeah, I got screwed on that once before. I honestly think we may go the FHA route where PMI doesn't exist in some of the loan programs. We will definitely be buying in the borderline gentrifying areas too.
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 2:20 am
I'm 42 and still renting because 1. I have cheap rent, and 2. I just cannot be bothered with having to take care of a house myself. Me MOW A LAWN?? No way. Renting, if the plumbing busts, my heat isn't working right, whatever... I just call my fabulous landlord and someone fixes it that day or the next, no $$ out of my pocket, and no sweat off my brow. AND... 3. until very very recently, I haven't made up my mind to stay anywhere. All my adult life I've moved every 4 years. I've been in Chicago for 9 years now and spent the first 6 trying to more back to NY. Not until the past 3-4 years have I started to say I'm going to stay in Chicago, and that's more out of the laziness that comes with being old than anything. So now, just this past month, have I began to consider buying. But I'm still leaning towards a condo... less shit to have to worry about having to work on/fix/repair/paint/mow/plant etc etc.
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 2:38 am
That was my life, Nadine. Until 3 days ago and I saw that sweet little Craftsman bungalow with a screen porch and a huge front and back yard. It called to my youth (I grew up in a series of those things). I want one of my own. I am even willing to learn how to fix stuff, mow the lawn, be annoyed by drips until we can afford the plumber...just to get me one of those sweet lil bungalows.
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 2:39 am
peeps are marshmallowy minded
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 9:27 am
Closing costs wiped me out, but I got a 4.95% ARM & borrowed every penny on the house. That rate is guaranteed for 5 years & there is a clause in the loan that the interest rate can never rise so much as to add more than $150/month to the payment that I presently have. Not bad for a 1st time home buyer.

It's a fantastic pad, too. Ask any band that's ever stayed or partied there such as Cheater Slicks, The Feelers, The Apes, The Cuts, Modey Lemon, This Moment in Black History, Devil To Pay, etc...
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 9:59 am
name dropper
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 7:00 pm | Edited by: sugardaddy
ARM's are terrible deals. they'll raise it $150 then another then another. rates are going up. look out.
Posted: Jun 14, 2006 7:24 pm
I heard on NPR once (I have actually gotten great info from Motley Fool and that black chick on Day to Day) to stay away from ARM's. I am telling you, these FHA loans are really what we are gonna have to look at given our situation.
Posted: Jun 15, 2006 3:57 am
Aren't Goners supposed to be lazy slackers... how the hell are we all buying houses? I love this "break the stereotype" shit!
Posted: Jun 15, 2006 4:04 am
I'm not stopping till I own every hotel on Park Place AND the Boardwalk!
Posted: Jun 15, 2006 4:15 am
Five years from now, you'll see my face on a cheesy ad on the side of a bus: Call Fierydrunk, The Real Estate Mogul of the Central Coast
Posted: Jun 15, 2006 6:23 pm
My wife and I were able to qualify for some government bond money back in March of last year. We made just under the limit of household income and were able to get a 30-year fixed mortgage at 4.99% with no money down. If you can wait until the beginning of the year then maybe you'd qualify for something -- there's only a certain amount of money released each year and once it's gone it's gone. What was great about this was that I had pretty much no credit history but we lucked out (especially since we both got our yearly raise that bumped us up over the maximum household income).

I would avoid an ARM if at all possible. Anyone I've ever known with one has paid out the ass in the long run. Do your homework -- the county auditor's page is your best friend when it comes to bargaining.
Posted: May 4, 2007 2:52 pm
OK, let's start this discussion back up now that it is almost a year old, we've been here 4 months and I am going so stir crazy in the apartment that I salivate over every For Sale sign we pass by.

The market here is crazings. For Sale signs all over--the bubble done bursted so it is a total buyer's market. However, the other side of the coin (as Womb Raider so wisely predicted) is you cannot get insurance. That is correct--no new policies. So, you end up having to do this weird State of Florida option that is totally non-competitive and high as hell.

And taxes? Florida must have been run by apes for the last 8 years (oh yeah, it actually was, Jeb Bush) because they have the most insane property tax system known to humankind. Totally wayyyyyyy too high. Naturally, the legislature was so overwhelmed by the task of doing something about it by TODAY (the end of their session), that they called a special session next month to maybe make a decision. Suffice to say, taxes are so high they make the steal of the cheap housing prices not nearly as cheap as they should be.

But I am unafraid. I am hedging my bets that they actually will reduce the property taxes if the insurance thing stays a problem in this area for life. The houses here are even cheaper than $150K for what we'd be able to handle...more like $120-$125K for a pretty decent house that doesn't need too much work at all. There is actually a DREAM of a house across the street from me for $140K!!! Sellers are just absolutely desperate.
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