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House help.

This is the post I've been meaning to write all week, but have repeatedly gotten sidetracked from.

As probably everybody knows, I'm buying a house. I'm currently somewhere in between inspection and closing.

I've talked briefly with n0thingman, lilostitch, telephasic and momacress (along with probably several others), but I wanted to ask the questions here, all at once, for everyone to see:

What are the things you wish someone had told YOU beforehand?

What are the hidden expenses that will catch me unawares?

telephasic was mentioning URA loans and grants to me -- anyone have any experience with that?

How would you recommend handling finding a mortgage?

And, well, any other questions that I haven't mentioned.

Also, Pittsburgh homeowner people: Anything Pittsburgh-specific I should know about?

C'mon people: educate me!


May. 17th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
do you know that you'll have to pay real estate tax every year? this tax is based on the assessed value of your property, which is sometimes quite old and inacurate. if the price you actually pay is less than the assessed value listed by the county, you can file for a reasessment, which will probably mean you'll end up paying less taxes. also, assuming you'll be living there, you should figure out how to file for the homestead exemption. doing this knocks something like $800 off the annual taxes for that building.

do you know how much your closing costs will be? that surprised me when we bought our house. your real estate agent should be able to tell you. and you probably already know that you should get homeowner's insurance if you can afford it.

unless you know that your inspector is skilled, you might consider whether doing that is a waste of money. our inspector mentioned several things that we never found to be problems and failed to notice several things that turned out to be kind of obvious in retrospect (so if you are definitely going to do an inspection, try to get a recommendation for someone good)

hope that helps!
May. 17th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
One of the URA things that telephasic mentioned to me was a closing cost grant. Who knows if I'll qualify or not, but that's one of the specific things I was interested in.

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