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Jul. 16th, 2009

is this like house hunters onhgtv i wTCHED THAT SHOW TODAy

Homeowner's Insurance

We are getting quotes for Farmers, All State, AAA, and Liberty Mutual. Any good/bad anecdotes about any of them? Any other companies to absolutely stick with or avoid?

Any other general tips or traps to watch out for?

I have been told that there is a little box to check that covers housing for you while you are out of your home due to damage. It's apparently a tiny amount extra each year, but if you need it, it pays of big time. : )

Co Mod?

If anyone is interested in co-moding this community, please contact me. Per my last post, I will probably no longer be hunting houses (due to having snagged one!) though I will plan to stick around for awhile.

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Huzzah!

Our offer was accepted today! Provided nothing nasty comes up in the inspection/loan process we close on May 29th. It still feels a little surreal and I find myself unexpectedly...grieving? For all the houses that could have been. I honestly expected it to take us months and months and months to find a house. I had steeled myself for that process. So to find "the one" on our second day out...and have an accepted offer less than a week later...I'm still in shock.

Has anyone else gone through this?

Also anyway of dealing with the well meaning negative nellies who love to tell you "Oh, you'll hate that." or "You should have bought out here" etc, etc, etc. Makes me want to scream. (And yes, I know, I should just keep my damn mouth shut, but I apparently have no filter for big news.)

Anyway! A picture!

The House
If all goes well with the inspection and appraisal, this will be my first house. May 29th is the scheduled closing date.

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There was another house that my husband and I wanted a bit more, but the owners wouldn't budge on their price even though it was at least $5-10K too much given the neighborhood, comps, and general local market. But I love the house that will hopefully be ours and am excited to buy furniture, decorate, etc.

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First Time Home Buyer Credit

If you are a first time home buyer and you buy your house between January 1 and December 31, 2009 you qualify for an $8000 credit. To qualify for the credit you must meet the following criteria:

* You must be a first-time home buyer. The IRS defines this as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.
* You must purchase your home on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.
* If you are single you must make less than $75,000, and if you are married your combined income must be less than $150,000 to qualify for the full tax credit.

The credit is equal to $8000 or 10% of our homes purchase price, whichever is smaller. And this credit, unlike the previous credit of $7500 does not have to be repaid.

If you have already filed your taxes for the year you will need to file two forms in order to receive the credit. The first is the 5405 form (PDF) which is the form specifically for the credit, and the second is a 1040x form (PDF) which is an amended tax return.

For more information about the credit go to www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/.

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Loans from Family

Have any of you been offered loans from family members to help buy a home?

Would you accept such an offer? What factors would impact your decision?

If you have ever accepted such an offer in the past, how did it work out? Would you recommend it?

Estimating Work

Do you all have any good recommendations on places to learn how much certain kinds of remodeling will cost? Without getting actual quotes?

When my hubby and I look at houses I often know what I would want done to the property if we were to buy it, but I have no idea how intensive and/or expensive the work would be. For instance, several houses have decks that are looking pretty rough. We know it would need to be fixed and can roughly gauge redo from resanded and weather proofed. But how much either of those would cost? No idea.

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FHA Paperwork

I know a lot of you are still just looking at houses, but this is something I wish I'd had before we started looking. We got an FHA loan for our house and in order to qualify we needed to fill out an insane amount of paperwork. A lot of it was stuff we didn't have on hand and had to request. So if any of you house hunters are going FHA it might make the mortgage process a bit smoother if you have all of these items in advance if at all possible. Obviously you won't be able to get your most recent pay stubs in advance. :-) So in the order it was asked for from us, here is all the paperwork we needed to supply for our loan.

* W2s for the last 2 years

* Current pay stubs for the last month

* Proof of your funds for your down payment and closing costs. We had to supply statements from the savings account where our down payment was, and then a statement from our bank showing the funds had been transferred. If someone else is giving you the down payment as a gift they will need to write a letter saying they're going to give you the money.

* A credit explanation letter explaining the derogatory credit information on your credit report. The mortgage company should give you a list of all derogatory items.

* An insurance company will need to be selected and a policy in place right before you go to close on the property. Our company faxed confirmation to our mortgage broker for us.

* Signed and dated mortgage application. (Obviously!)

* Appraisal fee check. Ours was $325. Send certified mail or we returned it via Fed Ex with our mortgage paperwork.

* Signed and dated credit inquiry letter addressing all recent inquiries in your credit report. Your mortgage company should supply you the list of all the inquiries.

* If you have money taken out of your paycheck for back taxes or child support you will have to supply paperwork stating what is being taken out and why. Mike has child support taken out of his paycheck so he had to provide some additional forms too.

* Mike had to supply a copy of the fully executed divorce decree or child support order that details out the terms of the child support.

* Signed and dated letter on letter head from the child support enforcement agency that the child support is current and there is nothing in arrears.

In addition we had to supply the previous year's taxes to our mortgage broker. We found that information on our county auditor's site.

If you have any questions about the process or what we had to do, please ask.

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Fixer Upper vs Prime Condition

What is your preference? Why?

(By fixer upper I mean fairly substantial work required to get it to be the house you want--redoing decks, knocking down walls, etc.)

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