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Old 08-03-2006, 09:20 PM   #1
Big-Sexy907
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Default Looking to Buy a Small House

Does anyone have any reccomendations on buying a house. I'm going to be in the market here in a couple months and would like to hear everyones thoughts on what I should be doing to get into my first home.

I would like personal purchasing experience stories, advice on how much to place down on the home etc.

Thanks all!

John
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:21 PM   #2
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take the first time home buyers class!
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:23 PM   #3
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there's a TON of houses for sale in Girdwood. I mean, A LOT OF HOUSES. heh.

my moms condo is going on the market in a few months.
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:30 PM   #4
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my parents house FTW!
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:32 PM   #5
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I know a good mortgage loan officer and realtor. Both are very good and work with first time buyers A LOT.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQUAD_907
take the first time home buyers class!
Haha I hated that class. Its awesome though you get extra points off your rate and $250 extra for down Your downpayment will vary depending on what loan program you decide to go with or qualify for and how much you end up borrowing.
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:29 AM   #7
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Default A couple of racers in the real estate market

Barbara and Dwight Bowden 727-2272

there a couple of British car folk out there too!

Small house, good. How rustic? What locale are you shootin' for?
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:57 AM   #8
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WAIT!!!!!!! before you buy, there are so many grants out there for first time home buyers. i wish i new about them 5 years ago. Your real estate broker needs to work for YOU. The guy that bought my jetta looked into those and he got 20,000 dollars for a grant. No strings attached! look into it!
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:53 AM   #9
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Well, from recently purchasing a place, first off is go to the home buying seminar as mentioned for those reasons, also even though you may knwo everything there could be to know they generally give you a headsup on things.

find a realtor you feel comfortable with, and will work FOR you, realtors are like car salesman, some are VERY good and some are just "there", as such like car salesman, if after a while they dont give you warm and fuzzies, ask for another.

Try to put as much down as possible, however be aware there are programs which migth be enticable that are "zero down" (you'll still need to come up with closing and earnest money) when talking to your loan originator MAKE SURE they work for you as well. Try to get a feel of the market from them, and if at that point tell them verbatum you want to be "locked in" for interest. (that way it wont increase during your closing negotiations, however it could potentially decrease)

Look for something that will either grow with you or be a viable sale in the future, you dont want ot be stuck with a place that is ho-hum that isnt saleable in the future if you want to live. I'd buck the trend and look for something you migth be happy with for a while. My lender said MOST people seem to either re-finance or flip a house in 5, I see me staying a bit longer than that. Also take into account EVERYTHING when looking at places, not just the asking price. How big is it, where is it, how much is it, any added dues, any weird by-laws to abide by, is it a dwellign you woudl love to come home to or feel "meh" about? Also factor in distances, while it wasnt true when I was looking (unfortunately) a house without a garage (but land for it) in Gwood coudl be had for less than a condo in town. Is the drive to Gwood everyday, its toll on your car, psyche, life worth having a house rather than a condo? (to me it was worht it) Also take into account for intown neighborhoods that are up and coming, I missed out (thought I couldnt afford it) on a nice place in fairview. Granted it isnt hillside, BUUT it has come quite a ways, and given a few years migth be rejuvenated enough to cash out the place and move to the south. (anchorage or furter like stateside). consider also the length of time you plan to stay at the place you buy for when looking at prices, a cheap place migth be a great starter, but in 3 years will you outgrow it? Being a bit tighter now to get that larger place with big back yard might be a better move for allowign you to be there 10 years, creating more equity.
Be sure to get pre-approved before checking out places, that way if one pops up that is a perfect fit you can offer on the spot. Also try not to upset your credit durign the buying period, either racking up CC bills, being late on payments, buying a car, etc.. (firstratefinancial has a pretty good checklist to go buy, and some nice people there. )

Short of it, buying is better than renting REGARDLESS of whether it is a condo, ZLL(condo) or house. The current climate is a buyers market so you shoudl be able to pick and choose, however you might be out there with 20 million other people. Also be aware some deals are dominos (one is dependant on them buying a place which is dependant on the others...etc.., happy hunting.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSubie
Well, from recently purchasing a place, first off is go to the home buying seminar as mentioned for those reasons, also even though you may knwo everything there could be to know they generally give you a headsup on things.

find a realtor you feel comfortable with, and will work FOR you, realtors are like car salesman, some are VERY good and some are just "there", as such like car salesman, if after a while they dont give you warm and fuzzies, ask for another.

