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So we're headed to Arkansas

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Eric Schaefer, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    49
    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    The wife's from AR, we're in WA, and I'm from MD. It's a military thing.

    So we're looking to buy a house, our credit isn't great, or good, yet. We just paid all of her debt 2-3 months ago to boost hers up to buy a house. Still waiting for all of the score changes.

    Me, her, and her middle son. We were looking at 2-3 bedrooms, outside the city, on some land. I want cheap, cheap cheap. Lots, probably mostly manufactured homes (double/single wides) outside the city, almost no one finances those. So...

    I found a great place IMO. 2 bed, 1 bath, nearly 900sqft on 1 acre outside of town for $45k. It's small, but it's just us three. I thought, possibly add an addition, 3rd bedroom with master bath and whole 9 yards. $20k? Won't feel so cramped. I can do a lot of the work, it's not a great house, but I can do just about everything to it. Here's my plan, live there for 4-5 years, we'll both be going to school. Then look for a new place, rent this one out. I'm assuming 3-4 hundred a month for mortgage, rent it for 600 or so.

    I've been adamant about this property. It's what I want. I'm moving there, for her. NP, I like AR, I'm excited to move. HOWEVER, out of the blue, I realize she's looking at 3 bedrooms because she's assuming her oldest, (now 17) will be moving back in with us (he's been down there for 6-7 months). Well that's a whole new ballgame. I wanted a cheap house, I wanted an investment. In 5 years I want to be way further financially than we are right now.

    So now obviously we need a 3 bedroom, at least. There's a property she really wants that's 90k, still 2 bed 1 bath, 1200 something sqft on .44 acre, in the city, but with a basement her son could stay in. Its a nice house, very nice. But not on our list of what we wanted. It's not outside the city, not on property, and not cheap. So what do I do. She has a problem just jumping at things, shiny objects (figuratively).

    This won't get us where I want to be 5 years from now. We won't be able to rent it for enough (I'm assuming 6-7 hundred a month for us) it MAY rent for 800-1000. But I don't just want to cover mortgage. You need a few thousand tucked away for just in case, some to put back into the property, and some profit.

    IMO, this'll just be where we are now. Except renting, we'll own it.. well sort of. I dunno, I'm upset. I don't see progression with this other place, we won't be any better off, except we'll be owning it. I don't want to be house poor. But obviously we NEED a 3 bedroom.

    Oh and the 1 thing going for this 3 bedroom is that he'll rent it for 6 months until our credit score finishes going up. And it's a place we can move into right now, instead of renting renting for a while. Then we can buy, that way we for sure get approved, and for a better rate.

    Thoughts? I just feel like ranting. It's been stressful. Oh and BTW until 2 weeks ago, we were planning on staying here in WA. It's been back and forth for over a year. Well, she's back and forth. I don't care, I just want to settle down.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    48,334
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    If it helps at all, it took us 7 months of steady searching to find our first house. And 11 months to find our 2nd. Be patient, alert and ready to move. Get the qualifying stuff out of the way so that you can take advantage of an extra good deal when it shows up. For example, we were looking at our umpteenth property on a Saturday, trying to decide whether it was worth it. Decided there were too many compromises. Left the house and headed away but decided to cruise the neighborhood for a general looksee. As fate would have it we saw an open house sign. The house was a bit more than we budgeted for, but it had everything we wanted. 15 minutes later we were putting down an offer. Fortunately, we had our ducks in a row and had prequalified. We got the house. It was better than the more humble digs we had sought out, but it was the right move and a great home.

    Keep an open mind and open heart and it will happen, just be patient. Rent if you need more time to explore. Prices will start to drop and sellers will be more eager to negotiate now that the peak selling season has passed.
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  3. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Dec 14, 2009
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    865
    Loc:
    North central Alberta, Canada
    Definately agree on the being patient part. The vacation property we puchased in AZ has dropped a further 50% since we bought it. In today's market waiting in many locations will mean more money in your pocket at the end of the deal. Good luck.
  4. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    49
    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Ya, I would like to take more time. One thing going against us though is moving there. Like I said we were both in the army. We have until December for the army to move us back home for free. Plus driving 2400 miles on the winter doesn't sound like something we want to do depending on our route, there's a mountain pass that likes to close for days at a time and some other nasty hills that isn't fun to go through when its winter.

