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Buying a house: ADVICE?
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  1. #1

    Buying a house: ADVICE?

    Hey guys so i think I'm going to be purchasing my first house, a little nerve wrecking.

    Im also planning to ask my gf to marry me within the next year so a lot is happening fast.

    I qualify for the loan by myself and will be purchasing it alone.

    However anyone have any advice to lend? What to watch for, or how to handle the closing costs etc, any tips for keeping electric and water bills down?

    i have been saving up for a while, even though I'm only 23 i feel I'm ready for this, or at least i hope to be. Its scary seeing all these numbers in front of me. Never even knew about closing costs etc.

    Id appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    23?!!

    badass! older home or newer home?

    no real advice except..find a real estate agent you like. mine found homes and drove me around in her car. nice touch. dont forget, they work for you. and unless you sign something you can move from agent to agent until one clicks for you.

    if it is an older home..i got a really old home. if i could do it again, i would have paid the $200 for a company to come and video tape my sewer line. man..it was awful.

    good luck. like you..i bought my home alone, altho i was prep to propose to my GF. a mortgage i could afford alone was a godsend.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomchakabowwow View Post
    if it is an older home..i got a really old home. if i could do it again, i would have paid the $200 for a company to come and video tape my sewer line. man..it was awful.
    This is good advice. A woman that I work with recently purchased an older home, which she had inspected before signing on the dotted line. A new shower head didn't solve the weak water pressure issue she was having, and two different plumbing companies have told her that she needs to replace the pipe from the city water supply to her house, and all pipes in between! Price tag? $30,000 (minimum). She was practically in tears telling me the story last week. Look at big ticket items carefully (roof, foundation, etc.).

  4. #4
    Actually, the real estate agents work for the seller (who pays them)--unless you are paying the agent out of your own pocket. Good buyers agents will do their best to serve the buyer, but in the end, it's in their financial interest for the sale to go through (whether or not that's in the buyer's best interest).

    It's really easy to get loan quotes online. I used zillow and found a new broker a couple years ago (it took just a few minutes to put in the info and start getting quotes). He had the best rates, and great ratings. I was quite happy. I've referred several friends to him as well, and all were pleased.

    Good to get a house you can afford on one salary. Get cheap used furniture from craigslist or yard sales at first, then you can take your time to upgrade. You'll spend more than you think furnishing, decorating, upgrading, buying tools, etc. All that is good, but it's easy to underestimate those expenses.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DeepCSweede's Avatar
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    Before you close on the place make sure you get a really good inspector that knows everything about the local codes and make sure they check the place thoroughly, roof, electrical, masonry, plumbing, etc. That could cost you big if you don't. I know a little bit, but I have had good and bad ones and a good one could save a bucketload.

    If you haven't put in your offer, try to get the seller to pay closing costs in your offer to purchase. Many times they don't pay attention and will sign off on it. Also, when you put in your offer, make a contingency that you qualify for financing and also contingent on the inspection - if something comes up in the inspection, get the seller to pay for it or get a credit.

    Regarding the agent - I disagree with the Boomer - They SHOULD work for you, but they don't they work for the commission they are getting from you. The best ones will talk you into the deal and help you overlook issues. It sucks but it is the truth. We have a family friend that is one of the best real estate agents in our area and she totally pressured my wife in closing the deal (but was extremely subtle in the process).

    Shop the mortgage heavily. Avoid the big boys unless they give you a great deal but make sure you have them itemize what closing costs are going to be. Also, if you are going to escrow anything, try to close in January or February. In escrow, when you close, you are required to come up with a percentage of property taxes and/or insurance. Depending on the state, they will credit you in the purchase for the sellers share, then you may be required to put the cash in to the bank at closing. Some states will just transfer it from the close to your bank, but check on that ahead of time. If you close in January (assuming property taxes are due for December), you will only need your share of one month.

    I may come up with some more, but that will head you in the right direction.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by boomchakabowwow View Post
    23?!!

    badass! older home or newer home?

    no real advice except..find a real estate agent you like. mine found homes and drove me around in her car. nice touch. dont forget, they work for you. and unless you sign something you can move from agent to agent until one clicks for you.

    if it is an older home..i got a really old home. if i could do it again, i would have paid the $200 for a company to come and video tape my sewer line. man..it was awful.

    good luck. like you..i bought my home alone, altho i was prep to propose to my GF. a mortgage i could afford alone was a godsend.
    this is good advice i was wondering about this, i mentioned it to my realtor and she seemed confident that the inspector would see any potential problems with this. Its an older house built in 1953. I think i will pay to have it done, id rather not have any surprises.

