Forum Thread

First Home Purchase

TheOpusFuller 171 34 June 26, 2016 at 04:20 PM in Home & Home Improvement (2)

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The wife and I are finally ready to purchase a house. She is approved for 250k but we're looking to purchase a 4bd 2.5 bath for around 199k. That's the listing price. I'm hoping we can haggle down to around 180k. The house needs some work, cosmetic stuff really, so I don't know if you can use that a a negotiating tool. The comps in that area are around 199k so it might be tough to get them to take less. Crossing my fingers.

My question to any home owners.... The kitchen is something we want to remodel... that's if we get the house. We want new floors, new appliances, new countertops and new cabinets. Only reason we would need new cabinets is because we want to add a lot more and trying to get them to match is going to be tough, so we'd have to purchase all new cabinets to get them to march. We'd love to put in an island too since the kitchen is decent sized.

Is this something we should do before we move in or is this something that should be done down the road? I don't think you can bake in remodel costs into a house loan from the bank, correct? I think they have special loans for remodels but i'm sure the interest will be much, much higher, yeah?

My wife thinks/wants to do the remodel before we even move in (again, if we get the house) and I think it's something we should wait on.

Anyone have any experience with this?

thanks in advance!



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Joined Jun 2005
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
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depending on your down payment you could pull some out for remodel, depending on where you are living now it is much easier to remodel when you don't live there.

No dust all over your stuff
No issues with workers in house
No cooking using a hotplate and washing pans in the bathtub
No high cost of eating all your meals out.

Plan your stuff right away cabinets can have a long wait, matching cabinets may not be that difficult if you replace all the doors in the current cabinets, there are places that will reface current cabinets with veneers over the existing.

Would not count on haggling 20K off but bring a black light in and check any carpets, it could provide ammunition for a carpet allowance.
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See if you can get a HELOC when you get your mortgage. That will give you an open line of credit to use.

A kitchen will cost you $15k and up to have it done. You can do it yourself for MUCH less. You don't really need to do anything physical just contract it out instead of paying someone to do it. That is what I did. I did the demo and floors myself along with ordering the cabinets and contracted out everything else.

Major Steps:

I'd wait on the kitchen until down the road unless it is so bad you can't live with it.
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E finita la cuccagna

Liberals want you to think like them, Conservatives just want you to think!
Cash is your consideration for this project. You either have enough to pay for it or you will have to be approved for another loan, which adds expenses to the already expensive project.

The plus side of doing this before moving in is that it sucks to remove the kitchen as operative while living there.

You really just need to think cash flow. If you get the house and a loan for the remodel what kind of position does that put you in? Let's say your mortgage along with insurance and property taxes is somewhere around $1,500. Could you pay another $400 or so a month for the loan? These are fairly realistic numbers, of course anyone can change them depending on term, etc. But they do represent a fairly realistic proposition.

A home equity product is not designed for a long term payment. IMO a 5 year term is about all you should probably go on those. Of course many places offer longer repayment periods just as they do vehicles.

Cash availability and cash flow will really be key. If you don't have a nice savings built up then don't do this yet and remodel down the road. Don't become house poor, it's not a place you want to be.
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We've done both, and I can't say I prefer one over the other. The perk to remodeling before you move in is that you don't have to deal with the inconvenience of living through a remodel. The perk to doing it after living in the home for a while is that you're more familiar with the space, flow of traffic, etc, and will likely create a more functional kitchen.
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Last edited by imjustagirltoo June 27, 2016 at 04:09 PM
you may find that the current setup is more functional than you expected, or that some of the proposed changes would not be as useful as previously thought. waiting until you have a better idea of the existing stuff could save you time, money, and hassle. if you gut it up front, you lose that possibility.
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Unless you like washing dishes in your bathtub, do the kitchen remodel before moving in.
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"This whole.. I have XX company so my pee pee is 2" longer talk is hilarious. Who cares what company is cheapest, best, etc. Pick the company and plan you want and keep it to yourself."
Quote from tennis8363 View Post :
Unless you like washing dishes in your bathtub, do the kitchen remodel before moving in.
Agreed. That's probably the biggest advantage to remodeling before you move in.
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