Home Buying

Featured Topics

Ready for your questions!

Dear Penny
Hey, friends! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy during these trying times. This week, I’d like to invite you to submit your questions about what coronavirus means for your money here in The Penny Hoarder community group. It’s a scary time we’re facing right now, but we’re all in this together. Send your questions my way and I’ll do my best to answer.Read More...

In the market for a home?

Ashlee
Here’s how to qualify for a conventional loan, which could save you thousands. Click here to read the full article.Read More...

Topics

Refinance Mortgage - When and How??

When should you consider refinancing your mortgage? What is the process to figure out if you should or should not??Read More...
Due in part to the corona virus scare, now is one of the best times historically you could ever consider refinancing as rates are at almost unheard of lows. Normally the criteria is if you can save at least 1.0 percentage point AND you plan on staying for at least 5-7 years, you will be ahead refinancing. Keep in mind there are substantial fees involved. Generally $3000 - $4000 on a $200,000 mortgage as an example. These fees either have to be paid at close or (as long as you have enough...Read More...
ThanksRead More...
Last Reply By DipperDave · First Unread Post

Buy now or wait a year?

Jobelle Collie
I need to build a home that has handicap modifications because I plan to age in place and NEVER go to a nursing home. I already have a home health nurse, but may have to expand her role as I become more aged. My current home has a negligible mortgage (about $5000 USD) so when I sell it, I’ll make my money back I paid for it. I’ve been looking to move for about two years, but finding the right builder, land has been a hard nut to crack. So I went to a real estate attorney to put me in the...Read More...
I hope I didn’t come across as being boastful about my situation. It seems straight forward, but a house is a massive purchase. This will probably be the last home I build or buy. I HAVE begun looking at JUST land/lot. I’ve found most new subdivisions have HOA’s which don’t want modified homes. Some have been fussy about my service dog. One told me that they had “too many” disabled Veterans already. (Which I don’t think is legal) Thank you for the feedback. Talking to my service dog only...Read More...
Save the money, get what you want, and pay off the credit card debt. "I have too much money" said no one EVER. "I have too much debt, my choices are limited, I can't do what I want to do" says most adults. Take the extra time to get your ducks in a row, draw up architectural plans, figure out where you want the house to be, perhaps secure the land and THEN worry about building and loans. You could also possibly look into a condo that you could modify that is pre-existing.Read More...
Last Reply By Jobelle Collie · First Unread Post

Seeking Opinion on Loan Estimate for Multi-Family | FHA 1st Buyer

I'm purchasing a multi family at a purchase price of $314,000 with $9k back for closing costs, prepaids, escrow. I'm Using FHA MA Housing First Time Buyer Program w/3.5% down payment assistance program (the 3.5% down payment is financed at 2% interest for 15 years). I'm seeking opinions on whether this loan estimate is fair and which fees are negotiable. Is the origination cost the lenders "Commission"? What would be a fair concession amount to ask for from the lender for, if any? See pics...Read More...
It would be great if a mortgage loan officer would chime in. I'm a retired real estate broker and I see very little that is negotiable on this estimate. The best I can suggest is on page 2 you have some processing fees that might be negotiable, but they are not at all excessive as part of your loan origination fee. The title settlement fee is very reasonable. In my area the appraisal estimate would be a bit high and I've never run into an appraisal admin fee so you might ask if the admin fee...Read More...
Last Reply By mintjulep · First Unread Post

Finding a rebuttable Agent.

Jobelle Collie
I’m disabled and have a service dog. Viewing homes with him has been terrible. Also, some Agents don’t want to work with me because of my limitations. No stairs, etc. I know I can sell my current home, I will be debt free in six months (July 20) and have a downpayment, even though I can go VA with zero down. My credit score is good and I’ve been pre-approved for a new mortgage. The only sticking point is finding an Agent willing to work with a disabled person with a service dog. Any ideas?Read More...
I'm a retired real estate broker, there are many agents who will be happy to work with you and your service dog. You can check with your local Board of Real Estate (google it for your town or county in the state you live in) and ask them if they will provide you a list of their top listing and selling agents. Those are the agents who take their profession seriously and usually perform ethically and diligently. You can also call up local real estate offices and ask to meet with the broker;...Read More...
“REPUTABLE” or trust worthy real estate agent.Read More...
Last Reply By mintjulep · First Unread Post

