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    Beginning the house hunting process

    Hello folks, not sure if this is the right topic for this thread, but here goes...

    As many of y'all know, my wife and I downsized from a nice home to a tiny apartment back in 2013 when our financial world collapsed and required the both of us to file for bankruptcy, her a Chapter 7 and me a Chapter 13; both bankruptcies are now off our records (hers fell off this month) and we're looking to buy something within the next several months. With this in mind we joined NFCU yesterday as they seem to have interest rates which are at or near mortgage industry lows, but I'd be interested to hear of some lenders can beat their rates.

    As part of this move, our daughter, who recently relocated to Maryland just outside of DC wants us to move down there from New Hampshire, so that's going to sting a bit due to needing to pay sales tax and income tax (something I haven't needed to pay for over 20 years). Needless to say, lots of moving parts will need to be sorted before we can make an actual move. I know lots of folks would advise against buying within this timeframe due to the potential of falling home prices, we want to get down near our daughter but I really don't want to move twice, so either we pick up a rental for a year or two, or we buy now and trust the resale value of whatever we buy doesn't drop too far.

    Circling back to NFCU, I'd like to stage my down payment with them so when the time comes to go for a mortgage that money is already on hand, however, I see the interest rates they pay for non-Certificate savings pretty much stink compared to current HYSAs out there. Do any of y'all know if I park the money in say, a 12-month certificate and then use that money as a down payment on a mortgage from NFCU, would they waive the early withdrawal penalty?
    ‚Äč
    Chapter 13 (not 100%):
    • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank cum Bank of Southern California
    • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
    • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
    • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
    • 60th Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
    • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
    • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

    #2
    shipo sounds like a very interesting move. I worked in the D.C. area for years. It is expensive to live in the counties and adjoining counties around the D.C. center. I think the prices would hold in that area simply because it's D.C. with a seemingly unending need for housing.

    I have an NFCU certificate but have not looked at withdrawal. I don't recall seeing any exemptions for early withdrawal.

    I think maybe just park it at PenFed or AMEX Bank?
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by justbroke View Post
      shipo sounds like a very interesting move. I worked in the D.C. area for years. It is expensive to live in the counties and adjoining counties around the D.C. center. I think the prices would hold in that area simply because it's D.C. with a seemingly unending need for housing.

      I have an NFCU certificate but have not looked at withdrawal. I don't recall seeing any exemptions for early withdrawal.

      I think maybe just park it at PenFed or AMEX Bank?
      I have a few thousand over at PenFed but they're "only" paying 3.00% interest (which is 12 times greater than the 0.25% paid by NFCU), however, the bulk of my money earmarked for the down payment is in a CapOne savings account which is currently paying 4.35% interest (which is just a hair higher than the AMEX HYSA). Yeah, some HYSAs out there are paying north of 5.00%, so CapOne isn't the absolute highest, but given I already do business with them, they got the nod.
      Chapter 13 (not 100%):
      • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank cum Bank of Southern California
      • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
      • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
      • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
      • 60th Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
      • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
      • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

      Comment


        #4
        I have a few $$$$ over at AMEX but I'm not looking to move money around. I have some in my PenFed "Premium" Online Savings Account as well. I'm not looking to move a bunch around at this time.
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

        Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

        Comment


          #5
          Yeah, moving money around is a pain, I would prefer to put it where I plan on getting a mortgage from and let it sit until I pull the trigger on a new home, unfortunately doing so would mean leaving a few hundred dollars per month of interest on the table.
          Chapter 13 (not 100%):
          • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank cum Bank of Southern California
          • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
          • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
          • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
          • 60th Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
          • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
          • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

          Comment


            #6
            Are you familiar with the vicinity around DC, shipo ? If so, you might be able to find a suitable property to buy in the time frame you mentioned. But, if you're not, you might consider renting for a year to learn your way around the neighborhoods there. Are you working remotely or have you both retired? If not, you definitely should consider commute time.
            We had to move twice from the original Puyallup rental (to S Renton, and finally to Issaquah) to finally get comfortably situated, even though my husband's commute will be 90 minutes round trip when he returns to in person work next year. In our case it is worth longer travel time to live in a cleaner and nicer town with "mighty amenities" (desirable shopping, restaurants, and grocery stores choices in one smaller concentrated area).
            Compared to DC, the Seattle/Bellevue suburbs may or may not be absurdly more expensive, but to us it would be suicide to buy a ridiculously overpriced "hovel" (no decent houses exist here for much under a million dollars) and as our years of home ownership were mostly defined by BK13, we currently have no desire to own at the present time.
            Also, prices may go down along with interest rates, so that is something to think through.
            Good luck on your relocation and Happy Holidays!

            Comment


              #7
              Our future son-in-law grew up in the Gaithersburg area (where he and our daughter relocated to this last summer after she graduated with her Masters in Economics) and they are wanting us to relocate near them, so the region is pretty much already picked. We were down there last weekend and saw a place which would be ideal which had sold a few months back in one of the upscale condominium complexes, and by ideal I mean, over 2,000 square feet, three bedrooms, one of which already has very nice built in desks and shelving for an office, a large porch on the third floor with access from the living room and two of the bedrooms, two storage lockers, and three parking spots in the garage.

