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*update at end of page 2. Tell me about your home buying experiences over the years (long post) Login/Join 
I Am The Walrus
posted
I'd like to hear about your experiences when the housing market was buyer friendly and when it was seller friendly.

Here's mine:

First time buying for me in my 40s. Housing market is crazy now. We were originally looking in the Orange Park and Middleburg, FL areas. Our budget is quite modest, maximum of $295,000. That set us back some as that is a very competitive price range.

I was at work talking to the wife and one of my Soldiers overheard me talking about how difficult it was to buy because people are paying thousands, even up to $20,000 over asking, for homes. I think it's a lot of people from NY and NJ fleeing their shithole states. They're able to work remote so they're selling their overpriced homes and bring their inflated salaries to places like Florida and ruining it.

My Soldier suggest I look at his town. My wife and I look at homes there and see that the homes are priced much better. It's not a big town, not big enough to have a a Sam's Club, Costco or mall but we don't need to live in a town with those places. We want a safe place to raise our family and a place where it's still conservative. He introduced us to a realtor and we spoke on a Sunday.

By Wednesday we made an offer which was accepted on a home. Home was listed for $289,000 and we offered $294,000 among 9 offers. Home is 20 years old. Bad thing is the roof and water heater were 20 years old, too. Remember I'm a first time home buyer. Try to get the home insured and no one will insure it since the roof is 20 years old. I had no idea. Had to back out of the home. Lost the $1,000 deposit because I went over the 7 day inspection period. Lost $500 to the appraiser and $500 to the inspector. Lost $2,000 total but in the end, I think losing $2,000 up front saved me thousands in the long run.

Told the seller and they asked if we'd be willing to split the cost of the roof. I asked, "cost of the deductible or cost of the roof?" Cost of the roof. "Not just no but hell no. Roof is $12,000-15,000."

Home was outdated/needed:

-water heater 20 years old
-HVAC system likely 20 years old
-roof had max of 5 years left
-garage door opener needed replacement
-cracked stucco/possible structural cracks in rear
-likely many other things

Oh yeah, we have to buy remotely from 1,700 miles away if things weren't complicated enough.

We back out of that house and keep looking. Timeline is running short since we have to vacate this home in between stints for my military duty.

It got the point where I'm like "Shit! I might have to be renting for a year. Maybe the housing market will have some correction in a year." That wasn't something I wanted to do as I've been renting for 12 years and haven't set any roots down anywhere. Being in my 40s, I was already getting a late start.

Realtor keeps sending us homes and tells us we might spend a week in a hotel if we can find something that week. Then she tells us, "remember that one house I showed you where you said your grandma would think it's outdated? It's going live in a couple of days. It's got a pool, roof is a month old and when he got it inspected, he had a lot of small things fixed in it." We make an offer on that home at asking price and it was accepted within 24 hours. Now we play the waiting game to close. The interior will need some updating as it still has wall paper in some areas but the structure of the home and function is good. We can update the home one room at a time.

Told the realtor when things get back to normal and we are in the financial position to spend more on a home, we will buy another home. My dream home will have a 3 car garage with canal access. I've been without a sports car for many years and I want a sports car again, I do not park cars outside.

Sorry for the long story.

How about your stories?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Edmond,


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Posts: 11578 | Location: Northeast Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We're on our 2nd house.

Bought our first house in 2011. New construction, so there weren't any inspection issues & it was a great starter house for us.
It was an inventory house, that supposedly the buyer had designed & started, then disappeared. Phones disconnected, no ability to contact.
We ended up getting it for the base price of that model & the upgrades for 'free'.

We lived there for 6 years, had 2 kids in that time.
We got into it for just shy of $120k & sold for nearly $190k. North Houston development pushed property values up. ExxonMobile campus opening a few miles away & a couple other O&G companies moving to the area helped.

We decided we wanted to upsize & started looking. Went through 2 realtors in that process.

First realtor was showing us houses that, unknown to us, we couldn't actually get approved for. We didn't know anything about jumbo loans at the time.
2nd realtor was much better. Saw a lot of houses & made an offer on a 5/3.5/3 on 1/3 acre, with a pool.
Closing didn't line up with our expected vacate date on our former house, so our realtor negotiated a leaseback on the house. Buyer was trying to charge us a pet deposit, for the dog that had lived in that house for the entirety of the time we owned it. Our realtor was amazing & got that nixed quickly.

4 years later & we're still here & happy with it.

