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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. 18th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
add me to the chorus of playing hardball with your sellers. also, be sure to communicate to them in no uncertain terms that you want EVERYTHING out of the house before closing. My sellers left a ton of junk behind. not cool.

hidden expenses I can't really remember. it was too long ago plus i blocked a lot of the homebuying memories. however, i did manage to get the sellers to pay the closing costs, so that was good. i suggest you look into that (ask your agent) because it will save you a decent chunk of change.

I didn't get a URA loan for improvements because I can't really take on another monthly payment right now, but you would certainly qualify and it could help you with some prettifying at least.

I have my mortgage through the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency (PHFA). I pay one flat payment and they take care of doling out the taxes and insurance to the right people. I've heard some people say that PHFA mortgages are not the way to go, but I've had really good experiences with it. They do their own inspection and since it's the state they make sure that everything is as safe as possible, which is good because you have that peace of mind, but can throw a wrench in the works if they demand certain repairs. if the sellers won't pony up with those, then they don't go through with the mortgage. but i have a very low, fixed rate and since you're a single woman, you will most likely qualify.
May. 18th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
I'll be happy if I can get the seller out by closing. The house is divided into two units (I plan to turn it back into a house, tho) and the current owner has already asked which unit I'll be living in, because she wants to stay. She's been told no, and when we wrote our response after the inspection, we made it clear that we wanted the house vacant at closing. Hadn't thought about the stuff, tho.

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