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Well, we did it !  Put down a down payment to get started.  Picked out a house and lot.  Should be ready in just a bit more than a year.  Meanwhile, we must return to VA and sell our house.  We will m

I am bored and tired of not having any live blogs to read, so I’m going to create a live blog about coming to Florida on a house-hunting recon. While no one is interested in my house-hunting per

Negative....but look for us on America’s Most Wanted b/c someone is likely to die before it’s over. 😢😢😊😁

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So, by way of an update...we listed our VA home today.  It will go “live” on 9-23.  I guess we will start packing ASAP and do some “de-cluttering” to prepare for showing. No idea where we will go if it sells quickly.  I guess we’ll be homeless...quite literally. The idea of moving into an apartment is very unappealing.  I guess I’ll start looking into temp living options.  Ugh.  The fun begins....

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Best of luck with the home sale! With the way I've been reading the market is right now, you could end up with multiple people bidding on your home very quickly after putting it on the listings. Everyone is getting really antsy to leave cities and get into less-crowded areas with larger living space for working and teaching kids from home.

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9 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Best of luck with the home sale! With the way I've been reading the market is right now, you could end up with multiple people bidding on your home very quickly after putting it on the listings. Everyone is getting really antsy to leave cities and get into less-crowded areas with larger living space for working and teaching kids from home.

Thanks, Joe.   That is what we keep hearing.  I’ll let everyone know if it’s true very soon !

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4 hours ago, Donna G said:

I live in northern VA and get at least 2-3 cold calls a week from realtors wanting to know if I want to sell my house.  I'm sure you will have no problems.  Have a great move and enjoy FL!  

I do too get the cold calls everyday.  I belong on facebook our community/town page.  Realtors are now even trying to invade the page (it is private) asking for anyone that is considering selling to please contact them because they have customers searching to purchase.  We are in a unique area in No VA.  The majority of our town by PW county regulations requires all lots be 10 acres.    The other part of the town can be no less than 1 acre.  Add in the location to 95 and 66 and everyone is trying to get in.

@WAAAYTOOO  will have no problem selling because I know as a Realtor where her location is, and it is prime pickings.  My bet it will be sold on the same day as the sign goes up, or maybe even before.  When we sold our 1st home in NoVA  back in 2005 @ her area within 3 hrs of putting my house into the MRIS, I had 3 offers and all of them had escalation clauses.  sold it for 50K over my asking price with no inspection. 

I see the market now like it was in 05, the only fear I see is the election.  Not trying to be political, so please let's not make it into a Trump vs Biden aspect.  I am saying that due to the mail in aspect we might not have a winner for weeks/months which will make the stock market volatile.  If the market tanks like it did in 06 with banking, than people will not have the $$$ to purchase a home, thus it will become a buyers market...sorry for raining on your parade Raye!

As a retired realtor, I would say sell now and rent for a yr.  because I have seen the market flip on a switch when the market becomes skittish.  

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44 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

If the market tanks like it did in 06 with banking, than people will not have the $$$ to purchase a home

I don't quite follow this. It's been 20+ years since we bought our home, so I realize I'm not up to speed on this, but has home buying really changed that much in the last 20 years? Do people now buy using investment sales or 401(k) / IRA loans instead of savings? If not, how would a stock market drop block a majority of people from buying a home?

I didn't purchase my current home using sales of stocks / mutual funds. Heck, the only investments I had at that time were my 401(k) and rollover IRA, neither of which would be touched for making a home purchase. (although I think back when I bought, getting a loan on those funds for a first-time home purchase wasn't yet an option)

Wife and I just did it the old-fashioned way. Saved and saved until we had 20% of what we were buying in the bank (no PMI for us, thank you very much!) plus closing fees, then wrote one honking big certified check to the lending bank when we closed. Do most home buyers no longer go that route?

 

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2 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

sorry for raining on your parade Raye!

Not at all !  You aren't raining on anything !  "Sell now while everything is moving" IS our strategy and I think it will be successful.  We are "de-cluttering" now and beginning to pack up...but will save the heavy duty packing for after the first week.  If we are lucky, we will sell quickly and then the packing will REALLY commence.

