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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Buying a house

Looking into buying a house next year, as our lease is up in May and my career is finally getting off the ground. With the market what it is I'd like to look into foreclosures/short sales but I'm not exactly sure where to start and the best way to go about it, from what I can tell they can be a PITA just closing the sale. Anyone have any experience or advice to share? How many months before the ideal move date, around 5/1/2011, before I enlist the help of professionals? Any recommendations for who? Looking to buy a townhouse in the south east aurora/north plainfield area like Wheatland Township.

Our credit scores are around 750, debt is very low. Only strike against us is a low down payment - between 5 and 10% and yes that will still leave some money in the bank.

So, how should I go about buying a nice townhouse for cheap?

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 10:38 PM
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Wanna buy mine for cheap!!??

Short sales / foreclosures can be a real PITA, be forewarned that those stories are legit. Lots of BS, patience required...but they can equate to a really good deal.

Cash is king, if you can get the pre-approval in place don't rule out chasing standard sales too. People are desperate.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 10:45 PM
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I would suggest that you meet with a realtor that has plenty of experience with short-sales/foreclosures and a loan officer that can guide you in the right direction of what you can afford and what you will need in order to be ready for the May 2011 purchase.

For a downpayment of 3.5%, you can purchase with an FHA loan and still keep some $$ in the bank, which is always a great idea! Expenses add up and tapping out your savings is not wise. You will have MIP, but you will also have the ability to refinance without the need of an appraisal and will have the benefit of a prorateable refund of your Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium. All in all, this would be a good fit for you, but it's always good to get a second opinion.

With the credit score you mentioned, you will have great interest rates available and may be able to avoid paying points or buying down your interest rate, just be sure you're getting clear answers.

If you have further questions, please PM me and I'll be happy to address them for you.

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 11:00 PM
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Buying a house

Short sales can be a long process but if you plan ahead of time it can be well worth it. I've done some short sales that were approved a week after we received the offer (previously approved short sale) and I have some that have been in negotation for over 6 months. It depends on the bank, how close the offer is to fair market value, how well the realtor negotiates the short sale and other factors. A lot of banks have implemented new short sale procedures over the last month or two that speeds up the process though.

I would recommend finding a realtor now. You can start looking at subdivisions or neighborhoods now and narrow it down to a few areas over the next few months. If you go with a short sale you should try to put an offer in no later than February if you need to move in by May. If it closes sooner, you can always ask the homeowners if they want to rent it from you until you can move in.

If you put an offer in on a short sale, be prepared to wait and be prepared to have to increase your offer some so don't go in with your best price offer.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 11:01 PM
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I just bought a foreclosure and the entire process from the day I found out about it to closing was about 3 months total. Hardest part was them keep comming back asking for pay stub after pay stub. They had to be recent ones as well. Also helped a lot my dad is a realtor and knows everyone in all area's when it comes to doing this.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 11:11 PM
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i closed on a short sale feb 2nd 09. put in an offer beginning of nov 08...a bit of a waiting game to hear back from the bank. absolutely no issues otherwise. let me kno if u want a recommendation for a real estate attorney. was VERY pleased with my attorney

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 11:28 PM
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Don't buy a townhouse. Everyone that ever has regrets it. True story.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 11:43 PM
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Don't buy a townhouse. Everyone that ever has regrets it. True story.
That's not true. My townhouse is great. Four bedrooms, two baths, extended 2 car garage and the only common wall is with their single story, 1 car garage. Similar size single family homes a few blocks away would be $60-100k more than what I paid and some of those are actually smaller than my townhouse.

Association dues are next to nothing and I have freedom to pretty much do anything. Sure, I can't paint my house neon green, but I'm okay with that. I've also never heard a sound in my house from my neighbors and they say the same thing and I'm not exactly the quietest person (neither are my friends).

