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My2Geldings 11-20-2013 09:39 PM

We're buying a house!
 
We are buying our first home, and I am so excited! We have pre-qualified for a morgage with the banks, and we have just listed our condo up for sale. Now we need to start shopping and checking out what is on the market.
Our realtor asked us to make a wish list of things that we would like to have in our new house, and even tho I had a couple things come to mind right away, Im afraid there might be things that I am missing.

I know one thing for sure, is that we plan on doing a house inspection even if its a brand new home. We have a few connections in the real estate industry who like when purchasing a horse with a vet check, you cant buy a house without a house inspection.

What other recommendations do you guys have that we should be looking at or consider?

tinyliny 11-20-2013 09:53 PM

LOCATION MACRO

What city or suburb or rural area?

LOCATION

what area of city, how near to schools , shopping, road/highway access , commute?

LOCATION MICRO

how is the house situated? Close to busy street? On a northern or souther facing slope? Good drainage? Next to good neighbors.? With any kind of view, goog sunlight, ?



You can remodel a lot of things but you can't change the above factors.

And, is te neighborhood going up or falling down?

Personally, I am glad we did not buy a house that was at the maximum amount we qualified for a mortgage because we werent suffocating under huge payments.

kitten_Val 11-20-2013 11:14 PM

If you are planning on settling in that house for quite a long time look for the district with good schools. That seems to be paramount for many people (bunch of my co-workers ended up moving to the better area after they got kids just to have good schools).

Also if you will be deciding on older house try to negotiate with the owner that all findings (from inspection) to be fixed (market these days is buyer's market, so it's something very possible).

And during inspection check everything yourself as well. In my experience the inspectors still can miss something. So check all switches, cables, taps, toilets, fans, you name it. Annoying, yes, but may save you money.

Ask for description/maintenance docs to all appliances (not always a case, but never hurt to double check). Especially well (if the house uses one), heater, a/c, etc. And if the owner had issues with any of them and if so who did they use to fix the problem.

Good luck! I don't know about Canada, but in my area it's a buyer market and lots of nice places are listed for sale.

Lucky1inKy 11-21-2013 12:05 AM

Don't get talked into a payment that exceeds your budget! That is soooo easy to do when house hunting. What u can realistically afford and what u qualify for are often times two different things. You want to own your home...u dont want your home to own u. ;) Speaking from experience unfortunately. Its so easy to get sucked in to the excitement of house hunting. Good luck!! Thats exciting! !
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tinyliny 11-21-2013 12:36 AM

A small house is easier to heat/cool, easier to paint and keep up, and can be a better place to have a cozy, family feel. and cost less, usually.

My2Geldings 11-28-2013 09:27 PM

Update
 
Great advice everyone. We've been searching for the last couple of weeks, and I've fallen in love with the first house we saw. I know it sounds bad right? you should always look and compare and never go for the first thing you see. Hubby and I looked at quite a wide range of styles of homes, open floor concepts, more bedrooms, less bathrooms, big kitchens, big basements, income properties etc etc. The one big thing I realized I REALLY want is a big backyard. I didn't realize how much of an importance it was until we started to go look at houses, and I realized that it gives you so much more privacy and entertainment opportunities.

I have my eyes on 2 houses right now, and having a hard time really making a decision. Hubby and I are both hung on the same thing.

Option #1:
New home in a brand new part of town. Just off a big busy street. Easy access to stores, schools, multiple riding facilities, easy access to highway which takes us to work. Not a big fan of the floor plan. To many walls and what feels like constricted walkways and only 3 bedrooms(we only want 1 child so not a big issue). Priced well.

Option #2:
New home on a quiet street which is a cul de sac. One of the oldest parts of town. Near 2 young children schools, walking distance from downtown! Mature trees. The big perk with this one is that the house sits on a half acre lot! the new homes build are right side by side with no or a tiny backyard which I hate. Older homes we have seen are on huge pieces of land. Prices quite a big higher, but it does have 4 bedrooms. Access to highway to work is not as close, 5 min drive to your local grocery store.

I do have pictures I will try to post.

My2Geldings 11-28-2013 09:59 PM

Pictures
 
These are pictures of option #2
image | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

image | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

image | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

image | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Lucky1inKy 11-28-2013 10:04 PM

Its beautiful!! And the setting sounds perfect. ;) Number 2 has my vote!
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My2Geldings 11-28-2013 10:15 PM

Thats what we are leaning towards the most right now. There are a lot of great houses out there, but none of them have such a gorgeous and big backyard. Everything in that house has great color schemes as well and great flooring, so I love it. We are going to look at a few more houses tomorrow, but if we dont see anything else we are going to make an offer on this one.

PrivatePilot 11-28-2013 10:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lucky1inKy (Post 4149914)
Don't get talked into a payment that exceeds your budget! That is soooo easy to do when house hunting.

BEST ADVICE EVER

Don't fall into this trap. I'm always astounded at what seems to be increasingly the "new norm" when it comes to mortgages - 25 years, even 30. Heck, in the USA I'm hearing about 40 and 50 year mortgages.

Do you really want to be 60 or 70 years old and still making mortgage payments?

The best financial decision we EVER made was to buy a house that was way under what the bank approved us for. Don't get me wrong, it's still a pretty nice little house (Detached, 2 car garage, 3 bedrooms, pool, etc) but it was almost $100,000 under what the bank approved us for.

The result? We took a 15 year mortgage. The extra money that we would have spent on a 25 year amortization on the $100,000.00 more we could have spent goes into our payments instead, and in the end that means that we're mortgage free a decade earlier - in our early 40's. For us, the mortgage free reality is only a few years down the road now, and I'm looking forward to the financial freedom that's going to come with it.

30 year mortgage? I just can't wrap my head around that. It seems patently ridiculous to me. I wasn't even terribly comfortable with 25. So what if someone else has a bigger or fancier house than you - ultimately, I guarantee WE get the last laugh, and a much more comfortable retirement.


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