buy a house Why I oughta...: buy a house

By crimson on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 10:23 pm:

    we've been looking for a place to move to. been shopping for houses right & left. well, we don't have the world's most spectacular credit profile (but not the world's worst, either). i secretly figured that ultimately, no matter what kind of a place we found, the lenders were going to tell us to piss up a rope.

    they didn't.

    i just got the word that we've been approved. getting a house is now within the realm of fact, it's damn likely. like i could be outta here sooner than i ever expected.

    taking on such a massive payment kinda scares the bejesus outta me. then again, i really want my own place. i'm tired of landlords walking in on me whenever they please, tired of my shitty neighbors, just tired of the whole lack of privacy.

    the best house we've seen is in a boondock town. yep, even more boondock than THIS burg i'm presently sitting in. cowtown, USA. mooooooo. a place so rural it makes mayberry RFD look like downtown chicago. however, the house is almost a steal, considering how nice & spacious it is. huge fenced yard. there's another house we also like that's closer but it's got some problems (still, it's a lot cheaper). the main house we're looking at is a damn good house for the price...but also the most expensive place we're considering.

    anyway, i'm still tripping out. my credit is actually worth a damn. call ripley's "believe it or not".

    i may be a homeowner in a few weeks.

    holy sheeit.

By Nate on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 11:51 pm:

    congratulations, crimson.

    don't ever make a mortgage payment late. that's really bad.

    other than that, your credit is about to improve a buttload.

    oh, and be prepared for a thousand and a half offers for home equity credit card consolidation loans.

    get a good home inspection.

    enjoy escrow. it will pass.

    blah blah blah.

By crimson on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 12:14 am:

    thanx. this is all pretty overwhelming to me. i'm totally new to the whole thing. i'm trying not to get played for a chump. the payments, regardless of which home we choose, will be at least twice what our rent is now. there will be lifestyle changes. another consideration is that we own virtually no furniture. we'll have to piece the whole damn thing together bit by bit. we're being advised that we'd be nuts to lose out on one of these houses...that it's a great deal. it does, admittedly, look pretty damn spiffy & it has a really nice yard.

    we're also having a few issues w/ our own dear oswald. i think he wanted us to NOT get approved. he's pretty upset right now. he doesn't want us to move away. he's trying to be cool, bless his heart, but i know he's really freaked out right now. i'm trying to assure him that we won't be THAT far away & he can come stay w/ us in our new place. he's not taking it well.

    the one thing i wanted that i probably won't get is a band rehearsal space. all of the properties we can afford right now are jammed up too close to other people to really crank it up. i've always wanted a place where i can just let loose & play. it may not ever happen.

By Nate on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 12:31 am:

    it gets easier. i remember towards the end of getting my first mortgage i was just signing shit without thinking. sign here sign here initial here and here sign here. i was just so overwhelmed that i figured that if anyone was going to cheat me, i'd deal with it later.

    my signature is much simpler now, too.

    writing off your interest will offset the 'twice your rent' payments. you can adjust your deductions on your W-2 so that you see that money on your paycheck instead of at the end of the year.

    when escrow closed i went and walked through the house smoking a joint. blew smoke in every dark corner. then lay on my back in the middle of the empty living room and the whole of home ownership just hit me.

    it's a great feeling.

By crimson on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 12:48 am:

    it sounds great. i just want us to have someplace that's really OURS. i'm not even going for anything all that fancy. just something solid. above all, i want a private, quiet place. my gut feeling is that we're probably going to end up w/ the house in the really small town. there are both good & bad things about that. it'll be quiet, which is nice, since i detest noise (at least other people's noise). but it'll also be culturally backward, as if i'm not already in an area chock full o' hillbillies. the local cops have already shown signs of being rather nosy (not that i'm planning to do anything illegal, but i DO enjoy hanging out w/ freaky-looking people & this is a town i've actually been run out of before by the police for the "crime" of wearing gothic clothing). oh, yeah, & there are rumors that this whole damn town is haunted. c'est la vie. the house is in great shape (as far as i can tell at this point).

    i've gotta crash. it's been a weird day.

By patrick on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 11:53 am:

    hey 50 words or less, explain escrow. I've always been under the impression its a legal service, for say when someone dies...a company is legal holder of property, and money until it's finalized who and where it will be going. Is this the same for buying a house....meaning escrow holds the property for you (and the owner) until the banks finalize all the paperwork.

By Nate on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 01:34 pm:

    pretty much. is basically just a period where a third party is handling the exchange of property or money.

    when you buy a house, you and the seller agree to an escrow period -- say 30 days -- along with the rest of the deal.

    the buyer takes that thirty days to inspect the house and make sure everything is as described. the loan papers and title transfer are all completed. the loan funds, and on the last day title is transfered to the buyer and money is transfered to the seller.

    there are critera for exiting escrow included in the deal you make. a common critera is that the deal is off if the loan doesn't fund. this favors the buyer, who can change his mind at any time up until the end (unless he has his loan fund early, which would not be smart.)

By patrick on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 01:47 pm:

    do they work on a percentage of the value of the property or do they have just a flat rate per 30 days or something?

By crimson on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 02:02 pm:

    this info (about escrow) is REALLY helpful. i'm kinda overwhelmed by this stuff & i don't fully understand the entire process yet.

    my stupid neighbors have cranked their rap music up at deafening levels (just like they do every day). my other stupid neighbors are having another domestic quarrel. the stupid neighbors upstairs are banging shit around & playing bass really loud. i'm almost quivering w/ joy that this shit's gonna cease before long. i'm going to be SO out of here.

    my ultimate terror, naturally, is that i'm going to BUY a place & end up w/ neighbors that are even worse...& then i'll be stuck w/ the sorry bastards for YEARS.

By Nate on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 02:30 pm:

    i'm not sure, patrick. your loan paperwork includes an itemized list of charges, which includes escrow (and notary, and's a long list)

    i think it came out to be about $5K total in my case, all the fees. i don't remember if it was wrapped into my loan, or if i forked it over on top of my down.

    crimson: are you getting your loan through a bank or a mortgage broker? have you made an offer yet?

By crimson on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 02:51 pm:

    we're getting it through a bank. we've not made an offer yet. we got approved for the most expensive house on our list (& of course, anything that would fall under that in price). we're going to look at a few more properties but i think my husband's ready to settle on the small-town house. we're meeting w/ a bunch of people next week & we could end up making our offer soon.

By Nate on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 03:22 pm:

    i would highly recommend going to a mortgage broker. the bank will sell you that bank's loan products, a mortgage broker will shop numerous banks. you end up getting a better deal with a mortgage broker, which, over the life of your loan, can be considerable savings.

    check this out:
    karl's mortgage calc

    This helped me visualize a lot of things regarding my loan. Like how much difference in total interest a quarter point on your rate makes. this could be the difference between buying your loan from a bank and buying it from a broker.

    also, the button "monthly table" will show the monthly amortization table. you'll notice that at first you'll be paying mostly interest, and very little against your principal. what's neat about this if you pay your next months principal with your current months interest and principal, you'll essentially save a month's worth of interest.

    for example, the first three months on $100K 30 year at 8%:

    month, interest, principal
    Jan $666.67 $67.09
    Feb $666.22 $67.54
    Mar $665.77 $67.98

    if in jan you pay your normal payment ($733.76) plus feb's principal, $67.54, in feb you'll actually be paying for mar. in other words, you save $666.22 over the life of the loan just by prepaying $67.

By Dougie on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 03:45 pm:

    Wow, that's way cool, that calculator. I'm starting to look for houses. Saw something this weekend, a little shack of a house, and they wanted $219,000. It's right on the water, with its own bulkhead and dock big enough for a 34-foot boat, and a beautiful back yard. No garage. But damn, that backyard and dock!

By Czarina on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 04:09 pm:

    Crimson,when I bought my house,I took a 20 year mortgage.I then proceeded to work my ass off and pay it off in 7.5 years.I made triple payments.You would not believe how much I saved in interest.I realize not everyone is as ambitious as I,and willing to work that much,but if you can even pay an extra $100.00 each month,that goes straight to the principle,and will save you a bundle.Once I payed it off,I put it in a trust for my kids,[mostly so my ex wouldn't get it,and I have no desire to remain here in the south].
    Anyway,you might also consider looking at properties out in the country,you can get acerage,and prices are usually lower.When I started looking at properties,I decided where I wanted to be centrally located to,and gave myself a 75 mile radious.I had the race horses,so needed the acerage to train on,but had to be close enough to haul my stock to the track.I ended up about 17 miles outside of a main city,got a great house plus acerage,and saved a bundle.Also,no hassle with annoying neighbors.

By Cat on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 04:16 pm:

    Over here you can get really flexible mortgage products that allow you to keep all your money in your mortgage and then just withdraw as you need to. I bet you have them there as well. You have to be disciplined to make it work, but it sure saves a lot on interest.