Not eventful stories, apart from the disappearing buyers on the first & the not great realtor on the 2nd.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 9519 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Regarding the roof deal here in Florida. All I can say is way to motivate people to scam the system. For the last half dozen years hordes of roofing 'inspectors' have worked Florida helping people get new roofs at virtually "no out of pocket cost" to them. Tens of thousands have taken advantage of these grifter's help to update their roofs before they needed to be updated while pushing the vast majority of the costs off on the homeowners insurance carriers. Those cost have of course been passed along to everyone in the form of substantially higher premiums, and in some cases, an inability to obtain and keep a policy. If on the other hand you were one of the ethical folks and didn't scam the insurance company for a new roof and are now opting to sell your home, buyers are finding they can't obtain insurance for it because of the age of the roof.

So in summary, if you were ethical, you didn't scam the insurance company and for your efforts, got to pay higher homeowner's insurance premiums for years, face challenges selling your home because the roof you have isn't new, and will likely have to pay to re-roof (or find a buyer willing to split the repair) to sell your home.

Short of that, this is the wrong time to be buying a home in Florida. A market correction 'has' to happen at some point before too long given the run real estate has been on for several years coupled with the movement in a number of other economic indicators. And when that correction comes, thousands of buyers who paid premiums for homes are going to be upside down big time when real estate values settle back to where they should be. My bet, we'll see a whole bunch of bank foreclosures happen at that point offering lots of people who didn't buy into the current market an opportunity to buy a home at a rational price.


-----------------------------
Guns are awesome because they shoot solid lead freedom. Every man should have several guns. And several dogs, because a man with a cat is a woman. Kurt Schlichter
 
Posts: 31762 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: April 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My first home in the windy city of Xenia OH. was a whopping 49K. My car costs that now. Easy to budget repairs and overall a great experience. My last home pushed me into bankruptcy. I let a family friend who was a realtor talk me into too much house. The combination of high mortgage and upkeep slowly pushed me into a bad money situation. I currently rent and while I would like to own another home, I am gun shy of the whole experience. Home ownership was once the American Dream. Now, thanks to high costs of ownership, taxes, regulations, energy costs and bad neighbors, it can be the American Nightmare. Like any other major investment, careful planning helps to ensure home buying is the dream you want it to be.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12119 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fourth line skater
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First and only house. Market was so hot if you saw it listed it was to late.


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Posts: 6267 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: July 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Optimistic Cynic
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One of the things you don't hear much about WRT home ownership is that expectations have changed drastically. Nowadays, when a typical homeowner wants to "freshen up" a room, they don't consider any option other than hiring a contractor to do it. Back in the day, it was completely expected that the homeowner would do at least a fair amount of the work himself, even if it was just painting, wall repair, minor electrical and plumbing, etc. It was not at all unknown that said homeowner would go so far as re-roofing, or even remodeling, often with the help of a "handy" neighbor. This factor has driven up the real cost of home ownership considerably.
 
Posts: 4458 | Location: NoVA | Registered: July 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Knows too little
about too much
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PA and Texas were a PITA. Lots of paperwork and shit to do to qualify. MS, NE, TN, and AL were no sweat.

RMD




TL Davis: “The Second Amendment is special, not because it protects guns, but because its violation signals a government with the intention to oppress its people…”
Remember: After the first one, the rest are free.
 
Posts: 19890 | Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

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I bought my first place, a condo, at the height of the 2004-2007 sellers market in late 2007 and overpaid a bit. Lived in it until I got married then rented until this year and was able to catch another sellers market and sold it for more than I paid which I never expected to do.

We bought our current house privately in November 2017 for $218,000 and its now up to $300,000 according to several sites like Zillow and Realtor.com

I really feel sorry for anyone trying to buy a house right now in this insanity and advise they just wait it out. A good friend of mine just put an offer in on a house listed for $489,000, and he went $100,000 over in the offering and he may not even get it, he will find out tonight.

This house was like $350,000 until recently.

It’s completely out of control. Anyone who tries to tell me that it’s not all going to crash is full of shit.


 
Posts: 27977 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Am The Walrus
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quote:
Originally posted by bigdeal:
Regarding the roof deal here in Florida...


I didn't understand how they went through all those hurricanes and storms and the roof was fine. A building inspector I worked closely with and trust very much said that roofs in Florida typically only last 12-15 years.

This guy went through 20 years worth of hurricanes and storms.