              As for me, nope, not retiring anytime soon; that said, my only requirement is to live near a major airport as my company has only one tiny office in Englewood, CO; a place I have yet to visit even though I've been with the company for over two and a half years.
              Chapter 13 (not 100%):
              • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank cum Bank of Southern California
              • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
              • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
              • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
              • 60th Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
              • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
              • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

              Comment


                #8
                House hunting update...

                After a busy holiday season and a professionally slammed January (in addition to doctor visits and surgery), we contacted a real estate agent in Gaithersburg this week and officially kicked off the active shopping phase of our hunt.

                After hours online looking at the various offerings in the area, as much as I'd like one of the three-floor townhomes in the area with a small back yard and a detached 2-car garage, I think those units are just a hair above what I feel comfortable spending, what with all of the traveling and such my wife and I want to do. Basically ruling out a townhome means focusing on a condo similar to the one we saw back in December, and while the unit itself is two- to three-hundred thousand less than a townhome of a similar size, these condos come with HOA fees north of $700 per month, so the monthly delta isn't as steep as one might think based upon the market values of the units.

                Long story short, ten years years ago when we filed our bankruptcies I seriously questioned whether we'd ever get to the point where we could own our own home.
                Chapter 13 (not 100%):
                • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank cum Bank of Southern California
                • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
                • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
                • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
                • 60th Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
                • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
                • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

                Comment


                  #9
                  Crazy HOA fees. I hope they come with something for free (Internet, parking, basic cable). I was looking at some RVHome sites and see lot rent as high as $900/month. My brain just can't fathom that amount unless they have some really nice amenities and services.
                  Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                  Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                  Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                  Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Lot parking is free and garage parking is something you purchase with the unit and/or from other owners for a 1-time fee. That said, the HOA does cover the maintenance all of the grounds, including the outside lot and garage, all building maintenance, apparently including inside the unit, posh common areas like a gym, pool, library, small conference center, the grounds, and amenities in the larger Kentlands community. Is it worth $700 per month? Maybe not fully, but I don't think it is too extreme.
                    Chapter 13 (not 100%):
                    • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank cum Bank of Southern California
                    • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
                    • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
                    • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
                    • 60th Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
                    • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
                    • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Extreme is my friend who owns and leases-out three condos in downtown Chicago. Parking spaces are $150K each (they bought 5 and rent out all five). They rent out the parking spaces at $600/month. I think the COA fee is over $1,000/month for each unit. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

                      Your fee seems reasonable if you use the amenities.
                      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                      Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by justbroke View Post
                        Extreme is my friend who owns and leases-out three condos in downtown Chicago. Parking spaces are $150K each (they bought 5 and rent out all five). They rent out the parking spaces at $600/month. I think the COA fee is over $1,000/month for each unit. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

                        Your fee seems reasonable if you use the amenities.
                        LOL, I paid $100 per month to park my car in a dirt alley in Chicago back in 1985.

                        And yeah, the amenities will get heavy usage.
                        Chapter 13 (not 100%):
                        • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank cum Bank of Southern California
                        • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
                        • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
                        • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
                        • 60th Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
                        • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
                        • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Something I forgot to ask...

                          It has been over 20 years since we've applied for a mortgage and the financial world has changed a lot; as mentioned in my first post, I recently joined NFCU as they seem to consistently have some of the lowest mortgage rates. With this in mind, while I was talking with our new real estate agent earlier this week, I told her I was inclined to use NFCU for the mortgage and she strongly recommended against using them, telling us stories of lost sales because they were slow, disorganized, and difficult to deal with.

                          Do any of y'all have any insight on whether using Navy is a good move, or if, as she recommended, I should go with a small local mortgage outfit?
                          Chapter 13 (not 100%):
                          • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank cum Bank of Southern California
                          • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
                          • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
                          • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
                          • 60th Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
                          • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
                          • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I don't know. I looked at PenFed/NFCU but looked at Guaranteed Rate Affinity (GR) and my local credit union. The local credit union was horrible. Poor communication, poor systems, and poor organization. I switched to GR and told them I only had 30 days to close and the CU messed everything up. GR worked with me even at 9PM on a weekend.I was through final approval in 18 days and clear to close on day 21. GR worked a miracle and I've never seen something be CTC that fast (it's possible but never for me). In fact I had conditional approval the next afternoon from applying with just 3 conditions.

                            I wonder if they're getting NFCU mixed up with another CU that was horrible to work with. Small mortgage teams are problematic as I have learned. A larger organization has multiple people working your file.
                            Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                            Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                            Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                            Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              shipo - WOW Congratulations and good luck with the house hunt! If you do make a trip - Englewood CO and nearby areas are really nice; Littleton and Centennial especially - just my personal, unjaded opinion. If you do go, make sure you hydrate a lot beforehand. I had headaches and felt sleepy for months until my body adjusted to the mile high altitude: learned to make drinking water often, a habit.

                              Comment

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