26 years old, home decorations

Zara Zoey
I have recently bought my own home with intense savings! I want it to look cozy and chic, but budget friendly. Any suggestions for decor? I don't want to buy IKEA furniture, whats the best alternative?Read More...
Thank you, everyone! I'll keep you updated.Read More...
We love older wood furniture, as it's sturdy. Besides thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales, we found auctions to be a fun source for furniture. Consignment stores. Going out of business sales may yield office type furniture or padded chairs. Habitat for Humanity has "Restores" throughout the country, that sell household goods and appliances, not just construction supplies.// Ask around. Friends or relatives might be downsizing or getting rid of stuff. // Craigslist. Freecycle. //...Read More...
Last Reply By Zara Zoey · First Unread Post

This week in... The Penny Hoarder Community

Ashlee
Happy Friday! Whew! Where has this week gone? Here’s your weekly round up of announcements to get you through today and into the weekend... We’ve crowned our November Member of the Month. Join me in congratulating Lisa Acu ñ a (@lismox) for being selected this month’s winner! We all appreciate your help around here, Lisa. Each month we look to crown a new winner. We’re looking for someone who is super helpful and active in the community. Each winner receives a $25 gift...Read More...
Not a problem, @Lesley Michele .Read More...
Thanks Average Joe😁😁😁😁Read More...
Last Reply By AverageJoe · First Unread Post

want to build credit

Katie J.
My husband and I have been living in a house bought my parents bought, while we pay monthly rent. This was because we were struggling financially and had poor credit. We are now at a point where our credit is much better and are almost debt free. Our current credit scores are much improved, but are lower than they could be due to the fact that we don't have any real estate payment history. We would like to get into a larger home and better school district within 8-12 months. So my question...Read More...
Your best bet would be to talk with a mortgage lender or several to see how your situation would be viewed.Read More...
I'm in the real estate business. First off, applying for a mortgage will hit your credit, but isn't considered negative unless you can't quality. Ask around for a good lender in your area and call them. Any lender worth his weight can discuss loan options WITHOUT running your credit. If you don't know your score, use a service like Credit karma to get your scores. That way you can give the lender an idea if where you are. If it makes sense financially, do it.Read More...
Last Reply By RayB · First Unread Post

Happy November!

Ashlee
We’ve made it to the end of the week and the start of a new month Penny Hoarders! Who here can’t believe it’s already November? 😳 This week I want to know if you’re a planner or a procrastinator… Do you start planning and budgeting now for holiday purchases or wait until the last minute? What about your New Year’s resolutions? And now for this week’s announcements… We just hit a HUGE milestone Penny Hoarders… 10,000 community members! Join us in a celebratory happy dance, then go check out...Read More...
@Susan L. Miller We have used Freecycle off and on for years. We got the foot and headboards for our queen-sized bed through the program. We have seen many items we no longer use go to other homes that would use them and recommend it heartily! We have also used our "Marketplace" here in our area on Facebook to buy and sell things. There are so many ways to go and programs to use! Happy selling...and as one of our mentors says "Think..and grow RICH!"Read More...
I'm not sure how many were here when I joined the Penny Hoarder Community, but I do know that it seems as if we've grown by leaps and bounds. I've met some interesting people and like having information and ideas coming in! May we continue to grow in numbers as well as in wealth.Read More...
Last Reply By AverageJoe · First Unread Post

3rd Kid Coming; Should I buy a bigger home?

Hi, I am a single mother by choice of 2.5 year old twins and I plan to adopt a third child within the next 7 months. I live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1,500 sq ft house and my mom moved in to help me with my sons. So, there are 4 of us in 3 bedrooms and soon to be 5! I make $240K/yr and I have no debt except for the mortgage. I save 25% of my income for retirement. I can pay off the mortgage in 3 years. I have not started saving for my kids' college yet. My thought is to do that once I stop...Read More...
2.1% seems a bit shy to me too, but if you become interested in either selling or renting, I would recommend setting appointments up with 2-3 real estate agents who do a lot of business in your immediate area, that being either your immediate neighborhood or community. They can do a comparative market analysis and most do it without charge in hopes they will obtain your business, selling or buying. If you decide to keep the house and lease, the analysis will also give you a good base line...Read More...
Hi - Thanks for your input. My home has gone up 2.1% a year since I purchased it. I consider that to be terrible. I had not thought of buying another property. Let me look into that!Read More...
Last Reply By mintjulep · First Unread Post

to buy or to rent?