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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townhouse isn't my first choice. A house that we would like and wouldn't stretch us to the limit isn't going to be easy, although I haven't ruled it out. I'm hoping for a nice raise in november, that could change the game a little

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:00 AM
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Don't buy a townhouse. Everyone that ever has regrets it. True story.
I love my townhouse. The only thing I wish I had was a pass thru garage.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:12 AM
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Townhome versus own home (single attached) depends on each person's life. Lived in both and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:14 AM
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Townhome versus own home (single attached) depends on each person's life. Lived in both and both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Why don't you share?
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:23 AM
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Biggest advantage for us was cost. When we bought, I could afford a nice townhouse in a great neighborhood. 3bd 2ba 1.5 garage finished basement was perfect and in our pricerange. A house would have been out having all of that. And neither myself nor the wife like yardwork, so a small lawn was fine with us. And we have awesome neighbors. It works for us. Your mileage may vary.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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I think a townhouse suits us well now, but 5 years from now we'll be ready to move on to a detached single family. One of my major concerns at the moment is buying a townhouse now with little down, appreciating little or none during ownership, and then selling at a loss after costs of sale. I also don't want to spend too much now and lose the ability to save.

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:28 AM
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Why don't you share?
I lived in a townhouse in Essexville, MI (Old Orchard by the Bay) from July 93 to Aug 95. 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 2200 SF, full basement, $420 / month. They apologized to have to raise it to $450 / month (oh darn). Had one kid initially when I moved there, 2 when I left in 95. Moved to Santa Clara, CA.. rented 2 homes (both 3 brd) had kid #3. Moved to Chi area (Naper) in Aug 98 into a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath (then had kid #4) (bought for $303K) and the rest is history.

good enough?

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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:31 AM
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I only make 6 figures. I don't have Arch's money.
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:34 AM
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I only make 6 figures. I don't have Arch's money.
I only make 6 now annually. Though for a few years I did owe 6 figures in federal taxes (and made it a bitch for those trying the OIC method with IRS from the changes they enacted after me )

... check your form 656 revision date. Bwahahahhahaha

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:48 AM
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I lived in a townhouse in Essexville, MI (Old Orchard by the Bay) from July 93 to Aug 95. 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 2200 SF, full basement, $420 / month. They apologized to have to raise it to $450 / month (oh darn). Had one kid initially when I moved there, 2 when I left in 95. Moved to Santa Clara, CA.. rented 2 homes (both 3 brd) had kid #3. Moved to Chi area (Naper) in Aug 98 into a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath (then had kid #4) (bought for $303K) and the rest is history.

good enough?
I meant the advantages a townhouse has over a house. Thanks for the life story though.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:53 AM
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I meant the advantages a townhouse has over a house. Thanks for the life story though.
Advantages: No lawn work

Disadvantages: Banging your headboard against your neighbors wall
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 12:59 AM
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I meant the advantages a townhouse has over a house. Thanks for the life story though.
Advantages: I called someone else because they managed all the bullshit (I rented). If you own, you have an association that (usually) takes care of the exterior - or you have some agreement of who is responsible for what... You share the blame/cost/liability. Own home... It's all you baby... every fucking last dime... I picked a place where there is a HOA, but it's not official and not required - Basically, they organize block parties and charge you up the ass to attend (no thank you). I purposely did not move to a place where one existed (in any official capacity) because of the contractual control they will have over you and your place. I find myself divided at times where I wish someone else took care of the lawn or could call up someone to say "Hey, XY and Z needs fixing" but at the same time, I like the freedom I have to leave shit in my yard half-done because my time-table makes it be that way and no one can really tell me to do P D and Q that is outside the legal scope of the city code. The sucks part (already stated) is that you own any problems... It's all you, baby....

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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 01:55 AM
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My brother just put the house up for shortsale. I don't know why. Its a decent house. All new windows, new kitchen, new roof. All it needs is the downstairs floor done. 5-600$ if you know somebody and its in aurora. Let me know if you want to see the listing. Oh yeah and its got a huge fenced in yard

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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 05:22 AM
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I'm in the process of purchasing a short sale home. Only difficult part has been the waiting. Wrote up the contract at the end of June and just now finalizing everything. I would start looking about 9 months before you want to move. My agent set up an MLS search with my property criteria and all new listings would be emailed to me. Missed out on 2 before getting one under contract. The really nice ones seem to go fast, so definitely have your preapproval letter waiting so you can submit and offer.