    Also look at a product that allows you to pay fortnightly, it's amazing how it saves you thousands over the long term.

    Owning a house makes me feel very grown up. I love having somewhere I can put myself into and it's nice to know there's somewhere that I really belong.

    Home is really important to me because we travelled so much when I was young and I never felt I had an anchor.

By crimson on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 04:22 pm:

    i was looking at land in rural oklahoma, where shit's REALLY cheap. however, my husband has to remain physically close to his place of employment (my own job is fairly mobile; i'm self-employed & only require steady internet access...actual location doesn't matter quite as much for me). but for my husband's sake, we can't move too far away.

    the bank we're dealing w/ has a setup through my husband's workplace. everyone out there goes through this one particular bank. he thought he'd give it a try. he wasn't sure about going through VA (he's a vet) or other alternatives.

    i've had people telling me that you can't double up on house payments...that if you prepay, there's some kind of big penalty. don't know if that's true or not. that's just what i've been hearing.

By Dougie on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 05:02 pm:

    Any penalties for paying it off early, Czarina?

By Rhiannon on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 05:21 pm:

    Nate, I can't figure out the mortgage calculator, but can you tell me if I'm right: if you pay $1500 the first month, you're paying one month's interest and about 12 months' principle*, which will in effect save you over $7000? And that if next month, you also pay $1500, you save another rough $7000?

    *1500-666=834 834/12=69.5

By Nate on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 06:45 pm:

    yup. except, if you follow the amortization table down in years the principle grows and the interest shrinks. so you pay more interst per payment the first year than the last year.

    crimson: i've taken three mortgages and never had prepayment penalties. it depends on the quality of your mortgage. all mine have been A-paper loans. a good mortgage broker will work to score you an A-paper loan. you can specify that your loan have no prepayment penalties.

    by all means investigate the VA loan. a friend of mine has a VA with 3.something interest rate. that's a huge savings.

By crimson on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 08:02 pm:

    i'll check out the VA loan. i don't even know where to begin. i'll be talking to a realtor in a few days...she may know how to get me started. most of this stuff is greek to me...i mean, i've got no idea. but if the VA people can help, that'd be cool as hell. my hubby deserves SOMETHING for having signed his ass over to the military right out of high school.

By Nate on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 08:56 pm:

    your realtor should have good leads for a mortgage broker.

By crimson on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 10:20 pm:

    cool. i'm looking forward to talking to her. we're going to view some more houses this week but i think my husband's kind of leaning toward this one particular home. i've got to admit that it's nice & the realtor said she might be able to get the price lowered by 5K or so. the main problem is that it's a bit removed from anywhere we'd really care to be. it's neither totally rural nor urban. it's on a residential street in a jerkwater town. one of those neighborhoods crammed full of shiny happy people (except they happen to be rubes wearing overalls and dipping skoal). still, it's the best option we've been presented w/ so far & i figure we'd be nuts if we had a chance to snag this place & didn't follow up on it.

By dave. on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 02:41 am:

    definitely get a broker. they know all the angles. we didn't give ours much to work with but he worked his ass off and we wound up with 7.25% interest (good at the time) on 3% down and really unimpressive credit going in. if i understand correctly, it's mostly the lenders that pay for the broker's services. i think we paid $500 or maybe that was just the good faith dealy. a good realtor will be tight with a good broker and a good inspector.

    this is kind of funny, to me anyway. check out my cousin's page. i don't even know him, i only see him briefly at funerals even though we've lived a half hour from each other all our lives. he's from the wealthy side of the family. i bet he's even a -gasp- republican. (i wonder if he checks referrer logs.)

    honestly though, the thrill of being a homeowner has pretty much worn off.

By Electra on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 09:16 am:

    I am Cat's housemate. I read the boards a lot but don't like to say anything. Except for now. I have to tell you that Cat has the best ideas for real estate and finance.

By patrick on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 12:47 pm:

    do you have any naked pictures you'd like to share?

    i dont understand how people could read this crap and not say something.

By Cat on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 03:44 pm:

    Electra won't be doing any sharing, unless she'd like to share the dog house with a little black woolly thing who snores.

By Dougie on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 03:46 pm:

    At which point, mourning will really become her. *rimshot*

By Cat on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 04:05 pm:

    Dear Dougie,

    Could you please provide an instruction book for the above statement.

    Thanking you in advance for your assistance,

    Ms Cat

By mgmt on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 05:15 pm:

    Ms Cat could you please explain your statement.


By Mr. Dougie on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 05:26 pm:

    Dear Ms Cat:

    The above post was nothing more than cheap wordplay on the title of Eugene O'Neill's play, "Mourning Becomes Electra".

    I hope this clarifies matters, and look forward to future exchanges with you on this board.


    Mr. Dougie

By Antigone on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 06:16 pm:

    Trying to get naked pictures from Cat is like trying to get charity from an Objectivist Neitchian.

By patrick on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 06:34 pm:

    i was talking to Electra

By Cat on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 07:17 pm:

    Dear Mr Dougie,

    Thank you for your invaluable assistance in this matter.

    Cat Inc. will certainly use your translation services again should the occasion arise.

    Yours sincerely,

    Ms Cat
    CAT INC.

By Cat on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 07:35 pm:

    Antigone, send me nakey shots and I'll be happy to distribute them in a generously frivolous way.

By Antigone on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 10:50 pm:

    If I ever reach 215lb, you've got a deal...

By J on Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 03:18 am:

    Then share them Cat, with your good friend Janny,providing Antigone is over 18.

By semillama on Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 12:36 pm:



    Antigone, you gonna be in tha Big Easy or no?

    If Pug can't be there for an ass-kicking, then you'd better.

    Just weighed myself last nigh, for the first time in about a month and a half. This was brought on by a self-observation that my workpants, which were tight at the beginning of fieldwork 3 weeks ago, so much so that my zipper kept coming unzipped, felt loose this week. So, I hopped on the scale, and 168! That's more than I have weighed in the last year, and actually probably closer to the last four years. But the pants were looser, though, and I thought I looked a little more svelte. So I took out the measuring tape, and it was about 36" around the waist, which makes it more mystifying for me, since it seems to be less down that region than before visually. Althoug I could have gained a bit of fat between the time I moved from Wis. and the itme I started fieldwork.

    So I grabbed my new Accu-measure bodyfat calipers. 10.7% bodyfat! What the hell? That's good, but am I just measuring wrong witht the tape? I also had eaten Wendy's a couple hours before, so I could have been a little bloated.

    Freakin' weird, but since I should be in the field for at least the next two months, I could be looking pretty good this summer.

    Ok, that's it for my little self-indulgence.

By Nate on Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 04:14 pm:

    "which makes it more mystifying for me, since it seems to be less down that region than before visually"

    that sounds pretty shitty, buddy.

By Cat on Sunday, April 8, 2001 - 06:13 am:

    Send photos of "region" so a proper assessment about any erosion or corrosion can be made. Trust me, my interest is purely in the pursuit of valid cock shots.

By semillama on Sunday, April 8, 2001 - 01:04 pm:

    Clarification: Region per above statement refers to area between nipples and crotch.

By The Dinner Lady on Sunday, April 8, 2001 - 06:27 pm:

    Back on your homebuying tip - if you have a realtor just remember that unless they are a 'buyer broker' (which means they work for you and your best interests and which would have to disclose to you in writing - very unlikely they are) - your realtor is bound to try to get the best deal for the seller not you so by all means do not reveal to that person things like 'we're dying for this house' or 'we have to move' other things that would lessen your position when it comes time to make a deal.

    Homeowning is great! Even if things break down at least you are in charge! It totally rocks! Good luck!

By crimson on Sunday, April 8, 2001 - 07:32 pm:

    actually, my realtor did say that she'd be working on our behalf, not for the seller. i think she's a buyer broker. i'll find out more about it when we meet w/ her tomorrow. the realtor handling the house that's our second choice is working on behalf of the seller, though.

By The Dinner Lady on Sunday, April 8, 2001 - 07:45 pm:

    Make sure you have it in writing that she is a buyer broker. Usually you have to sign a contract(or I did) saying they are your broker and work for you. Either way, in MA they have to disclose who they work for - might be different there. Buyer brokers are pretty rare but VERY VERY COOL. I live in a condo and I paid the least out of everyone who bought in the past 8 months and I am sure it is because I had a broker on my side - I was really lucky. It was great to walk away from a place and have someone go 'the building is falling apart' or 'that is really underpriced you should go for it' and know that they weren't shitting me.

    More info here:

    That's my broker's site. I'm sure things are a little different state to state but good general info.

    I hope you live happily ever after in yer new home!

By patrick on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 12:27 pm:

    do you have fantasies about having Norm Abrams and Steve whats his face from This Old House come over and work on your Mass. colonial brick townhouse or whatever.....?

    i do...when i own the place.