    And ya i started working super young actually 10 under the table in the kitchen just a few hours in the mornings during the summer before fishing all day, when i was 12 they hired me to bus, and then at 14 back to the kitchen. I moved out at 17, learned it wasn't as easy as i thought, ended up with a kid and back at home... go figure, but i have been able to save quite a bit and progressed quickly in my career to Chef de Cuisne and now Sous chef at a reputable place. So i have been lucky i am able to live for 5 years with little bills.

    Its time me and my gf move out though, we figure rent will run us about the same as a mortgage, why not put it towards something?

    Keep the tips coming this stuff makes my head hurt thinking about all the $$

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Make sure you have a reputable company do the home inspection. Your realtor probably has someone they like to use, ask to see a sample report if you are concerned. It's worth paying a little more for a better inspection. Closing costs Are going to vary by state and some will be dependent upon the lender. If haven't selected a mortgage company already it's worth getting at least 3 quotes. Even if you decide to go with someone local it's worth seeing what some of the larger online brokers can offer. After you've decided on your broker and the loan is in process don't apply for any additional credit unless absolutely necessary I.e your car blows up and you can't get to work on the bus for the next month or two and you are going to lose your job. Seriously new credit apps and loans have the potential to derail the mortgage loan in the underwriting process. Finally, if things feel wrong at any point, even if you're far into the process don't be afraid to walk away. Even if you lose a deposit. It's better to lose a deposit than be stuck with an asset you don't want or can't sell

  8. #8
    Senior Member hobbitling's Avatar
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    Try not to fall in love with a house that has serious issues. Keep emotions out of it. Don't buy on a deadline. Desperation and emotionally clouded judgement put you in a terrible negotiating position and can lead to very bad decisions.

    My wife and I almost bought a house last year. We were moving to a new city we didn't know well, I had just gotten my first stable job, we were tired of renting, and It was our first time on the market. We absolutely fell for this old farm house that was perfect, except:... The roof leaked, the attic had rot issues, half the house had been partially remodeled (torn apart and never finished), the basement leaked, it was too far from my job, we had barely enough money to make the down payment, etc... But other than the fact that it was a dilapidated wreck with a bad location that we couldn't afford, it was perfect! And since we were living 10 hours away at the time, we had about a week of vacation to view all these houses with the realtor and make a decision.

    At the last minute, some family and friends talked sense into us and we walked away from it. Best decision we ever made. We're renting for a year or two while we get to know our new city and take our time searching and saving.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DeepCSweede View Post
    Before you close on the place make sure you get a really good inspector that knows everything about the local codes and make sure they check the place thoroughly, roof, electrical, masonry, plumbing, etc. That could cost you big if you don't. I know a little bit, but I have had good and bad ones and a good one could save a bucketload.

    If you haven't put in your offer, try to get the seller to pay closing costs in your offer to purchase. Many times they don't pay attention and will sign off on it. Also, when you put in your offer, make a contingency that you qualify for financing and also contingent on the inspection - if something comes up in the inspection, get the seller to pay for it or get a credit.

    Regarding the agent - I disagree with the Boomer - They SHOULD work for you, but they don't they work for the commission they are getting from you. The best ones will talk you into the deal and help you overlook issues. It sucks but it is the truth. We have a family friend that is one of the best real estate agents in our area and she totally pressured my wife in closing the deal (but was extremely subtle in the process).

    Shop the mortgage heavily. Avoid the big boys unless they give you a great deal but make sure you have them itemize what closing costs are going to be. Also, if you are going to escrow anything, try to close in January or February. In escrow, when you close, you are required to come up with a percentage of property taxes and/or insurance. Depending on the state, they will credit you in the purchase for the sellers share, then you may be required to put the cash in to the bank at closing. Some states will just transfer it from the close to your bank, but check on that ahead of time. If you close in January (assuming property taxes are due for December), you will only need your share of one month.

    I may come up with some more, but that will head you in the right direction.
    Thank you! lots of good stuff here, can you explain the contingency for financing and the inspection? not sure i follow there, are you saying to have it in the contract that if anything in the inspection comes back as in bad, that they will pay for it or issue a credit?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgraeff View Post
    Thank you! lots of good stuff here, can you explain the contingency for financing and the inspection? not sure i follow there, are you saying to have it in the contract that if anything in the inspection comes back as in bad, that they will pay for it or issue a credit?
    The contingency means you can back out with no penalty if you a) fail to secure a mortgage, or b) see something in the inspection that you don't like. Whether or not a seller will agree to credit you for things that the inspector notes is entirely up to them. I asked for a laundry list of little things, and the seller refused to do any of them! It just depends on the market, and whether or not you are willing to walk away from the deal or not.

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