Profile picture for Jasmine58

buying ?

I'm completely new at this an in a rush to get a place. An while wandering if I should renew my lease or find another place I found on Zillow condos for sale for which the mortgage would be 1/3 of what I pay for rent. Anybody can advise me if it's a good idea to buy and how does it usually works with down payment ?Sc area.
  • October 23 2011 - Myrtle Beach
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Answers (10)

Profile picture for sunnyview
Agents have been saying that it's a great time to buy on Zillow since before 2007. There are agents here encouraging people to buy in Phoenix yet here is where prices went.

The bubble should have taught buyers one thing. A good time for their agent to recommend buying may not actually be a good time for them to buy. Any agent who does not come packing facts that are tangible and only keep restating a buy now message should be viewed very skeptically.
  • November 11 2011
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Hi Jasmine. As you've heard, it is a great time to buy! Talk to a lender when you can and make sure your ducks are in a row. Interest rates are still low but some lenders are requiring a larger down payment and may be a little stricter about credit issues.  A good lender can help a lot!  Good luck!
  • November 11 2011
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It is a great time to buy.  However don't forget to add in the monthly condo fees that you will now be responsible for, possible condo special assessments, insurance, taxes and home maintenance.  Most likely you would still come out ahead, claiming the interest on your taxes.  But, make a list of additional costs so that you are not surprised later.
  • November 11 2011
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A couple of things that I would look for if I were in your situation. Condo's have "association fees". You will need to take these into account when determining what your monthly payment will be. These fees vary from one condo complex to another, and can run in the hundreds of dollars. Another thing I would consider is where your market is, as far as the cycle of values. I imagine that things have dropped quite a bit in your area! I would ask your agent to show you the trend in values. Why not buy around the bottom if you can. Another thing to consider is how many of the units are owner occupied verses occupied by renters. Financing can be an issue if there are too many rentals. Your realtor or lender may be able to help you here!
All the Best,
Jonathan
  • October 25 2011
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Profile picture for SteadyState
Natasha says "Set up a meeting with a realtor and go over numbers and your situation."

Are you offering financial advice?
  • October 25 2011
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Set up a meeting with a realtor and go over numbers and your situation. I usually have a meeting with people for an hour-hour and a half. It'll be so informative for you. You'll be pretty clear and understand what you need to do. If you need to buy soon or wait and what steps are going to be when you are ready to buy. Interest rates are so low now.
  • October 24 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
One thing to consider is the length of ownership. If you plan on living there for less than 7 years realtor fees and selling costs will cause you to lose money in a flat market. If prices fall even more it would take even longer to break even. If prices rise the time frame could be shorter.

With a condo see the HOA docs first. If the HOA has zero reserves then any repair that is needed could cause you to get a "special assessment". What makes it so special is the HOA says you must pay them or they will repo your condo for non-payment. 

If it was me I would look at a normal 3 bedroom house. That way if you decide to get married or have kids you will not have to sell and buy again. Plan for the future and never assume you can easily and quickly sell a house or condo as it may take several years or just not be possible.
  • October 23 2011
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Hi Jasmine!  I wouldn't rush into anything.  Is it possible to go month to month on your lease until you have time to figure out the best strategy? If not, keep in mind that it will take at least 30 days to close on a loan. When you work with an agent who knows the area well, and can quickly assess what you can afford, the process can move very quickly.  I am available this week to show you some great condo listings.  I can also arrange for you to get pre-approved for a loan, and find out what your actual payment would be, including condo fees, taxes and insurance.  

I wouldn't rule out buying your own place if we can make it work.  Not only would the payments be less than rent, but you can decorate everything your way, benefit from tax deductions, and not have to worry about deposits, moving costs, etc. in the future.  You will be home!  I look forward to answering any additional questions you may have.
  • October 23 2011
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Profile picture for Jasmine58
Wetdawgs thanks alot!!! It definitely needs time.
  • October 23 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
"rush to get a place" is alway a dangerous situation to be related to a major financial decision.   If in your shoes?  I'd renew my lease and put together a strategy for home purchase.

With condos, be aware that the estimated mortgage payment on Zillow is showing the mortgage only with the assumption most likely of 20% down.   In addition you would have taxes, insurance and often a very heftly homeowner's assessment monthly. (in some cases, the HOA dues are as much or more than the mortgage payment).

Some things to work through:
How's your credit score?
Have you saved up a down payment?
What is your debt to income ratio?   (This would be things owed such as cars, credit cards and other installment debt.  It doesn't include rent, utilities and expenses that occur month by month).

With a solid plan, home ownership is definitely something you can do.  Don't rush - rush leads to regrets.
  • October 23 2011
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