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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2016, 07:37 AM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

Gotta Love an Amazon with a goal! It is also a good idea to step back out-of-the way, thus avoiding being stepped on as they Bee Line between Location A and Location B!
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2016, 11:16 AM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

I feel your pain and am sorry you're having to go through this. Here is my advice from mine and my husband's very recent experiences that I wish we had known and will pass along to you. Hopefully it helps your situation because I know how scary it can be.

We moved to Houston about 18 months ago and have been renting the most decent house we could afford and find on short notice that allowed our animals. Everything was fine and dandy for about 6 months until we started having serious issues. The fence got knocked over THREE times by our idiot neighbor's kids and our landlord didn't want to fix it. It took constant hounding to get him out to finally do it, and he obviously never did a good job since it kept falling down...

After some heavy rains, there was visible mold spreading on the ceiling in our closet and several leaks throughout the house. Same thing. Complained several times, eventually made it out just to spray some bleach on the mold (which didn't work...) and did nothing about the leaks.

There were also, unbeknownst to us, some hardcore drug dealers six houses down and cops were always there busting people. One day, one of their pit bulls was loose while I was walking my dogs and attacked us. My poor beagle tried to defend us and did so successfully, but took some serious injuries. Called the cops to try to press charges, took them 45 minutes to get out there only to do absolutely nothing and WE had to pay the vet bills because the people claimed it wasn't their dog even though he came from THEIR PROPERTY! Luckily I worked at a vet and got everything extremely discounted, but I was beyond mad. That was the final straw where I told my husband we had to move and move fast or I was gonna wind up killing someone.

I grew up in the country and have never lived in a big city until now. I despised HOAs and refused to move into one. My husband and I are in a little bit different situation in that we have decent income, but also debt from student loans, vehicles and medical bills, so we were also quite limited on what we could comfortably afford (and get approved for) I found a decent mobile home on 3 acres in the country with a barn and fell in love. And it was in our pre-approved price range (which was hard to come by down here) Being naive first time home buyers, we did everything exactly as directed by our realtor and mortgage lender. Put down the earnest money, did all the inspections, etc. only to be told ONE WEEK before closing that they couldn't approve us. We were shocked. Our mortgage lender really screwed the pooch and cost us a lot of money that we couldn't get back. Turns out, it is actually much more difficult to get approved for manufactured homes regardless of income. So I WOULD NOT recommend going that route. The requirements are much stricter (water testing, sewage inspections, foundation inspection by an engineer, the actual home inspection) and after speaking to the bank manager, we learned banks will nitpick every little detail that they wouldn't care about for a normal home to deny you because they really don't want to finance mobile homes and will avoid doing so at all costs.

Needless to say, we were discouraged after going through the process for months and losing a few thousand dollars. My 3 older brothers all recommended trying planned communities because that's how they started and it's more like buying a car. You go in, fill out the paperwork, get preapproved and go look at houses in your price range. I flat out didn't want to because I hated the thought of living in an HOA neighborhood. But my husband insisted. We found a nice, quiet rural one and went through the process again. Long story short, we just got the keys to our brand new house yesterday. It was a MUCH easier, MUCH cheaper process and we got a beautiful, brand new home that we can afford. And even though I still don't like the idea of being in an HOA, there's really no getting around it anymore. At least not here. So before signing anything, I asked to see the HOA restrictions (which I would definitely recommend doing upfront) which weren't too terribly bad. No broke down cars in the yard, no painting your house hot pink and the animal section was pretty reasonable. No more than 3 dogs and 3 cats if they go in/out, no maximum of indoor pets (birds, fish, pocket pets, etc) And the dues are only $300 a year, which is by far the cheapest around here. Normally it's $1000+ and they're much stricter.

I fully admit, I was skeptical just like you and it will take some getting used to, but we're now home owners (in our mid 20s) in a nice house that's OUR'S! It can be done! Don't get discouraged and don't be afraid to try options you feel couldn't possibly work. Head up and keep looking!
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2016, 12:31 PM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

@Audry- Thanks for all the advice! It sounds like you were able to get a great deal.

