Mayo/Rochester mortgage & other practical info...

mediocre

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    I just went up to Rochester this past weekend, and I thought I'd pass along some info that I found helpful...

    1. Resident's Bank of America loan will NOT apply to MN because of some stupid rule requiring that the state have an actual bank branch in order to process the loan. I had a shock at the last minute since the B of A underwriter I worked with was not aware of this.

    2. Fortunately my realtor had the foresight to get me to work with someone local as a back-up plan. Home Federal has a resident's program (no PMI, 5/1 ARM) currently 5.25% w/ 0% down or 4.75% w/ 3%, and so on...

    3. I found a realtor through a resident who used to go to my school. The guy I worked with was named Mark Slattery ([email protected]). He works for RE/Max which is apparently the largest realtor in Rochestor selling about 26% of houses there. I thought he was pretty good. I've never worked with a realtor before, so I really have no basis for comparison. But he spent A LOT of time with me during my trip to Rochester, and I feel like I was well taken care of. If you do contact him, you can let him know that you found out about him from "the guy who bought the CENTEX townhouse in 2 days." He can also tell you more about the above mortgage at Home Federal.

    4. Expect about $140-160K for a new townhouse. Expect $100-40K for a pre-existing townhouse. Rents for a decent place are around $700-800.

    5. TGIF has really good happy hour specials: big plate of buffalo wings, onion rings, mixed drinks for $1.99. Apparently such deals are common all over town...

    6. Michael's has some kind of good early dinner special from 4:00 to 5:30PM

    7. Dr. Kolars says that this is the "strongest match for Mayo in 5 years" (for whatever that's worth).

    8. For this trip, I got a room at the Marriott through Priceline.com for $69 + taxes/fees coming out to around $80+, which is a lot better than the Marriott.com quote of $199. You can probably bid $40 or so and get the Grand Kahler or Radison.

    9. Someone told me that Symes has good prices on suits, but I can't verify that.


    Well, hope that's helpful. If I can think of anything else, I'll post riht here
     

    butts-n-guts

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      Thanks for the info. This is really helpful. I'm planning to head down with my wife next weekend to look for a house. I've been talking with some people from Remax, too, but I haven't had much luck in getting specific loan numbers yet. I'll be sure to look up someone at Home Federal.

      Congratulations on the new townhouse.
       

      dretrowemma

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        I matched at Mayo too. Thanks for the useful information, mediocre. I am planning to go to Rochester soon to look for house. Have not talked to any realtor yet. Could you please share your experience with your realtor, butts-n-guts? I have checked the apartments at Rochester using realtors.com. But I do not know if there is any specific region at Rochester for most residents to live? Any bad neighbourhood? And also the schools in different region? I will highly appreciate if you could share your experience on these issues.

        Thanks.
         
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        butts-n-guts

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          My situation is pretty similar to mediocre's. A couple of grads from my med school are fellows at Mayo, and they recommended a couple of different agents from Remax. My impression is that nearly all of the Remax agents are great for residents to work with. I've just been a little lazy with getting my financial stuff going.

          As for picking a neighborhood in Rochester, there aren't any really "bad" areas. I spent a month there for a rotation this past year, and I didn't really find many areas that were all that scary. I'm married and have a 1 year old, so I'm also looking for a relatively safe place to move my family. In my opinion, the biggest factor in choosing a neighborhood in Rochester is how close you want to be to the hospitals/clinics. There are a lot of older houses in the area next to St. Mary's that would probably be fairly reasonable in terms of price, but then again, that area sees the most traffic in town (not much compared to a big city, though). There are lots of great new areas being developed on the edges of town (all directions) that look promising, but be prepared to pay a steep price. There are lots of gorgeous apartment buildings/condos around town, too, but I'm not sure about the pricing on those.
           

          tofurious

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            If you have to rate the 4 quadrants in terms of niceness/safety, it would be NW>SW>NE>SE. There are some very nice new neighborhoods in the NW and SW. SE is coming along, but it's traditionally been more industrial. The area on 1st street SW (one block north of the hospital) is another area where local residents wouldn't consider the greatest but relatively acceptable for people from other areas. Most people stay away from 1st street SW between downtown and the highway.
             

            docjr

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              Thanks for all the great info guys. I'm planning on heading up there in a week or two to go house shopping. BTW, as far as suit shopping goes, I hear that there's a "Mayo Discount" at Men's Wearhouse as well (at least the one in Rochester).

              Oh, one more thing. does anybody know anything how well houses in Rochester appreciate? Do any of the residents have trouble selling after their three years? Do certain areas appreciate better than other? I'm only asking since many of us could be there anywhere from three to six or seven years depending on fellowships, etc.
               

              mediocre

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                the townhouse i just bought is on the outskirts of the city NW, and it's about 6 miles from Mayo. my realtor kept stressing that in rochester, distance is really no big deal on a normal day since there's never traffic. he lives in the SE and drives to work in the far NW and it takes him 13 minutes. you might have trouble on some snow days, i suppose.

                I was also told that anything that's close or w/i walking distance to St. Mary's is either not worth it or beyond my price range.

                I talked to a family friend who's an attending at Mayo and he said that NW area was perfectly fine.

                in terms of house appreciation, it's kinda slow right now: 1-4% per year. they're so much building going on that there is potential for a glut. just a few years ago, there really was a shortage according to Dr. Kolars and it there could be bidding wars for houses and back then appreciation was closer to 4-7%. in any case, i think it's worth it to buy a place for the tax benefits and to improve your credit history.

                Re-sell: they say that NW does better than SE
                 

                mediocre

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                  in terms of house appreciation, it's kinda slow right now: 1-4% per year. there's so much building going on that there is potential for a glut. just a few years ago, there really was a shortage according to Dr. Kolars, and there would be bidding wars for houses. Back then appreciation was closer to 4-7%. in any case, i think it's worth it to buy a place for the tax benefits and to improve your credit history.
                   

                  butts-n-guts

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                    Most of the loan people I've talked to want a photocopy of your residency contract (or a pay stub) for proof of employment/income, unless you have other income. I was talking to some folks from the Internal Med department today, and they told me that contracts won't be mailed out until around April 15th.

                    For those who have no other source of income--Are there some banks that are pre-approving for loans without the contract, or with some other substitute documentation? I'm hoping to buy a house 2 weeks before the contracts come out!

                    Any suggestions?
                     

                    mediocre

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                      i was preapproved by Home Federal (terms stated above in original post) on 3/22/04. i have no additional income, and of course, i don't have a contract either. but maybe i was preapproved because I was working with a realtor & mortgage lender who had worked with incoming mayo residents before and knew our situation...

                      so i made an offer on a house on 3/23/04, and i should be closing by 4/15/04...

                      good luck...
                       

                      butts-n-guts

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                        I did get my packet in the mail on Thursday.

                        Mayo doesn't provide PDAs for the residents, although I've seen quite a few that carry one. I plan to buy a new one for myself before June. One thing to keep in mind--Mayo does give the residents extensive access to lots of great online resources (Up to Date, etc.), and there are plenty of computer terminals around the hospitals. I think that UTD is also accessible from home.:thumbup:
                         

                        Red58

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                          Since all you guys matched at Mayo, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for me. Specifically, I was planning on doing an externship there and I was wondering if I should do a sub-I or just an elective. Just curious. Thanks a ton.
                           
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