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Old 01-28-2010, 07:55 AM
 
35 posts, read 68,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cant wait to retire View Post
Mary 2014, Hi and you are so right that having to have a down payment and good credit should have ALWAYS been a requirement for home ownership! But the difficulty right now is that today's buyers are having lots of challenges obtaining a mortgage and that is having a direct and severe impact on today's home sellers. Hopefully our world will level out if we can ever get to the bottom of the big black hole of short sales and foreclosures that unfortunately we have in our local real estate market in Maryland (the top economist from the National Assn. of Realtors predicts the drop will stop perhaps sometime after 2012).

But to answer your question about a mortgage or no mortgage in retirement. For us, just like Charley, we plan to not have a mortgage. We, too, will be living on social security and a little bit more and it is absolutely imperative that we be debt free in order to make it all work (and we hope and pray it will work; we've worn out our calculator "crunching the numbers.") However we have already been approved for a mortgage (a 2nd home loan w/10% down payment from a credit union) because we will probably have to settle on our new home in Champions Club before we settle on our old house in Maryland. But who knows, we might get extremely lucky (blessed!) and perhaps we'll settle this home first and can come to the settlement table in DE with cash in hand. We chose to purchase the home in CC non-contingent to avoid having to move twice or put our stuff in storage. The $6500 tax credit and $1500 Energy Star appliance credit we're going to get will offset the mortgage fees that we may to pay for a mortgage that we hopefully won't own for too many months.
Hi All,

Just dipping back into the forum because I got a message saying there had been a reply to an older post of mine. Can't find it, but read a few others and I see the mortgage issue is raising its head. As I said earlier, we passed on DE and bought a home in NJ because of elder and sibling care issues. We'll swallow the taxes somehow. Since our home in Southern Maryland has not sold yet (it is being shown, though, and we made one couple's top two list), we will need a mortgage for the new home. Given all the tightening in the mortgage market and the fact that we must give up the present jobs with no guarantee of new ones, mortgage companies were looking askance at us. My wife is a teacher, so she is employable, but that didn't seem to matter. Our builder's mortgage company flat out refused us. I went to Wells Fargo who holds our current mortgage (conventional) and they suggested VA since I was eligible and was not currently using my eligibility. It sailed through with no problem. In fact, we got 100% financing on my retirement income alone. I won't go into details, but the new mortgage/taxes/HOA fee are more than the monthly retirement check. I don't know how VA does it, but it worked.

The only real problem was that the house appraised for $10K under the contract price. The builder renegogiated, though, down to the appraised price. We close on the 15th of February.

Are we worried about having two mortgages until our current house sells? You bet. We'll cut our price on our current house as much as needed to get it sold. We do not want to be absentee landlords. We've had too many friends who did that and lost way too much money. We'd rather take a loss on equity now instead of a potential loss on constant upkeep later.

Now, greeter jobs at Walmart? That might be in the offing.

Bottom line: if you are eligible for VA financing, look into it. There is a funding fee payable at closing, but it can be financed into the loan and usually is. For us, it was about two points. Small price to pay, we think, for getting around the new restrictive rules which really aren't aimed at people in our age range and credit histories anyway. One caveat: the mortgage rep at Wells Fargo told me we could not refinance a VA loan for at least a year. So, even when we get our equity, we will have to bank it and wait until next spring to refinance the mortgage to a lower amount.

Frank

Last edited by SerenityWriter; 01-28-2010 at 07:58 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:26 AM
 
135 posts, read 189,625 times
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Has anyone tried a "for sale by owner"? We bought at CC non-contingent so we have some time to sell. I thought I'd try a FSBO as homes in our neighborhood usually sell quickly. I was just wondering how I would go about it. Is there a standard contract I could use?
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:47 AM
 
4,628 posts, read 5,981,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takin'theplunge! View Post
We have a few months before we go to contract at Roesville, and are killing time checking out what remaining communities we found on the internet that our realtor did not tell us about. Are any of you familiar with Fieldstone Village on Salt Creek Rd in Dover, or Legacy @ Odessa National in Townsend? What's the scoop?
takin'theplunge - Don't know if this age restricted community is marketed by Realtors or not, and..... you may already know about this one. At any rate, here's a link FYI. The clubhouse is awesome, and this link takes you to the virtual inside and outside tour. Just click NEXT and you will feel like you are walking through. At the right of your screen, click the Views to see the bar and other areas.
Mod cut - links to specific Realtors are not allowed.

Last edited by toobusytoday; 04-09-2010 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:03 AM
 
19,922 posts, read 7,410,608 times
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I've started to jot down the lot numbers so I can take a peek at everyone's progress each time I visit. If I'm having this much enjoyment from watching you all build, I can't wait to see how much enjoyment I get when it's my turn.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:11 AM
 
17 posts, read 23,628 times
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thanks, but this is too far south for us.

The prices are great in southern Delaware, but we are not beach people and would like to stay closer for easy access to central NJ, Lewes-CM Ferry would put us even further from our core base.

