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Post in 'The Inglenook' started by toonces, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    958
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Yep, an HOA would screw you over too. That was one of the prerequisites of our last house purchase. No HOA and at least 2 acres. If I go bigger than 2 acres though, I think it has to be 100+. Anything in between is just a hassle to mow grass. Bad enough spending 0.9 on the mower every time I have to mow these 2 acres. We looked at houses with 6 acres and to be honest, that would have been a crapload of mowing. Now, 6 acres with 4 acres wooded would be a different thing. I've been looking at places SW of Richmond, VA and we can easily get 10 acres and a really nice house down there. It is really pulling at my gut. Only thing keeping me here is my parents, siblings, and the fact that my wife might kill me if I wanted to move after getting this place.

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  2. Wildo

    Wildo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
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    Loc:
    jackmanistan, maine
    If you can qualify a rural development loan is a great deal we got 33yrs @ 3.125% last year. Once you begin they lock your rate so it can't go higher but it can go lower. Ours dropped .125 from signing to closing and saved us like 6k in the long run.
  3. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    4,206
    Loc:
    Central IA
    ;lol That's sounds like what Dad did many years ago to a neighbor down his street who had a huge red lab that squatted on Mom's prized rose bushes several mornings in a row...Dad scooped it up,walked down the sidewalk,rang the doorbell & dumped it on front steps when the guy opened the door... "Here you go,your elephant left this in my yard,I'm returning it."

    Myself,I prefer setting the paper bag on fire,then ringing the door & waiting for their response....but that's just me. ;)
    Mitch Newton, schlot and ScotO like this.
  4. toonces

    toonces Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    154
    Loc:
    Farmington Valley, CT
    got the application package in the mail yesterday -- that's a lot of stuff to fill out!

    at my age, with my historic temper, i am being over-the-top civil with my neighbor. the dog crap is just one of a list of things that i could complain about. my across-the-street neighbor sides with me b/c he has to mow the lawn and dodge those bombs. not to mention avoid frozen newspapers when he's clearing the snow. like i said, it's all just motivation to get the heck out and stay out (of rentals).

    the beauty of the USDA Rural Development loan is that you can look for houses in sparsely-populated areas. now, i still have to get to work, my wife still goes to school and work, and my kid gets shuffled to school way across town, so even though i wish i could live waaay out in the sticks, i'll just be looking in the semi-sticks. and as much as i am meh about Connecticut, it has good public schools and part of my wife's family is close by. i was partially joking about the prerequisite of having accommodations but with what i just payed on my last tank of oil and how that damn furnace is going to be serviced for the third time in about as many weeks, i may bump it up on my list of wants. i'll look out for the HOAs, though.

    fabrosman: my landlord and i came to an agreement last year that a stove could be installed if it was inspected and signed-off on by whoever does that sort of thing in my town. he stipulated that he would keep the liner, but the stove was mine and i was fully responsible for the costs of everything. that's when the woodstacks went up, and the meowing started shortly thereafter. i stopped collecting wood for myself after that. i'm bartering away the wood right now and hope i get some working lawn equipment or something else useful now that Neighbor Dave won't be around. gonna miss him and his splitter hehe.
  5. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Toonces, Be sure you know the specific locations of the Rural Dev areas. In some areas they are limited. They used to be identified by zipcodes. I'm not sure now.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    28 years ago we bought this place about two hundred feet farther out than where we would end up with an HOA. Ten years later they developed the five acre properties next to us and they have an HOA. Guy next to us came over to tell me that something violated the HOA agreement one day 15 years ago. I told him my HOA said I could kick his ass all the way the 900 feet back through the woods to his property line. ;lol
  7. toonces

    toonces Member

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    Loc:
    Farmington Valley, CT
    we got lucky. the map and their literature have our current town listed as well as some of the surrounding towns which all interest us. one of which i work in.
  8. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Living in Northern Virginia, that is surprising to hear that you do not have an HOA. Granted, they weren't all that prevalent in the 80's and such. I didn't want an HOA so bad that we were looking at buying a lot and building a house if need be.
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    958
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Most of that is really good news.

