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Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

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Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby walker » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:09 pm

My wife and I have always lived in apartment complexes. We have recently begun to look into buying a house. We have a mortgage broker and a real estate agent that can probably answer our questions but I was doing some budgeting and was hoping for some quicker responses.

Currently I pay rent and rge. All other utilities are included, I really don't have to worry about much. Owning a house seems a lot more complicated. I understand Mortgage payment will include the loan, property/school tax, home owners insurance, and private mortgage insurance. I know things vary by town, but general answers are good too. We are looking in the Gates/chili/spencerport area. So hear are my questions:

What does the property tax cover? does that include things like sewer, garbage, fire response?

I saw something about discounts on taxes? Who, what, how....?

How much is a monthly water bill? I've gathered monroe county water authority is $2.57/1000gallons. my estimate was about $150/y. Looking for some real world numbers tho...

From whom do I buy garbage collection service from in Gates or Chili? And about how much per month?

Same question for sewer.

Snow removal and lawn care I can handle myself, rge I got covered. Are there any other expenses I'm missing that come with owning a home?


Thanks in advance to anyone who took the time to read this and offers a useful response.
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby direwolf9 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:11 am

I don't know the answers to most of those questions, but I am about to purchase a house as well, and I know that if you can afford to put 20% into your down payment, you can avoid having to pay that private mortgage insurance.
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby BeauRoch » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:33 am

Hey Walker

To best understand what your property taxes cover you should go to that town's website or call them to ask. Fire response is probably covered, sewer may be covered but you should check and the same with garbage removal but I bet that is something you will need to set up. I had to set up a contract with Waste Management and have been very happy with them.

As far as discounts on taxes, again check the town's website but the most well known is the STAR program and you should apply for that right away.

Your Monroe County Water Auth. estimates are pretty close...ours are a bit higher but my wife is a huge gardener and waters her plants quite a bit during the summer.

If you need to pay for sewer separately then there will only be one provider and they will automatically start billing you after you have bought the house. I had that set up in LeRoy when I had a house there over 10 yrs. ago. It is done automatically as part of the home purchase.

The biggest advise is to find a very reputable home inspector which may cost you $200-$500 (guestimate) but could save you thousands. I have watched enough "Holmes on Homes" and "Holmes Inspections" shows to see there real value. Also, find your own inspector and not one recommended by the realtor of the home you are looking to buy.

Hope this helps.

Gene
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby walker » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:38 pm

Thanks Gene, lots of good info! I will make sure to apply for the STAR program.

I've been to the Gates website and the Chili website, but it's difficult to find concise information. Maybe i'm just dense. :D Anybody have a home in either of these towns that can give me first hand info?

Good advice about the home inspector. My dad likes all those Holmes shows too. It's definitely something I have to look into.
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby Stairyo » Thu Jan 3, 2013 3:54 pm

My wife and I own a house in Chili (Churchville School District side). I never had to worry about sewer, so I guess that's covered in the taxes. In the fall and spring the town comes around and picks up leaves and debris if you pile it at the street...it's nice not to have to haul it to Basil. I've never asked, but I'm sure emergency responce is included...i saw that on an episode of My Name is Earl.

STAR saves you from paying School Tax on $30K of your home's value. Make sure you apply by March 1st.

We pay for water every three months and the bill is usually between $30 and $40. Its just the two of us and we use about 7K gallons a month. So $150/year is not far off.

We had many choices for garbage. WM, Suburban Disposal, Boone & Sons were the big ones I remember. I compared the offers and chose Waste Management for a two year contract. We get invoiced every three months and its about $90, so $30/month. It includes 1 Toter, 1 Bin, and up to six loose bags. We later paid $8 (1-time) for a second Bin. There are some special items that you need to call ahead for, but they will pick up most anything if you follow the rules.

RG&E is $140/month average (1900Sq/Ft, central air, gas heat, gas water heater). Other than that it's just optional stuff like Time Warner and Netflix. If you take care of your own lawn and snow removal then that's all I can think of.

