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Old 02-22-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,530 posts, read 20,124,163 times
Reputation: 10539

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroleF View Post
Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to you.
That's why I love the Internet and why I like Internet forums. If you are polite, respectful and thoughtful and ask well considered questions, you are very likely to receive very good advice from people you have never met in real life and are likely to never meet. Ask any question and you are likely to receive 6 very poignant replies, 2 off topic replies, 1 stupid reply and 1 nasty reply. Just weed out the good replies from the 4 worthless replies and average the other 6 and you are bound to get very good advice, all at no cost!

It is because we are a social species and we are genetically programmed to help each other. The 40% useless replies are because we are a competitive species too. All you have to do is get your IFF going (identification, friend or foe) and determine which are the helpful replies. In most cases I have had little problem making that determination.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:35 AM
 
359 posts, read 1,119,564 times
Reputation: 257
Nobody but my best friend/realtor would have put up with me during my 2+ year (yes years!) house hunt! She was absolutely looking out for me and at times when I was completely frustrated ready to just settle she wouldn't let me!

Found the house of my dreams, definately worth the wait. It's a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath (2600+ feet), 3 car garage on an acre. I just finished the 1300 square foot basement adding 2 more bedrooms, kitchen and a full bath. It's just me, my teenage son (1/2 time) and my 100 year old beagle. Got it 1/2 off from the original sales price in 1997. Too big??? Oh yeah....but every time I pull up the driveway I fall in love with it all over again. To each his own I guess.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 10,982,832 times
Reputation: 1562
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryin2buy View Post
Nobody but my best friend/realtor would have put up with me during my 2+ year (yes years!) house hunt!
... and I thought my 9 months was bad enough.

But yeah - the true test of whether it's friend first, agent second, is that they will stay to assure you found a house that meets your needs, not just any house so they can make some money. And by the looks of it here, Carole, your friend and agent fits that, so stick with it.

BTW, needs is emphasized because after thinking it all through, there are aspects which are a must no matter what. For me, location was the most important aspect, followed by price - after all, I'd still have to be able to pay for it! So while a house with a 3 car garage, a large lot, and needing little work would've been desirable, that didn't exactly happen. But I still got a good house in a good neighborhood at a good price (by SoCal standards, at least!) ... and passing all my "needs" and even some of the "wants", that was fine enough by me.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Hockley, TX
784 posts, read 3,121,079 times
Reputation: 674
In a way, I have been looking for twenty years! I got divorced in 1991 and I had to give up my house then because the mortgage was almost the same as my take home pay! So every now and then I would go and look at cheap condos and try to work out if I could get a zero percent down mortgage, but even with zero percent down, I wouldn't have been able to buy anything. Then my Mom died in December 2008 and left me some money. I didn't get it till about 8 months later--incompetent Scottish lawyer, but almost immediately I began looking with my friend/realtor, but off and on. I broke my foot twice in 2009 and lost about 4 months looking time because of it.

Almost exactly a year ago, I offered for a condo in a high rise that I really liked, but it was newly on the market and the owners wanted more, so much so that they raised their asking price after our counter offer. In the end they sold in November for what we offered them. I offered on another unit in the same highrise in May, but pulled out after the inspection. So I have been trying to buy something.

Now I think I would rather have a house, but unlike Narfcake, I am not sure where I want to buy. And that is probably the biggest problem. In actual fact, ever since I had to leave my house in the neighborhood I loved, I have not known where I wanted to buy. Although my salary has more than doubled in 20 years, the house I used to live in has tripled in value, so I can't live in that neighborhood.

I feel if I can't nail the location down, it is not really wise to buy anywhere. My work is in the south east of Houston; my place of worship is in the far northwest of Houston and in between the two, single family homes are out of my league unless I go for small, old and needs a lot of work.

So like Lovehound has suggested, I need to wait a bit. I actually believe in destiny, so if there is something out there for me, it will present itself when the time is right. I just have to be patient, which is not something that comes naturally to me . Maybe it isn't on the market yet. Or maybe I am destined to live in this apartment until I die .

Last edited by CaroleF; 02-23-2011 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:17 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
11,087 posts, read 17,542,940 times
Reputation: 44414
If this house was built in '64 I'd make sure that inspector went over it twice with a fine tooth comb. Older homes were built sturdier than today, but even sturdy can need to be redone after a while. My ex and I looked at a house that looked great on the outside and the walk through. Inspector came in and BAM! The wiring needed work, plumbing was about to fall apart, roof leaked, a couple bad floor joists, etc. Needless to say we didn't go with that one.
But, if everything shows up good in the inspection and you really want it, then go for it!
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:31 PM
 
Location: When you take flak it means you are on target
7,646 posts, read 9,951,921 times
Reputation: 16466
I live in an exclusive beach community. Houses here range from 1,800 to about 5,600 sq ft. Probably 90% are occupied by couples, a few by singles. Few families can afford home here. Our house (two people) is 3,600 sq ft and before the downturn I was designing a new house for the property that would have been around 4,500 sq ft. Plus a separate guest wing and maids quarters.