We've decided to go back down to FL for a short visit to find a place down there to rent (if the house sells soon) and to attend our "options/upgrades" meeting in person.  That's where we choose all of the upgrades that we will get on the house and from what I understand, they are marathon events.  I just can't see doing that remotely.  There is a brand spankin' new apartment complex right next to the development so that would be our first option for somewhere to live until the new house is ready.

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You may want to check out long term Airbnb options.  We were planning to downsize (put on hold when youngest came back home due to college closure and online classes-we're glad to still have plenty of space for all of us to work/learn from home) and were told the market is really intense in our area.  We wanted to sell first and our realtor said that Airbnb properties are really affordable right now for long term (3-6 months) rentals because so few people are traveling.  The advantage is you only have to move your furniture to storage, then to your new home, and at least here in Charlotte, 2-3 bedroom Airbnbs are way less expensive than 2 bedroom apartments.

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14 hours ago, Fairlynew said:

You may want to check out long term Airbnb options.  We were planning to downsize (put on hold when youngest came back home due to college closure and online classes-we're glad to still have plenty of space for all of us to work/learn from home) and were told the market is really intense in our area.  We wanted to sell first and our realtor said that Airbnb properties are really affordable right now for long term (3-6 months) rentals because so few people are traveling.  The advantage is you only have to move your furniture to storage, then to your new home, and at least here in Charlotte, 2-3 bedroom Airbnbs are way less expensive than 2 bedroom apartments.

Wow !  Thanks for the information.  I had no idea AirBnB would do long term rentals.  I would never have thought of it !!

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21 hours ago, JLMoran said:

I don't quite follow this. It's been 20+ years since we bought our home, so I realize I'm not up to speed on this, but has home buying really changed that much in the last 20 years? Do people now buy using investment sales or 401(k) / IRA loans instead of savings? If not, how would a stock market drop block a majority of people from buying a home?

Yes, many people sell mutual funds to purchase their homes.  Many buyers, myself included have private mutual fund investments on top of our 401K and IRAs.  You typically find this occurring because the ROI is higher than a savings account, plus if you are like us, we invest every month, thus, when we sell our tax burden is from long term not short term gains.   That tax burden of the capital gains is cheaper than having to get PMI.  If you do not have 20% to plop down, they will usually charge you PMI.

There is a second reason people do this.  When the broker pulls your credit they do not see your investments per se without you submitting that paperwork.  However, they will immediately ask to see your bank accounts for the last 60-90 days.  Removing that money can hurt the buyer because now the bank account is drained and they may qualify for a lower loan, or be given a slightly higher rate since the broker may feel they are house poor.  

Thirdly, home equity loans disappeared for many years unless you had an amazing credit score.  Now, with the housing market finally coming back, people are able to get the equity lines easier than it had been historically over the last decade.  The trick that was occurring back before the housing crash was you would take what is called an 80/10/10.  80% 1st loan, 10% 2nd loan and 10% down.  People were pulling 10% from their home equity on the one they were selling for the downpayment on their new home.  If the market crashes than you can see the Treasury Bill rate to increase which is tied to mtg rates. 

21 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Heck, the only investments I had at that time were my 401(k) and rollover IRA, neither of which would be touched for making a home purchase. (although I think back when I bought, getting a loan on those funds for a first-time home purchase wasn't yet an option)

That is also why they do it now.  1st time homeowners do have that option.  

Mine and my husbands 401K allows us to take out of our 401K with no penalty as long as we re-pay it in 12 months.  They immediately take that money out of our paycheck every pay period so it is re-paid within 12 months.  Now here again shows you how the market will impact them.  As a matter of fact my DD and SIL just purchased their 1st home.  They took out of their 401Ks to get that 10% down.  They have what I described above, and 80/10/10.

Hope that clarifies my position.

For Raye I am sure that since she is doing 20%+ down, their process will be what brokers joke about.....just take a pulse to make sure they are alive!  

My favorite lender gave us the best synapsis of how they see clients.  I share it with you so you can see how they view credit scores. plus a chuckle.

800+  They will eat their skin before they miss a mortgage/credit/car, etc payment due on the 1st.  Payment is there on the 23rd.

700's They will eat Ramen, payment due on the 1st is mailed out on the 28th, or on-line at 11:00 p.m. on the 30/31st, but still there before the 1st

600's They will eat hot dog and beans, payment due on the 1st, but late fee does not occur until the 15th.  Payment is submitted after the 1st, but before the 15th

500 and below.  They will go to McDonalds for lunch daily and will pay the late fee.