By The Dinner Lady on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 12:35 pm:

    All those Home and Garden TV shows, I want one of those British Home people to come over and funkify my house for free.

By Dougie on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 12:36 pm:

    I'd kill for Norm's arsenal of tools.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 01:02 pm:

    that would probably work.

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 03:15 pm:

    i just walked in the door. i've been looking at houses for hours & hours. it's hotter than hell outside & wasps are flying around everywhere.

    most of the houses i was shown today were dumps. one was particularly nasty. there were still people living in there. looked like someone had shat on the carpet. there were cigarette butts strewn all over the place. hideous brown stains all over the carpeting & every room was torn up.

    the good news: for the same price as the piece o' shit house, i think we may have found our home.

    our first choice for a house clocks in at $65K. that's a bit much, but we were willing to consider it (& we did get approved for it).

    but...we saw a great little place for $49K. it would put us, once again, next door to a cemetery (this seems to be our fate in life). other buyers are apparently not interested in this house because they don't want to live by a cemetery, the superstitious fucks. i don't care about that. i'm cool w/ having dead people for neighbors. i'm not prejudiced about it. i'm not one of these people who requires my neighbors to have an actual pulse.

    this is a little dollhouse. it's much smaller than the more expensive house but then again, there are only 2 of us living there. it has a brand new A/C unit, new stove, & the fridge comes w/ it (any appliance or piece of furniture that comes w/ a house is going to be an obvious plus for us).

    difference between the two houses: the more expensive house has one extra bedroom, a much larger backyard & more storage space. however, it also has an infestation of ants & spiders, as well as a massive A/C unit that's about to crap out at any moment. the linoleum in the kitchen is splitting up & is in need of repair. there's also a good-sized burn mark in the kitchen floor.

    the smaller house needs to be painted (like about ten years ago, it should've been painted). the inside looks great. hardwood floors. much smaller yard (more space in the front yard than the back). it's at the end of a street; one side of the house faces toward an open pasture w/ no other houses (i like this. cows are far less annoying than my present neighbors). then there's the cemetery, which has apparently run the property value down, but i don't care about having dead neighbors, because they, too, are less annoying than the bastards i'm living next to now.

    my husband is considering making an offer on this smaller house as early as tomorrow.

By patrick on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 03:23 pm:

    make you offer to include having these things doen before you move in. A/C, painting, extermination, floors etc. are not really major things in terms of house work.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 03:35 pm:

    or have the seller give you cash back to handle these. get estimates of work to support the amount you request back.

    i'm completely in shock at the idea of a $65K house. i can't even comprehend $49K.

    fucking california.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 03:44 pm:

    crimson, if you don't mind me asking, how much rent do you pay?

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 04:01 pm:

    i thought houses were sold "as is". if there's something wrong w/ the A/C unit, isn't that the buyer's problem?

    oh, the more expensive house, the water runs in the tub all the time. a steady small trickle that won't shut off. also, the bottom of the tub is messed up a bit (yellow-brown chemical stains & missing hunks of enamel). the bathroom in the smaller house appeared to be okay.

    the area we're considering moving to is apparently prone to ant infestations, something we don't especially have a problem w/ here. it's kind of weird. it's not all that far away, but the geography changes a bit. the land is flatter (more tornado-prone).

    i don't know how to explain this, but there's some kind of weird psychic difference between the two houses. the smaller house seemed more inviting & friendly. the larger house is somewhat dark & oppressive.

    if i got the smaller house, i'd eventually re-paint it...but i'd put the trim in some sort of pastel color (it's presently all white). it might make it look a little more cheerful (or deranged).

    getting the fridge & stove along w/ the house probably saves us about a grand or so. the stove is new & was just professionally installed a few weeks ago. the place has a utility room, as well.

    the yard is quite small. that's a drag because oswald damn near had me talked into raising sheepdogs. the smaller house is not sheepdog-friendly (but it'd be great for a toy breed, which means i might be able to rescue that pitiful little poodle-mix varmint awaiting the executioner down at the humane society).

    it's daunting, to think of spending so much money. but w/ the cheaper house, our payments would be slightly closer to what we're paying in rent (it'd be 2 times more, rather than 3 times more).

    we might be nuts to give up the larger home. however, there are issues w/ it that we may not have enough money to realistically address right now.

    one drag about the smaller about 5 years, it may need new roofing.

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 04:06 pm:

    my rent's just under $300. the bastards keep raising it. it used to be less.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 04:35 pm:

    all houses have problems.

    i don't know if this is california only, or federal, but houses need to be explicitly sold as "as is" to be considered such. this isn't so important for problems you know about, but any problem the seller does not disclose is the seller's responsibility.

    things like paint and leaky faucets are easy to repair. that's what homeowners do for fun. things like bad foundations, etc, are costly and should be revealed when you have inspections done.

    do you have a downpayment? how much? has anyone told you you'll have to pay PMI (mortgage insurance)?

    $47K at 8% for 30 years should be about $345/mo. assuming you're at least $2500 into the 15% tax bracket, that is equiv. to $305/mo in rent (or less.)

    a VA loan will be a much better rate, no downpayment required and no PMI. (mortgage insurance is a ripoff and you shouldn't pay it unless you have to.)

    i just checked with a friend of mine. his VA loan is at 3.5%. payments would be about $211 on $47K or $291 on $65K. $291 adjusted for your tax savings would be equiv to about $270 in rent.

    a buddy of mine pays $250 a month in rent for a tiny laundry room with no heat. fits his cot and a bookshelf. they drop an extension cord out a window above him so he can have electricity.

By The Dinner Lady on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:01 pm:

    Crimson, when you offer on the house you get to say in your offer what you're offering on - ie: you get to say 'I'll buy the house for $39K if you fix the problems listed below' You may want to ask for $ off the asking price instead however because YOU can have the things fixed that you want fixed the way you want, not just some crappy patch job by the current owner that fulfills the requirements but blows up 2 months from now. And really, I think Nate said this but get a home inspector because then, *as long as you state it in your Purchase and Sale agreement* you can re-negotiate based on what they find or back out entirely. You don't want to just offer on a place then find out it needs $20K of electrical work just to make it safe enough to live in.

    I think the house at the end of the street next to a graveyard sounds great. I mean, is it a busy new graveyard or an old quiet graveyard? My boss lives next to a graveyard and says it's nice and quiet. Cows too - you'll just have to smell their cow-stink but otherwise it sounds lovely. You always can wait too, new places will always come up. I looked for a year and a half to find my home but it has everything I want. If you feel skittish, write a list of what you need, want, and are willing to accept, it helps you clarify in your mind what you want and also will help you say 'hey, this place has everything I want' when you see it.

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:07 pm:

    my husband seems very hesitant to enquire about the VA loan, for some reason. he doesn't think it'll do any good because he defaulted on a student loan.

    we don't know anything about mortgage insurance. we'll probably find out about that this week.

    we'll be making a downpayment, but i'm unclear as to how much.

    the more expensive house is in a residential neighborhood w/ lots of families. the smaller house is also in a residential neighborhood, but it's mostly populated by senior citizens (we'd be buying it from an elderly widow).

    that's one problem that the realtor pointed out to us. she said that reselling the house might prove difficult because no one wants to live in a small house in a neighborhood w/ a bunch of geriatrics (i.e., the main housing market is pitched toward yuppie families who wouldn't find their quiet elderly neighbors "family-friendly" & besides, the dorks don't want to live next door to the cemetery 'cos that's like scary or something...add to that the fact that you can't cram 6 kids in a two-person house).

    however, the way this area is growing, I think it'll only be a matter of time before the city starts encroaching on this small town. i secretly think that the property value can ONLY go up because the more populated areas have already swallowed up & annexed a number of nearby suburbs & the boom seems to be relentless (& it's pushing right in the direction of where we're thinking of moving).

    for my rent, i'm getting 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, kitchen, living room, central heat n' air. your basic apartment.

    one drag: the smaller house doesn't have central heat & air. the A/C is a window unit (brand new, somewhat large). we've been told that it cools the whole house. the upside is that we don't have to drop a grand or two on some behemoth of a cooling unit. the heat is gas, located in the center of the house. the more expensive place has central heat & air (but as i mentioned, the A/C is faulty & we were told we'd have to replace it).

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:18 pm:

    a 30y $65K loan at 3.5% will save you over $60K v. a loan at 8%, over the life of the loan.

    not including PMI, which, if you put less than 20% down is almost always a requirement. that should be about $60 a month on a $65K loan, until you have 20% equity.

