Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

First time home buyer

Posted by on Jan. 20, 2015 at 10:41 PM
  • 18 Replies

My husband and I are in the process of beginning savings for a downpayment on a house sometime next year.  Considering that we live one income, our choices are limited as to what type of home we can purchase.  Mainly either small, older homes (smaller than what we live in now 1200 sq. ft. or just barely bigger than that) with minimal land and litterally feet away from neighbors. Our other option would be manufactured homes. I already know the concerns that come with a manufactured home, but my opinion is just like any type of house you must continuously maintain.  So either an old home that may have alot of work to do on it (in which we cannot afford to do much) or a new manufactured home with a lot more space and more land like we would prefer.  So I am honestly leary of both. 


Also I do not really understand how a mortgage works, how to determine what amount range to look in depending on what we feel comfortable with our monthly payment being. As well what our options for any sort of grant or assistance for closing cost or down payment in Ky.  

Any information would be more than appreciated since every little bit helps. 

What were your experiences when buying a home? Were you ever in the situation that we are? What did you choose? 

Thanks guys!

by on Jan. 20, 2015 at 10:41 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Annie1923
by New Member on Jan. 21, 2015 at 9:27 AM

 While I don't feel qualified to give you advice on how a mortgage works...there are many variations out there, I can tell you that we purchased a manufactured home almost 13 years ago and have had no problems whatsoever.  It was substantially less than building a "stick-built" and very nice.  Good quality.  We were able to qualify for an FHA loan at the time.  We really wanted a new home and this was the most affordable way to get one. 

Good Luck!!!

Annie  big smile mini

 

SAHM2011
by Member on Jan. 21, 2015 at 10:36 AM
Thanks for replying! I was always worried about mobile/manufactured homes. I basically grew up in one most of my life and always had something going on. Of course that was early 90s. They are built better now. I am just afraid that we will have problems with a manufactured home. But I guess the same can happen with a stick built home as well. Manufactured homes are much more affordable and some even prittier and bigger than traditional homes in our price range.

Quoting Annie1923:

 While I don't feel qualified to give you advice on how a mortgage works...there are many variations out there, I can tell you that we purchased a manufactured home almost 13 years ago and have had no problems whatsoever.  It was substantially less than building a "stick-built" and very nice.  Good quality.  We were able to qualify for an FHA loan at the time.  We really wanted a new home and this was the most affordable way to get one. 


Good Luck!!!


Annie  big smile mini


 

baconbits
by on Jan. 21, 2015 at 10:53 AM
1 mom liked this

 Personally I'd go with more land and possibly even a mobile home on it. Pay the land off and then save and build the home you want on the land. This is what my sister did. They had 6 acres that they paid off in 6 years and then built the 2 story log home they wanted. You can always build but you can't build more land.

On the other hand I bought an OLD farmhouse that I absolutely love. Yes I've done a ton of work to it over the years but I did it as I could afford it and alot I did on my own. (No dh at the time) First thing was making sure it had a good roof. Not much good to do remolding inside if it was going to be ruined by leaks. Insulation was the second thing I did as there was absolutely NONE in it. Saved a ton of money the first year. By doing alot of it myself I saved a ton of money. It used to be appraised at $75,000 and now it's over $125,000 due to the work I did to it.

That all being said you'll have repairs and upkeep regardless of what you buy. My boss built a brand new $500,000 condo. They moved in and within 2 months started having repairs. Granted they were covered for awhile but now it's been 5 years and they still have repairs.

The best way to avoid big repair bills is to not let things get out of control. Fix them when they are small problems. If a shingle blows off the roof get it back on and check the rest. If you wait then rain can seep in ruining the plywood and on into the ceiling. So a 10 minute $10 job would end up costing thousands!

As far as loans I'd check around for a couple of different options. Check with banks, credit unions, farm buearu, etc. See where you best option is. Sometimes the best option is based on where the home is you want to buy. For me it was Farm Buearu. I'd recommend a fixed rate over a variable. Variable can really ruin a budget. I know many people will recommend you go with a 15 year mortgage but for me the monthly cost was more then I could afford. Instead I opted for a 30 year mortage and pay extra on it as I have it. My 30 year loan should actually be paid off in about 20 years. You have to make sure this is allowed by whomever you have your loan thru. With having the lower payments at 30 years it has helped when times were lean as they were this past year. If I'd have had higher 15 year payments I would not have been able to make the payments.

Not sure what kinds of grants and assistance that KY may have. I know that VA will help if you served. You might ask about this when you look for your loans. There are also places out there that will help winterize your new home if your income qualifies you.