I own a townhouse now, I will never own another one. No problems with the house, and most of my neighbors are nice. Just issues with the HOA, parking, snow removal, landscaping...

I would suggest buying something that you would be happy in for more than 5 years. Good advice from another thread about this was to look at it as a home not an investment. Be patient, the deals are out there.
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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 06:59 AM
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Buying a house

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc6
townhouse isn't my first choice. A house that we would like and wouldn't stretch us to the limit isn't going to be easy, although I haven't ruled it out. I'm hoping for a nice raise in november, that could change the game a little
I'm sure you've heard this already but don't get in over your head and buy something that is at the top of your range. Try to get something you can afford even without your raise. You never know what the future holds and you don't want to be in a position where you can't afford it in a year or two and can't sell it for enough to cover your mortgage.

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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 08:50 AM
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Advantages: No lawn work

Disadvantages: Banging your headboard against your neighbors wall
My townhouse has a garage seperating thr living quarters. I hear my one neighbor twice a week (garbage cans in and out) if I am in the living room when she does this. The garage side neighbor is deaf, so 3am wrenching sessions are ok. HOA is $32 a month, I cover the cost of exterior and landscaping. There is a place across the street from me that has the same house I do. It's a foreclosure, down to 60k. Lots of great deals out there. Patience is key. Mandys parents bought and paid cash for their place down the block from us, and it still took time.
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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 09:02 AM
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Bri and I must have lucked out. We had 30 days to find and lock a loan *and* house due to some major changes with the apartment complex we lived at.

We scored loan and a short sale, got them to pay 3% and closing costs, and moved into the house in 30 days. Granted, that was just before SHTF. Our house is probably worth $40k less right now then when we bought it. Had we been able to shop around a little bit, I'd probably still pick *this* house, but would have lowballed them a bit more.

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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 09:11 AM
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If you pre arrange your financing and work with someone ( lawyer ) that knows
the market you will be best prepared to move on a good opportunity.


As others have said, don't overextend yourself..... I would like to think that the
market is bottomed..... if we do double dip..... housing will take another hit.


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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbiker View Post
Don't buy a townhouse. Everyone that ever has regrets it. True story.
...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc6 View Post
I think a townhouse suits us well now, but 5 years from now we'll be ready to move on to a detached single family. One of my major concerns at the moment is buying a townhouse now with little down, appreciating little or none during ownership, and then selling at a loss after costs of sale. I also don't want to spend too much now and lose the ability to save.
Just really look into the association fees. I love my neighborhood, but for what I pay in assessments in today's market I could be in a single family and have the same monthly. Also, pay close attention to tax structure, take a look at the school districts, see if a bunch of new schools have been built lately or are in the works (less common now)...if so, taxes are likely headed up up up. Mine have gone up like 20-30% since I moved here.

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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
Bri and I must have lucked out. We had 30 days to find and lock a loan *and* house due to some major changes with the apartment complex we lived at.

We scored loan and a short sale, got them to pay 3% and closing costs, and moved into the house in 30 days. Granted, that was just before SHTF. Our house is probably worth $40k less right now then when we bought it. Had we been able to shop around a little bit, I'd probably still pick *this* house, but would have lowballed them a bit more.

It was probably a short sale that was just recently approved by the bank and the buyer walked for some reason. I just did one like that where the buyer walked after 4 months due to the bank countering at $246k when his offer was $240k (mortgage was $600k+). We got an offer for $246k a few days later and I received the approval the same week and scheduled closing a few days later.

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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 09:54 AM
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You will get a FHA loan with little down . The area you are looking to buy in ,has an endless supply of housing for cheap.

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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 10:38 AM
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I have a townhouse and it is perfect for me, I live alone. The association fees are pretty low, $165/month. So don't discount a townhouse right away.

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