Try to put as much down as possible, however be aware there are programs which migth be enticable that are "zero down" (you'll still need to come up with closing and earnest money) when talking to your loan originator MAKE SURE they work for you as well. Try to get a feel of the market from them, and if at that point tell them verbatum you want to be "locked in" for interest. (that way it wont increase during your closing negotiations, however it could potentially decrease)

Look for something that will either grow with you or be a viable sale in the future, you dont want ot be stuck with a place that is ho-hum that isnt saleable in the future if you want to live. I'd buck the trend and look for something you migth be happy with for a while. My lender said MOST people seem to either re-finance or flip a house in 5, I see me staying a bit longer than that. Also take into account EVERYTHING when looking at places, not just the asking price. How big is it, where is it, how much is it, any added dues, any weird by-laws to abide by, is it a dwellign you woudl love to come home to or feel "meh" about? Also factor in distances, while it wasnt true when I was looking (unfortunately) a house without a garage (but land for it) in Gwood coudl be had for less than a condo in town. Is the drive to Gwood everyday, its toll on your car, psyche, life worth having a house rather than a condo? (to me it was worht it) Also take into account for intown neighborhoods that are up and coming, I missed out (thought I couldnt afford it) on a nice place in fairview. Granted it isnt hillside, BUUT it has come quite a ways, and given a few years migth be rejuvenated enough to cash out the place and move to the south. (anchorage or furter like stateside). consider also the length of time you plan to stay at the place you buy for when looking at prices, a cheap place migth be a great starter, but in 3 years will you outgrow it? Being a bit tighter now to get that larger place with big back yard might be a better move for allowign you to be there 10 years, creating more equity.
Be sure to get pre-approved before checking out places, that way if one pops up that is a perfect fit you can offer on the spot. Also try not to upset your credit durign the buying period, either racking up CC bills, being late on payments, buying a car, etc.. (firstratefinancial has a pretty good checklist to go buy, and some nice people there. )

Short of it, buying is better than renting REGARDLESS of whether it is a condo, ZLL(condo) or house. The current climate is a buyers market so you shoudl be able to pick and choose, however you might be out there with 20 million other people. Also be aware some deals are dominos (one is dependant on them buying a place which is dependant on the others...etc.., happy hunting.
Could not have said it better
Good luck with the house buying
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:54 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the advice. Where is the home buyers class offered and Mikey Mike, where in the heck do you find 20k in grants?

I dont mind if the home is older, I was thinking about the differences between a condo and a townhome... I think I may want to sway a bit more toward a townhome with a one car garage. From looking at my current situation I'm tired of renting and giving my money to someone just for letting me borrow their space. I was speaking with a friend a couple days ago who said that they purchased a home and their mortgage was roughly the cost I was paying in rent.... I think close to 780-800 a month. That was the switch that inspired my decision.

Anyone have any reccomendations on a location in Anchorage that would be nice. I seem to always find myself comfortable in the Ghetto.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:59 PM   #12
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Its a buyers market right now, but there is another rate hike coming, so get in fast.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:00 PM   #13
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I'll look into the grants online this weekend. i'll see if i find anything.


I emailed my realtor, Lin Beckham Great guy. Call him, and he may know more about it. He works for Prudential, his number is 907-689-6496

Last edited by MikeyMike; 08-04-2006 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:51 PM   #14
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Thanks for the advice Mikey, btw can anyone give a reccomendation on how much to place down on a house?
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaiN
Thanks for the advice Mikey, btw can anyone give a reccomendation on how much to place down on a house?

0

do and 80/20 and enjoy a larger write off. A small starter house is ideal for this because the 20% portion will be small. Keep your cash for an emergency.
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:15 PM   #16
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I think USUALLY people put about 10-20% down.. I'd put down as much as you can, the more you put down the more equity you have to start off with. (i.e. home equity loans)

I wasnt that fortunately but got a smoking rate on azero down.

Sides of town, I always liked the west side. Infact there is a place next to my bro forsale, not sure how much they are asking, down west NL's. established condo development and the larger townhomes were topping 200k or better though.

Ya, agree with ITR, the market is hot and good for buyers, but rates are on the rise.
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITR&RSGUY
0

do and 80/20 and enjoy a larger write off. A small starter house is ideal for this because the 20% portion will be small. Keep your cash for an emergency.