Would love to know of any 55+ communities in the Newark region...have done multiple searches and very little pops up.

thanks for input
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:51 AM
 
4,628 posts, read 5,981,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takin'theplunge! View Post
thanks, but this is too far south for us.
The prices are great in southern Delaware, but we are not beach people and would like to stay closer for easy access to central NJ, Lewes-CM Ferry would put us even further from our core base.
Would love to know of any 55+ communities in the Newark region...have done multiple searches and very little pops up.
thanks for input
IMO, there are more 55+ communities in New Castle County, than downstate. Tons of them, and lots of resales of homes in age restricted communities, only 1-2-3 years old....Condos, Single Family Detached, Twin or Townhouses....
Just off the top of my head:
Fountainview, Riverbend, White Chapel Village, Village of Fox Meadows, Village of Twin Lakes, Traditions at Jester, Traditions at Christiana, Crossings at Christiana, and these are just in the greater Newark area.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:23 PM
 
35 posts, read 68,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drnorman View Post
We've now been in our Lowell model at Spring Arbor for a couple of weeks and it has worked out better than anyone has a right to expect. However, I want to mention something that got away from us when we were visiting various communities such as CC, Roesville, Heritage Shores, etc. We were working within serious time constraints because our house unexpectedly sold soon after we listed it. Fortunately, we had already spent time in DE but we decided to make a quick decision after the house sold. In doing so, we made what has turned out to be a good decision but we could easily have made a mistake.

Why? Because we concentrated on things like location, floor plan, cost, etc. We should have spent much more time focused on who lives here, what type of people, what ages, are they happy, are people leaving and why, etc? Now that we are here, we know all this stuff and it is all very positive. But, we could have made a big mistake. I don't care how great the floor plan is or what you pay; if you are going to live in a community, you ought to make a serious effort to meet your new neighbors and hope that they like living here too - before you sign on. We have a good understanding of these things now because our community has regular social activities in our clubhouse. Typically, when people show up for these gatherings, they don't leave. I'm spending a lot of time meeting new people and it's just great. My wife and I should have done a bit more of this prior to purchase. And, I should add, I'm more convinced than ever that a clubhouse is required to maximize the benefits of living in a community such as this.
Excellent point. Although we ended up choosing southern NJ instead of DE, this point is right on target. After signing our initial contract on Novemebr 7th, we left the sales office and drove back to the partially completed house (we bought a 50% complete spec home). Four sets of neighbors saw that we returned after having been there a couple of hours earlier and all came out to see if we had bought the house. All welcomed us and offered any assistance if we needed it. One woman, a widow living in the smallest model in the community, asked if she could walk through the house with us. She had been wanting to go in during construction when no one was around, but had been hesitant. What a good feeling we got about our neighbors.

Frank
17 days to closing and the builder just sent a new amendment to the purchase agreement, reducing the price by 56 dollars. No explanation, just said we had to sign it since there had been a slight reduction in the price. Would rather have 56 hundred dollars, but whatever. As long as the price doesn't go up!
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:35 PM
 
35 posts, read 68,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cant wait to retire View Post
The $6500 tax credit and $1500 Energy Star appliance credit we're going to get will offset the mortgage fees that we may to pay for a mortgage that we hopefully won't own for too many months.
CWTR,

I'm a little confused here. What $1500 energy star appliance credit are you talking about? I thought about this back in November when I signed my contract, so I checked at www.energystar.gov and they clearly state that new construction doesn't qualify for anything except some high end things like geothermal systems, some solar collectors, etc. Also checked some other sites and no one is talking about a $1500 tax credit for energy star appliances in new construction. I read somewhere -- can't remember the source -- that in new construction the builder got some sort of rebate or credit for energy star appliances. I'm buying in NJ which specifically prohibits including the cost of a refrigerator, ice maker, or washer and dryer in the official tax-records price of the house. My builder shows the actual cost to their company of the ice-maker fridge and a fairly basic washer and dryer as $345 total. Either the builder has a fantastic discount or they did get some kind of rebate or credit.

Thanks, Frank
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Southern Maryland
124 posts, read 172,071 times
Reputation: 126
Hi Frank, Our accountant told us if we are purchasing Energy Star appliances (which we are: fridge, washer & dryer)that they would qualify (maybe he's incorrect? Hope not, he used to be an IRS agent). And the info. from CC states that they are an "Energy Star Partner" and that the certified systems include the gas heater, AC, hot water heater, windows, etc. It says they have a third party consultant that will provide the testing, inspection and certification (it's on their feature sheet). I"ll go on the website you referenced and share the info. w/our accountant. Goodness knows we pay him enough $$$$ that he should have gotten that right!! Thanks for posting this info. We are learning so much for this forum and appreciate everyone's research.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:31 AM
 
35 posts, read 68,932 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cant wait to retire View Post
Hi Frank, Our accountant told us if we are purchasing Energy Star appliances (which we are: fridge, washer & dryer)that they would qualify (maybe he's incorrect? Hope not, he used to be an IRS agent). And the info. from CC states that they are an "Energy Star Partner" and that the certified systems include the gas heater, AC, hot water heater, windows, etc. It says they have a third party consultant that will provide the testing, inspection and certification (it's on their feature sheet). I"ll go on the website you referenced and share the info. w/our accountant. Goodness knows we pay him enough $$$$ that he should have gotten that right!! Thanks for posting this info. We are learning so much for this forum and appreciate everyone's research.
Let us know what you find out. I know all the appliances in my new home are super efficient. In fact, the fridge actually has a tag on it saying the total cost to operate for a year is only $47. That's less than four dollars a month and seems incredible to me. I didn't look at the tags on the washer and dryer, but will do so when I do the pre-closing walk through on the 9th.

By the way, I had the crawl space on my current home reinsulated this past summer while having some maintenance done down there. The insulation is a special, thin blanket type which does qualify for the tax credits on the cost of the material only. The material cost $1000 and the tax credit is only 30% of that. But, it's better than nothing.

Let us know what you find out.

Frank
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