Buying Our Home – 8 Lessons Learned From the Home Buying Experience

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Thanks for taking the time to post this!  All good things to think about 🙂 

Post # 4
Member
2302 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@LoggerHead91207:  interesting read – thanks! do you consider that you have an equitable stake in the home? if/when you get married, do you plan to change that arrangement?

Post # 5
Member
1690 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’d argue a few of your points, but overall.. Good advice.

MY advice for first time home buyers – location location location! You want to first and foremost think about resale value, as this likely won’t be your forever home. When I bought my first house nearly 10 years ago, I thought I wanted a condo, but instead bought a small house in a nice neighborhood whith huge potential. I ended up fixing up the house a bit, and when I sold that house last year, it went up in value almost 60K. The condos I had originally looked at – only went up about 5K. Condos in my area don’t get much in terms of resale. Houses do. Know your resale potential. 

Second, I don’t think it’s smart for one person of a relationship to own the home. In my area after 6 months of living together you are essentially married anyways, so the point of splitting up assets in case of a a breakup is void. Each party would still get half, regardless of who owns the home. So my advice here is to know the laws in your area. 

 

Post # 6
Member
3476 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@FortiesFlare:  Second, I don’t think it’s smart for one person of a relationship to own the home. In my area after 6 months of living together you are essentially married anyways, so the point of splitting up assets in case of a a breakup is void. Each party would still get half, regardless of who owns the home. So my advice here is to know the laws in your area. 

I agree that you should know the laws for your area.  (In this case, Canada and the US have very different laws regarding common law marriage.  I believe NH is the only NE state to have it, and then only in the form of inheritance.)  But I agree that you should fully discuss the issues.  In this case, not being married it sounds like they made the right choice to keep things more separate and may reassess in the future, at which point they could pay to get her on the title/mortgage, create some form of prenup that addresses it, or check into the laws for what might happen.

My advice:
Trust your gut.  We walked after an inspection because we were too uncomfortable with the issues that were raised.  We felt so much better afterwards we knew we made the right decision.  This includes the neighbors/neighborhood.  Is the next door neighbor giving you a really bad vibe?  Might want to consider it very carefully.

Get your finances in order.  Check your credit reports, make sure there’s nothing funny in them (I found a surprise) and correct if necessary.  Know what you’ll need to get your financing set (e.g. bank statements, insurance, etc.).  Be aware they’ll ask about transactions going back 2-3 months.  I used a checking account for a deposit and had to give over papers for that account although the bulk was coming out of a different one.  I then had to give over statements for a savings account, because I had made a transfer between the two in the past 3 months.  I also would have had to write a letter explaining any deposits, so I am holding off until after the close to deposit checks I received in repayment for buying tickets to a charity fundraiser (I’m President).  I can prove it, but it’s a headache to do so.

Know your walk away point and stick to it.  Don’t get caught up in the heat of byuing and overbuy.

Consider what you can and can’t change (a corollary to location!).  We bought a house with an older small kitchen and small bathrooms.  We can change this with an addition (it’s all on one half of the house fortunately, and while expensive, is not as bad as it could be).  We can take down walls and open the place up, repaint, etc.  We can’t change the location.  We can’t change the lot size.  We actually can’t change the footprint of the house in the front of the lot.  We can’t (yay) change the pond out back.  We can’t change the location from work or public transportation.  Etc.

Do diligence.  Not just an inspection, radon testing, etc.  If there’s been recent work on the house – check to see if permits were properly pulled.  If not, it may be indicative that the quality of the work wasn’t up to snuff.  We found almost all of the permiting for this house (but not for the house we almost bought!).  We also learned the house is technically on wetlands, which means if we do an addition, we need to jump through extra regulatory hoops (to ensure the water runoff doesn’t damage the pond), but it can be done. 

Post # 7
Member
3570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@FortiesFlare:  +1 

Your FI could be the only person on the mortgage, but you should both really be on the the title to the house.   

Post # 8
Member
3476 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@MrsTVLover:  If she’s not paying the down payment at all, it’s all her FI’s money into the house.  I don’t see it as being fair to him to take on all of the liability (mortgage) and share in the asset.  There are some long ago thread I remember where the woman was in this situation and her family urged her to get on the deed, but bees pointed out this wasn’t really fair to him or reasonable.  Perhaps the better thing to do is to not pay half of the mortgage payment but rather a fair share of rent instead (as it sounds like they are doing).

Post # 12
Member
3084 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@LoggerHead91207:  I would never buy a home with someone and not have my name on the mortgage or the deed. My mom always taught me to have it split up, because if I’m paying for bills in it and contributing towards the household, my name should be on the deed. 

ETA: I just read down further your post, I am planning on putting down 1/2 of the down payment, I see you couldn’t do that – so it is different for you. 

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