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:20 pm:

    the graveyard has some rather old, quaint graves, but is also still very much in use. it's quite large. the part that i can see from the yard of the house is the newer section. there are a lot of headstones there w/ the death date missing (the people haven't died yet...they're just waiting to take up residence). some of the cooler graves are the "above ground" type, like what you'd typically see in southern louisiana cemeteries.

    as for the cows, it's not like it's next to a dairy farm. not too many moos. couldn't smell anything at all, really.

    this particular house (the smaller one) is on a weird street. some of the houses are nice & some are kinda shitty. it's a total mixed bag. since it's a big area for seniors, my guess is that the more run-down houses belong to elderly people who've gotten too old to keep up w/ the repairs. i spoke privately w/ the widow who's selling the house & she pointed all up & down the street telling me who's just ill & who's terminal.

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:24 pm:

    i think we really need to consider looking into a VA loan, if it can offer reduced interest. all they can do is tell us "no". i'm not sure what my husband's hesitation is about. he doesn't seem wild about talking about it, much less actively pursuing it as an option.

By Cat on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:24 pm:

    Are you able to get house loans at 3.5%? I'm about to renegotiate my mortgage, and I can probably get 5% for a year, then it will go up to at least 5.5%.

    Every American should run out and buy property at 3.5%. That's practically no interest, and means you're paying off the capital at a much faster rate.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:44 pm:

    that's a loan for veterans, cat. my house is at 6.875%, 15 year fixed.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:46 pm:

    crimson: do you remember ever seing a big black guy with a mohawk driving a van? maybe your husband is awol?

By cyst on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 05:51 pm:

    no kidding.

    I think maybe in the next few months my boyfriend and I may have some lawyers draw up a contract so we can go in on a condo together. I know a gay man and a lesbian who bought a duplex together this way.

    he has the down payment, and I have the income. we want to split it so that at the point we want to sell, each of us will get a percentage of equity equal to the percentage of money we've put into it. either of us should be able to choose to withdraw from the contract at any time (meaning the one person would have to buy out the other's percentage of equity according to a current appraisal value, or we'd have to sell it).

    I bet this isn't much harder than it sounds. except I totally don't want this business agreement to start getting into common-law marriage, which is a shitty fucking thing, if you ask me.

By patrick on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 06:10 pm:

    crimson always ask for more. ALWAYS. The worst they can say is no. Be aggressive with these repairs and whatnot. If a mere mention in the offer can save you from the trouble once you move it man! Even if you think it unreasonable...ask!

    looking into the VA loan would seem foolish. Like you said...all they can say is no.

    do you think they may want to unravel the aforementioned student loan?

    i think being near a cemetary could be a unique quality about it. Where we lived in Raleigh, we were next door to the oldest cemetary in town, and some of the prettiest, most sought after old homes in the downtown raleigh area.

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:10 pm:

    i just spoke w/ a very elderly woman here about this whole issue. she's done the house thing before, many times. thought i'd ask her (since i'm taking advice from ANYONE right now). she told me emphatically to go w/ the smaller of the two houses. she had a number of reasons for dispensing that bit of advice. she also added that seniors make the best neighbors because generally, they're not interested in stealing your shit. which is admittedly a plus. she also told me they're lying out the ass about the cost of repairing or replacing a central air unit (the realtor told me it'd be one's apparently way more than that). that A/C unit looks like hell. it's all rusted & everything. looks damn near fit for the junkyard.

    that cemetery is weird. half of it's modern & half of it is old-fashioned & vaguely creepy. some of the old vaults are crumbling away & you can see right into them. some have glass cases w/ the rotted black victorian funeral wreaths still in them.

    just spoke w/ my husband on the phone. he's strongly considering going w/ the smaller house. if we really do that, then repairs will be far less of an issue. the A/C unit is new. there's a fridge (older) & a stove (brand new). we'll be left w/ buying a washer/dryer unit (i don't think the town even has a laundromat). the roof is the main thing. it'll need a roof job here in a few years. also, there's the matter of painting the house, but that's a relatively minor concern right now.

    i don't know where to start w/ the whole VA loan thing. maybe they're online. i'll check it out. i'd probably be nuts not to.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:14 pm:

    in a couple of years you'll be able to take a home equity loan to help with the roof.

    i believe a mortgage broker can help with a VA.

By cyst on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:29 pm:

    hey, I was just thinking about this whole condo thing (it's gotta beat paying $810 to rent a one-bedroom), and I found really scary articles about a popular type of siding known as EIFS or synthetic stucco.

    apparently a million seattle-area condos were built with this shit, which traps moisture and rain between the siding and the structure if not perfectly installed (and perhaps even then). supposedly the manufacturers have revamped the design a little, but they seem like big-time weasels and I still wouldn't trust the product. I'd even prefer asbestos composite.

    I wonder if similar problems have occurred with vinyl siding.

    anyway, buyers beware!

By patrick on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:29 pm:

    oh i was gonna mention...a/c wall units DON'T cool the entire house down...efficiently anyway. Whomever told you that is full of crap. They will a decent job on that one room...but they won't do the rest of the house.

    Is it a shotgun style house? Maybe if its in the central room...and all the other rooms brnch off it, but if you have a hallway seperating the rooms...forgetboutit.

    if i didnt mention it...GOOD LUCK. Nico and I are tired of renting thats for sure. They are rredoing the entire plumbing in our joint now, after calliing Dept. Of Health, Bldg Inspectors Dept. and filing a complaint with the Dept. Of Realtors.

    They are in my apartment busting holes in almost all of the bed so sick of that shit.

    So, taking a walk in our hood this weekend, looking at all the houses around our area...we really want to get out, as soon as her business gets in better footing.

    I really love my neighborhood and it would be great to take a place there, but the houses are goign to be at least 200k for something small and charming crammed into the hillside.

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:38 pm:

    200K? good god almighty. for that price, the house should come complete w/ a domestic staff that gives complimentary blowjobs.

    i just tried to find VA loan stuff online. i got funneled toward this "instamortage" company...something like that. they're offering somthing like 6% (our bank's offering 7%) but still...i don't think it's the actual VA. it seems like a lot of places are trying to pose as the VA, only to steer the gullible (like yours truly, in this case) toward something else altogether.

    our realtor said that almost nobody uses mortgage brokers & that in the whole of her career, she's only had 2 people try it.

By Cat on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:48 pm:

    200K seems pretty cheap for L.A. to me. Look at Sarah's post about paying $1,800 a month in rent for a three bedroom house. On those figures, she could easily be paying off a $200K mortgage at 10% and still be left with a dozen pairs of nice shoes.

By Cat on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:51 pm:

    The thing about the property market is that you have to dive into it as soon as you can. Prices are only going to go up, so the sooner you've got a slice of the pie, the easier it is. Ten years ago, that $200K house in L.A. probably cost $120k, and in five years it will be up to at least $250K.

By cyst on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:54 pm:

    houses for 200K? where in L.A. do you live? my god, supposedly the average single-family house in seattle's county is $234,000. I'm not expecting to find anything for much less than $200,000 for a one-bedroom condo.

    this is the one I know would love:
    Capitol Hill $239,950 1516 E Republican 9. 1 BR/1 BA spacious, beautiful light-filled Anhalt. Hdwds, leaded windows!

    but I can't start shopping yet.

By patrick on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 07:58 pm:


    yeah crimson, thats the low end. granted I live in one of the more expensive areas in the city...right now anyway. the higher in the hills, the more $$$. A buddy of mine recently bought a modest sized 3 bedroom house in the hills,not too far up though, with no view, and a seperate studio and pool (granted its designed flawlessly in a post modern manner) but he paid about 800k for it. He's also the DP (director/producer) on videos for bands like tool and rage so homey's making bucks.

    a 2 bedroom bungalow, with a tiny yard and a 1 car garage went for around 400k about 6 months ago...around the corner from my house.

    there are cheaper parts of LA, but if Im going to invest in a house I don't want to be in area im not happy with.

By Cat on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 08:00 pm:

    How much do you pay in rent Patrick?

    For that matter, how much is anyone who wants to disclose it paying?

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 08:09 pm:

    i found the VA stuff online. i picked up a toll-free number & we're going to call & get some forms. my husband fits all of the VA eligibility requirements.

    the more i think about it, the more i'm kinda spooked about the empty lot near the house (the smaller one). if it stays an empty pasture, that'd be great. my fear is that some developer is going to plop down some kind of yuppie "pre-planned community" on it. that's all the rage around here. developers keep building these little McMansions, all crammed up together. yankees come down here in droves & they just eat that shit up. they can't get a normal house. they live in "communities" w/ houses so close together it's unbelivable. then they try to sell the locals on the idea that it's fashionable to live that way. those things are going up like crazy around here. if you look at those places, you'll see an SUV in every single driveway & the houses all look exactly alike. not just kinda alike, but EXACTLY alike. anyway, i just have this creepy feeling that somebody's going to find a use for that pasture other than letting the cows graze. if not a set of McMansions, it'll be turned into a wal-mart super center.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 08:25 pm:

    but you'll be able to sell the house for more.

    crimson, i would very seriously consider getting another realtor. she sounds like she sucks.

    it's the difference between buying jeans from the levi's outlet or a department store. sometimes you just don't want levi's.

