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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in starterhomehope's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
8:55 am
It's official (closed yesterday)!

I'm officially in much more debt than I was at this time yesterday. In return, though, I got this (minus the boat):


I was going to take a picture of us with the 'sold' sign but the bastards already took it down. So that's it. We're officially homeowners. It was weird to go through settlement, take possession of the house, and then drive back to Baltimore to our crappy apartment, but S. had to work this morning. Moving chaos ensues tomorrow. 

 The final walk through and settlement was much easier than I thought it would be... the whole affair lasted about 45 minutes. The seller was cranky because he had made a miscalculation and ended up with about $4000 less than he thought, and he was concerned he wouldn't be able to settle on his new house tomorrow, but that's not our problem. I mean, it's unfortunate, and I feel badly for him, but that's where my sympathy ends.

 I sat on the stoop yesterday at the new house and was amazed at how quiet the street was. There were squirrels scampering around everywhere, and tons of birds... I think I'll get a bird feeder of some kind. It was really lovely, and such a drastic change from urban life. I'm glad to be making it. So today is about packing up last minute things, coordinating the cable and telephone hookups at the new house, and generally saying goodbye to Baltimore.

x-posted to my_first_home and my personal journal, with a bit more content (mostly foodie stuff).

Sunday, October 2nd, 2005
11:24 pm
new to all of this
Ok, I have been doing research before even considering posting a question. A month ago I knew next to nothing about mortgages and the home buying process; now at least I understand the general idea/language.

This is a really general question and in my heart I feel I know the answer, but I want to ask anyway.

I guess what I am not sure of is what happens when you sell a house (probably since I don't own one and haven't researched this topic yet). If you live in a house only a few years, then obviously most likely you will not have paid off the mortgage. So, in my mind, what happens is that the buyer pays you, say, $150,000 (well, their lender pays it to you). That money pays off the remainder of your existing mortgage and the rest is yours to keep. Then, you find your house and get a new mortgage, and hopefully you can afford a bigger down payment this time.

So is that how it really works? That's how it works in my mind, but I have no idea what goes on in real life, because I've never been told, and it's bad to assume things. (I've obviously had no experience with trying to sell something that's still being financed).

I'm sorry if this is the most ridiculous question ever asked in the history of Live Journal.

P.S. This question came about when I was browsing ING and saw that they only offer ARMs.
Friday, September 30th, 2005
1:01 am
I have been researching FHA and I'm confounded. From what I read you have to get a realitor and pay them all the fees to set up stuff then get approved for a mortgage or start having FHA help you get a mortgage.
And a bunch of other complicated stuff. I was hoping to find out how to get on the program to fix up a home and get an extra discount but the FHA's program for that was even more baffling-write a proposal? I have no idea how to write a proposal but my soon to be husband can fix any house up very well with only minor assistance in electrical work.

Anyone know how FHA works moreso than what I've already posted? I'm beginning to think its so much trouble there's no point but we definately qualify as low income.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
9:44 am
Starting the hunt.

I wanted to thank the people that responded to my post a few entries back ("discouraged, with questions"). Since then I've seen a mortgage broker and we've been approved for a loan (by two different lenders, just in case something happens along the way).

We're starting to look at houses tomorrow. I'm excited, but anxious. We're looking for a place in Salisbury, MD, which is an up and coming real estate market but not quite as ridiculous as Baltimore or DC.

Anybody  have tips for a successful house hunting experience?

Friday, September 23rd, 2005
9:28 am
a question
How do you buy those really cheap forclosed/leined houses and the ones with the mortgadges that can be taken over by anyone? I'm very poor person but me and my guy can fix up any house (extremely skilled) and we need something that isn't going to eat our money like an apartment-otherwise one big expense could be a problem in the coming years.

thanks in advance for any advise!
Monday, September 19th, 2005
11:11 am
Looking for suggestions on what to look for in a realtor.
So far I'm looking at
- personality
- experience (at least a couple years as a realtor and in my areas of interest)

What I'm paticularly interested in is contracts. I don't want to sign anything that binds me to 1 realtor.
What should I look for and look out for?