    Still have some time, its only September. But ya, I don't want to get something ill regret.
  5. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    CNY
    There's no shame in owning a Mobile home, it beats throwing money out the window into someone else's pocket evey month.
    As for the "extra" people living with you, get used to it it doesn't get any better we have a 29 yr.old camped out here. If you can accurately forecast the economy 5-7 years out you need to change your profession, Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
  6. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    49
    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Oh there's nothing wrong with a manufactured home. If I had the land I wanted, and a nice doublewides and wanted to stay there and settle down it'd be just fine. But that's not my goal. If I were to sell it at a later date is the problem. Most lenders don't like them. That's why they're rented out, or stay for sale for soooooo long, even if its a good price. People can't get financed for them.
  7. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    397
    Loc:
    Foot Hills of the Berkshires
  8. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    49
    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Hmmm that's a possibility, or something similar ya.

    So woke up this morning, pouring the coffee and the wife comes up and asks how would I like to live in the ''old bear house'', I said well of course it's the one I wanted. So apparently when she was down there visiting the other week, she looked at this house I asked her to. It's everything I wanted. $45k, 1 acre, outskirts of Hot Springs, 10 minutes away from the college we'll be attending, close to her family. It's small, needs some work, but livable, and the price reflects that. Perfect for my plan to stay there for 5 years or so till we finish school, then rent out.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/221-Old-Bear-Rd-Royal-AR-71968/2123903603_zpid/

    Those pictures are old, when my wife went she took pictures, it doesn't look like that on the inside anymore. Strange, if you're trying to sell a house why would you not update the pictures, but oh well. I could add a 3rd bedroom/master suite for around $20k or less depending on how much of the work I do.

    So back to this morning, when she was down there she told the realtor that we're very interested, but we just have to sit and wait for our credit to finish bumping up and reflecting everything we've paid off, and asked if the owner would be interested in us renting it out for 6 months (or less) until that happens. So I guess she liked that idea and told him to tell us, and we'll see how it goes from here. :)
  9. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Eaton Township, Ohio
    That's not a bad looking place, with a liitle money and some sweat equity you and the family would have a nice place to live. Good luck, I hope it works out for you!
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    48,334
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Before signing on see if you can get it in contract that if you buy the place that the rent applies toward purchase.

    A couple things notable from the pictures. In the picture with the parrot beaded curtain it looks like there is/was a leak in the roof that stained the ceiling. Make sure this was fixed and done right. Also, I'm wondering why the house is raised. Is this area in a flood zone?
  11. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    That water stain is gone. Gone how? Not sure, but she looked at that when she did a walk through. Like I said it looks very different from those old pictures. I too am not sure why it's raised. Cheaper than a cement foundation perhaps, not sure. I don't want to say that specific house would be a flood zone. There are definitly areas that flood there, but it's up a hill.
  12. hilbiliarkiboi

    hilbiliarkiboi Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Loc:
    HotSprings NatlPark
    And only about 5 min from Spillway resort on beautiful Lake Ouachita.
  13. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

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    Aug 28, 2012
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    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Sweet, find me a nice lead on a stove for when I get there. CL there isn't what it is here in wa.
  14. hilbiliarkiboi

    hilbiliarkiboi Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Loc:
    HotSprings NatlPark
    I watched cl most of this yr. Anything decent (and close) usually sold before the end of second day. I finally drove 175 mi. To Memphis -stove I wanted/size I needed- on an old deleted listing.
    Try searchtempest (cl compiler) and u might be able to locate 1 on your route.
    I've got a made in taiwan cast parlor stove, only needs to be resealed/rebuilt.
    Also a line on something trully seaoned wood. Hooked on watching for stoves!!!
  15. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Ya up here if I watch CL like a hawk I can find free stoves in ok condition, or up to $50-100 for even better condition. Old smokers of course.