Ok, so what would I be looking at if say I was looking for a 2 bedroom, 1.5-2 bath, 1 car garage? I know that prices vary all over anchorage. I dont have to have the nicest thing on the block, but something comfortable would be nice.... I'm starting to like the idea of a small house or a townhome more.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:13 PM   #18
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tough to say, I am guessing that would be on the east or west side. I am on the hillside and no houses here fit that description. If I had to chose between the east and west I wousl choose the west.

Go to www.zillow.com type in an address...and whalla!!! You have a quote, and pretty darn accurate too!
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaiN
Ok, so what would I be looking at if say I was looking for a 2 bedroom, 1.5-2 bath, 1 car garage? I know that prices vary all over anchorage. I dont have to have the nicest thing on the block, but something comfortable would be nice.... I'm starting to like the idea of a small house or a townhome more.

I just bought my mom a house on the south side about that size, its 1600 square feet, 3 bed, 1.5 bath, 2 car garage, it was 295,000.00. But the sa,e type of house over in the turigan/west/spenard area would probably be about 50K less.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaiN
Ok, so what would I be looking at if say I was looking for a 2 bedroom, 1.5-2 bath, 1 car garage? I know that prices vary all over anchorage. I dont have to have the nicest thing on the block, but something comfortable would be nice.... I'm starting to like the idea of a small house or a townhome more.
Probably looking at around 215k+ for something like that. As I said my brothers neighbors is for sale, I think its 235?? not toooo sure, its a townhome condo, 1car, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, end of street, nice grounds, etc...

there WERE some "foxridge" condos for ~185k that were 2 bed 2 bath one garage spot a bit ago.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:32 PM   #21
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Well dang, I was hoping for something around 150-200 I dont think I can pay more than 800-850 a month.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:36 PM   #22
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start looking in the valley and girdwood

NOT saying there isnt anything out there, but the ones I found a few months ago for that were small..
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:03 PM   #23
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800-850 a month??

At todays rates that will only get you about 130K.

David
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:15 PM   #24
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First off, please tell me you found your wallet!

Second. Find people whom you trust. My agent is someone I would recommend, been in the business for 20 years and is excellent at NOT influencing your purchase. Any agent can sell a house. But you need to find someone who understands what you want, and is willing to wait until you find it. It took us a long time and it was worth it. However, his sense of humor is totally dry, but he never once pushed us one way or the other and he respected both MY opinion and Meganís. I know that is not currently an issue but it may be in the future. I can give you his name if you want.

Loans, well as long as you have some credit it will not be a problem. I am hopefully not labeled as a racist. But take advantage of your heritage and income situation. There are many grants/loans/programs for different people with specific heritage. Unfortunately, when Megan and I purchased our first home we didn't qualify for diddly.. white, too much money, no kids, income too high (never possible). I would also recommend the loan officer we used (second time). She was throughout, been in the business a long time, and wants people to be happy with their purchase. I can give you her name if want as well.

All of this information (in this post) is great, good advice for all the people who are thinking of buying a home. However on an 80/20 loan the second loan is categorized as a Home Equity loan. Not that it matters but it may impact future home equity loans.

Homes/condos in Girdwood are at a premium... a quick search showed a 500sqft house on a small lot at 200K, still more than Anchorage. Condos are the same, if you want to save money look at the Eastside, Muldoon, and Mountain View. Stay away from some Hillside, South Anchorage, Turnagain, Midtown, and West Anchorage as they are still commanding a premium.

Start your search now. There are lots of homes for sale, this a hot market, has been for almost 15 years with 5-20% increase every year. Just in the bast year and half, my home has increased about 35-40K. Not a bad investment but donít get too excited and buy the first thing you find. There will be others... for certain. More homes are on the market now than in the winter too, highest selling/buying is June/July for Alaska I think.

Use different search tools. Word of mouth, FSBO or Assist to Sell, weeklies (usually outdated by the time they hit the stand, homes are already sold), newspaper, flyers, bulletin boards and friends. Our house was a FSBO but we kept our agent and it was worth it. Some folks donít want any agents, period. Look closely at these, I can understand wanting to save money but be cautious. Oh, and one of the best tools that I used was www.alaskarealestate.com

Hope this helps. Just be prepared to be patient and really think about your purchase. Although I am not sure statistics will show this, I would expect many people sell their first home within 2-3 years so its not a lifetime commitment, unless you want it to be.

Chad
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:24 PM   #25
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Damn...


Forgot a quote from Mike (Needmoney)...

"Homes are the one thing you can mod out...
and actually sell for more that you have into it."
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