Unfortunately, we are so low budget and in such a competitive market where we are, we can't even look at stick built houses (even small old run down ones in a scary neighborhood cost a good 50K+ more than we can spend). We're not even in the price range of townhouses. It's older condos or manufactured, and I think in the entire Portland metro area, we found all of 10 potential properties that would even be remotely possible for us to afford that weren't "cash only, as-is". That's why the realtor sent us to a private loan company (not a bank) who does finance manufactured and did for the guy who referred us. There's a few around we might be able to do. I would be all for moving father out, but my husband has to have a special internet service for work so we're also working within their coverage map. It's a real mess, but the guy who referred us to this realtor helped him through a similar situation and is a good realtor so we're REALLY hoping she can help us into something.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2016, 01:28 PM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

Portland is a fairly pricey market... It's not quite SF prices, but it's higher than a lot of the country. Finding a decent plot of land and put a manufactured home on it, though isn't a bad deal for that area, and there a lot of those situations.

My mom lives in Washington State, not too far from you, and virtually everything in the countryside there is manufactured. You get more bang for your buck that way. Why not try nice plot of land where manufactured is allowed... and then manufactured home.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2016, 02:24 PM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

Assuming from Mark's post what you call manufactured is what we call prefab. We did exactly this! Super young buyers with a budget of not much at all really but a baby on the way. Our very stock standard 90sqm home with 3bd 1bath was new, clean, healthy and warm And over the years we've personalised it to suit, grown a garden from cuttings gifted by friends and family, and both saved and made money on it. Our little home will still hopefully be our forever home.

Go manufactured
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2016, 07:02 AM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

Been up all night again coming to terms with everything. We are meeting the relator today and spent a long time yesterday on the website she told us to look at for listings. Unfortunately, we found the very nice and desirable to us manufactured I had seen wouldn't be available for financing (Joe found them on the map, and they didn't say it but they were in parks). It's actually pretty grim what's available in our budget. It seems we're stuck getting into an apartment-like "condo" with an HOA. We might as well build the equity instead of renting, but it is so, so very disappointing that getting into a mortgage we aren't even able to get into freestanding structure, even in outlying communities because of the market here. Even empty land to put a manufactured on would be out of budget and time frame. Heck, we won't even "own" anything but the 4 interior walls of the thing. The plan now is to go for the least expensive option in the best location with the best potential to upgrade finishes and appliances to modernize for maximize resale value. We discussed it and all the ephemeral "this is our first home where we'll raise kids" BS is out the window and we need to focus on the financial side of things. They all look really generic, outdated (hopefully a negotiation point) and like one would expect any older, generic 2 bedroom apartment to look like. A few appear to have light cosmetic upgrade up potential that a few thousand bucks and some of my DIY skills could really increase the resale value of it.

I had such high hopes if we waited until we were a bit older, made the sacrifice of living in less than ideal rentals in order to save our money before buying we could skip the step of ending up somewhere just like this. I wanted so badly to be excited buying our first "home", instead I just feel like we'll be moving into yet another apartment that's nothing more than a roof over our head, just for a much, much longer time. I think the worst part is, we'll have kids already well into school before we can afford a tiny starter house, despite being so frugal and sacrificing so many luxuries. This whole deal is painful. At least we'll be paying ourselves the rent in equity instead of throwing it down a black hole paying it to a landlord, so I just have to focus on that and push the disappointment over the whole situation out of my head. It's harder to override disliking where we'll be moving again more than it has been in the past though. I'm trying to keep in mind I really should be grateful as there are also so many on this planet with so much less than us and I feel greedy and like a bad person for feeling disappointment. The sooner its done, the better though because I'm really on my last nerve already and quite sleep deprived.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2016, 10:41 AM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