For the first time in our lives we're in a position to purchase a home. We're not sure it's worth it. We're planning for a 10 or 15 year mortgage, staying in our current job situation for 7 more years and then retiring elsewhere. Is there a way of calculating whether our selling price would net us a profit?Read More...
Someone suggested we save the "extra" cash above what we pay in rent and invest it. There is no extra. It's either rent/or pay a mortgage. Someone else suggested we have a 3-6 mos. cushion saved in addition to the down payment. That was very helpful. We have the other ducks lined up, but we'd be pretty much putting the whole shebang into a down payment. Thank you all for giving your different perspectives. A good bit to mull over.Read More...
I think buying a good home with a 15 year mortgage is definitely the way to go as long as you have checked a few boxes first: -3-6 months of expenses saved - No debt -Staying in the home at least 3-5 years -Mortgage is less than 25% of your take home pay My wife and I are 34, and recently built our 3rd home. Our first home was purchased in 2007 at the peak. It took 7 years to get back to where we had some equity in it using a 30 year mortgage. Our second home was on a 15 and we were in the...Read More...
Last Reply By Olivia · First Unread Post

401k Loan

I was speaking with one of my co-workers and they were telling me that you could withdraw money from your 401k account in order to place a down payment for a home. They said that if it is used for a down payment for a home then it isn't taxed and doesn't have to be repaid. I haven't been able to find any information that proves this is true, have any of you heard of this practice before?Read More...
Yes you can if you are a qualified first time home buyer. The limit is up to 10K and if you are under 59 1/2 years old you will pay the Federal Tax penalty 10% tax on that money if you use your 401K and probably state taxes as well where applicable (check your state tax rules). However, if you take it from your IRA, you will not be penalized for the 10%, if you are qualified first time home buyer. For more details, see https://www.irs.gov/retirement...-early-distributions . The key is for...Read More...
I have heard of this when it comes to Whole Life Insurance before but not when related to a 401K. I can see how this would be helpful for some and not such a great idea for others.Read More...
Last Reply By Annette V. · First Unread Post

Knowledge Is Important When Buying A Home

AHMED.HAMDY
When you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a home, you need to make sure that what you are getting is well worth it. No home is absolutely perfect. You can always expect to have to spend something on your new home. The average is $6,000 within the first six months, according to industry experts. In a time when you should be looking at paint samples and new furniture, why would you want to spend your time on repairing what you just bought? A professional home inspection is key...Read More...
ahmed.hamdy, you've shared excellent advice. In my area of Central Florida, home inspections run a few hundred dollars and can save thousands for buyers when purchasing any home. While it's often considered very unnecessary for a newly constructed home, I've run into situations where they've paid for themselves with brand new construction, tho less frequently than a resale home. I've also advised sellers to hire a certified home inspector when marketing their home for sale. It gives them an...Read More...
The home buying process is no joke! I have not personally purchased a home but I have explored the option a couple of times and I always feel lost with all the things it entails. It is definitely not a decision to rush into and learning as much as you can before purchasing is a must!Read More...
Last Reply By mintjulep · First Unread Post

Can I buy a home with student loan debt?

Tiffany Verbeck
My husband I are saving for a house in the D.C. area, so not cheap. But I recently graduated with a Master's degree and I have about $20,000 in student loans. Those aren't going to be paid off anytime soon because I'm a freelance writer still getting the business up and running. Is it a bad idea to jump into buying a house? We would wait until we saved at least 10% down, so it'll be a year or two. What do you guys think? Thanks!Read More...
Hi Tiffany, Cons: Purchasing a residential house is not an investment. It requires a loan, tax, insurance, & maintenance (less than 20% down, you will pay additional for PMI). It ties you down in one spot making location changes more difficult. The general rule is you need 5 years of payments to break even in most markets. Keep in mind Real Estate agents are going to take around 6% to sell your property. Pros: Higher quality of living. Over the long term builds in equity that can...Read More...
If you find a house within your budget/price range and in an area that you love, then go for it. The farther you are away from D.C., the cheaper. But keep in mind the commute and traffic. If this is your first time buying a home, then you shouldn’t get hit with private mortgage insurance. Definitely save for a down payment. My first home was a studio condo in Alexandria, Va., and I loved it!Read More...
Last Reply By James Hargrave · First Unread Post