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Posts: 11578 | Location: Northeast Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Am The Walrus
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quote:
Originally posted by architect:
One of the things you don't hear much about WRT home ownership is that expectations have changed drastically. Nowadays, when a typical homeowner wants to "freshen up" a room, they don't consider any option other than hiring a contractor to do it. Back in the day, it was completely expected that the homeowner would do at least a fair amount of the work himself, even if it was just painting, wall repair, minor electrical and plumbing, etc. It was not at all unknown that said homeowner would go so far as re-roofing, or even remodeling, often with the help of a "handy" neighbor. This factor has driven up the real cost of home ownership considerably.


That's where I'll be saving money. I'm going to do the majority of the work myself or have a trade friend help me when it comes to certain work.

I can't believe people pay to have someone paint, change outlets or even mount a TV to a wall. The electricians I talk to say people are paying $100 to mount a TV to a wall and nothing else. Eek


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Posts: 11578 | Location: Northeast Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Am The Walrus
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quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
It’s completely out of control. Anyone who tries to tell me that it’s not all going to crash is full of shit.


It has to. Those who keep saying it won't are likely realtors.

Somethings I believe will shake up the housing market bad:

-when employers require employees come back to work instead of working from home. I suspect a lot of people have moved from big cities to suburban/rural areas where cost of living is lower, maybe even out of state
-mortgage moratoriums expire
-government money starts going away so people have to go back to work instead of making more sitting on their asses and/or working for cash jobs while stealing taxpayer handouts


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Posts: 11578 | Location: Northeast Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It’s not going to crash. Totally different set of fundamentals from the last crash. If you said correction then I would agree with you.

Your buddy is making a mistake most likely. Either that house was listed far under its actual value hoping for a bid war, or he got caught up in the frenzy of the game. 100k over on a 489k house is just plain dumb. Dumb. He should move on. I’m in the market right now, buying in a popular area of Florida. If you like a house you have a couple days to make an offer or it’s gone. Ain’t nobody offering 100k over, and this is on houses worth way more than sub 500k. There are multiple offers and there can be bidding wars. The smart ones walk away from bidding wars. There is only one winner in a bidding war and it won’t be your buddy.

When this thing corrects, and history backs up that it will, it be accompanied by and led by an mortgage interest rate increase. This rate increase will drag down prices. It also will mean that buyers will buy houses for less but their mortgage dollars will also buy less. A lot less. A 2% rise in mortgage rates means your 500k house costs you 550 dollars more a month. In more understandable terms, if interest rates rise 2% your 500k house could lose $100,000 overnight and you still would pay a little less than the guy buying it at that price. That’s a 20% correction where the current homeowner doesn’t actually lose a cent. It’s not real money until you buy it or you sell it. In the middle it doesn’t mean much.

Maybe we are just arguing semantics. In 08 my buddies house that he bought for 750k in Las Vegas fell to about 400k. That’s a crash. I don’t see that happening again this time. Correction yes, crash no.

Problem for those “waiting” to get into housing after a correction is always the same. If they have cash then they win. If they need to finance, they lose. Markets dropping and sitting on a pile of cash is a good position to be in. Most people can’t pay cash for a house though. The (most likely) higher borrowing rates will eat up a lot of the falling price advantage. The math doesn’t lie. Waiting could e no up costing more. All depends on where interest rates shake out.
 
Posts: 4054 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not as lean, not as mean,
Still a Marine
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Bought my house in 2017. We were waiting for the kid to graduate HS in our apartment ($700/mo for large 2br 1&1/2 ba) so that we could get the house we wanted away from the city we were in.

Situation came up at the apartment, summer before kids senior year. I approached the school system and asked what towns we could move to but have our kid finish and graduate from the current school (superintendent's handshake deal). They gave us some options, and we started looking.

Went on 5 open houses, offers were being made at the showings. We were getting a bit worried, until I found a listing for a house on 5 acers but needed a new septic system. A note at the bottom of the listing mentioned that the sellers would install a system with accepted offer.

List was 275k, we settled on 273,500, new septic, new chimney, new radon unit installed by sellers. As we were pre-approved for the loan, closing was under 60 days.

The house next to use went for sale, we asked for last right of refusal as a place for my MIL to move into. That house (2br 1 ba ranch, town lot only worth 180k) went for over 220k. We laughed and congratulated them on the sale.

My wife is a mortgage processor. As for a crash ala 2008 was due more to the subprime loans, not pure valuation. There are so many more checks and regulations now to verify that she said it would take a job crash to cause the mass foreclosures that occurred then.




I shall respect you until you open your mouth, from that point on, you must earn it yourself.
 
