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Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist
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medeine From: medeine Date: April 7th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Ummm.....from what I understand, the mortgage is actually an interest-only mortgage, so until you hit year 10 (or whatever it is), you're not actually paying anything on the principal balance of the house. Read here - no equity.

Unless Veridian has changed their mortgages in the few years since we looked for our house.

I did speak to a couple of people in the construction industry that said Veridian cuts corners on installation - details I can't quite remember right now, but things like how they install baseboard, the thick(thin)ness of their carpet padding, etc. so the house 'wears' more quickly.

And the escrow folks are talking about aren't one-time costs like closing and filing papers and stuff - it's the yearly amount you need to have set aside to pay your property taxes and hazard insurance - ours is approximately $365 a month, so our approx $1300 payment would actually sound like a REALLY cheap $935 without that.

Please keep in mind that my info on Veridian is not only second-hand, but a few years old, but it bears looking into more closely, especially the way the mortgage is structured.

But house-shopping!!!! It's so much fun! :D
Good luck in your search.....
abmann From: abmann Date: April 7th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Given the calculators I've been playing with, they include taxes and PMI (as applicable). So I think the prices they quote include all recurring mortgage costs. I think Fox and I will have to visit their design studio this week and ask them, "What's the catch."

Also, I wouldn't be surprised about the easier wear on certain aspects of a home. I don't think that worries me as it's just me, lady_fox and the cats. I don't expect we're especially hard on a place - though Poe very well could mangle stair carpet if we're not paying attention.

I guess it's all hard wood floors for us. Darn. :)

Yay property tax... The calculator at the site includes estimated property tax and rolls that into the mortgage estimation so I think 1400 as stated above is fully recurring fees. Crazy.

Edited at 2008-04-07 12:50 pm (UTC)
medeine From: medeine Date: April 7th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just make sure you research the property taxes in the area you're looking to build - the $2000 that their calculator defaults to is NOT realistic anywhere in this area, especially on a $275K house, nor is the hazard insurance of $200 (which is different than PMI - private mortgage insurance, which means you're paying insurance to 'prove' that you're going to pay your mortgage!).

I live in a rural town outside Madison (but in Dane County) with a house valued at about $190,000, and our yearly property tax is $3800, which is cheaper than someplace like DeForest, where it would be closer to $4200. If your house is $275K, you're probably looking at at around $5200 a year. That's more than 2 1/2 times what their default calculator gives you, and $260 more a month than the $1400 they estimate for you!

Sorry - you're a smart person, and can do this math on your own - I just know how exciting it can be to look for a house, and how 'easy' everyone makes it look, from the builder to the mortgage company. You're a nice person, too, so I don't want you to find a catch AFTER you buy! :D
abmann From: abmann Date: April 7th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I entered property tax as 4k with a loan of 200k. Average property tax in Madison is currently 4300. :) So, sure I'm being a touch optimistic but I think the Veridian homes run a little lower than average in price.

I wish I could afford the 275 house. Realistically, I can't go much higher than 250 with 20% down. So maybe a better estimate of property tax is 4750.

Or a box. I could go live in a very nice box just off the square.
medeine From: medeine Date: April 7th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
But boxes don't have hardwood floors (and no - OSB plywood doesn't count!)....


Seriously - good luck - I really do hope everything works out for you - I LOVE owning our home (we bought our first one a little less than 2 years ago). It's challenging, and costs a crapload, but it really was fun last year using hand trowels for 7 hours to dig out the grass for my perennial bed. ::smile::

And every time I walk in the door, I smile, because, well, it's *our* home!
assfingers From: assfingers Date: April 7th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's a trick with them:

Buy a model home. They pay closer attention to detail since they show it to so many people, and it usually comes with a few whizbangs for free. We didn't pay for vaulted ceilings, our concrete deck, bathroom fixtures, or laminate flooring.

We also attended a seminar of theirs and got a free water softener for our trouble.
abmann From: abmann Date: April 7th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
But! But! I want to see if they'll build counter tops the right height first. If I can have a kitchen built for my height, OMG Sold!

We'll at least investigate build-to-suit. Otherwise, I've seen a number of models that are styles we like. The Expression models are a neat idea too, where they build to drywall and the buyer gets to select the details.
assfingers From: assfingers Date: April 7th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, there are a bunch of things I would have liked to do (sound system in the walls, anyone?) if we went that way, but for us there was really no other way.

oh, they buy out your lease too.
abmann From: abmann Date: April 7th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm heard about that lease buyout. If we have them build though, I suspect we'll be using the rest of the lease.

Is that an option? Were can I find a million dollars?
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