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Old 04-22-2007, 03:38 PM
Location: central California
114 posts, read 397,975 times
Reputation: 57


Originally Posted by sunshine girl View Post
Also. Sorry I have to get it all out at once. I know there are lots of folks coming here, and l think some may be looking for similar places that we were/are. For those looking in town, nothing more really to add to above post right now. But, for those either A-looking for that farmette just outside of town or B-looking to go to one of the smaller towns within driving distance of Springfield, because they still need steady employment. Ok A first. The investors and developers are here. They have already bought up anything over 10 acres in the immediate surrounding area to build subdivisions on. The few that are left are priced high with the expectation that a builder will buy it. Like 150K+ for that 5-10 acres of bare ground. Yes, there are places with either a mobile or older house on small acreage, but we found most to be overpriced because, again, the expectation is that the value is in the land. And keep in mind when you buy bare ground, you have to drill a well, get electricity to your place, and also think about road access. We found some places that were esentially land locked. A loose arrangement over driveway access to the property. Meaning the neighbor actually owns the land in front, so if there is ever a problem, you need a helicopter to access your land because yours does not touch any road without going through the neighbors land. Also when you buy outside of town, you do have to figure in the commute to your day. And the fact that you have to travel for everything else also, groceries, taking the kids anywhere, etc. And you may have seen in other threads that you are limited in what you can do to and on your property depending on the county you are in. Greene county is more restrictive, Christian county has higher taxes. Webster county has no restrictions, but they are fighting an ethanol plant from coming in because of fears of ground water contamination and decreased property values. Do not fall in love with a place on the net, like it alot, but check it out in person. And talk to people. Area people. Folks that live and work in the area you are considering. Ok, now the B-folks looking for that small town America place. Sometimes the reason you see lovely places so cheap is because they do not sell fast in these towns. There is no work other than local small plants, fast food, the Walmarts, etc. There was a blurb in the newspaper about a new chain farm store opening in I think Marshfield or Seymour area that had 300 applicants for 40 jobs. If you don't need to work outside the home, no problem. There is no arguing that there are some absolutely beautiful towns and terrain out there. It's just that there aren't as many willing to buy into a slower, farther from the jobs place. We will eventually end up in one of these places also, lest you think I am being critical, but now, while I still have to work for a few more years, the practical thing to do is to live closer to the jobs. That's why in our case, we chose to buy in Springfield and take more time to decide which surrounding town is best for us. I don't want to break down in the middle of nowhere and there's no cell tower for service (it's very hilly here folks, and in the valleys, sometimes you get no signal). Maybe I'm just getting older and less adventurous. Cuz there are plusses and minuses to each one. The terrain is less hilly in the immediate west and southwest, more farmland, less trees. This all equals more flat clear land for a tornado to become a whopper for those who have never lived in this kind of area. It's wild and wooly in them thar hills south and east of Ava. Lots of things to consider. My rambling point is that you guys looking from afar absolutely must drive and see this all in person before you buy. The remote areas might be utopia for some, and a surprise for others. Some may love the idea of buying into the upcoming rebirth of the downtown area and want to live the urban loft lifestyle. It's a wonderful and diverse area here, and something for every cup of tea. We have found it to be a friendly, safe (especially compared to other cities) and plan to stay here. As I say, maybe not in the city limits later, but for now it suits our situation. It's kind of amazing to have so many different options in one place. And if one really wants to get away from everyone, you can end up 50-75 miles from here and buy some really cheap (again, compared to other areas) land, and beautiful countryside.

I do want to give a thanks to all who have been helpful to me before we came here. I did not post before, but read all your comments, and found this forum extremely helpful with what I feel is honest, friendly advice. That is what I hope to contribute also over time here. That's really it for today...I'm a talker!!!
Thank you for this insight. I imagine there are many people like us (and you) who have the same dream, to find that little house in a cozy neighborhood...etc. I forget there are investors and developers everywhere to gobble up land, and old houses, and there are easement and water issues everywhere. Like I said in an earlier post, I have to believe in miracles. Thanks again, as I am also quite chatty, when you get me on a subject I like!
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Old 04-22-2007, 03:58 PM
Location: central California
114 posts, read 397,975 times
Reputation: 57
Default Good post, important details...

Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
I think a lot of the info. is accurate you state Sunshine Girl, however, it's not true that you'd be landlocked on a property where access comes through another's property. Those are called easements of access and happen all over the country. I wouldn't want one running through my property, or to pass over one to get to it, but those are legally arranged.
You're right about the landscape south of town being hilly, and the more East and southeast you go, as well as south toward Branson...it gets wild and rough. I don't like that kind of landscape at all, but they have nothing to do with tornadoes. Most of the tornadoes that have hit have hit in or near Marionville and Nixa in the last two years and Branson had two. Tornadoes can happen anywhere and their causes have nothing to do with terrain.
Also, going north of Springfield or to the west or northwest of Springfield the landscape and country is gently rolling. I live north of Springfield and it's basically flat except for some slight rolls here and there. The area around Marshfield, especially north of I-44 I think is some of the most beautiful country in the area.
As far as homes with damage to pipes or water damage. I wouldn't be surprised if hundreds of vacant homes had frozen then bursting waterpipes in this last ice storm. But... home inspectors here do what home inspectors do all over the country and inspect homes acting on your behalf. If there's such an issue, a home inspector will easily identify it just as he would termite damage or issues with cracked basements, etc.
As I said, a house still has to undergo an inspection before you buy it and lenders want to know the condition of the home as well as the appraisal. Any home insurer is going to have an idea about your area as well and likely send a home inspection team to more accurately assess your home versus insurance coverage. I had a team come through mine from Farmers Insurance to verify what was on the property deed record matched what they saw. There were small differences. Because of the inspection, I'm covered up to $275,000 for replacing the house though I paid only $227,000 and I have $125,000 for contents (and I've photographed every single freakin' possession I have to keep a record online and in physical form in another location in case I ever have to turn in a claim.).
The only other thing that your postings leave me with Sunshine Girl is that for you to have seen so many junky houses, I don't think you had a good realtor. I know you say you had an angel of a buyer's agent, but how would a good agent have shown you such crap for a prospective home?
I ran across the worst realtors here, truly unprofessionals. Only ONE matched my expectations and prior experiences for service, professionalism, and efficiency/preparedness here in Springfield. I explained what I was looking for, gave some examples I thought I liked from the SpringfieldMOMLS.com site, and then was shown only homes that met that criteria.
I'm sorry you've gone through so much hardship in your house search...it's definitely far more of a struggle than I went through...though...I looked for six months because I was VERY picky about what house I would end up with. But I think it's good to remind people:
-Get a recommended home inspector ( I can recommend a good one)
-If you get a home with a well, have the water tested ( I can recommend one)
-Check the roof and make sure the shingles aren't curling. Most roofs here are asphalt shingle because of the weather and they have to be thoroughly checked.
-Make sure to have your inspector look for termite damage, even in brick homes.
-Check plumbing, especially now after the ice storm which knocked out the power for a week while temperatures plunged to single digits. The inspector will need to crawl under the house and inspect.
-Try and stay away from trees and if they're there..know it will cost about $1500 to remove one if you decide to remove it. Also check that no big trees surround your septic or the roots may have or may invade it at some point.
-Figure out what heats the house. If it's natural gas, your heating bills will be huge. If it's electric, not so bad, but higher in town. Most of the residents outside Springfield belong to electric cooperatives. I do. My electric bills run usually about $45/month.
-Have a survey done if you buy acreage, or make sure it's on file at the recorder from an earlier survey so boundaries are open to dispute.

Homebuying here is no different for the most part than anywhere else. We just have more house piglets here who don't clean before they put their homes up for sale.
Get passing inspections done before closing on contracts. It will spare you a lot of worry. Stay away from wood-sided homes ( I mean real wood). Woodpeckers (the birds) are a nuisance here and they will drill holes in your wooden sides and invade your attic making nice doorways for squirrels and other pooping and chewing pests, so stay away from wood.
Good post. This is the kind of detail I've been looking for. I've wondered about the problems with older wood homes. Brick and now, stucco, make more sense, especially with the humidity issues. Here in California, older brick homes are vulnerable to earthquake damage (older structures, with no reinforcement, and although serious earthquakes are rare, they can be the undoing of older homes in just a few minutes!) I love the look of brick and stone houses. I can't believe there are so many poor realtors. Are the laws lax? Out here, realtors themselves try and moniter others, at least they try. I guess when there are so many, it's tougher to regulate ethics and hard to prove infractions. I wonder if the messy homes are particular to any specific price range? We have them too, even all ranges, though it is an exception because, I think, most homes are less than fifty years old, and in fairly good condition, and expensive, which may be more of an issue of pride and ability to maintain a nicer home. California's history is not quite as old as back East. Just my thoughts; anyone have an opinion on this?
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:04 PM
Location: central California
114 posts, read 397,975 times
Reputation: 57
Default Are licenses really easy to get....

Originally Posted by Randy Henderson View Post
When I read the "Realtors are scum" posts, the first knock on Realtors is that they have no education - its a week's training and a test.

Let me tell you- it isn't hard to become a Realtor. The school takes about a week, and the state test's pretty tough. I have a business degree, and was pretty smug until I took the test. I was surprised at how hard it was.

If you are thinking about becoming a Realtor, let me buy you lunch. It has a huge upside, but a pretty scary downside. A lot of people can't take the idea of being self employed - basicaly waking up unemployed- every morning.
My California test was far from 'easy'. It probably was me, of course, but I had so many people tell me they had failed it, or took several attempts before they passed, that I figured it would be tough, so I studied off a disc until I was pretesting at about 90% before I took the final. And, yes, it was difficult. Had to prestudy about 1600 questions just to pass 150, on subject from tax law, to financing, to appraisel, and more. I was an honor student a milliion years ago, so perhaps it was the time passed that made it more difficult. However, due to my long term devotion (I studied around my family and a full-time job), I did pass it on the first attempt, and was proud to have done so. I still do not think it was easy. Then the real trials began, working with people and real-life situations. It's not what you think, at first, and certainly no way to get rich, unless you invest in some of the homes and resell. I just like the business overall, and get great satisfaction in helping people through what can be a very difficult, roller-coaster process. Escrows are where you really get stressed, as emotions can run high. I'm pretty laid-back, and still have sleepless nights when little things seem to go wrong. But, I love the challenge.
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:42 PM
54 posts, read 182,406 times
Reputation: 23
The Real question is where do you go once you get your license? It doesn't seem to me that it would be like just anything else, Just go and apply for jobs.
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