mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The great house hunt begins...

Well, I started looking at houses today. I actually met with a realtor on thursday, and we drove around to three townhouses today.

I've upped my price range after doing some driving around on my own. It seems that spending an extra 15% or so makes a HUGE difference in how much house one can buy.

So if you've been following this blog, you are probably saying "MadAnthony, how can you afford to spend that much more on a house when you won't shut up about how your overtime is going to be going away soon and you won't have any money?". Good question, and I'm not sure I like the answer.

See, what I'm thinking about doing is taking out a 40-year mortgage. That has it's disadvantages in that I won't pay off my house until I'm 65, and it will take longer for me to build up equity and stop paying PMI. But I can't see buying a house I'm unhappy with, and I really feel that spending a little more is going to get me a much nicer house in a much nicer neigborhood, and would be easier to sell when the time comes. It also seems like a 40 is a better idea than any of the other alternative mortgages people have (ARMS, intrest-only, ect). The first-time homebuyer program I'm doing doesn't offer an ARM, but it does offer an interest-only that turns into a 30-year convential after 5 years. But I figure with the 40, at least I'm building some equity, plus I will know what my payments will be (unlike an ARM) and they won't go up sharply at some point (unlike an IO). So that's my thought.

So, the houses. They were all decent. I didn't like the first one much, mostly because of the neigborhood - a huge townhome development from the 70's. The place was well-kept, obviously by old people. It had some nice touches, including a really nice kitchen and a semi-finished basement. But I wasn't real big on the area.

House number two was my favorite, mostly because of the bargin hunter in me. Nice neigborhood, a small court of townhouses accross from a bunch of single-family homes. They were from the late 70's, with newer ones behind them, always a good sign. I like the location, and I would say the house has, ummm, good bones. It needs some work - tons of ugly 70's carpet - but I like the floorplan, yard, location, ect. Plus, it's been on the market for a couple months, so I'm hoping they are ready to deal. We'll see.

Number 3 looked like something out of a home decor magazine - everything new, lots of nice carpet and neutral paint. I wasn't big on the floorplan though - killer kitchen, but tiny bedrooms and only one full bath. My guess is it will sell quickly and for full price (or more), but not to me. It was actually asking the same price as home #2.

So my realtor is going to make some calls, and I'm also waiting to hear back from her mortgage person, which will tell me if the whole 40-year-mortgage thing can work. So I'm hopeful, but we'll see how things work out.


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