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  1. #1
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Default First time home buyers.

    I was beginning to think about buying a home. Any tips or tricks, or experiences that anyone can share? (I'm planning on taking a class as well.)

    (Oh shoot, can mods edit the title? "First" is the word I was looking for.)







    (edited typo by CzeCze)
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  2. #2
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    All I have to offer is-- Check into every company involved in the transaction. If your mortgage co. recommends a particular title company, look into them a little before just "going with their recommendation." I almost got burned this way (thankfully, the law was on my side, and this state has competent regulatory & enforcement offices...)

    Obviously this caveat should extend to everyone involved, the homeowner's insurance company, the Title Insurance co, etc.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    All I have to offer is-- Check into every company involved in the transaction. If your mortgage co. recommends a particular title company, look into them a little before just "going with their recommendation." I almost got burned this way (thankfully, the law was on my side, and this state has competent regulatory & enforcement offices...)

    Obviously this caveat should extend to everyone involved, the homeowner's insurance company, the Title Insurance co, etc.
    Interesting. How would I go about looking into them? Better business bureau? Word of mouth? Anyone particular who knows all the inside information about these companies?
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  4. #4
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    I was beginning to think about buying a home. Any tips or tricks, or experiences that anyone can share? (I'm planning on taking a class as well.)

    (Oh shoot, can mods edit the title? "First" is the word I was looking for.)
    I just bought my first home a year and a half ago.

    Some things I learned:

    Figure out your price range and don't deviate from it no matter how beautiful a house is. (My realtor showed me a house that was worth about 150,000 more than my range (why?!!?) and IT WAS GORGEOUS OMG. It kind of made me a little emo when I saw the houses that were in my price range.)

    Spend a lot of time with an online resource for real estate listings. I spent hours looking at houses... getting a feel for what I wanted and needed. For example, I knew that I wanted a den so that I could get my Pulitzer prize winning novel written.

    Try to be as objective as you can about a house. There was one house I looked at that made me soo happy! It had a sun room! It had a big living room! It had bedrooms! ..... It also had 5 levels stacked on each other like a Jenga puzzle.... and Each floor was the size of a matchbox....

    When you do find a house you love, try to spazz out in a quiet manner.

    Do research and find out which closing fees you can perhaps negotiate a bit. I knew my realtor really well (neighbor of my parents) and so she waived a few thousand in fees that were basically being charged because someone photocopied a few pages for me, or because they signed my papers.


  5. #5
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    Interesting. How would I go about looking into them? Better business bureau? Word of mouth? Anyone particular who knows all the inside information about these companies?
    Hindsight being 20/20, the one thing that would have raised red flags for me is if I'd checked my state's Court Case Search website for both the company and the employee representatives at the company that I knew were involved with my paperwork. Mainly the latter; the lady who was purported to be the "title attorney" assigned to my closing had some criminal cases on public record. This is definitely one of those things you NEVER think of until AFTER it's all said and done, but it's a good way to sleuth. Also it might be worth calling them up and asking them a little basic info about their company; how long's it been in business, who founded it, etc. Then check up on that (and any names) to verify.

    Otherwise, not really sure ... BBB for certain, any online searches, word of mouth is always good (ask your realtor to ask around), etc.

    edit: Oh yeah, and in my particular case I didn't find her criminal record under the name I was given; but under her current name there was a divorce listed, with her married name, and under THAT name I found the criminal record. Just a detail to remember when doing your research.
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  6. #6
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    My ENTJ bought his first house a little under a year ago and he says this: Don't get impatient. He was looking for houses for 8 months before he finally found the right one. He almost settled for one he wasn't quite happy with, just because he wanted to finally have a house. Don't settle. Wait for the right house.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    (My realtor showed me a house that was worth about 150,000 more than my range (why?!!?) and IT WAS GORGEOUS OMG. It kind of made me a little emo when I saw the houses that were in my price range.)
    Thats odd. A lot of realtors will do the opposite. They have 'show houses' that they dont actually sell that are overpriced and in dumpy condition, so that when they take you to another house in the same price range, and you see how much nicer it is, you are more inclined to like it.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  7. #7
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Tips:

    Think hard about what you really want or need in a house, practically. If you don't really love doing yard work, don't do what we did and buy a house on a half acre, with 20 rose bushes and 18 trees =D Go newer. You don't want to deal with re-roofing, old heating and air conditioning, appliances going out, etc. Buy close to an area that your going to work or that your friends and family live. It sucks having to commute far to see the people you love, and gas prices are insane. Don't go too big.. we bought a 2500 sq foot house.. I work from home.. i use about 800 sq feet, honestly. Now is a fantastic time to buy with houses being priced much lower than 5 yrs ago, interest rates really low, but expect and demand that your realtor work their ass off for you. I ended up doing more work than our realtor because I wanted to find such a great deal. Get online and research "junk fees" on a hud 1 statement before you sign it. It may not happen too much anymore, but a few years back some banks were known for predatory lending and sliding in a bunch of bull-shit fees that you shouldnt be paying. Really really take into account not only your mortgage payment + home owners + extra first time buyers home owners + property tax (and increase) but also utilites for heating and cooling a home, maintenance expense, etc. Suddenly that 1200k a month payment jumps to 1550, easily. Make sure they escrow your property tax.

