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Do I or don't I?

November 9th, 2013 at 09:12 pm

I found a house.

It is 6 years old, corner lot, zero lot line, single story, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage alley-way house in one of the communities I wanted to live in. I want a zero lot line house because I really don't want to worry about yard work.

There is a small front and side yard (in front of house is 3 feet wide by length of house, about 20 feet, it is a very small yard!) HOA fees are $32 a month (pays community lighting and watering of two parks in area).

PITI payment would be about 23% gross, 30% net. I have a friend and colleague (different area of the department I work in) who wants to move out of the house she has been sharing and wants to downsize to one room. Offered $400 a month and part of utilities which would be amazing. I would take her because she is in her mid 50's, going back to school to complete her BA, and goes away every third weekend to visit her adult kids about an hour away.

I can afford the house without a room mate, her rent would just be more I would use to pay off the house.

I am trying to figure out the Calpers loan process because colleagues have said it saved them money in the end. Of course, it is a weekend, the house just came on the market and this model (single story) in the community sells very quickly.

I just don't know what to do. I have wanted to be in my own home for several years, and here is my preferred house design, two miles from my office!

It would be a conventional loan as the FHA loans now have that PMI that is permanent. Have a percentage to put down, not as much as I wanted but with a room mate I would make up the difference.

Thoughts? Things to consider? Tax ramifications of buying a house? What can I write off in the first year (e.g. 2013 taxes)?

Comments welcome.

(and does anyone know what is going on with the "" things on the web page?? it is driving me nuts for the past couple of weeks.)

9 Responses to “Do I or don't I?”

  1. mamasita Says:

    It is always so exciting to spot a great house, imagining the possibilities. I also kind of like zero lot homes. The benefits of a single family home without the yard. Not everyone is into yard work! It always makes me laugh when my friends complain about new developments cropping up with "no yards". I assume the buyers understand that there is "no yard" and aren't fooling themselves!

    I don't know your situation but certainly look into it when the banks open on Tuesday. If this one gets under contract before you have your financing in place, at least you will be ready for the next one.

  2. Looking Forward Says:

    Exciting!
    First thing would be to secure financing. Find out how much in closing costs and everything you would need to pay.
    It sounds great, but could you afford the house without a roommate? (Just in case.) If so, I'd do it!

    The "" thing is driving me crazy too.

  3. Kiki Says:

    Yes I can afford it without a room mate but her rent would allow me to pay extra to the mortgage every month or put more away into my emergency fund. I think i would like that bigger when inown a house.

  4. snafu Says:

    I'd spend time seeking the lowest possible interest rate. Due to the way amotorization tables work, the first several years are nearly all front load interest. PMI is so expensive, 2nd, I'd explore ways to bring savings up to 20%. I don't know the specifics of the housing market in your community but generally, there is variance between asking and selling price. It is difficult but possible to negotiate realtor commissions. Yes, they are paid by the seller but using your money!

    If you decide to go ahead with an offer, hire the best appraiser and home inspector recommended. Make sure you go through the property with the home inspector to see potential problems. Check out the reputation of the builder if at all possible. 2007 was a high point for home sales, was there any shoddy work? The appraiser and inspector should be able to comment. It's only 6 y/o so builder problems would have been resolved and fixes will be a number of years away.

    How exciting to consider taking this big step forward into home ownership

  5. snafu Says:

    PS, I'd call police [non emergency line] to ask crime stats in that community. How do the numbers compare with where you currently live? Do you see any negatives about living on a corner lot?

  6. Kiki Says:

    I currently live a mile from where the house is located so I know the area well. Crime stats showed two cars broken into over the summer and a Halloween skeleton stolen off a porch and left at the park. So no crime in the area.
    People seem to love living there.

    I will definitely have the house inspected and appraised. I won't go above appraisal price.

    Will play banks off each other for best mortgage.

    I also called and got the utility bill estimates for the house based on the past year. It is only about $40 more a month than I am paying and they had a family of two parents and one child living there.

    I wont't wait for 20% down but I can qualify for a mortgage without PMI based on my familly's military service.

  7. rob62521 Says:

    Hope it works out for you...it is always exciting thinking about a new house.

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    it sounds very good, based on what you told us. Try to act quickly but do your due diligence. Built-in renter is excellent. I'm not familiar with the term "zero lot line" or an "alley-way" house.

  9. Kiki Says:

    PS a zero lot line house means it has basically the property the house sits on and a patio area. Turns out this house is not considered zero lot line because it actually has a small area of grass because it is a corner house. The entire house is 5000 square feet.

    And an alley way house means that the houses on two streets back up to each other and have one common "drive way" into their garages. So there is no parking other than the garage, no slab in front of the house.

    While I love the house and it is exactly what I want, it got four offers yesterday alone. They expect it to be pending by this evening.

    I am trying to figure out how purchasing a house would mean I could adjust my withholding but my accountant is on vacation this week. I currently claim zero for fed and 1 for the state, partly because of the business I run and I never know how much money I will earn.

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