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Thread: House hunting

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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Procella View Post
    Find an agent who knows the area you want to buy and knows VA loan requirements if that is what you are using.

    Decide what your max budget and overall break even is. If you sell in 2 years will you recoup or eat the costs of selling? Decide if this an investment or just an alternative to renting? Either is fine, knowing will just allow you to see keep the other decisions in line with your goal.

    For us making money was number one. We would only accept a deal. Then it had to be in budget. For us that was no more than we would pay in rent since we knew maintenance and repairs would bump our overall cost up another $200 to $300 a month. That still puts us below bah. No deed restrictions or hoas because they are a pain imo. Then neighborhood, commute, lot size, bedrooms, baths, schools, etc.

    If we were looking to break even then or list would be based more on needs, style, amount of work to be done, and ease of selling.
    this is helpful, thank you! For us it's not necessarily about making money, though obviously it'd be great if we did. We're more concerned with not being strangled if/when we do move. Our goal really is to stay under or near a payment monthly that is similar to the pay raise DH is getting when he commissions, so that worse comes to worse, his pay raise covers the mortgage if the house happened to sit on the market. Not ideal obviously, but is at least a safety net so to speak.

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    Something that I was told recently: Thoroughly investigate the neighborhood and find out why that house is on sale. I mean, if 50% of the houses on a street are for sale, there's probably something wrong with the area that you need to know. Or if the house has been sold and bought several times recently, there's probably an issue with it.
    We looked at 4 houses in different areas yesterday, the one we really liked is brand new in a new neighborhood that's really being built up around it. There were only 2 available in the neighborhood.


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    #12
    My SIL just went through the process.... Her biggest help was her realtor.
    The whole process from beginning to end is soooo overwhelming so I totally get you. DH and I will be buying this winter and I have become obsessed with my Estately app. I use zillow too but they don't update it like they do Estately.
  3. I'm not drunk, you're just blurry.
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    #13
    We're about to start house hunting and we are going to go to USAA to try and get prequalified before we move forward. It's stressing me out to no end and we haven't even started the process yet so I feel you. Buying a house is nerve wrecking.


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    #14
    When we were looking at houses, we made a spreadsheet with categories for each major section in the house (including yards/garage/etc) and their must-have features, would be nice features, and dealbreakers. It was super helpful. We also had a list of our family's current needs and "projected needs" for various future times.
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    #15
    Think I saw you have usaa? Check out the movers advantage program: they set us up with a GREAT realtor in the area. Once you hear back about the updated preapproval, speak to the realtor and let them know what you're looking for.

    our list was this:

    Price range
    no more than 15 miles away from xyz address
    3 bed
    2 bath
    fenced yard
    hardwood floors


    we ranked our list on what was most important and have it to our realtor. We also looked on the mls listings and contacted her if we saw one we liked.

    one thing about the movers advantage, we were given a certain dollar amount from usaa once the process was complete.

    Also, if your realtor sends you a list of homes, don't feel like you have to look at everyone if you notice things you do not like/love about the house upon first look. Once you narrow down the list, give it back to the realtor and ask he/she to set up viewings. From there, narrow it down to a top 5. Take notes as you go on the look through: what you like, what you don't like, questions, neighborhood, etc.

    House hunting is the fun part, don't stress out yet!!
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    #16
    I'd also get a realtor just from the hassle factor. When I initially started looking we didn't have one, and so the seller's agent showed us the home and eventually became our agent. If I had to do it over again I'd find a realtor I really connected with who knew our priorities ahead of time. A lot of times they know about listings before they even come on the market.
  7. "If you don't like my attitude, quit talking to me"
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSisterWife View Post
    When we were looking at houses, we made a spreadsheet with categories for each major section in the house (including yards/garage/etc) and their must-have features, would be nice features, and dealbreakers. It was super helpful. We also had a list of our family's current needs and "projected needs" for various future times.
    This.

    Make lists of MUST haves, want but can do with out and absolute NOs..
    This should help with the overwhelming part of it.

    If school isn't going to be a necessity in the next 5-6 years, then I wouldn't even worry about school district.

    When figuring out what you can afford, be sure to factor in maintenance costs. The bigger the house, the higher the cost. Things such as utilities, cleaning, landscape/yardwork, etc. Those all increase with a bigger house. What you can afford isn't just in Mortgage, its everything included. Utlities, hoa, insurances, monthly maintenance, etc.

    Be willing to sacrifice the things you want or must have for other things on your list.

    We searched online for houses we wanted to look at. We then researched about the area to make sure that even though we liked the house, it was a good place to live. Once we decided we absolutely had to go see it then we'd call a realtor. We didn't call a realtor at first, we only called after we found houses we wanted to see and could only see through a realtor.

    Don't get attached. Don't fall in love with a house until you are under contract, and even then its risky. If you fall in love with it before you get it then you will be disappointed if it falls through.

    There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by TrishAFSpouse View Post
    This.

    Make lists of MUST haves, want but can do with out and absolute NOs..
    This should help with the overwhelming part of it.

    If school isn't going to be a necessity in the next 5-6 years, then I wouldn't even worry about school district.

    When figuring out what you can afford, be sure to factor in maintenance costs. The bigger the house, the higher the cost. Things such as utilities, cleaning, landscape/yardwork, etc. Those all increase with a bigger house. What you can afford isn't just in Mortgage, its everything included. Utlities, hoa, insurances, monthly maintenance, etc.

    Be willing to sacrifice the things you want or must have for other things on your list.

    We searched online for houses we wanted to look at. We then researched about the area to make sure that even though we liked the house, it was a good place to live. Once we decided we absolutely had to go see it then we'd call a realtor. We didn't call a realtor at first, we only called after we found houses we wanted to see and could only see through a realtor.

    Don't get attached. Don't fall in love with a house until you are under contract, and even then its risky. If you fall in love with it before you get it then you will be disappointed if it falls through.
    I really have to disagree with this. If she's planning on renting/selling in the next 2-3 years it's going to be pretty important to almost anyone looking.
    Never do anything halfway unless you want to be half happy.

    Is this a dream? If it is, please don't wake me from this high. I'd become comfortably numb
    until you opened up my eyes to what it's like when everything is right...I can't believe you found me ♥
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by missinghim View Post
    I really have to disagree with this. If she's planning on renting/selling in the next 2-3 years it's going to be pretty important to almost anyone looking.
    yeah this is our starter home, we know we won't be in it forever. and just because we don't have kids yet and don't care about schools right now doesn't mean someone else won't.

    I like the spreadsheet idea and the idea of making a list of must haves, wants and things like that. I'm going to make a list now!


  10. Ummmmm...........
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by bdizzle View Post
    We're from San Antonio. It's not like this is a new area for us. we moved in quick because we needed something, and purposefully signed a month to month because we knew we didn't want to stay.



    ETA: I'm gonna go ahead and say this now, I'm not asking for advice about whether or not we should stay in the current house. I'm asking about what's the best way to hunt for houses to purchase. That's it. Before this turns into a ridiculous shit storm of opinions I didn't ask for.
    Well then....
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