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Old 11-29-2007, 08:36 PM
IWEARGOGGLES IWEARGOGGLES is offline
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Default Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

Well, I think it is time for me to buy my own place. I'm not really getting along with my roommates and my bankroll exceeds my means (my rent is $300 [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]). So I've decided that I will definitely be purchasing some sort of house or condo once I get back from the Aussie Millions.

I actually looked at some places last year but didn't actually pull the trigger (which was good because I had underestimated how much taxes would be and I overestimated how much I could afford). I've learned a lot since then and this is what I've come up with:

1) I think spending anywhere from 150-180k on at least a 2 bedroom townhouse (3 preferred, maybe a house but I doubt that).
2) I plan on putting 10% down (so that I don't freak out if I hit an enormous, catastrophic downswing). I know I should be trying to avoid PMI but I'm not entirely concerned about it.
3) I will not have any roommates, but one room will be a dedicated office space (that I can write off).
4) I think my ideal strategy for paying off the house will be through cash games, while my tournament winnings will go toward my bankroll. For instance, I'd MUCH rather play a highly beatable game ($1/2 or 2/4NL online) and make $5k/month to put toward a double mortgage payment and living expenses than worrying if I have a losing month at tournaments, which, of course, is very possible.

I obviously have at least a few years worth of living expenses put away as well, which will help. There are a LOT of places for sale in Pittsburgh so I think the market is good at the moment (and could be better in 2 months when I actually search). Lots of new construction and all 'aht.

One thing that I forgot to mention is that as far as I know I'm not eligible for any first home buyer deals because my income last year was too high (I think your household income has to be ~60k or so to be eligible). Am I wrong about this?

Any other considerations? I'm just looking for some general advice. I truly appreciate any help or advice you guys can give me.

PZ,

IWEARGOGGLES
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2007, 10:14 PM
mmctrab mmctrab is offline
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

Prices in Pittsburgh have been pretty stable so far. They never really went up very much, so they haven't really gone down much either. As a result, sellers aren't really lowering their prices much. You should be able to find something good in your price range though, and not have to worry that a year from now it's going to worth a lot less. Obviously, go for a fixed rate mortgage, and have the house inspected by somebody good.

Look at the comps in the neighborhood, come up with a price you're willing to pay, and don't stray very far from that price. If you don't get that one house, they'll be another one. I'm a real hard ass when it comes to negotiating on houses and I haven't been unhappy so far. I've bought several, and every time I've walked away from a house it's been the right decision and something better has come along.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:21 PM
IWEARGOGGLES IWEARGOGGLES is offline
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

Thanks for responding mmctrab.

Yeah last year I went looking a lot and I didn't buy simply because I didn't find anything that I felt was perfect for me. I mean I guess I have a laundry list of things that I'm looking for but I'll be more lenient once I'm back from Aussie. I really, really need to live by myself.

Anyways, my realtor is actually a close friend of the family so I think she'll be able to do well with the negotiating aspect. She is pretty intent on making sure I get a good deal for whatever I buy. She has definitely told me prices have dropped (it seems that way to me as well because I think prices are different from last year when I looked) and that it is a good market to negotiate in.
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:24 PM
Jestli Jestli is offline
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

shop for the best mortgage before you shop for the house, find one with out pre payment penalties try to avoid high points and fees and so on so u dont fall in love with a place then have to go beg to get approved and have them give you [censored] rates

its good to know the price you can afford and not the payments bc they can always give you lower payment (then u end up paying 10's of thousands more in interest)

know that at closing itll be more then just the 10% down there will be a lot of closing costs there will be a lot of other exp. pmi, title insurance,points, fees, moving exp, etc.

just research research research make sure its a house thats a good deal and not just one you like, houses are usually the biggest investment in life so treat it as that, i think thats pretty much the basics, somewhat common sense but good to keep in mind
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:05 AM
VINNY VT VINNY VT is offline
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

Why not just rent a place for yourself? Since you have the money. Buying and maybe selling in a few years if plans change could be difficult. Are you certain you're going to stay there for a while?
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:58 AM
maxtower maxtower is offline
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

I have a friend who wants to sell a nice townhouse in Pittsburgh. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] You two should hook up.

I assume you play professionally. It sounds like you're playing fairly low stakes. Is this true? I personally wouldn't want a house payment as a 1/2 pro. When you say you have living expenses saved up, are you including the house payment?
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2007, 01:09 AM
IWEARGOGGLES IWEARGOGGLES is offline
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

I didn't really think about shopping for the mortgage before shopping for a house. That is a really good point.

I picked the 10% figure because I factored in closing costs, etc.

I do play professionally and I play higher stakes tournaments. I've done very well the past couple years. I am not a 1/2NL pro, I just thought it would be a good idea to take a low variance approach to actually paying for my life expenses, rather than worrying about a bad month in tournaments.

Some very good stuff in this thread! Keep the good suggestions rolling!
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2007, 01:14 AM
shipurstack shipurstack is offline
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

i have been wanting to start investing in real estate for awhile now, and i just want to know from any poker players that own a house how hard is it to get a mortgage if your occupation is a professional gambler.
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2007, 01:38 AM
cwar cwar is offline
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

[ QUOTE ]
i have been wanting to start investing in real estate for awhile now, and i just want to know from any poker players that own a house how hard is it to get a mortgage if your occupation is a professional gambler.

[/ QUOTE ]
So true, lining up some creative financing is a good option you probably have more connections than you know as a poker player for this kind of thing.
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2007, 01:39 AM
SenatorKevin SenatorKevin is offline
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Location: Shampoo is better!
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Default Re: Looking for some general advice about buying my first house.

[ QUOTE ]
i have been wanting to start investing in real estate for awhile now, and i just want to know from any poker players that own a house how hard is it to get a mortgage if your occupation is a professional gambler.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's hard for anyone to get a mortgage now, especially if you don't have all the paper trails. If you're a pro gambler, make enough and have the proper documents to prove it you should be in reasonable shape.
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