There are at least three kinds of loans offered to those who qualify to purchase a house. The VA loan is offered to veterans. The government will loan 100% of the funds needed for the house. The house has to be up to code to meet all the approval of the inspector. They are very strict.
An FHA will pay up to 96½%. It is up to the buyer to come up with the remaining 3½%. The house has to be up to code and meet the approval of the inspector. They are not as strict as VA.
A conventional loan will pay up to 80% and the buyer has to come up with the remaining 20%. Cash is also an option to those who actually have it.
The couple that purchased my mom’s house had been looking for a house with established and wholesome owner history. How fortunate they were to be able to get into a house that had only one order. How great for them that they were able to have that option. I have not been as fortunate in my house hunting. It seems with each house our options have lessened.
Yesterday, I had actually started a post about the last couple of houses we saw – specifically the one that Roland was determined to get. I never finished the post. It doesn’t seem pertinent anymore. At least not the way it was written.
Before we moved to Oregon, I had decided that I wanted to live in one area for at least a year before settling on an area we would finally call home. Our initial plan was to drive to locations between I5 and Highway 1 to get a feel of the land and decide where it was we wanted to live.
After we moved in, Roland and I were both so exhausted that we didn’t ever want to move again. But as we are only renting, it does seem apparent that we will need to move someday, though perhaps sooner than we had anticipated.
We spent two weekends exploring. We first went to Coos Bay and then to Eugene. We did not look at houses. We toured. It’s just as well. In the seven months that we’ve been here, I’ve ruled out living directly on the coast or living in Lane County. I’ve been leaning toward Polk – though we’ve actually never looked beyond Douglas County for housing – at least physically.
I have found houses in Polk that I thought might work for us – but we have not made a physical trip to Polk – perhaps through Polk the two times we’d gone to McMinnville. I even found a house in Salem that will be going to Auction in less than two weeks. My cousin said it’s in a good neighborhood, but we haven’t gone. I think we’re meant to stay in Douglas County. But in which city?
Before we had come to Oregon, we had known our monthly payment on the house would be more than our monthly payment in Salt Lake. We had figured that into expenses. We had not planned on the outrageous water bill – more than three times the amount of what we’d paid in Salt Lake. Our expenses overall are more than we had planned and we need to either come up with more money or spend less.
We have managed to save a bit when we cut costs from our budget of things that – although they seemed necessary – we could try to live without. It’s helped some, but would be more comfortable if we had more wiggle room.
Another option that we had was to purchase a house that would give us a lower mortgage than what we’re currently paying in rent. Thus we started looking at houses online and now have a realtor who can take us to houses and allow us to look at them in person. We started looking for houses at the end of November.
Our journey has definitely been an interesting one. Fixer-upper stick houses or manufactured houses, which Roland really doesn’t want – but overall I have liked a lot better than any stick beast we have looked at.
In the past, Roland has always looked at the house itself. I look at the neighborhood. I have attended the ward before we’ve moved in. I have made my decision based upon location. But I don’t know Oregon well enough. I already have a feel of the wards. Thus I have been looking at the house itself. I have seen a few that I liked but wasn’t so fond of the location or else I’ve given myself more time to reflect Roland’s comments on the flaws of the house and have had time to weigh it in my mind.
We saw two houses the other night: one in Sutherlin and one on the outskirts of Roseburg. I like the idea of Sutherlin – because it is closer to Roseburg and we’re closer to greater opportunities at finding jobs. But I did not like the house or - more specifically - the yard.
The house is a short sale. It could take up to two months for the bank to decide whether we can even buy it or not. Also a six hundred dollar cost on an inspector who may not pass it. That is quite a gamble. Even from the realtors’ point of view, it seems like too huge of a risk. It is definitely the oldest house that we would ever live in. Also the traffic on I5 seemed loud – which is weird because I’ve been around heavier traffic all of my adult life. But I’ve gotten used to the quiet and have really enjoyed it.
Roland is excited by the potential of the Sutherlin house. He sees what things can be done to make it “ours” but I do not share in his excitement at all. The roof is flat. There is only one wall heater. The improvements that Roland would like to make don’t cost as much as the house, but they still cost. I don’t want to make payments upon improvements and a payment for the house. We may end up spending more than we are currently paying – which would defeat the primary purpose of our move.
Let’s not forget the cost of tree removal and sprucing up the yard. I didn’t move to Oregon to spend the rest of my life to fix up a house and yard for someone else to live in (I think I might actually pass away before the renovation is complete) Also there was something in the air that seemed to have the same affect on me as the Salt Lake inversion.
I think Jenna would have liked the started tree house and just having a tree to climb. But I don’t think it will be worth the move just for that. Nor do I believe it will compensate for not being able to finish up sixth grade at Coffenbury. Overall the schools in Sutherlin do have better ratings than what is offered in Myrtle Creek or Canyonville.
All four of us eliminated the house in Roseburg before we had even arrived. Dirt
streets trails, railroad
sounds. Each of the neighbors seemed to have unsanitary piles of junk
surrounding their houses. I was fine with the interior of the house –
very spacious, but still on jacks. I can visualize an obnoxious wind
knocking the house to the ground. We’d end up in some neighbor’s yard that
would just add us to the collection already built up in their yard. No
thank you. I’ve already lived next door to a pack rat whose yard looked
like a junkyard. I don’t need to look at that on all four sides.
As I was writing, Roland announced that the Sutherlin house would be out. We were supposed to look at one more house tonight and then we’d put in an offer on something. It would be one of three houses, two that we had already seen or the one in Roseburg that we were supposed to see tonight. Meanwhile, our realtor called back to tell us why the house in Roseburg wouldn’t work for us.
Roland and I discussed the two remaining house options and narrowed it down to the same house we had signed papers for on Dec 1. One we thought we would get on a VA loan except for Roland’s ex let her house go into foreclosure and defaulted on his loan and VA wouldn’t give us the amount that was needed – though they did offer to pay for a larger loan. A larger loan would defeat the purpose of our house hunting reasoning in the first place. But then again, when does our government make sense?
I still wanted to see Jenna finish out her school year at Coffenbury. She likes school. She enjoys getting up in the morning and really is excited. I didn’t wish to jeopardize that. If we moved to Canyonville, the morning sky is beginning to fill with enough light that I can see to drive her to finish sixth grade at Coffenbury. If we took a house in Tri-City, she would remain at the same school until high school. We both want her to continue in band, which is not offered in Canyonville. My deciding factor was what the cost of utilities would/will be in each area.
We won’t be going back to Utah to visit in March as we had planned. Perhaps after the move, we will be able to save money to return to see our families. We never did make it out of Douglas County. Perhaps one day before we die, we will be able to visit more of Oregon.