Posts: 2999 | Location: Southern Maine | Registered: February 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unmanned Writer
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Bought my [first] house in 2003 with now ex-wife.

Damn near throttled the realtor lady when she stated, two weeks before escrow was supposed to close, my mortgage would be interest only. We got that changed.

Then the divorce happened in 2006 (she filed). THre was a stipulation where she would get half the equity in 2009 (when our son graduated high school. Strangely, her filing didn't stipulate positive equity or negative and one well worded letter to her about the house being upside down and she owed me in the realm of $40K, she went silent - until 2013, when the market had rebounded.

She then hires a lawyer (she moved out of state) to try and steal the house claiming I "tricked" her into the date because I "knew" there would be a market downfall and as such, she now demanded 50% of the equity.

She got laughed out of court but then, when I finished my MBA, she did the same thing and my MBA was "proof" I knew the market downfall would happen.

The new judge actually looked at this and in the end, it cost me nearly $30K in lawyer fees to keep my house.

So, as much as I love my current wife, I am VERY reluctant to sell and buy another with her . Call me untrusting if you will but I consider this being very gun shy and traumatized. Wink









Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.


The memories of a man in his old age
Are the deeds of a man in his prime


 
Posts: 12838 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
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I'm living in the 6th house I've ever bought, starting with the first I bought in 1972.

I never looked at more than 4 houses before finding one I liked because I picked my realtors carefully and gave them a laundry list of what I wanted and what areas I was willing to look in. That narrows it down considerably.

I bought every house I tendered an offer on and only was involved in 1 bidding war as a buyer, one as a seller.

In the one where I was a buyer, it was the house I currently live in, it had been on the market less than a day and didn't have a For Sale sign up in front yet.

I gave them an offer that was a few thousand over asking price and gave them a deadline of 9PM to say yes or no, then the offer came off the table.

They held out til 9:30PM, then called and said "sold" and here I am. That was 2005, pretty much at the peak of the last housing bubble.
 
Posts: 6800 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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Currently in the 2nd home I've owned, but only the first that I've ever bought. My previous house was already owned by my ex-wife when we got married, and we refinanced it shortly afterwards to get a lower interest rate and add my name to the home. We sold that one last year after our divorce, at the same time I was working on buying a new home for just me.

That meant I was both a seller and a buyer in Spring and early Summer 2020, right as the COVID quarantine fears were easing and the housing market was picking up quite a bit of speed. Luckily, in buying my new home, I managed to hit the sweet spot of ridiculously low interest rates, but still fairly normal pricing, which is certainly not the case right now.


While I was looking at houses to buy, houses were going quickly due to increasing demand and low supply, but the housing market hadn't yet hit the "dozens of offers for up to $25k over listing" situation like they're dealing with now. Still, I knew I needed to be able to move quickly once I found a house I liked.

Had toured a brand new house I really liked that turned out was already under contract. But the builder said they had a nearly identical one a block away that was nearing completion and would be listed in a week or so, and he allowed me and my realtor to go look at that one too even though it wasn't 100% ready yet. Loved it, even more that the earlier nearly identical one.

So we waited until the the morning the house was listed on the market, and dropped a full price offer of $229k, but with about $10k in seller concessions included in the contract (basically covering all the prepaids at closing, plus gutters and fencing).

Offer was accepted that afternoon. No muss, fuss, or bidding wars.


Compare to this year. Next door neighbor lists house for sale in May. Similar square footage and amenities to mine, but 5 years older. They bought it for $190k in 2015. They listed it for $280k in 2021, and accepted an offer that same weekend for just under $300k, with multiple competing offers.

So if I got my new house for $229k last year, that means I could probably sell it for $329k+ right now. Not bad for a year's worth of equity...
 
Posts: 27465 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bought my house when I was young and dumb at 23 years old. Relyied on FHA to make sure everything was ok with the home. To my surprise... a terrible mistake! The FHA inspection didn't even move curtains to check for termites around windows. Low and behold, we had them bad!
 
Posts: 1216 | Location: Lehigh County,PA-USA | Registered: February 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I run trains!
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We’re currently shopping for our fifth house. Moving for my job has kept us going for the last 13 years. All of the moves have been with railroad relocation (except this last one, sorta) so we haven’t had to deal with many of the challenges that come with moving yourself. Even then it does get stressful each time.

First was a 1300 sf duplex in Gillette, WY as a newly married couple in 2008. Nothing special, just a place to live. Buying was straight forward, was still the most expensive place we’d bought until our most recent. At the time there was almost nothing on the market up there.