Word of advice when you do start shopping. DON'T listen to the realitor regarding how much house you can afford and look at. Go by what you KNOW you can afford. If you can only afford a $90,000 home do not look at $120,000 homes. You'll find that you fall in love with them because they have "extras" that the $90,000 home does not have and then if you buy it be stuck with more home then you can afford. Or if you don't buy them you won't feel satisfied with the home you do buy. You might look at a $92,000 hoping to get it down below $90,000 but that's about as high as I would go. You also need to remember that they get commission off the sales so the higher home they sell the more $$ they get. They may work for you but they want you to spend as much as they can so they get more.

You might also consider looking at houses that are being sold by estates. Often you can get a great deal. Last one I went to the $75,000 home only sold for $50,000! ( I was there for the "stuff" from inside the home) I don't know much about the repossed, sheriffs auctions, etc. Those you would have to do more homework on.

godsgirl26
by Member on Jan. 21, 2015 at 11:09 AM

My husband and i couldn't choose what we wanted to do. We were looking to buy another home for about 5 years.. We were going to buy some land and built a manufactured home but didn't go the route. I have to say those manufactured home are pretty dang nice.

But we found a home that was custom built by some amazing owners with land so we bought that home instead..

TheMightyLauren
by on Jan. 21, 2015 at 11:16 AM
1 mom liked this
Meet with a lender. They run your credit and will tell you what type of loans you qualify for. Don't waste your time trying to decide what you're gonna buy, until you've talked to a lender. You'll be surprised at what your options are. They won't approve you for something you can't afford either.

I'm thinking your mortgage payment shouldn't be more than 25% of your monthly income. I could be wrong about that though.
SAHM2011
by Member on Jan. 21, 2015 at 11:18 AM
Omgosh! Thank you so much! First let me say congrats! That had to be hard doing it all by yourself but I am sure you felt so satisfied once it was done. I've looked into a few different types of loans I.e. FHA, USDA, VA etc. It looks like a USDA loan would fit us perfectly. I've thought about foreclosures and estates just notso sure on how to gain accurate information on them. As far as the price, I completely agree. Just because we may qualify for 150K doesn't mean that we should buy that much home. We would like to keep our payments in the 400-600 range. That is what I'm struggling with is how to determine the price range to look in for that type of monthly payment on a 30 yr. I also want more land. I would much rather have extra land than a bigger house and little land. Thank you so much for all of the info.

Quoting baconbits:

 Personally I'd go with more land and possibly even a mobile home on it. Pay the land off and then save and build the home you want on the land. This is what my sister did. They had 6 acres that they paid off in 6 years and then built the 2 story log home they wanted. You can always build but you can't build more land.


On the other hand I bought an OLD farmhouse that I absolutely love. Yes I've done a ton of work to it over the years but I did it as I could afford it and alot I did on my own. (No dh at the time) First thing was making sure it had a good roof. Not much good to do remolding inside if it was going to be ruined by leaks. Insulation was the second thing I did as there was absolutely NONE in it. Saved a ton of money the first year. By doing alot of it myself I saved a ton of money. It used to be appraised at $75,000 and now it's over $125,000 due to the work I did to it.


That all being said you'll have repairs and upkeep regardless of what you buy. My boss built a brand new $500,000 condo. They moved in and within 2 months started having repairs. Granted they were covered for awhile but now it's been 5 years and they still have repairs.


The best way to avoid big repair bills is to not let things get out of control. Fix them when they are small problems. If a shingle blows off the roof get it back on and check the rest. If you wait then rain can seep in ruining the plywood and on into the ceiling. So a 10 minute $10 job would end up costing thousands!


As far as loans I'd check around for a couple of different options. Check with banks, credit unions, farm buearu, etc. See where you best option is. Sometimes the best option is based on where the home is you want to buy. For me it was Farm Buearu. I'd recommend a fixed rate over a variable. Variable can really ruin a budget. I know many people will recommend you go with a 15 year mortgage but for me the monthly cost was more then I could afford. Instead I opted for a 30 year mortage and pay extra on it as I have it. My 30 year loan should actually be paid off in about 20 years. You have to make sure this is allowed by whomever you have your loan thru. With having the lower payments at 30 years it has helped when times were lean as they were this past year. If I'd have had higher 15 year payments I would not have been able to make the payments.


Not sure what kinds of grants and assistance that KY may have. I know that VA will help if you served. You might ask about this when you look for your loans. There are also places out there that will help winterize your new home if your income qualifies you.


Word of advice when you do start shopping. DON'T listen to the realitor regarding how much house you can afford and look at. Go by what you KNOW you can afford. If you can only afford a $90,000 home do not look at $120,000 homes. You'll find that you fall in love with them because they have "extras" that the $90,000 home does not have and then if you buy it be stuck with more home then you can afford. Or if you don't buy them you won't feel satisfied with the home you do buy. You might look at a $92,000 hoping to get it down below $90,000 but that's about as high as I would go. You also need to remember that they get commission off the sales so the higher home they sell the more $$ they get. They may work for you but they want you to spend as much as they can so they get more.