I know there are a lot of realtors in this comm, and while I appreciate you help and experienc right now I'm just looking for information, not solicitations.

Monday, September 12th, 2005
8:51 pm
Discouraged, with questions.

I'm incredibly discouraged. I'm 28 and would really like to buy a house in Wicomico County, Maryland. Between my partner and I, we make about 90k per year, which isn't a lot but we're not impoverished, either. Between us we have about $11k for down payment/closing costs/general up front cash needs. My credit is on the fair/good line (it's 657, according to the last report) although I declared bankruptcy in 2000. Her score is lower than mine. We're looking in the up to $175k price range (we currently pay $1200/month in rent).

We pre-qualled successfully for that amount but I understand that doesn't mean much, so I tried to get a pre-approval and we were rejected (this was through an online lender). I'm just not sure what to do next. Should we rent for another year, raise our credit scores, and try again? Should we shop around? See a mortgage broker? Please. Help.

I'm really ignorant about the whole real estate/mortgage/closing process and would appreciate any help or words of encouragement.


Friday, September 2nd, 2005
9:32 am
Hopefully I'm posting this in the proper place.

My husband and I are on the road to purchasing our first home. We have a preapproval for a 30-year FHA loan with plans of possibly using down payment assistance and like the option of using temporary buydown so that our payments increase over time. But, I've also recently read in a Suze Orman book that if you plan on moving within 5 years (which we are) that choosing a hybrid mortage like 5/1 is a better choice because you're not just paying on interest because the company doesn't expect you to stay the whole 30 years like with the 30-year loan. Our mortage company doesn't agree with this though. Our agent is really pushing us towards the 30-year (I'm assuming because they get a better cut?). Does anyone have any experience with this?
Thursday, August 25th, 2005
1:27 pm
Mortgages part 3
I got a good faith estimate from a potentail lender today. It has a break down of everything that comprises the closing costs.
There is a TON of stuff on here and my question is, what is all this stuff? What does it get me? and is it mandatory?
Here's the list, it's based off of $354k fixed conventional loan at 5.5% for 30 yrs in Massachusetts.

Appraisal fee - $400
Tax Set-up fee - $5
Tax Service fee - $45
Good Faith fee - $250
Hazard Insurance Prem. - $1,062
Settlement Fee - $750
Title Insurance - $1,594
Recording - Deed - $376
Survey Fee - $150
Pest Inspection Fee - $75
Monday, August 22nd, 2005
10:47 pm
mortgages part 2
I just went to bankrate.com to get a list of interest rates.
I went to Mortgage Capital Associates and I have tons of questions...

1) What's the difference between the Rate and the APR? and which should I be concerned with?
2) It looks like rates with points are lower. It seems logical to me that if there is a 5% rate for 0 points and a 4.85% rate with 2 points I should pay the 2 points. Correct?
3) The mortgage Capital site listed the closing costs associated with each loan, some were pretty steep. I thought I read somewhere that the seller often takes care of the closing costs. Is this true?
4) If I do worry about closing costs, what types of things should I expect to pay?

thanks as always.
5:03 pm
Ok we are starting to look for a bank to handle our mortgage.

What characteristics should we look for?

here are some requirements i can think of
- must be newbie friendly
- must understand VA loans
- must work with us to determine the best type of loan for us

so far I'm considering USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union
Wednesday, August 17th, 2005
9:26 am
New community!


Housing bubble, rentals, landlords, mortgages, housing talk!