    Regarding the accommodations for a wood stove, etc., do not joke around about that stuff. We are probably saving $2k to $3k a year in heating costs. Defintiely $3k if we still had the oil furnace, and around $2k with the new natural gas furnace (i.e., only used natural gas once so far this heating season). That adds up. If you stay in a house for 20 years, that is $40k to $60k in savings, and that is after tax savings.

    Selling and moving also costs a good amount of money. So, choose your area and house wisely and try to stay put as long as possible. We chose our area first. My wife changed jobs to be in this area with better schools. After she changed jobs, we knew we had 4.5 years until our oldest at that point would start public school, so the house search was on. We spent almost 3 years looking at houses. We laugh about it now. I wanted to stay in the $500k range, but we started to get a little ansy and put offers on homes in the $575k to $650k range. I could not sleep at night. Then, everything came together. We found a foreclosure listed at $395k just on the edge of our dividing line of as close to her work as possible but not too close that I felt claustrophobic. On top of that, it was in a neighborhood that we had looked at two other houses we were interested in and almost put offers on. We were a day late putting an offer on a POS at the top of the street that sold for $425k. My wife had really wanted that house. I told her everything would work out. In hindsight, we did much, much better. There were 7 contracts on the house we bought and we actually had to all bid on it. We were the second highest and then the highest one backed out of the house after their inspection (guessing they noticed the water problem and the age of the furnace and A/C). I already knew about all the problems with the house. So, we ended up getting it for $435k. It needs some work, but the possibilities that are here are pretty awesome. First thing that is getting done is the infrastructure. Heating, cooling, plumbing (e.g., all grey polybutylene piping replaced), and water treatment. After that, probably a stand alone garage and/or a french drain with some dry wells to cure the water problem on the front wall. When we were looking at houses, I was always looking to build a stand alone garage/workshop and to complete the basement the way I want it. This house gave me those possibilities better than most and certainly cheaper than most that we looked at. I have 10+ years worth of projects here.

    My dad bugged me for the entire 3 years, telling me that we needed a house with a yard so the kids could play, etc. Now, I have the cheapest house out of all my siblings with the most land and almost as much square footage in the 3rd richest county in the nation and with some of the best schools in the nation. Now, I am brilliant and my dad is bugging me about other stuff. lol You would think my dad would understand by now I am in everything for the long haul.

    Our total vehicle mileage has dropped from 40,000 a year to 15,000 a year. Just that there is a huge savings in gas, car repairs/maintenance, and car replacement.

    Gist of the story, take your time making a decision on a house purchase while saving every dime possible to put use as a down payment.
    toonces likes this.
  10. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    An HOA is just another form of government that can kiss my ass......never belonged to one, and NEVER plan on it, either....
  11. toonces

    toonces Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
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    154
    Loc:
    Farmington Valley, CT
    me and you are in different leagues, fabsroman. that is is waay past the limits of the RD program and waaaay past what we could afford. i'm a man of modest needs hehe. your patience and planning is admirable, however. i kind of feel like i've been working up to this for several years also, but not actively, so i have a decent idea of where i want to move and what i want to move in to. and again, the wood stove is clawing it's way up the list as tonight, after breaking our furnace Thursday, the oil company refused to come out until Monday. at least we can manually fire it up. i wonder if i can burn wood in that thing...
  12. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
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    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Where I live is like living in New York City. The cost of living is pretty high. Forget the numbers. The median house price in this area is around $975k. We live in a shack compared to most people here, but went with the "Buy the crappiest house in the best neighborhood possible" motto. Granted, the house up the street that we initially wanted to put an offer on is the crappiest in the neighborhood IMO, but we are in the running for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place I think. I'll be working on moving us up the list.