Fund my home

I was introduced to a grant fund my home , I would like to know if it legitimate.Read More...
Carine, I did some research on fundmyhome.org and here is what I'm perceiving is going on. On their webpage when I click on "search homes" I'm directed to a page that ties the website to United Realty Group, Inc which is a real estate brokerage located in several US states. I looked them up at the FL Dept of Professional Regulation and they are a legitimate real estate brokerage in south FL. I believe instead of linking up with a specific grant program you would actually be linking up with...Read More...
There are legitimate grant programs available at any given time throughout the USA. I worked with several programs like that in FL for buyers. In our area the grants were usually available first come first serve for a specified time frame, there were usually income limitations , and they were funneled through mortgage companies and banks. Rather than take a chance on a website, I'd recommend calling a local mortgage company or bank and see if there are any grant or bond programs active in...Read More...
Last Reply By mintjulep · First Unread Post

How to pay off your mortgage early

Briana
Any homeowners here that are curious about how to pay off your mortgage? What's your favorite tip?Read More...
Instead of a biweekly payment, why not just add extra principal payments when doing your monthly payment? Put as much as you can every month on principal and you will be amazed.Read More...
I just say that I am Bob, or my partner. If you know all the verifying info, then they will talk with you. Yes, I know I don't sound like a man, but it works.Read More...
Last Reply By friardave · First Unread Post

Buying A Home With Bad/No Credit

Maehymm
Has anyone bought a house with bad credit? How much was your deposit? We are ready for our own space.Read More...
it has been my experencie that if you have a good job, have a solid reputation, have some savings and work with the right people you can buy a house with no credit or low credit. You also must be prepared tp wait for a proprerty.......... Share what you are lookng for on Nextdoor. You will be amazed at how many ways you can get into your first house. W:hat about a contract for deed? Rent to own? Check into your city and county programs for first time homebuyers. if you have skills check out...Read More...
I didn't need a mortgage to buy my home. I did take out a mortgage in order to buy a car. I have always had bad credit. I contacted Quicken Loans and they were FANTASTIC!! They helped me improve my credit so I could get the mortgage. I highly recommend Quicken Loans to everyone looking to buy a house!!!!Read More...
Last Reply By Paula Marie · First Unread Post

Buying your first home? Here's what you should know.

Briana
Looking to invest in your first home and you just don't know where to start? The Penny Hoarder lays out exactly what you need to expect when buying your first home. Is this helpful? Feel free to share your first home buying experience with others in this thread! Learn more about buying your first home here: https://bit.ly/2H0mkIORead More...
Great article. Really helpful. I'll definitely make a note of important things. Thank you for sharing.Read More...
What a great article! Even informative when it's not your first home purchase!Read More...
Last Reply By Ana24 · First Unread Post

Would You Buy a "Tiny Home"?

Kirsten Cherry
My husband and I have been obsessed with tiny home living since we heard of it years ago. We always wanted to try it out, but then we had a kid and the thought of living in 200sq feet with a toddler sounds horrendous! But there are still "tiny" homes out there that are just big tiny homes! I'm talking under 1000sq ft for a family. It's not something people in the home-buying process usually look for, but it definitely intrigues us! Would you move to a 960 sq foot house?Read More...
I would. Right now I am looking to downsize to a 400 sq foot apartment. (If I thought I could make it work and thought it would cost less in rent, I would go for a smaller space.) Once I get all my debt paid off and save up enough to pay cash for a house, I plan on purchasing one. Depending upon the route I take, I might get a house that is around 960 - 1,000 sq feet and run it as a bed and breakfast OR I might get a small 400 or less sq foot house just for myself. I would have the living...Read More...
My husband and I have been pondering the idea for the last 2 yes, he's about to retire and I already have. There's always positives and negatives but the one thing that does in courage the idea is to be able to travel anywhere at anytime and still return to be with family.Read More...
Last Reply By Pax · First Unread Post

Down Payment on a House

Moore Income
Just curious to know from those who have experience in homebuying. What is a good percentage to have for a down payment on a house? I know there are options out there to pay lower down payments for first time home buyers but just curious as to what is a good amount to have in most situations?Read More...
@Roy thanks for your helpful input! You are right about the downside of FHA, I went through the numbers with a banker and I was surprised by how much I would actually be paying for the home when it was paid off!Read More...
There are always two sides to a coin. FHA loans have served the first time Buyers well for years. these loans offer low down payment as the main lure, however they are not cheap and where they start at 97% loan, once one adds up the total costs of getting one it usually ends up as over 5% of the total price with only 3% going towards the actual equity. A Conventional loan appears at the outset to not be as appealing because it usually requires a minimum of 5% down plus costs. However I...Read More...
Last Reply By Moore Income · First Unread Post

What is the Best Homeowners Insurance?