    We got a fantastic deal on a good sized house, with quite a bit of property and a built in pool. If I could go back and do it all again, I would have gone smaller, less money, closer to where I need to be, less yard work, and no pool. No pool just so I might go 2 days in the summer with out some bratty kids ringing my doorbell and begging to swim =/
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  8. #8
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Another thing to add, my Home Inspector sends me spam emails once in a while with tips (ok I shouldn't call it spam, and I can opt out of it at any time, but I like calling those automated emails "spam"...) and one of them did catch my attention.

    Subject: Pillar To Post: How to Budget for Home Maintenance

    It's important for Realtors to remind home buyers that all homes-old or new-need
    ongoing maintenance.
    First, buyers should understand the 1% rule. This rule postulates that normal maintenance
    on a home is about 1% of the value of the home per year. For example, a $250,000
    home would require $2,500 per year to maintain. This would be enough to replace
    the roof covering...and then, a few years later, to replace a failed hot water
    tank...and then a few years more until a new central air system is required.
    Then there is the 3% rule. Some experts say that home buyers should plan on spending
    3% of the value of the home in the first year of ownership. This is because new
    homeowners will most likely have to buy drapes, blinds, a washer and dryer, a stove,
    maybe even a new roof covering. Also, new homeowners often customize the environment
    to their taste, so they need to budget for repairs, replacements and maintenance.
    In addition, most home components have fairly predictable life cycles. For example,
    the typical life cycle of a high-efficiency furnace is 15 to 20 years. What this
    means is that most high-efficiency furnaces last between 15 and 20 years.
    One way to know the extent of the maintenance needed and the costs to repair and/or
    replace items is to have a home inspection conducted. Home inspectors are required
    to let the buyer know if a component is significantly deficient or if it is near
    the end of its life cycle (service life), and a reputable home inspection company
    may offer up-to-date repair-cost guides to help clients with their planning.
    Home inspectors work with Realtors and buyers to help them understand the issues
    that are found in the home, regardless of age, offering the right perspective and
    objective information. Home buyers need to understand that it's normal for items
    in a home to wear out. This should be regarded as normal "wear and tear" and not
    necessarily a defect.
    A good home inspection determines the current condition of the house, offering a
    report of all the systems and components in need of maintenance, service, repair
    or replacement.
    For example, consider a home inspection that uncovers that the heating system is
    old and requires replacement. A home buyer may see this as a huge problem. However,
    this problem may be the only item in the home that requires attention. If a buyer
    were to look at this situation in perspective, this home could be well above average-a
    home merely requiring a new furnace.
    A good home inspection provides objective information to help the buyer make an
    informed decision. Knowing what items need to be budgeted for repair or replacement
    will help home buyers plan or negotiate better and not be stuck with unexpected
    costs of hundreds, or even thousands of dollars in the long run. Also, fixing these
    items will make a marked improvement on the performance of a home and minimize issues
    that could affect its future integrity...and value.
    (obviously a sales pitch mixed in there, but the 1% rule was something I'd never heard of. Good to know about the "hidden costs" of home ownership.)
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  9. #9
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    Another thing to add, my Home Inspector sends me spam emails once in a while with tips (ok I shouldn't call it spam, and I can opt out of it at any time, but I like calling those automated emails "spam"...) and one of them did catch my attention.



    (obviously a sales pitch mixed in there, but the 1% rule was something I'd never heard of. Good to know about the "hidden costs" of home ownership.)
    Yea, this is really good information. It's good to know what to expect with the extra expenses.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  10. #10
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    Another thing to add, my Home Inspector sends me spam emails once in a while with tips (ok I shouldn't call it spam, and I can opt out of it at any time, but I like calling those automated emails "spam"...) and one of them did catch my attention.

    (obviously a sales pitch mixed in there, but the 1% rule was something I'd never heard of. Good to know about the "hidden costs" of home ownership.)
    The 1% is low for first time home owners since they typically buy in the lower range which include fixer-uppers or less well maintained homes. They also lean towards major renovations, wanting to adapt the place to their preferences since they're very home proud.

    Home inspection is worth every nickel, prior to buying. They can find unremoved oil tanks set into yards, all kinds of funky issues with homes. Buyer had better beware.

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