    Just work on getting to where you need to be. It takes time and dedication. We looked at single family homes in 2004 right when we got engaged, and they were around $600k. Told my now wife that we would be eating beans and rice if we spent that much on a house, so we started looking at townhouses. Bought a townhouse for $333k. We could easily afford the townhouse and put an extra $1k toward the mortgage monthly. Ended up selling it at a loss to buy this place, but we still had enough equity in it to put a 20% down payment on this place. Took us 7 years in the townhouse to get this place. 7 years of dealing with cramped quarters, neighbors all over the place, a crackhead getting arrested the next door over the day after our wedding night, gang symbols on the condo complex right next to us, having to do car repairs at my parents, a two car garage I could barely move through much less get a car in, etc. The list of misery was long, but we had a plan and a time frame and we were able to get it done a year early. The goal was to be out of the townhouse in 8 years or less.

    I kept telling my wife, no way a pharmacist and attorney/CPA cannot easily afford a single family house. There is something wrong with this picture. I told her that at some point everything was going to come to a standstill, or prices would reverse themselves. Had no idea the reversal would be this big and last for this long. This foreclosure we bought was sold for $625k in 2005. As I mentioned, we paid $435k for it. The bank lost almost $190k on it and sent investigators out here because the mortgage insurance company denied the bank's claim since the bank did not do due diligence on the loan. Not to mention the bank had already gone into receivorship and the FDIC was running it.

    In summary, come up with a plan for the short term and long term, and try to stick to it. Don't expect anything good to come quick or easy, but if it does realize life is not always like that. That mentality is what got a lot of people in trouble in 2008.
    firebroad likes this.
  13. toonces

    toonces Member

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    Loc:
    Farmington Valley, CT
    welp, after applying, some waiting, some verifying, we finally have our certificate from the USDA. i'm not as excited as i thought i'd be probably b/c of what lies ahead in house hunting. my brother had a lot of advice for me, though, and one piece was to have fun with the house search. i guess i will figure that out soon but the past few months of online searching has been entertaining at times i guess.

    i think the areas we are zoned in on (west/northwest Hartford county) all will meet our public school needs. we have our list of wants and priorities. we have a budget. i will be looking for that stack of bricks coming out of the roof. here goes!

    btw, anyone know how long this process takes after you find a house? i've heard some states are backed up for several months but not sure what reality is in CT vs the internets.
    teutonicking, ScotO, Joful and 2 others like this.
  14. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Our loan was Department of Agriculture and it took about 7 months from approval to move in.

    Pete
  15. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    I sell real estate and the normal USDA process is 60 days from acceptance to closing. Its not uncommon to miss the closing date by a week or so, every once in a while we run into the houses that just take forever. Ive had a few I worked with that were like Pete said and took many months, that often happens when the house doesn't meet all the requirements for USDA. They are picky on the condition of the house.
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    "What structural failure? Oh, I can just throw a pallet over that hole."
  17. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Did I hear the word pallet ?
  18. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    Pallets, ya know, kinda like duct tape...
    PapaDave and Pallet Pete like this.
  19. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

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    Congratulations! Owning a home is the most significant purchase an American will ever make, with the obvious exception of buying a wood stove. :)
  20. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I love Red Green too !

    Attached Files:

    teutonicking likes this.
  21. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

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    When I was little, I used to think it was called "duck" tape.
    Joful and Pallet Pete like this.
  22. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    If u have an agent, ask them to get you a login to Listingbook.com, it is the online MLS and actually what is up for sale, not zillow.com. GL!
  23. pyroholic

    pyroholic Member

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    Feb 17, 2013
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    Loc:
    Mid-Michigan
    Flinging well deserved poop on a neighbor's porch can be quite rewarding.

    Last place I had this opportunity, the neighbor's deck was close enough to fling the bombs with a shovel all the way from yard to the deck easily. They never said anything, and it never totally fixed the problem. They prob thought the dog got lazy and just started chitting on the deck.

    Hmmmm, neighbors....glad that problem's a thing of the past.
    Backwoods Savage and Thistle like this.
  24. Mitch Newton

    Mitch Newton Member

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    As far as condition, they follow the same standards as FHA.
  25. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    They add a few rules of their own, FHA is a little less regulated. USDA won't allow any type of manufactured home only stick built. Also with USDA the house must be liveable as it sits, with FHA there is options to buy a house and fix it up with the loan.

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