Kirsten Cherry
Searching for a homeowners insurance can be boring, but it’s necessary. What are the best homeowners insurance companies in your opinion? What are some tips and tricks to get a good deal on homeowners insurance? Leave your comments below!Read More...
KIRSTEN CHERRY thank youRead More...
Hey everyone! I ended up shopping around a lot and eventually called a company. I got a really great deal at about $405/ year. Foe anyone wanting to shop around to save some money, I recommend calling the company and speaking to someone personally. Ask them how you can lower your rate. Maybe there are discounts they can add to your plan!Read More...
Last Reply By Bonnie Squires · First Unread Post

First time home buyer

Melissa
I've been thinking about buying a home in the near future. I know there are tons of expenses that tend to appear while you are in the process of buying a home AND once you own it. What are some things I should be aware of?Read More...
I am closing on a home in Idaho on Tuesday so all of this is fresh in my mind! Some expenses could be: - Home Inspection: This cost us $250 - Closing Costs: We negotiated the sellers to pay this but they usually run 3-5% of the purchase price. If you look at the CD (Closing Discloser) it will break down all of the costs. From making copies of documents to paying title fees, lender fees, and appraisal, everything is charged. With the loan we used (conventional), we were able to have the...Read More...
@Melissa - we had seller credits AND seller repairs. The seller had a faulty Federal Pacific electrical box (they are known to catch fire) that we demanded that they replace. (It was the main electric box. It involved the seller calling the electric company and having them pull the meter so the electrician could change the panel. I knew this since my father was an electrical contractor.) There was mold in the attic that we had them hire a remediation company for and show written proof it was...Read More...
Last Reply By Kirsten Cherry · First Unread Post

What did you have to fix after buying your first home?

Deon Christie
The electrical wiring was a nightmare, but luckily didn't cost me much to repair. Fortunately I'm an Electrician by trade. But it still took a good few days to get everything up to standard. And the previous owner was quite the gentleman and reimbursed me for the costs. He was also honest enough to tell me about the problem before I purchased the house. Which is why it didn't bother me much. It was not that big of a problem to me. If I had to get an independent contractor. Well, then it...Read More...
DEON CHRISTIE so true. Electrical and plumbing must be the two most expensive alterations and/or repairs. All so in NY windows was high cost.Read More...
You're quite right @Bonnie Squires . Electrical and plumbing must be the two most expensive alterations and/or repairs.Read More...
Last Reply By Bonnie Squires · First Unread Post

Home Buying Vs. Renting

Kirsten Cherry
What is your opinion on Home Buying vs. Renting? A lot of people I talk to say home buying is more worth it because you aren't "throwing away" your money to a landlord. Sometimes I think if I get a mortgage, I'll be "throwing away" money to my broker until about 5 years later where I can start making some decent equity. Here's the deal, my husband and I have been married for 5 years. We have lived in 4 different cities and are finally ready to settle down. We love where we live. He has a job...Read More...
It is a difficult decision to make. However in your case I think you should look for something rental that will take you through the waiting period (18 months). Although it would be a wise decision to have that money paid to your own mortgage. In the event that you have to move at the end of that period, having a mortgage will tie you down a bit. I lived in an apartment building before buying my first house, and yes in dollar the increase was around double that. But it was not all toward the...Read More...
I buy due to my animals and I like the fact that I can pretty much do what I wantRead More...
Last Reply By Deon Christie · First Unread Post

Work from Home Jobs & Home Buying

Katie Gabriele
What kinds of documentation do I need in order to have a bank take my work-from-home income into consideration when it comes to home buying? My fiance and I both work full-time jobs; I'm a teacher and he is an assistant manager in a retail store. However, I have also just begun teaching with VipKid and opened a shop on Etsy. What kinds of documentation do I need to keep track of in order to have a bank take this extra income into consideration?Read More...
I just recently spoke with my lender about this. In order for a self-employment income to be counted in a mortgage pre-approval, you need to have worked that job for at least 2 years.Read More...
While I have not purchased a home, I have gone apartment hunting while self-employed. I would usually have the following ready when asked about my income: 1. My last two years of income tax returns 2. My latest checking account statement (to show recent income) 3. A few recent pay stubs or invoices from freelance client work 4. Copies of any contracts I had with ongoing clients. (It was a lot of paper. Gotta love a good manila envelope to haul it around!) Since you have a full-time job PLUS...Read More...
Last Reply By Kirsten Cherry · First Unread Post
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