Here is a out of the box idea. I used to live in OR myself, was wanting to move back and the rental rate has gone through the roof! I have been toying with this idea myself. When I lived in Grants Pass, Medford area, a lot of people, had bought a small (very small) piece of land, put a concrete pad on it, bought a RV and hooked it up, to city water, sewer and power. I imagine, they had the internet hooked up as well. In the scheme of things, what with wildfires, floods etc, that you have to put up with, it makes sense. Also, being out a bit from everyone else, makes it perfect, having a bird. But, I must say, I don't relish the idea of driving all the way from Pensacola FL back to OR! lol
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2016, 10:43 PM
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And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

Quote: Originally Posted by Birdman666 View Post
Well, the nuisance animal rule is in pretty much ALL the HOA agreements. In fact, you probably have a city ordinance that says the same thing...
So you're overthinking this one again. But, it's not so arbitrary. If your dog barks once, your neighbor can't just call the HOA and have him forcibly removed...

It's got to be a serious nuisance (i.e. animal control has been called numerous times, you've been cited for multiple violations, and haven't done anything about it. Then they CAN take you to Court), like your dog barks all night, every night, and you make no attempt to do anything about it. (Or you have to live next to Quentin Terrantino) Unfortunately, ONE irresponsible pet owner, can ruin it for everyone else... so now we have these rules.

So, that's one of those don't twist it into something it isn't situations.

It's only a concern if your neighbors are complete uptight, unreasonable A........ !
So, this is more of a people skills thing with befriending and managing neighborhood relationships.
I had SIX in an apartment setting with paper thin walls. Zero noise complaints.

Let me share a story with you. I owned a home with an HOA, my first experience with an HOA and it wasn't a positive experience. Ten years into owning my home the neighbors behind me got a new dog. For months he ripped holes in the fence between my property and his owners. I contacted the city, animal control, the police and the HOA, no help from any even though I presented pictures and bills for fence repairs.

Unfortunately it took getting multiple neighbor's involved to address the situation, because the dog started ripping holes with other neighbor's fencing, no HOA help, BUT I got letters to let me know my grass was .05" higher and needed to be mowed, my chimney was not an approved color, and my deputy sheriff neighbor was harassed for not offering 24/7 free service to the HOA. Not kidding. I sold my house and moved into a rental. Also the selling of my home, the HOA was not cooperative. They wanted me to pay for documents from their Omaha office. I just so happened at that time to be working outside of Omaha, traveling there each Monday so when I said I could visit the office anytime, suddenly they were helpful and fastracked the docs to complete the sale.

Right now I'm shopping for a home and HOA for me is not an option. The sad part is and remember this, not all HOA's are the same, it also depends on the people in your community running them and their personality. I see great HOA's but when I reported a nuisance animal to my HOA, as well as my deputy neighbor, no help from the HOA, but they complained about the fence looking bad. That was a great dog too, it didn't deserve to be in the situation it was in. So I recommend just strolling the neighborhood to properties you are considering, talking to people out and about to get a feel for the neighborhood. Take Kiwi with you so they can see and meet him. Their reaction to them will help too.


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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:34 AM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

And chaos continues to rain down upon us! My husbands car started making a horrendous grinding noise over the weekend. It needs a $500 repair on the brake system In house hunting "news"- Our pre-approval paperwork got delayed and we have only been finding a very limited amount of anything (even condos) in our price range online. We'll hopefully be looking at one condo this weekend in person that's small and old, but at least in the area we'd like. That's IF it doesn't sell before that paperwork goes through finally tomorrow. A small positive is our landlords have decided to make some small repairs and stage their home, so that has bought us some time. If we can just keep one step ahead of them, we should be ok in regards to getting in somewhere. Where that will be is not looking super promising at this point.

I stepped on the scale this morning and was shocked. I've lost nearly 10lbs since this started. I've also only been sleeping a few hours a night and am quite sleep deprived at this point. I just can't turn my stupid brain off. I'm trying to stay positive but this whole situation has just thrown me off being so ill prepared. WHAT DID WE DO FOR THE UNIVERSE TO BRING THIS UPON US???
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:39 AM
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Re: And chaos ensues...(on the move again)

April, I am so sorry to hear that now you are having car troubles. When it rains, it pours
Please try to eat, you don't need to lose any more weight, that is so hard on your system
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for some good news to finally come your way.
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