By crimson on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 09:56 pm:

    i'm not exactly sure who else i'd go through...i mean, if we decide we want this particular house. we've dealt w/ another realtor & he just struck us as being bad news. he was the glad-handing, back-slapping sort. aging frat boy. scary.

    yeah...if they put some development in that pasture that we just can't roll w/ then we can always resell the place.

    everybody we've talked to locally has advised us to take the house that has fewer repair issues.

    the realtor (the main one we're working with) says that she works on behalf of the buyer & submits the paperwork to a number of different banks. something like that.

By Nate on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 10:22 pm:

    your realtor is getting your mortgage?

    man, that's wierd.

By Platypus on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 11:32 pm:

    Talk to the VA. Seriously. The loans are outstandingly good, and marvelous, and excellent, and you totally should look into one. The worst they can do is reject you.

    Get that house inspected, top to bottom, and cite any problems when you're bidding. The bank WILL NOT finance a mortgage on a house that is not up to code or has serious problems, and that should be brought up.

    Cat, (I think it was you?) I am paying $100 a month to live in one of the shittiest hovels you have ever seen in your life. However, it also happens to be right on the ocean in Caspar, which is in Mendocino County--primo California real estate, in other words. Land like the patch my house is on goes for millions of dollars, so I deal with the shittiness to live here. I'd like to move, but I can't afford to buy here and I can't afford to move to a different house here because the rents are all in the quadruple digits. It's very hard to live in this part of CA if you're poor. I guess I could do a few miles over into the valley (not THE valley, just the county seat, which is in A valley. I do like that there's a street called Lover's Lane, though.), where land is cheap because it's all ag and it stinks of cows, but why? I like it here. A lot, apparently, to live in this dump...oh well. I wish we had houses to rent for $300, then maybe I could move somewhere nicer...alas.

By The Dinner Lady on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 10:27 am:

    Crimson, I'm glad you're looking into the VA loan, you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not looking into everything you can to get the best deal. I myself have a soft second mortgage which means there are 2 mortgages which add up to the amount I owe. This is useful for people who need to put less down than I did and you also don't have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which you usually have to if you put down less than 20% of the sale price of the house (at least in MA).

    My Mom told me when she bought her house in the 70's the realtor helped her secure the mortgage. My realtor directed me and made sure my lender was on the up and up but didn't secure the mortgage for me. Have you already made an offer on the place? I'm sorta confused why your realtor is already helping you get the mortgage.

    I dream of most of your rents. Real estate is obscene in Boston. I was living in a 2 bed tenement with a roommate in Brighton, an area full of college students, with a roommate and the landlord evicted me because he was selling the place (it was a condo) to another owner who wanted it delivered vacant. We were paying $1100 a month which included heat (no central AC in the Northlands) and they were raising the rent to $1500 a month which they would get because there is nowhere to live here.

    The place I bought is in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood away from students and in a 'mixed' area, at the crossroads between a Latino neighborhood and a very posh one for $150K, it is 4 1/2 rooms in a 6 family house with parking. I have a deal believe it or not. The place on the third floor just sold again for $182K. I was shocked. I just bought in August so the price went up over 30K in just 8 months??!! My mortgage and fees and stuff are just shy of $1000 and I could easily rent it for that or more. Sick!

    I still stick by the elderly neighbors. They'll be quiet and old! Plus, if the current owner is pointing out who is gonna die soon that neighborhood will be turning over in the next few years. As for development in the pasture, you just can't know. But since you say it is so undesirable because it is near a graveyard, why would a developer see it as desirable to build on? You can always move out and rarely would it happen that you'll lose $ in the end - I mean, think of how much cash you throw out now every month on rent. Plus you get a tax break.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:49 am:

    developers see dollars in all kind of shit. Im trying to decide whose worse, lawyers or developers.

    where i grew up in suburban atlanta...everything you fear crimson, happened. Now, most of those strip malls are vacant...

    be glad they if they do put a development up next to you, your property will indeed be valuable to someone with a 7-11 or a strip mall in mind, the two go hand in hand.

    Cat, I pay $850 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in Silverlake. We have a great view, balcony, central heat, and 2 a/c boxes (no one has central a/c out here either) If we werent under rent control we'd be paying around $1200, as neighbors who recently moved in, admitted they are paying for their 2 bedroom.

    California in general, aside from the deserts (which are beautiful in their own way, but not ideally habitable) has beautiful god damn land. I can attest that where nate lives is god damn gods country...if we had the money, nico and i would buy a house in big sur or just outside monterrey hands down.

    all along the coast....and not just beachfront property..but inland, the chunk of land between the pacific and the San Joaquin valley is all beautiful mountainous even there...houses are gonna cost.

    whats going on with you isolde?

By Nate on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:55 am:

    i heard last night that rents have gone down an average of $250 for a 2 bedroom apt in SF. Down to a little over $2500/mo average.

    you can expect close to that anywhere in the area.

    i've seen 800 square foot homes in the foothills go for over $800K.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 12:20 pm:

    this is what goes on where i live the "hyperion corridor". yuppies cops and i was saying nate....i know a place for a nutjob boy.

    from the LA WEEKLY

    Yuppification Dulls Silver Lake's Edge

    In Justin Tanner's 1998 hit theater comedy Coyote Woman, quirky boho characters took pride in the absence of a Starbucks coffeehouse in their
    Silver Lake neighborhood. But with yuppification proceeding apace, the area today has not only a Starbucks but Rudy's Barbershop, a Standard
    Hotel spinoff where the hip wait one and a half hours to sit in a fake retro chair for a $15 haircut. Some residents see a threat to the fabled "SilverLake Mix" - what one labels "the lesbian potluck thing that brings together old and young, gay and straight, white, Filipino and Latino people." The most immediate casualties, however, are gay businesses along the Hyperion corridor. Two gay sex clubs, Basic Plumbing and Exile (the old King of Hearts), have closed in recent months. While Slammers on Beverly (in a more commercial zone) is picking up the slack, it doesn't have the same homey feeling, patrons say. "Exile was kind of like a Costco, where you paid a fee to join," says "Costco member" Vern.

    Chichi gay-owned boutiques and restaurants appear to be safe; it's the less seemly businesses that are under fire. In some cases, club owners are
    cashing in on skyrocketing offers for newly valuable Silver Lake real estate. But police harassment may also be at work, some patrons charge.

    "At Akbar [a gay and straight hipster bar on Sunset in Silver Lake], no one's beating off, but everyone's smoking," a Silver Lake designer, who
    declined to have his name used, points out. "At Cuffs, the smoking ordinance is meticulously enforced."

    Cuffs is back in operation after a liquor-license suspension linked to an old lewd-conduct violation. The designer says the problem is not just
    jackbooted cops: "The demographics are shifting, and the [gay] people who bought those adorable boho cottages in the '70s are grown-ups now and
    not particularly interested in doing poppers in a dark bar," he says. "But these clampdowns are wrong."

    Gay bars like Le Barcito and the Silver Lake Lounge, which draw a working-class Latino crowd, seem to have escaped police attention, but they also
    have fewer public displays of nudity. Of course, gays aren't the only ones being displaced by yuppification. The cops in January lost their favorite
    watering hole, the Short Stop in neighboring Echo Park, which reopened as a retro lounge so hipster-friendly it made Vanity Fair's hot list this month.
    Police have decamped to the Red Lion, the ersatz Bavarian bar on Glendale Boulevard in Silver Lake, where they reportedly have received a rather
    chilly welcome from some of the female wait staff. -Sandra Ross

By J on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 04:02 pm:

    Crimson,you might want to consider a HUD home,they usually give you a fix up allowance.

By crimson on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 04:26 pm:

    i think my husband's settled on the house by the boneyard. he's talking about calling the realtor within 24 hours & staking our claim on it. he seems to think this is the one. i would have to honestly say that for the price, we'd probably be insane not to pick up a place that nice.

    i'm not sure what happens now. i found the numbers to get the VA loan papers but can't seem to get anyone there (although I'll keep trying). they have forms you can download, but my computer can't read them & i can't print from this computer anyway.

    what we can do is talk to the realtor & tell her that we're interested in that specific house (my husband doesn't want anybody to come buy it out from under us, although i doubt that'll happen within the next day or so). from there, it's a matter of talking about financing.

    after we talk to the realtor, we'll find out more about how to proceed. i'm not sure what banks she'll be going through. i know that we've been approved for a more expensive house than this one through a bank already, for zero down (although we could make a down payment, if necessary). while all this is going on, i'll keep trying to get hold of the VA people as well.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 05:16 pm:

    shouldnt you be bank shopping, or is that the realtors job?

    for example when we bought a car, we got the best offerthe dealer could offer, AKA Honda Fianance which is by Chase Manahatter (which paying off a car loan from them looks sparkly on your credit, so ive been told) and then we went and actually found a better finance rate through our personal bank.

