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Old 07-27-2008, 10:28 AM
 
1,462 posts, read 4,441,462 times
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Hi all -

I found a property that the wife and I both loved, and we're starting the process to get everything done. I'm a complete newbie at this, even though, ironically, I was a licensed real estate agent many moons ago. (It's a really long story.)

That said, I had a few questions:

1) Is there a site besides Bankrate that's reputable where I can shop for Mortgage Rates? I had Capital One email me a promo about mortgages, but I want to see all the other options out there.

2) We have a lawyer ready to go (my company provides legal services) but I'm not sure what else I need through the process. Do I need to look into home inspectors? Accountants?

3) I'm going to ask the owner for copies of their power and water bills so I know what to expect. Is there any other documentation I should ask from the owner?

4) Is it normal to ask to throw a piece of furniture into the deal? The home has a table that my wife and I loved and it's perfect.

5) Continuing on the furniture kick, the majority of our furniture is cobbled together from IKEA, handmedowns from our parents, etc. Can anyone recommend a decent furniture store that isn't insanely expensive? I've heard bad things about Bob's but good things about Raymour and Flanigan.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:46 AM
 
Location: High Bridge
2,736 posts, read 9,185,596 times
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1) Best thing to do is apply to many and check it out. The laws have changed, and numerous accesses to your credit report when finding a mortgage do not hurt your credit.

2) Absolutely. You'll want an inspector that works in the area you're buying, you'll want one that provides a detailed written report, and will tell you whether or not you need pest. You'll want to start with ASHI.org, because you want a reputable inspector - NOT a contractor who is an "inspector" on the weekend or when work is slow.

3) Age of the roof, heating bills (gas/oil), etc.

4) Can't hurt to ask - with the current market, you might get it, but usually its appliances not furniture

5) I had a great experience with Bob's - check the specifications on their products, the cheapest of each look is usually terrible materials, but the next one up is pretty good. Specs are right there at each piece when you shop. Also, I would recommend getting settled before getting too much furniture, or making due with what you've got for a while. R&F are HORRIBLY expensive, way overpriced. Where else you go depends on the area.
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuCullin View Post
R&F are HORRIBLY expensive, way overpriced. Where else you go depends on the area.


I thought you were talking about Ron and Fez for a second there and I was preparing to fight you to the death!

Thanks for the advice. As for a mortgage, I'm looking for a thirty-year fixed rate deal, with about 15 percent down.
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:21 AM
 
Location: High Bridge
2,736 posts, read 9,185,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweepTheLeg View Post
I thought you were talking about Ron and Fez for a second there and I was preparing to fight you to the death!

Thanks for the advice. As for a mortgage, I'm looking for a thirty-year fixed rate deal, with about 15 percent down.
Nah, they are plenty cheap

Mortgage-wise, many are going to try and talk you into getting that remaining 5% as a home equity loan to get you out of paying PMI. Two options to look at.... if you're buying something you believe to be well undervalued, don't bother - if you can eek out the 5% you need by some cleanup after purchase, ask for a reevaluation to meet your 20% to stop paying PMI. Or, look at no-MI mortgages. Depending on how long you plan on being in the house, sometimes these are VERY worthwhile.
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Cranford NJ
1,049 posts, read 3,811,758 times
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Check out Investor's Savings Bank...they have VERY competetive rates. Ask the owner for a copy of the survey, this may help clarify any discrepancies. Also you don't mention if you're working with a realtor, or if the house is listed with a realtor, if so ask for the seller's disclosure, it usually answers a lot of questions a buyer may have.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:53 PM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 5,214,135 times
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We shopped for furniture at stores in NJ and then called furnitureland south in North Carolina and had them ship the same stuff for about 2/3 (or less) of the price. You can google highpoint, NC for other stores there as well. The brands were popluar ones easy to find good quality...Drexel Heritage, Pennsylvania House, Broyhill, Stanley (great kids bedroom sets) etc.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:36 PM
 
88 posts, read 402,816 times
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As long as the inquiries are all within a thirty day period it won't hurt your credit; also when checking rates ask about any fees or points they charge, and how much the application is.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:13 PM
 
87 posts, read 335,395 times
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Commerce also has a first-time homebuyer program, which carries a reduced rate for a 30-year fixed. I didn't qualify because I bought in a "declining market," but they do FHA as well, which worked for me.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Peekskill, NY
95 posts, read 406,756 times
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I've used Wells Fargo for my last two mortgages. Their rates seem to be pretty competitive and I feel a bit more comfortable going with a well established and reputable company and they've been very easy to deal with (and as of yet anyway, my loans never seem to get transferred to a different company - which happened frequently with a previous mortgage that started with a company I had not otherwise heard much about).

Definitely recommend getting an inspector - talk to several before you pick one and don't necessarily just go with the least expensive. In my experience, you'll always find some glitch, etc. in the house that your inspector didn't find, but they will find a lot of stuff you'll be happy you knew about ahead of time, and they can also provide valuable advice about what sort of routine, upkeep type maintenance you should be doing on the house. Depending on the age of the house and location and what documentation you are able to get from the seller, you may also want to have it inspected for an underground oil tank.

Never hurts to ask about furniture pieces you love, but be prepared to pay for it, don't expect it will just be "thrown in."

In addition to stuff like the roof and heating bills, ask if they have the manuals for any appliances that are being included.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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The appliances are not a make/break for me. I have OCD and the in-laws have promised a new washer/dryer and we'd get a new microwave as well. Also, as for a mortgage, I've been going to Fatwallet.com and getting info there, I've been examining BOA's "No-Fee" Mortgage but I think I'm just going to stick with a military program I'm a part of.
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