 

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20 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

We've decided to go back down to FL for a short visit to find a place down there to rent (if the house sells soon) and to attend our "options/upgrades" meeting in person.  That's where we choose all of the upgrades that we will get on the house and from what I understand, they are marathon events.

I don't know if your builder does this or Florida allows it, but I did this for many of my new construction buyers.  They actually would take the credit on certain items.  For example, they did not take the appliances.  Why pay a 20-30 yr loan on your fridge, because in essence that is what you are doing with a mtg.  Instead, they purchased on their own the appliances.  The only thing that creates an issue is that you will not get a CO (Certificate of Occupancy) from the county on the day of closing because you do not have your appliances.  They would get keys that day, and have the appliances delivered the same day or the next day.  The inspector would come out and give them the CO the following day.

The other thing I would suggest is to take their bottom line flooring if you are going down there.  My Mom was the one that taught me this trick.  She knew this would be a long time home, or as she always said, they will take me out of this house feet first.  She wasn't going to settle on the flooring.  She took the basics.  The day after closing she had all of it ripped out and had a specialty flooring company come in and do it the way she wanted.  (extended the foyer into other areas), and with the floors she wanted, laid the way she wanted  (she wanted diagonal 12X12 tiles in the kitchen, but they only offered only 8X8 block, that and specific gout colors).  They had it done and move in ready 3 days later.  It actually was cheaper to take their basic, rip it out and place in her higher quality than if she did their top tier upgrade which was still lower than her product.

As someone that built my current house, I don't envy you on that aspect.  As a realtor, I can tell I would cringe on those days, especially if they have a showroom you go to for their site.  It takes a full day because you go from outside to inside including everything from the roof color to the faucet on the sinks.  You will think I got it all, and than when the list is printed, you start to say...wait, I chose black granite with black faucet, but stainless steel appliances...what will the cost be if I change the appliances to black stainless appliances?  Should I now change the faucet to stainless to match the appliances?  If I do that should I change the granite?  If I do that, than should I change the bathroom faucets too?  Every change you make after that 1st print out needs to be re-inputted.  

That being said it is fun picking out the things.  Just be ready for the sticker shock when you do the options/upgrades.   Rule of thumb is add in $$$$ for those upgrades.  For me when I did it with clients in VA, it was 20% of the price of the home if they did everything with the builder.

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On 9/15/2020 at 1:54 PM, Pima1988 said:

Just be ready for the sticker shock when you do the options/upgrades. 

You're right about this !  They gave us a price list for upgrades when we were there last time.  YIKES !  $285 to have a power outlet installed in the floor (so you don't have to run extension cords all over the room for a table lamp).  I think we have already accumulated in the neighborhood of $50K in upgrades ! ....and that's just from looking at the list they gave us !  I'm sure there are plenty of upgrades that aren't even on this list.

Under normal circumstances, I would agree with you about not financing the appliances and upgrade flooring, etc. ...but with the interest rates as low as they are, they're almost financing them for free !  Sure, we could buy all of those things ourselves but we've decided to hold onto our cash.  ...and there's another factor.  Dan is absolutely DONE with home improvements and DYI.  He wants a turnkey operation and I don't blame him.  We went through 1 entire year of home renovation and he said "never again !".

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When we built, one of the upgrades was a sprinkler system and it was a must have for DW. It was $2,000 to add it and it has been well worth it. Our yard is much healthier than most of our neighbors. The guy across the street and the guy next door both have said they regretted not adding it. Their grass and flowerbeds look terrible compared to ours. 

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22 minutes ago, kadmgs said:

When we built, one of the upgrades was a sprinkler system and it was a must have for DW. It was $2,000 to add it and it has been well worth it. Our yard is much healthier than most of our neighbors. The guy across the street and the guy next door both have said they regretted not adding it. Their grass and flowerbeds look terrible compared to ours. 

Dan had an automatic sprinkler system installed here about 12 years ago.  He's a "yard guy" (he's out there right now, picking up twigs and leaves) so he has enjoyed the green yard, all year round.  The nice thing about our new community - no yard work !!  It's all included in the HOA.

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