Friday, August 12th, 2005
3:08 pm
land trust sales?
Has anyone here sold their home using an investor through a land trust? We want to sell our first home and believe it or not, want to downgrade and get a Craftsman home to fix up. I'm wondering if anyone has bought or sold through a land trust, and am I going to end up in court in a few years? (I should be an attorney by then, but still....!)
I just want a basic price where we recover our costs. This seems so easy, and they seem honest, but...
Thanks for any info!
Thursday, August 11th, 2005
1:58 pm
1st of many questions
When calculating a house's square footage, what is usually included?
Is bathroom, kitchen, closets, basement etc usually added? I've heard both yes an no to this question.
Wednesday, August 10th, 2005
7:37 pm
Hello all,

We're getting close to starting the house buying process. So I need some input.

We are hoping to buy a house sometime between Jan. and hopefully no later then March.
Here's the catch though. In January, I hope to be transferring from Maryland to Massachusetts.
I won't know until sometime in October if I will be transferring and exactly where (it would be 1 of 2 places about 40 miles apart).

This was my plan (1st draft).
- Find a bank by Sept. get pre-approved etc.
- Find a realtor by Oct. and start looking. While we don't know exactly where we will be we can start looking at different areas, different styles etc.
- Find out where I will be working in Oct. and fine tune our search accordingly.
- "Hopefully" find a house by the end of Dec. or at least have it narrowed down to 2 or 3.
- Start the buying process by Jan.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005
5:27 am
Open Question to anyone who might know...
I've got crap credit and so does my boyfriend, what can we do to find a decent mortgadge?

Also, whens the stupid false bottom falling out of this freaking housing market so the mortgadge folks will have to be reasonable..*any* responces highly appreciated!
Monday, July 18th, 2005
9:53 pm
stupid question
now that i am somwhat reduced circumstances, i have some questions

i am 50, female, self-employed, and needing to buy a home since i lost the big one in the late unpleasantness...........i always had money so i never paid attention to things but i am on a very limited budget now

i can get the type of home i need for about 79,000
i can put 20% down due to the ira thing

anyway, my first thought is a 15 year mortgage since i am older than dirt but i talked to someone at the bank and they ran some figures and said i could pay about $525 a month including insurance and taxes for a 15 year or about $325 for a 30 year and that i could pay off the principal ahead without penalty.i really don't understand and i have no-one trustworthy to ask...i am concerned that i keep the payments low since i am on a very limited income but would getting the 30 year make better sense if i paid off the principle early if i could?
Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
2:36 pm
..:: newbie ::..
Greetings, All!

My husband and I are in the middle of house hunting in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon ~ we've talked with a mortgage company and based on the information I provided her, she believes we can get roughly $185k mortgage. However, to get that amount, we'd have to do it on an 80/20 (or something like that) because only I qualify for an FHA and that would be about $150k.

The problem? It's a Seller's Market. Everything we're looking at is over $220k or really really crappy looking. We're trying not to be super picky about what we want, but there are certain things we need (e.g., fenced yard, 3 bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms); we have a puppy who needs a yard and we're in the process of trying to start a family.

It's REALLY frustrating! We're in an apartment now that we HATE! We need our own space ~ our puppy barks and the neighbors (crotchety older folks) throw fits and call management. So, we're not really looking for a condo/townhome for that purpose either!

DAMN IT! We saw a house last night, contacted the realtor, and got a call back that they had 4 offers on the house and it just went pending. Beyond frustrating, this is so discouraging.

I hope everyone else is having better luck!!!!


Current Mood: frustrated
Friday, July 8th, 2005
1:27 pm
my boyfriend and i are wanting to buy a home...we can only get a loan for about $100,000. we live in Tampa. is it possible to actually get a decent HOUSE for that little, or will we be stuck in a townhome? we're in one now, and i don't like the whole "attached house" aspect. oh, and we don't want to live in the ghetto. lol. i want some sort of yard where i can have a swing and a nice garden. it doesn't have to be huge.

he's looking into a mobile home, but i'm really not keen on the idea.

also, if anyone knows about a good agent in the tampa area, that'd be great.

any help at all?? thanks!!
Saturday, June 11th, 2005
10:15 pm
Do any of the freecreditreport places actually give you your credit score without an additional charge? Thanks
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