I "need" a formal living room, great room, game room/bar, theater, master bedroom, two offices, conference room, den/library, gym, formal dining. I also want a "china room," and a "hidden room" for just relaxing - with one of those revolving walls - something cool. LOL

Alas the economy has us stuck in the small house, so we make do the best we can with only a 450 sq foot kitchen. LOL

Oh, BTW - I once lived in a VW van, and on a 26' sailboat with two people. It was about like living in a space the size of our guest bath. And I was perfectly happy. So trust me, you can grow into whatever space is available.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,568 posts, read 18,110,026 times
Reputation: 16707
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroleF View Post
Am I crazy even to consider it? It is the first house I have liked really, but for one person? What on earth would I do with all of these rooms?

Nope, not crazy at all. However, in addition to the considerations of utilities for the "empty" (NOT) rooms, is cleaning them. Yeah, yeah, an empty room doesn't get dirty - my aunt fannie! And down in Texas, you not only have dust that is all over the country, but you can have creepy crawlies that take up residence - so you still want to clean the empties occasionally.

BUT you DO have to consider that the extra space, double, can make you feel vulnerable. So maybe moving up to 1400 might be better - still have the space for company and hobbies but not feel so isolated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroleF View Post
Thanks for your long answer to my concerns. I have been looking for a long time and posting for a long time. Some of the people who have given me advice before seem to have washed their hands of me. They think I will never buy something. I am not sure that I will either, but it frustrates me that I could be enjoying a house now, but I can't find one that I can really afford that doesn't need a ton of work.

I have been going the open house route because my realtor has already invested a lot of her time in me to no avail. She is a close personal friend too and I would like her to continue to be so. We spent an awful lot of time looking at townhomes and condos and in the end, I didn't buy anything--in reality I have always wanted a house, but talked myself out of it. So I will keep looking. If I stall long enough, I will likely be able to retire and then maybe I will want to live in another place altogether.

About the SO, I have been on my own now for twenty years--looks pretty unlikely to me
I looked for a house for years before we found the right one. First, I was looking upstate - and I drove that realtor nuts. Every weekend I presented her with a list of houses I wanted to see that I spent the week at home searching the MLS for. We bid on 2 houses, didn't work out, and then we changed our focus and looked south, where I went through 2 Buyers' Agents. The first one was difficult to reach, couldn't keep track of the properties I was asking for more information and never got back to me. The 2nd one was great. She took about 2 months to "get" what it was I was looking for and was very helpful, spending hours taking pictures of the properties I was interested in (which were often an hour or more from her office. Eventually we bought. But I think she helped us look for nearly a year. Patience is a realtor's best friend, I think. Don't be discouraged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
That's why I love the Internet and why I like Internet forums. If you are polite, respectful and thoughtful and ask well considered questions, you are very likely to receive very good advice from people you have never met in real life and are likely to never meet. Ask any question and you are likely to receive 6 very poignant replies, 2 off topic replies, 1 stupid reply and 1 nasty reply. Just weed out the good replies from the 4 worthless replies and average the other 6 and you are bound to get very good advice, all at no cost!

It is because we are a social species and we are genetically programmed to help each other. The 40% useless replies are because we are a competitive species too. All you have to do is get your IFF going (identification, friend or foe) and determine which are the helpful replies. In most cases I have had little problem making that determination.
I am a senior also - retired and loving it. My SO will retire within 2 years. We met online, chatted and soon realized we liked each other. We met through happenstance - friends and I were travelling to his neighborhood and we decided to meet. That was 13 years ago. So, just because you don't have an SO now, doesn't mean you won't. You're NEVER too old.

And the point of that is: don't lock yourself into a house when you just might meet the man to spend the best years of your life with as you travel around the globe. You could meet him while travelling or you could meet him here and then travel.

And THEN what would you do with the house?!
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Hockley, TX
784 posts, read 3,121,079 times
Reputation: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
And the point of that is: don't lock yourself into a house when you just might meet the man to spend the best years of your life with as you travel around the globe. You could meet him while travelling or you could meet him here and then travel.

And THEN what would you do with the house?!
Love your response -- all of it. Thanks.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Hockley, TX
784 posts, read 3,121,079 times
Reputation: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamies View Post
Oh, BTW - I once lived in a VW van, and on a 26' sailboat with two people. It was about like living in a space the size of our guest bath. And I was perfectly happy. So trust me, you can grow into whatever space is available.
I once lived on a sail boat too. I know I can go smaller. I am just not sure that I SHOULD go bigger. Cleaning heating/cooling/rattling around. Not sure that it is the best choice for me. I will continue to look. I am still waiting for that AHA! I am sure it is coming…
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:37 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,530 posts, read 20,124,163 times
Reputation: 10539
I'm going full time RV soon. I have a very nice 5th wheel trailer that can't have much more room than a 30 foot sloop. I'm going to live there through the summer. Odd Lovehound trivia: I took sailing classes, I can pilot a sloop, have done it a few times. The only thing I don't have and can't afford is a sloop!

I'm going to buy that 2,000-2,400 sq.ft. house soon, perhaps this summer or next. Location: Some state that doesn't begin with the letter "C."
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