    It just seems a conflict of interest to have your sales rep also handle the financing.

By Cat on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 05:34 pm:

    Please don't get finance to buy a car, it's really really dumb.

    If you're paying say $15,000 for a car, by the time you pay it off it will cost you $30,000 and then it will be worth $5,000. It's insane.

    Save up, buy a cheaper car, whatever you have to do, but don't get a car loan.

By crimson on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 05:39 pm:

    i don't know. this is my first time dealing w/ the whole thing. the realtor just matter-of-factly began talking about submitting our offer to different banks. for all i knew at the time, that was standard procedure.

    we're going to check w/ our local bank, as well (& the VA & anybody else we can). she can do her number crunching & we'll do ours.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 05:49 pm:

    this was a car we bought about 4 years ago cat. the final sticker was 17,000 and we got a rate of 7%/year i believe owing a total of around 25,000. We are almost done with the loan.

    I don't think it dumb at all. It was a must do. We needed a car right away, the other car was on its deathbed and we wanted extreme reliability. We paid the bank its fee or the fact the we didn't have 17k in hand, and im comfortable with that.

    With the exception of a new gas tank in the first 3 weeks because we hit a huge metal object in the road from a construction site, at night, in the rain (we tried to get the site to take responsibility, but it would have been hard to prove in court) we have no troubles at all. We have paid for nothing other than regular service..going on 5 years. As far as i am concerned, buying a car new, without a truly reliable mechanic at your disposal is the only way to go.

    Its an awesome car that has totally served us well and be one of the cheapest cars (aside from insurance) to maintain because it is so reliable.

    Besides we were doing a lot of long distance traveling (inlcuding cross country) and we didn't want to be crapping out in the desert somewhere.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 05:50 pm:

    crimson just make it clear that you intend to shop for financing on your own and that you are not obligated to use her financing. it may turn out she has the best deal, especially if she knows you are shopping around.

By crimson on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 05:56 pm:

    right. i think she's already got the hint, since i said "VA" a couple hundred times yesterday in conversation. i'll also look at our bank here & hell, even some stuff online. i worry a bit about the online stuff, though. i get SO much mortgage-related spam that it just seems somehow disreputable. i mean, if they were really hot shit, they wouldn't have to resort to spam as a form of advertising.

By Nate on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 07:23 pm:

    absolutely finance your car. don't listen to cat, she's australian.

    finance through a credit union, get a low rate.

    anyone can make 8% with their money. if you borrow money for less than that, then you're better off borrowing.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 07:30 pm:

    well thats what we did at the time, we went through our personal bank. the wife had a checking account them since she was 12, we had a credit card in great standing. we were the ideal customers to lend to at a low rate and we are about to finish (pats self on back). I think honda finance came through at 10 or something like that...First Union came in at 7%

By Nate on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 08:02 pm:

    that's great, patrick. you're a fucking financial whiz.

    now if you'd just buy a house, you could have bought the car with home equity and the interest would have been tax deductable.

By Cat on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 08:10 pm:

    Tell me how it makes sense to pay $25,000 for something that's worth $7,000 and I'll send you a nakey ass shot.

By cyst on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 08:16 pm:

    I just financed a car (but only after my other car died on me), but I made sure that there would be no penalty for paying it off early.

    I have wheels today, and if I could come up with the balance of what I owe in the next couple months, I'd be paying barely anything in interest.

By crimson on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 08:46 pm:

    my husband came in & said that he's already called the realtor & told her we're serious about the house near the cemetery. so we're going back out to view it in a couple of days & after that, we'll start talking about the money for real.

By Nate on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 09:22 pm:

    Well, if you can make $30K with the $7K in the interim your net on the money will be $5K and a car.

    if you plunk down the $7K up front, you lose $7K and get car.

By dave. on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 09:26 pm:

    i shouild file for bankruptcy before they pass laws making it harder.

    i hate the money game and i don't wanna play anymore.

By The Dinner Lady on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 11:42 am:

    I think some realtors assist with the mortgage getting process and that's OK - remember that it is to their advantage to get you the financing so you can buy the house. Of course it won't be terriffically important to them that they get you the best deal for you, only that they get you a deal, any deal, which will get you the $ so you'll buy and then they'll get paid. Is your realtor the listing agent for the house as well?

    Financing a car is totally standard in the US. Like financing a house it makes it possible for people who don't have thousands of dollars up front to purchase things. Like any loan though you'd be better off paying off the loan asap.

    On the same topic you should never attach a car loan to your house though since you'll pay for it over 15-30 years and it will wind up costing many many times more than what the car could possibly cost.

    I'm gonna buy a new fridge this week I think. Man, you should see the fridges at Sears. The new ones do everything you could ever want. They are very exciting.

By crimson on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 11:54 am:

    i looked at some of the new sears fridges. amazing, all the things a $1,000 fridge can do.

    i don't know if my realtor is the listing agent.

    we'll be walking through the house again soon. i'm a little concerned that it's a smaller house...but then again, it's quite a bit cheaper than the other place we were considering.

    there's one other house that we saw that i kinda liked for around 48K. i might ask to be walked through that one again. but the roof looked like trouble. i could just imagine it buckling in. my husband also didn't like the fact that it was right up on the highway. it was also right across the street from the baptist church. but i thought it'd be a fun diversion on sunday mornings to hang out & shoot BBs at the baptists. it's a small town. gotta do something for kicks.

By dave. on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 12:06 pm:

    if you think it's small now, you may want to go try to visualize adding a room or something sometime down the road. go see if it would even be feasible based on the layout and the surrounding yard. our house is tiny and sometimes i feel so claustrophobic. if i could do it over again, i'd go for big and ugly over small and cute every time.

    another thought: usually, there's a whole new batch of houses that come available every month. if you can afford to wait, you might consider what the next batch or 2 look like. it's really disheartening when you buy a home and, 2 months later, you happen to drive by a better, cheaper place.

By patrick on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 12:09 pm:

    Cat who paid 25k for something that cost 17k? Do you not do the same deal with your house? Do you not pay your credit card companies a fee for the advance?

    maybe im being an idiot (lobs one for nateboy), but im trying really hard to decipher this:
    "Well, if you can make $30K with the $7K in the interim your net on the money will be $5K and a car."

    yeah nate....totally...if i could just get a house...i mean, you know thats great and all you got everything figured have all the answers, you can scratch your ass at night confident you got THE BEST DEAL, but you know...a house with a bitchin mortgage rate, a keen tax plan, investments that make you balls swell....but you know like dave, to me these things don't really matter. Sure i'll do my best, and not get majorly get ripped off, but you know...i got more important things to do. Life's to short to be caught up money managing possessions.

    Dave, from what i understand, Bush recently changed the bankruptcy laws to favor the wealthy and apparently those who owe thousands will have a
    harder time that those who owe millions. Apparently the major credit card companies have been pushing for this reform for sometime.

    but thats just my pussy liberal view...

By correction on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 12:16 pm:

    er...that first line should be "Cat who paid 25k for 7k?"

By Nate on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 01:20 pm:

    "Like any loan though you'd be better off paying off the loan asap."

    buhleah. aren't you people listening?

    you have one life. you earn money for a limited time, so you need to make the money you get work for you as much as possible.

    if you can do this with other people's money, that's better!

    it's real cost v. preceived cost.

    say you have $10K to buy a car with.

    1) Buy the car outright.

    Total cost of the car: $10K.
    In five years you have: A car worth $3K

    2) Buy the car with $2K down, borrow $8K at 7% and invest the rest of your money making 9%.

    Total cost of the car: $11.5K
    In five years you have: A car worth $3K & $9.9K

By crimson on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 04:14 pm:

    tomorrow, we're going to talk to the realtor again. we're also taking another tour of the house. the house is 49K & hubby is thinking that our initial offer should be around 45K. then they'll probably counter-offer & so on. i asked him if he wanted to go back through one of the other houses we'd seen but i think he's decided on this one. i was hoping for a 3 BR instead of a 2 BR but the price difference is pretty significant & bedroom #3 would mostly be used for storage.

    my dumbass neighbors are banging shit around & screaming. i can't believe how loud & moronic they are. i'll be SO glad to get out of this apartment.

By Cat on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 04:17 pm:

    Patrick, if you sold a 17K after a five year loan, it would only be worth around 7k because of depreciation. However, over the life of the loan, you've paid at least 25k for it (and you got off pretty bloody light at 25k).

    And Nate, your example assumes no loan fees, no deposit or other banking fees on the investment and a GUARANTEED interest rate 2% above the lending rate. However, I will conceed it's possible. I just think it's a bad idea to borrow money to invest, it's always risky and you can get caught.

