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I need some advice....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We are ready to buy a house and truthfully, having never done it before, I was wondering if it is better to go with a realtor, and what kind of things should I be on the lookout for....

Thanks ya'll
post #2 of 13
Go with a realtor. It's the seller who pays the commission anyway. All the stuff you go through is so confusing. It's nice to have someone who knows the ropes. I actually applied for my mortgage before I ever found a house. That way, things were ready to go when I was. Also, even though I used a realtor, I actually found my house myself on the net. Here's the link.

post #3 of 13
Ken, Get a good inspector if you're serious. They will look for signs of dampness in the basement, ants, termites, faulty construction, old roofs in need of replacing, the condition of the furnace--you name it. My father and brother were both carpenters, and we made sure one or the other went along when we thought we might be serious. Go once by yourself. If you're interested, take a builder with you. Pluses, of course, are hardwood floors, wood trim, insulated windows, newer roof, furnace, adequate cupboard and closet space, city sewage, all utilities, including gas.(Oil furnaces cost much more to run.) Of course, you'll want to ask to see the last year's utility bills, check for the location of schools, and the quality of the district, condition of the street and sidewalks, gutters, downspouts.

There's so much to look at! Frame homes need frequent painting. Aluminum siding fades. Is the lot well drained? Is it fenced in for the dog? That's a plus. Take your time, and take an expert! The bank will also inspect the home before approving the loan, but that's a little late when you have your heart set on a specific home. Good luck! Keep us informed. It's so exciting, but be careful. Oh, and ask about the neighbors, by all means, crime rate, etc.
p.s. You will spend less buying directly from the owner, but a real estate agent will be able to save you time. They know where the houses are and what their best features are.
post #4 of 13
Hi Ken,

When we bought our place it was through a realtor because they have the best in for all the homes for sale. We also spent $185.00 and hired a Home Inspector who came in and investigated this old farmhouse top and bottom. Radon testing, well and septic, pests, foundation, structure cracks etc..It took him 4 hours but he did a great job. You can find these Inspectors in the Yellow Pages under Home Inspectors. Good luck, buying a new home is both exciting and daunting at the same time!
post #5 of 13
No advice here, since I have never been through this (I live in the home that belonged to my father when he was alive) but I just wanted to wish you and Sandie good luck with your house hunt! I hope you find something you really like at a reasonable price!
post #6 of 13
When we bought our 1st house (built from scratch), getting qualified was a freaking nightmare! I wasn't employed full-time, we weren't married, etc. The loan processor had told hubby (fiance @ time) that had I had a permanent job, we wouldn't have had the hassle; oh, they asked for my college transcripts, because they wanted me to prove that I was going to school. I was only 19 when we bought our first house....... Not many people at that age are getting married & are getting a brand new house, I guess? We had to pay all of our bills off, except for the car. Of course, we paid them all off, but when we did, they wanted to know how we got the $$$ to pay them off, which some came from our wedding reception I won't mention what a witch the loan processor was, either ....... Oh, and our realtor was my mother's cousin. We took him with us a week after we saw the model that we liked, and the very next week, they jacked the price up by an extra $10,000, which he didn't even try to "barter" with the saleswoman at the model homes, nor did he ask why. Anyways, I have always heard buying your first home is a pain! Hopefully, our next one wont be like that.
post #7 of 13
Get a realtor for sure. It doesn't cost the seller anything and will save you on headaches:tounge2:

Be sure to get a reputable home inspector, even if its expensive. It'll be worth you while.

We got our mortgage pre approved before we started hunting, so we knew our price range. Then when we picked our house, we only had to do the finalities to close out the loan.

happy house hunting Ken and Sandie!
post #8 of 13
It was early when I replied, and I forgot a couple of things I wanted to say.

Make sure you look at a LOT of houses before deciding. You'll get a feel for what your money will buy, and you can also compare floor layouts, square footages, etc. We looked at at least 6 houses before finding the one we fell in love with the one we are in now. We had a 'list' of things we had to have, such as a full basement, a garage, minumum 3 bedrooms. Then if the house didn't have those things we crossed it off. Its important not to just settle for something, don't forget you'll probably be there for a long time.
I knew when I saw my house that it was it. I loved it from the moment I stepped foot inside, and we wrote a check for a deposit the same day.

The home inspector is so important. Here in MA you can't even get a mortgage w/o one. We paid $125, and it took about 3 hours, but he checked everything. And he gave us a written report with everything he found that wasn't "perfect". Its well worth the money.

Take your time, enjoy the house hunt, and you'll find just what you are looking for eventually.
post #9 of 13
We bought our house, in January. We paid $125 for the home inspection. If you go FHA or VA, it is required. By all means, use a realtor. There is SOOOO much paperwork involved, no layperson can possibly deal with everything. Also, you can give a realtor a list of your requirements: location, number of bedrooms and price range. Ours gave us a printout of all available houses, that met our specs and we spent a day driving around, checking them out. This helped narrow down the search. It took us a month to find this one.
post #10 of 13

Charged us about $150.00

Worth every penny!
post #11 of 13
Best of luck Ken and Sandie!

Just wondering - what is the price range of houses in the US? Say a decent 4 bedroom house in a nice neighborhood? Here is would be around $200,000.
post #12 of 13
Definately go with a realtor. They can find you homes before they are "open" for the public. We bought our house before it even had it's sign up. It was on the market for 2 days only. Also home inspection is key. Make sure your deal is conditional on a satisfactory home inspection. even if you get a brand new home youn should get it inspected as at times they may have cut corners. Good luck in the home hunt.
post #13 of 13
Anne, housing prices vary state-to-state. Here, in Tucson, the average new house is 130,000. The problem is that they all look alike and are too close together.

We bought a postwar house in a gentrified middle-class neighborhood for 90,000.

My parents have a 5 bedroom house, with a pool, in an upper-middle-class neighborhood. Its valued at about 300,000.

A lot of celebrities have been building custom million-dollar+ homes here, which drives up the average.
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