I remember when we were looking/buying we got several worksheets and tools for calculating all these things from the Real Estate agency and the Bank. Make sure you ask them for anything they may have.

Hope this helps,
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby walker » Thu Jan 3, 2013 6:42 pm

Thanks for the thorough answers Alistair! It's good to know these things.

Applying for Star by march 1st will be an issue. Due to our current lease, we can't close until at least April. Guess I'll have to wait until next year?
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby Stairyo » Sun Jan 6, 2013 1:39 am

Yes. Thi year's taxes will have already been paid by the current owners, and you will end up paying a percentage depending on when you close. If they already had the STAR excemption you may benefit this year anyway. Then I think you can apply for next year.
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby walker » Mon Apr 8, 2013 12:02 am

So I actually put in an offer for a house in Gates today. Who knows if they'll accept it. Anybody have a recommendation for a house inspector?
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby BeauRoch » Mon Apr 8, 2013 7:02 am

Hey Walker
I don't know of anybody but you could start to find one here and learn a bit more about the process: http://www.ashi.org

Gene
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby direwolf9 » Mon Apr 8, 2013 6:01 pm

Warren Engineering was recommended to me, haven't used them yet though. I was told that they are good to use because all of their inspectors are certified engineers (not sure what kind of engineers, I got this recommendation a while ago, the details are escaping me).
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby walker » Tue Apr 9, 2013 9:18 pm

Warren engineering looks pretty legit. Any idea about pricing? I requested a quote but imagine they won't get back to me for a day or two.

My realtor also recommended this place. Pricing seems decent, ~$300. Anybody have experience with them? http://www.fulmerhomeinspections.com/index.html
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby BeauRoch » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:57 am

Honestly Walker - find your own inspector...the one your realtor recommends may be good but maybe there is a reason they recommend them - like they have never have given a bad report and cost that realtor a sale.
My point is to find somebody who you will hire and not your realtor.
Also, you don't want to skimp on this step either...find a friend who is fairly handy around homes to give it a "once over" first to see if they find and glaring problems and if it passes their test then go ahead and get that inspection.
Go watch a season of "Holmes on Homes" or "Holmes Inspection" and you will see the value of a good inspector.

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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby ronbo » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:53 am

BeauRoch wrote:Honestly Walker - find your own inspector...the one your realtor recommends may be good but maybe there is a reason they recommend them - like they have never have given a bad report and cost that realtor a sale.
My point is to find somebody who you will hire and not your realtor.
Also, you don't want to skimp on this step either...find a friend who is fairly handy around homes to give it a "once over" first to see if they find and glaring problems and if it passes their test then go ahead and get that inspection.
Go watch a season of "Holmes on Homes" or "Holmes Inspection" and you will see the value of a good inspector.

Gene


As long as you do a little background work on the inspectors beforehand they should be fine. They aren't gonna risk their business or job on a realtor getting their sale. With that said, i'm sure it's happened before. So definitely look into your own, or referal from anybody you know personally. They got all kinds of literature on the internets about what to look for if you wanted to have your own list to check off as well. They usually teach you everything there is to know about your house also, so ask questions and write stuff down. Make sure anything they find is documented (obviously). Also make sure your realtor is on the ball, not just with what houses to look at, but their interaction with the offer. I learned a hard lesson on a shitty realtor. Personally she was great, attention to detail not so great. This cost me a new roof basically, so just cover every base possible. good luck hombre
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Re: Questions about Home Ownership--please help!

Postby TCampbell » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:20 pm

Walker,
I'm lucky to have my mother as a realtor. So she knew who to go to for my inspector and for my attorney.
My inspector was Mike Mullen (585-343-7873). I was happy with the work he did. He spent the time to go over every part of the house and show me what to look for when things go wrong, what needs attention periodically ect. Also, do the radon test. My house failed and I had to put a vent in for that, well I made to seller pay for it atleast.
Good luck, buying a house is a great way to spend money on lots of things you didn't know you needed until the last minute.
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