By Car on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 05:05 pm:

    [please insert car wherever relevant, and especially in the first line of the above]

By patrick on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 05:12 pm:

    cat what can i possibly do about the depreciation of an automobile? the car serves a purpose and performed it's purpose well. Thats what I paid for. I can't possibly control market value on such a thing. A used car is going to depreciate all the same but you run the risk of increased repair issues. I've had control of the auto's service since it rolled off the lot with 50 or so miles on it.

    Im not concerned about the value it has to the rest of the world, only the value it has to me.

By Nate on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 05:18 pm:

    that's another thing, buy a 2 year old car and you won't lose as much money.

    i can regularly get 10-12%. i can explain how to do it, but only in person, over beer or wine.

    associated fees really aren't that signifigant.

By Cat on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 05:30 pm:

    My accountant shows me how to get double that, but he's not much fun to have a drinkie with.

By dave. on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 05:46 pm:

    why don't you guys shut up about your fat bank accounts.

    fuck you and the university your parents sprung for.

By Cat on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 05:58 pm:

    Make me.

    My parents didn't spring for university because I didn't do the course they wanted me to do. No biggie, I got a scholarship.

    And I don't have a fat bank account. In fact, I have a zero balance in my bank account because any spare cash I have offsets my mortgage :p

By cyst on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 05:59 pm:

    I just got a 25% (one-month retroactive) pay raise. fuck my boyfriend, maybe I'll just finance a place on my own.

By patrick on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 06:11 pm:

    way to go...

    holy poop!!!

By Nate on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 06:13 pm:

    good job cyst. now you can afford all those dinners you hate.

    i sold drugs to get through college.

By cyst on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 06:20 pm:

    I'm never going back to dinner.

    just saturday I bagged out on a birthday fest at some trendy italian place. later on I heard that the bill for seven came to $550 before tax and tip. grazie but no.

By patrick on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 06:29 pm:

    you always get screwed on those group type dinners.

    Once we had a BD party at a chi chi japanese/italian joint (go figure, its california)

    some of us didnt eat except the munchies that were put on the know that japanese trail mix stuff. some didn't drink, some drank and ate...there we even same late evening bandits who came in and were just ordering liquor without regard. The bill came to just under a grand. Needless to say nico and i, being the nice ones dropped nearly a bill and half. Considering there were about 20 people in this private room....we totally got screwed. The birthday boy spent over $400...which he shouldnt have had to do and he's the budding big shot director....but even he still has a budget.

By dave. on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 08:00 pm:

    any of you overpaid monkeys ever use those cd scratch remover machines? did it work? i need to know before i fork over beer money for it.

By The Dinner Lady on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 10:48 am:

By Charlee on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 11:39 am:

    cd scratch remover machines? like for audio cds?
    i use carwax for that.
    some people say toothpaste. don't believe them.
    what's a cd scratch remover machine?

By dave. on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 12:24 pm:

    picture a salad shooter only replace the vegetable hopper with a cd platter thing. you put a cd in and crank the crank and it's supposed to polish out the scratches.

    i'm tempted to call that number.

By Charlee on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 02:46 pm:

    that sounds like a ripoff. where did you see this?

By dave. on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 02:52 pm:

    that's why i'm asking about it. there's one at the fred meyer in the electronics section.

By droopy on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 03:02 pm:

    the way i heard it, they don't polish out the scratches. they fill in the scratches with a polymer so the laser can just pass smoothly over it. sort of like filling in the scratched parts on a vinyl record rather than sandpapering it down. nobody's told me if they actually work or just a crock of shit.

By Charlee on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 03:58 pm:

    that's how my carwax method works. you just polish them over. this works, but i do it with a cloth. i don't know about the cranking tray thing!

By Nate on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 04:07 pm:

    my uncle gave my dad one of those cranking tray things and my dad gave it to me.

    it's never been used and is sitting somewhere in my house.

    i should give it to someone. like a fruitcake.

By Dougie on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 04:50 pm:

    Sell it on ebay, dude. I'm telling you, somebody will buy it!

    BTW, Nate, this was on the front page of just now, is it you, and if so, what context was it?:

    This is
    Stop calling me. I'm not going to testify no matter how good you say
    your witness protection program is. I've seen the movies. No way.

By Nate on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 05:50 pm:


    i don't want to talk about it.

    i just bought a P233 w/ 256MB ram a SCSI card, a sound card, a ethernet card and a harddrive of unknown size for $35.

By crimson on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 07:42 pm:

    we just made an offer on the house. 45K. we'll see if the owner tells us to stuff it or accepts our generosity. we asked that certain appliances be left in the house (most of this has already been agreed to). we paid the earnest money. they said we'll probably know something by tomorrow.

By cyst on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 07:54 pm:

    45K. wow. for a house in my neighborhood, that wouldn't even be enough for a down payment. crazy.

By crimson on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 08:07 pm:

    that's our opening offer. but they're actually asking for 49K. we'll see if it goes that high.

    i went back inside the house again today. it's nicer that i had remembered. it's a really neat little place.

By crimson on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 08:15 pm:

    that should read, "nicer THAN i had remembered". brain damage.

    found myself combing through stores looking for furniture & goodies for the house. then it struck me what a hopeless old fart i've become. i wasn't out looking for meaningless crap for my own kicks. i was looking for useful things for an actual house.

    pass the geritol.

By The Dinner Lady on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 10:45 am:

    Ooh! The bid! Do they have 24 hours to get back to you? Good luck! We'll all wait with the baited breaths.

    Don't worry about being a hopeless old (homeowning) fart, you'll be one but you'll have a new pride in it soon.

By crimson on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 11:07 am:

    we should hear something by tonight (hopefully). my guess is that the owner won't accept our initial offer. we also asked for a few things we hadn't verbally agreed on & which will likely come as a surprise to her, but the realtor said to name ANYTHING we'd like left behind, no matter how outrageous. all the seller can do is say "no". she might just end up giving the stuff to us, because it'll be easier to leave it than pack it. however, we forgot to ask for one item & it's driving me crazy, because i want it (the porch swing). anyhow, i asked for her washer & dryer & a bunch of other stuff. we'll see how it goes.

By crimson on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 11:27 am:

    oh, m'god...she just countered our offer at 46K & she's leaving everything we asked for. no home warranty & no repair limit. i've gotta go tell my husband. her counter-offer was lower than i'd expected AND we got the washer & dryer too, in addition to some other vital appliances (none of which we own, so this is a godsend). not sure what this "no repair limit" is, though.

By patrick on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 05:18 pm:

    if the seller has any sense they asked 49k hoping to really rake in 45k.

    always add something on top, always ask for should have offerd 40k, knowing they will decline, maybe go to 47k, then you come back to 42k and then settle on 45k.

    ask for more, offer for less...eitherway good luck

By patrick on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 05:19 pm:


By cyst on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 05:21 pm:

    that totally didn't work when I bought my car. I mean, I didn't pay MSRP or anything, but I didn't get him to come down more than once. still, I don't feel too cheated. I was a little disconcerted by how little pressure they put on me.

By patrick on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 05:59 pm:

    must of been a good salesperson. it didn't work exactly like tht for us either, but we ended up with "free" car mats and a cd changer for half price.

By cyst on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 06:16 pm:

    yeah, I was expecting that sort of thing.

    but I went in with a bunch of web printouts about the car I knew I was going to get. they listed the dealer invoice, MSRP, and target prices for every option.

    I ended up paying $500-700 more for the car than the web sites suggested I should pay. but the sales guy was old and shaky and I felt sorry for him. pushover.

By crimson on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 07:12 pm:

    we accepted the counter offer.

    the home inspection will happen within 10 days. we looked at the house again & it just seemed like the right place for us. we rode around the area...a short ride up the road & everything turns rural again. very pastoral. not the usual high ozark cliffs, but rolling hills & farmland (it starts looking more like eastern oklahoma, which it's not far from). but you can walk to the main part of town from the house. it's kinda like being in the town & the country at the same time.

By Nate on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 12:13 pm:

    how long is your escrow? do you know how long the house had been on market?

    "it just seemed like the right place for us"

    read your home inspection carefully. don't be decided now.

    hopefully your offer and the counter offer you signed included a clause that would get you completely out of the deal if your loan won't fund. this will let you ride right up to the end of escrow and still be able to pull out if something isn't quite right.

    something you can do:

    when you get the home inspection look for things that are wrong but can be fixed. write up a list of improvements, make a high estimate of the cost of these. Take the list to your agent and tell her that you want to talk the seller into giving you cash back to fix these things. Your agent will tell you the maximum amount that can be given as cash back, I think it's 5% here.

    Your agent should be more than willing to do this counter offer. the sale price will be the same, and that's where her % comes from.

    The seller should be willing to do some dealing here. You're already in escrow. Especially if the house has been on the market for awhile, the seller should be ready to close the deal. It doesn't look so good to have someone come in and then back out.