    Nice to see someone right where we'll be moving, wife's from Hot Springs, which is why we're headed down there. Ever eaten at the English Muffin?
  16. hilbiliarkiboi

    hilbiliarkiboi Member

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    HotSprings NatlPark

    Yes. Gone now though. I believe they built a motel in back and a Benagins in front that is now called Blue Monkey grill.

    Muffin was notched above WHouse.. but McD, Windy, Da King & other chains saturated
  17. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

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    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Ya the Muffin has moved a few times, its on central ave 7 south now. That's my aunt in laws resturant. Whole family works there. A lot of stuff for me to adjust to, as I'm origionally from MD.
  18. hilbiliarkiboi

    hilbiliarkiboi Member

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    My bil from there. 2 neices up there, and I passed thru in service. More beautiful country.
  19. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    937
    Loc:
    Mount Cheaha Alabama
    I'm assuming being in the military you're exploring the VA loan route. They aren't always the best cost/rate but will save PMI(which won't be much on a 45k house).

    The 5% down route with taxes and insurance you're looking around $350ish/month. You can substantially reduce the loan and get the PMI off by just paying an extra $150/mo.

    I wouldn't be so quick to think that improving your wifes credit score will really improve your chances of qualifying especially if you plan on using both of your wages to qualify.
    Banks like to see seasoned money as well anything you plan on putting down should be in your account for ~2yrs. Local credit unions may have some more leeway.
  20. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

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    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Not sure on VA or FHA. Seems like a lot of our (military) friends who bought houses in the last year or two, I don't think any used their VA, just happened to work out better for their situation. We'll find out when we sit down and talk with a lender.

    Putting all our eggs into her credit basket isn't ideal, but it's what we have to do, we both had poor credit, so when she got out and received her severance pay from the Army, we paid off all of her debt. As far as wages, hopefully they'll take into consideration her monthly VA disability check for the rest of her life, coupled with her no debt to income ratio. We'll both be going to school, and will be receiving a housing allowance while we do so, but I don't believe banks are allowed to see that as income (so we were told by wells fargo) since it's an "allowance". So the plan is anyway, to plan, and live like all we're bringing in is her VA check.

    We are looking into small local banks. A big thing is big lenders don't like loans under $50k. We're trying to see if we could just get $60-70k, (if we can't get under $50k) and go ahead and put the addition on that house right off the bat. I know there's programs for stuff like that. But we're hoping to see the small local banks will do under $50k no problem, seeing how a lot of property out there is under that amount, and the prices regionally kinda require the local banks to do so.
  21. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

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    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Things changed a bit, but to report some good news. Movers are coming on the 10th, we'll be headed out on the 12-13th because...

    We got a 3bdrm 2 bath house on 10 acres in Mountain Pine, Arkansas!
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  22. hilbiliarkiboi

    hilbiliarkiboi Member

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    Congrats! Same vicinity, but prolly save 20-30 minits a day closer to town/school. Spoda b a cold 1 this region, u need any help jus holla. JB 9tutu- ate651
  23. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Eaton Township, Ohio

    Holy Mackerel!
  24. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

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    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    Thanks, seems I'll be using gas/propane this year. There's a tank out there, not sure what it is, but heat and water heater use it, and with it being october, and we won't be there and settled until about november, it's too soon to burn. So I'll spend this burn season acquiring a stove, pipe, building a hearth platform, and gathering something to burn next year.

    10 acres, 9 wooded, 1 acre cleared for the house. It's 15-20 year old pine I think from weyerhauser replants. So when we get there, I'll see if those trees are something I want to use some day, but it'll probably be scrounging.
  25. Eric Schaefer

    Eric Schaefer New Member

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    Loc:
    Lakewood, WA
    So we'be been here since Friday. Got electricity, propane is hooked up, almost had water yesterday. They put in the well, hooked it all up. I ran power to it and turned it on and it ran for all of a minute and stopped. I guess it got clogged with mud, didn't put the pump down far enough, I dunno, but that sucks. In the middle of redoing the bathroom, need that water before I start doing the tile.

    A little disappointed about the lot, not as many trees as I'd like, and none are worth cutting for firewood, but oh well. Lots of underbrush to clear.

    Good view though, and on the market for a farm truck and stove :)

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