You might also consider looking at houses that are being sold by estates. Often you can get a great deal. Last one I went to the $75,000 home only sold for $50,000! ( I was there for the "stuff" from inside the home) I don't know much about the repossed, sheriffs auctions, etc. Those you would have to do more homework on.

SAHM2011
by Member on Jan. 21, 2015 at 11:21 AM
I'm afraid that is what will happen with us. I don't want to settle. Some of the manufactured homes we looked at are really nice! Some I couldn't believe how nice. I would like to get as lucky to find a great home like you and your dh did.

Quoting godsgirl26:

My husband and i couldn't choose what we wanted to do. We were looking to buy another home for about 5 years.. We were going to buy some land and built a manufactured home but didn't go the route. I have to say those manufactured home are pretty dang nice.

But we found a home that was custom built by some amazing owners with land so we bought that home instead..

Beachdeprived
by on Jan. 21, 2015 at 11:41 AM

As a fellow Midwestern, my biggest concern with the mobile type home would be that you have no basement and being that we are in tornado alley, that would be one of my biggest fears. I would rather go for an older home with basement that you can use for safety and storage versus a mobile home.

Also if you can't afford closings costs, you may be able to ask the seller to pay those for you...let's say you come in at a full price offer but the stipulation is that the seller pays your closing costs. Some lenders may be able to work your closings costs into you loan as well...look into that.

Not sure about grants or assistance for downpayments...there are some programs where you need minimal downpayments or even zero. I would talk to a loan officer about that or most real esate agents are also familar with loan programs. You would want to talk to a lender to see how much you qualify for though and make sure there are no issues before you start your househunting. Fortunately we were never in that position. We were able to come up with a decent down payment and pay our closing costs but we lived in an apartment for several years, we both worked our tails off and we scrimped and saved....wasn't easy....that's for sure!! Plus at the time I was a licencsed real esate agent so my knowledge helped me...but that was 17 years ago and I am no longer in that field. 


SAHM2011
by Member on Jan. 21, 2015 at 11:49 AM
Thanks for the info!

I considered that too but it seems most of the houses in SE KY don't have basements. Not the ones that we can afford.
The down payment assistance may be an option. We can come up with a down payment but it isn't going to be 20%. Plus we would not be able to have a contingency. So I figured if we qualified that would help some.
Where I stay at home and go to school full time DH is the bread winner. So unfortunately we can't out back as much on one income.


Quoting Beachdeprived:

As a fellow Midwestern, my biggest concern with the mobile type home would be that you have no basement and being that we are in tornado alley, that would be one of my biggest fears. I would rather go for an older home with basement that you can use for safety and storage versus a mobile home.

Also if you can't afford closings costs, you may be able to ask the seller to pay those for you...let's say you come in at a full price offer but the stipulation is that the seller pays your closing costs. Some lenders may be able to work your closings costs into you loan as well...look into that.

Not sure about grants or assistance for downpayments...there are some programs where you need minimal downpayments or even zero. I would talk to a loan officer about that or most real esate agents are also familar with loan programs. You would want to talk to a lender to see how much you qualify for though and make sure there are no issues before you start your househunting. Fortunately we were never in that position. We were able to come up with a decent down payment and pay our closing costs but we lived in an apartment for several years, we both worked our tails off and we scrimped and saved....wasn't easy....that's for sure!! Plus at the time I was a licencsed real esate agent so my knowledge helped me...but that was 17 years ago and I am no longer in that field. 

godsgirl26
by Member on Jan. 21, 2015 at 11:53 AM

The Realtor that we were working with throw out some prices that i couldn't believe he was telling us (with building the manufactured) Most of the land was around 70 thousand on up which wasn't bad for us.  Now to build the home wasn't to bad of course we wanted to upgraded everything which would have been more money of course.

But what got us was that our mortgage payment would have been 16 hundred a month and i was like no flipping way. So we went back out there and started looking harder and found our home. Our mortgage is 15 hundred a month but our whole home is custom bulit with land.

Don't settle for something you wont be happy with. Keep looking, search around. You will find it.

Quoting SAHM2011: I'm afraid that is what will happen with us. I don't want to settle. Some of the manufactured homes we looked at are really nice! Some I couldn't believe how nice. I would like to get as lucky to find a great home like you and your dh did.
Quoting godsgirl26:

My husband and i couldn't choose what we wanted to do. We were looking to buy another home for about 5 years.. We were going to buy some land and built a manufactured home but didn't go the route. I have to say those manufactured home are pretty dang nice.

But we found a home that was custom built by some amazing owners with land so we bought that home instead..


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)