By crimson on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 12:41 pm:

    we can still back out of the deal if the home inspection turns up anything too extreme. anything beyond what's considered "normal" for a house of this age (50+ years) will become an issue.

    the house does seem rather nice & it's structurally sound, at least by outside viewing. of course, an actual inspection will tell us more.

    the seller is paying for pest control, too, if pests should be found.

    the VA loan is pretty much out of the question because of the age of the house. VA has stringent requirements on what they'll lend for. older houses don't fit the bill.

    my husband has pretty much decided on the bank he's going with. i'd rather shop around a bit more, but since he's the primary one who's making payments (since he makes much more than i do) it's really his choice at this point. anyhow, he thinks we can have it paid off in half the time we're being given.

By crimson on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 12:43 pm:

    i can't remember how long the house has been on the market. seems like about a year, maybe.

By crimson on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 02:26 pm:

    just got back from the bank. had to get some stuff notarized for the loan. the whole house-buying process is coming together in a pretty quick way. everything seems to be in order & rolling fairly smoothly. the inspection is done & the appraisal's forthcoming. we won't get to know the full inspection results until tomorrow but we've been told it came out surprisingly well, given the age of the house (50+ years).

By crimson on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 03:26 pm:

    my dumbshit neighbors are blasting rap next door & the creep upstairs is playing really bad (& loud) bass riffs over & over. my other neighbors are just having their usual screeching domestic quarrel. last night, a few neighbors decided to have some kind of incredibly loud party on my back doorstep around midnight. it's kind of surreal, & a source of great joy, to think that this shit is almost over. 6 or so weeks & i'll never have to listen to these bastards again.

By Nate on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 03:38 pm:

    congratualtions crimson. i hope the process continues smoothly.

By crimson on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 03:51 pm:

    thanx. i hope so, too. so far, so good. we don't have a definite figure yet on the amount of our payments, but apparently, it's not going to be too much more than what we're presently paying for rent. we hope to pay the loan off well ahead of schedule.

    it'll be weird, moving to a much less populated area. one of the main things i'll miss (very much) is being able to call pug & pilate. now it'll be long distance.

By The Dinner Lady on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 04:51 pm:

    Congrats Crimson!!!

    It sounds like your neighbors are conspiring to remind you why you want to get away from them!

By crimson on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 06:02 pm:

    no doubt. my neighbors (aka "the scourge of god") have actually done us a favor here. they're SO loud & disruptive that they actually made us get off our asses & hunt for a place of our own. if they'd have actually allowed this to remain a decent place to live, we probably would've been apartment dwellers forever. so hats off to the assholes. we owe it all to them.

By J on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 06:30 pm:

    Way to go Crimson!! A tax deduction and far from your asshole neighbors,but I hope not too far from Pug and Pilate and Oswald.How far away from them are you going to be?

By crimson on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 07:47 pm:

    not too far. about 20 miles away, roughly. we're already working on "visitation" rights w/ oswald...he'll come stay overnight at our place sometimes. we hope to bring pug over on the weekends, too.

By dave. on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 08:51 pm:

    i'm feeling too lazy to type something pertinent.

    i should maybe install some voice recognition software.

    but not today.

By crimson on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 02:59 pm:

    our payments will be about $450 p/month. there's a list of things we need to fix, but it's fairly minor compared to the other houses we looked at. the other houses had a lot more repair issues. we've paid off the inspection & appraisal. in about 12 days or so, we'll take care of the closing costs.

By Dougie on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 03:02 pm:

    Damn, I'll trade you crimson. My apartment rent is $965/month for a 1 bedroom.

By crimson on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 03:16 pm:

    what? $965 for an APARTMENT? with 1 bedroom? could be living in a hell of a nice house here for that.

By patrick on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 03:33 pm:

    jeeeeze Long Island can't be THAT nice.

    i think everyone gets what they pay for

By Dougie on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 03:38 pm:

    It's a nice apartment, but I realize I'm throwing my money away. I've been looking at houses leisurely, but haven't found anything that's clicked.

By crimson on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 04:02 pm:

    i lived in apartments for decades. it just never seemed like the right time to get a house...until now.

    i guess the one advantage to living out in the middle of nowhere is that you can live more cheaply. the downside, of course, is that you really ARE in the middle of nowhere. your cultural opportunities consist solely of the monthly pot-luck down at the pentecostal church. if we'd have been able to move a couple of hours away from here, we could've gotten an even cheaper place w/ plenty of land to go with it. the problem is that it'd put us too far away from any work opportunities.

    obviously, it'd be nicer to live near the beach. but we can't afford that, at least for now. so we're heading for the sticks. eventually, we may be able to retire to the beach someday, if we play our cards right.

By Dougie on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 05:02 pm:

    Sounds cool, crimson. Good luck with everything. Yeah, I'm sick of apartment life but it is easy to pick up and go if the place sucks or your plans change.

    Which beach will you retire to?

By crimson on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 05:24 pm:

    the one advantage of apartment life is that it really does give you a lot of mobility. we avoided buying a house for years because of the feeling of being "stuck" w/ something. but this house can be paid off relatively quickly & we can either stay there or move on.

    we'd probably end up on the gulf coast. MS, FL or AL. our idea is to winter there. in the summer, we'd head for the hills (in the summer, the gulf is too hot & buggy...i've never seen such bugs). i'm also considering buying several small parcels of land in the southwest. that way, when we're old geezers in a winnebago, we'll have various places to park the thing.

By Dougie on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 05:30 pm:

    I've never been to the gulf. I haven't thought about where I'd like to end up when I retire. Maybe have a house on LI, and get a cabin in upstate NY or in PA. We'll see.

By patrick on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 05:43 pm:

    snow birds.

    the gulf is gorgeous.....the water is warmer, more clear...not much surf...but it's also pretty polluted in and around LA.

    Nico and i are convinced we'd like to end up somewhere in NoCal.....Big Sur, Monterrey....somewhere in that area.

By Dougie on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 06:01 pm:

    What's Oregon like? I hear that's beautiful. I've done separate trips to Montana, Wyoming, Alaska and Utah. I want to plan another western trip for this summer. So far, Montana's definitely my fav.

By patrick on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 06:10 pm:

    wet and wooded from what i hear, but i've never been there.

By Platypus on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 07:46 pm:

    Don't even bother looking at NoCal unless you make major bucks. I think I'll be moving sometime very soon, so that I can actually buy a house. And it's wet and wooded.
    Congrats, Crimson.

By patrick on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 07:48 pm:

    oh yeah...we plan on being rich by that time. we know how $$$$ it is.

By Nate on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 08:04 pm:

    up through the middle of oregon is all high desert, i think. i've driven up the coast and through the center, but i don't remember much.

    i like the central coast of california. the right blend of surf and sun and rain and nature and odd people.

    i think i'll be moving a little further south in the future. around slo, probably.

By Rhiannon on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 09:20 pm:

    Re: high rent prices. My mom lives in the Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston. Pays $1200/month for a one-room apartment, street level, with pipes that bang all night and ornery heat. Utilities included.

    My apartment is $880/month for two big bedrooms, bathroom, living room, dining room, smallish kitchen, with all utilities except electricity included. The neighborhood sucks, though. We're looking for a house in Montgomery Co., MD, and the market is fierce. But if you can't be rich yourself, have friends with rich parents who need to invest, I say.

By J on Saturday, April 21, 2001 - 01:52 am:

    For what Dougie pays for an apartment,I have a 4 bedroom house,with a living room,dining room,a huge kitchen,and a sun room,with a pool,on 1/3rd acre with a pool,with two bathrooms and a garage,block constuction,and tile roof.Shit,I'm in a good location too,maybe you all should move here.It's Arizona's version of silicone valley.

By J on Saturday, April 21, 2001 - 02:53 am:

    And aa fireplace.

By Platypus on Saturday, April 21, 2001 - 05:56 pm:

    Oh, ok Patrick, in that case it's all good.

    I'm looking at a MONSTROUS farmhouse on 40 acres right now. I want it.

By patrick on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 11:12 am:

    the wife has recoccuring dreams about this house. its has two levels of wrap around porches....houses need more wrap around porches, rocking chairs and swings.

By crimson on Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 03:12 pm:

    moving in. the deal's done, got the keys today.

    we be homeowners.

    one thing that's troubling access in this area isn't looking good. there's one provider & nobody else in the world (not AOL, not anybody) provides service there. knowing they've got everyone by the balls, the ISP charges for net access by the's not cheap. there's no unlimited access plan available. then again, i suppose it's better than nothing.

By Nate on Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 03:48 pm:


    maybe it's time to start an isp?

    or look into satellite? you should be able to get something for $50 a month.

    which is suppose ain't cheap either.

By Nate on Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 03:49 pm:

    oh, and congratulations. get ready for the daily home-equity loan offer mailings.

    things that look like checks for $50K but aren't.

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