Next was a 1600 sf small ranch house out NW of Fort Worth on about 1.5 acres that we bought in 2010. Nice house but crummy neighborhood. We had our first child here in 2012. Our realtor did basically nothing besides getting us in the door of houses we wanted to see. She was less than worthless. Again the buying was easy.

In 2013 we moved to Nixa, MO and ended up in a nice home (first three car garage I had). Had kiddo #2 here. Stayed there till we moved back to Fort Worth (again) at the end of 2017. This was a new build so very little in the way of inspection. Did have to go back and forth a bunch with the builder on price and then have him back out of the deal we’d agreed upon that included installing a fence. Finally settled on a new price and I ended up putting the fence in myself.

Spring of 2018 we moved into a place W of Fort Worth. Of course a month after we moved into our brand new three bedroom two bath house we found out we were pregnant with #3. Never fails. This was the longest we’d ever looked for a house. Easily 3 months and countless homes.

Just this summer sold that place and have moved to Wichita, KS. We’ve been looking up here for 3+ months but without any luck. I can’t tell you how many houses we’ve looked at. Been outbid on two places, one to an all cash offer about $10k over asking. Very strange market as no one seems to do any updates to their homes in the 20+ years of living there. Consequently we’re about 100% positive we’ll end up building a home. Which sucks as there are virtually no apartments available. As it stands we have 5 of us in a two bedroom two bath second floor apartment. I don’t get excited about being here another nine months, but it may be the best option right now.

Through all of this I will say we’ve become very adept at what we do and don’t want in a house. Cosmetic changes/imperfections don’t bother us much. Lack of upkeep or overall condition does.

Who knows when we’ll finally get to settle down. I’d love to find a place somewhere near the mountains to plant new roots, especially once the kids get older. For now though our focus is getting out of this cramped apartment.



Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
 
Posts: 5069 | Location: Willow Park, TX | Registered: April 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My daughter is a realtor in Florida in the Tampa Bay area. She has been selling homes in as little as 24 hours after listing. A lot of it has to do with people fleeing the communist states. She has been trying to find a house for my granddaughter but she keeps getting outbid, and a lot of the houses with a reasonable price are wrecks. Values are much better in rural areas but even that is getting nuts. Granddaughter is starting to look in rural areas.

Developers are building houses as fast as they can in my area and are only slowed by lumber and worker shortages. The development orgy is fueled by low interest rates and easily available mortgages. It is heartbreaking to see how much development of tightly packed subdivisions is being done here, creating all kinds of stressors on the infrastructure. We get letters all the time from developers and land speculators trying to buy our undeveloped land. They can talk to my grandkids about that some day. We have seen Florida real estate values fluctuate wildly in the 41 years we have lived here, I have to believe there is going to be a correction at some point-perhaps inflation and higher mortgage rates will cool things down.

I have purchased 4 homes in my lifetime dating to 1975. We have remodeled the last three homes ourselves that we bought right, and our equity has always been sweat equity, but that's not for everyone. We have learned over the years that upgrading construction materials like 50 year shingles, extra steel in roof and frame structures, HVAC, etc, while costing more up front will significantly improve the home's value if you ever decide to sell it.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: HayesGreener,


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Posts: 3810 | Location: Florida Panhandle | Registered: September 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Am The Walrus
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quote:
Originally posted by HayesGreener:
Developers are building houses as fast as they can in my area and are only slowed by lumber and worker shortages. The development orgy is fueled by low interest rates and easily available mortgages. It is heartbreaking to see how much development of tightly packed subdivisions is being done here, creating all kinds of stressors on the infrastructure.

I have purchased 4 homes in my lifetime dating to 1975. We have remodeled the last three homes ourselves that we bought right, and our equity has always been sweat equity, but that's not for everyone. We have learned over the years that upgrading construction materials like 50 year shingles, extra steel in roof and frame structures, HVAC, etc, while costing more up front will significantly improve the home's value if you ever decide to sell it.


I have many friends who are in the homebuilding business and they said windows orders are backed up 24 weeks. As soon as the permit is approved on the home, they order the windows (and likely still have a wait when they get to that stage). Lumber is being stolen by professionals, not amateurs. Entire lumber packs are being stolen by grapples, not just some guy in a pickup truck taking some plywood and 2x4s. Costing them thousands in materials and days in labor.

I will keep the shingle thing in mind. I imagine our roofs in Florida take one hell of a beating with the storms, rain and heat.


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Posts: 11578 | Location: Northeast Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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