Russell (zimzat) wrote,

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House Buying: Research and Planning

I've begun the first step to buying a house: Research and planning. I know I'm not ready quite yet so I'm not going to rush out and find a house just yet.

What I have done is started making a list of features I want in a house.

  • At least two 12x12 or greater Bedrooms
    I plan on getting a roommate so I don't want to go cheap on the secondary bedroom. I would also like a designated room, even if smaller, for CouchSurfing guests.
  • At least two full bathrooms
  • Master Bathroom
  • Balcony
    It would be nice but not absolutely required.
  • Open View Kitchen (view into dining / living room)
  • No Tiled Kitchen Counters
  • No Vaulted Ceilings
    I don't understand the appeal of vaulted ceilings. They raise the heating and cooling costs and complications beyond belief.
  • Thermostat placement must make sense
    The thermostats must be harmonious. Putting the upstairs thermostat downstairs at the end of a hallway is no good. Putting a thermostat in a hallway that has most of the vents in rooms yet is highly influenced by another thermostat/AC is not a happy home.
  • Decent sized Backyard
  • East, South, and/or North of work
    Living to the east of work means always driving away from the sun in the morning and evening.
  • Less than five mile drive from work
    The less commute time the more I can do in the morning before going in to work.
  • Not a Condo or Townhouse

I've also taken my current finances into account to figure out what I can afford and what I'll need to save. I probably won't be doing a 20% down payment in addition to closing and other upfront costs. It should still be possible to do 10% while still covering for the closing and upfront costs. I could feasibly do 20,000$ for upfront costs (down payment + closing + etc) within the next year. Taking that into consideration and how much I could afford as a monthly mortgage payment (plus HOA fees and other new monthly costs) I could probably afford a house around 150,000$. I'll have to spend that same amount of time making sure my credit report is correct and building up credit references by the system.

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