Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 Send TopicPrint
Normal Topic Home Buying (Read 3380 times)
spanky
Post Whore
FTP Server
******
Offline



Posts: 1540
Location: Detroit-ish
Joined: Oct 23rd, 2005
Gender: Male
Home Buying
Sep 9th, 2012 at 1:05pm
Print Post  
With you guys posting so many things in the home improvement thread I figured I would start a thread for tips for us slackers who have yet to buy a house/condo but might be looking.

What are things you guys would definitely do next time that you didn't do or things you would never do again?  (Like punching a kitten in the face in front of your realtor to let them know you mean business.)
  
Back to top
AIM  
IP Logged
 
b0b
GeekCrew Administrator
FTP Server
*****
Offline


The revolution will not
be televised.

Posts: 7733
Location: Battle Creek, Michigan
Joined: Oct 15th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Home Buying
Reply #1 - Sep 10th, 2012 at 11:40pm
Print Post  
I'm typing this from Ludington with Meredith, so these tips come from both of us.

1)  If you're buying a bank-owned home (typically a foreclosure), plan on a very long bargaining process.  A simple communication with a personal owner takes a day at most.  With a bank, it takes weeks.

2)  You can save a metric crap-load of money buying a house that needs maintenance, but the maintenance is always larger, more expensive, and more time-consuming than it first appears.  This is particularly true with older homes.

3)  If you want a buyer's agent (a real estate agent that represents you, highly recommended), you can ask the seller to pay the cost for the agent as part of the closing costs.

4)  This is a bit cliché, but it's all about location.  You can change everything about the house inside and out, but moving your house is generally not an option.  Our house is great for a first house, but the size of the property and location in the middle of the city means it'll never be our dream home.  I'd recommend thinking about how long of a timeline you're thinking of.  Is this a starter house, or do you want to buy a house that will last you until you die?

5)  You'll have the option of getting a survey done when you buy the house.  It's pricy ($500 to $1,200 if you have the corners marked), so we opted not to have the survey.  In hindsight, we should have had the survey done.  Now, we're looking at scheduling a survey in the next couple months.

6)  Once you find a house you want to bid on, talk to your friends and coworkers for recommendations before you hire a house inspector.  The house inspection is super, super important, so you want an excellent inspector to make sure the house isn't going to burn down or fall over as soon as you move in.

7)  Buying a house is expensive.  I can hear you saying "Derp!" from here, but the actual buying process is more expensive than we anticipated.  You have to come up with money for the realtor (assuming you use a buyer's agent), the inspector, the radon test, the survey, closing costs, de-winterizing for the inspection (if applicable) and a couple other things that escape me at the moment.  You can roll a lot of these costs into the mortgage, but you still have to keep the mortgage below your lender's loan-to-value ration (meaning a higher down payment).  Fortunately, we had a good down payment that we could "borrow" from to pay some of the unexpected up-front costs.  Don't forget about moving costs!

8)  Don't forget to calculate house insurance and taxes into your monthly payment estimates.  If your down payment is less than 20% of the value of the house, add another $20-30 into the payment for PMI.


I'm sure we'll think of a bunch of other stuff, but there's a list for tonight!


-b0b & Mere
(...teamwork!)
  

Back to top
IP Logged
 
Stick
Wootzor von Leetenhaxor
FTP Server
*****
Offline


Stick is back

Posts: 501
Location: Michgan
Joined: Oct 15th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Home Buying
Reply #2 - Sep 12th, 2012 at 1:38pm
Print Post  
One mistake I made is, the realtor will ask you if you want to report your home purchase price to the MLS which makes it public record. They will say it helps other realtors and wont effect you much. If you purchase a home at a steal of a price and you make that price public, it will reduce the values of homes in the area making the entire neighborhood's home prices drop. You don't want that, it may create upset neighbors and if you want to sell your home later you won't get a good price.

Arguably, the most costly home maintenance is the roof($15,000), furnace($15,000), siding($15,000), and windows(?). If the home you buy has those up to date, there's not much you'll have to worry about anytime soon.

Natural gas is cheaper than propane, city sewage and water are desired over having a well and septic for the most part because of being maintenance free. In reality the maintenance costs are distributed. Most of all, make sure the home has internet service!

In the first few months, plan on spending about $2,000 minimum in updates even if the house is move-in-ready. Especially if there is a significant other in your life.

If you've used zillow, you probably already know but use the map feature and zoom in to see estimated home values near the one you are looking at. That will give you a good idea of the appraisal of the home. You can also enable the sold option to see real sale values. I purchased my home at the same price it was sold at in 1998.

Interest rates are better than they were when I bought in April. I got 3.25% for a 15 year mortgage. They are slightly lower than that now I believe.

If the seller is jerking you around tell your realtor to mention that you have a lawyer. "My lawyer advised me not to agree to x y or z..." They will straighten up pretty quickly.

Another good tool I always used when scouring the internet for a house was bing maps birds eye view. Several homes that had great prices, I could see was a shooting range right behind the house or a rail road or some other feature making it very undesirable. This tool by far reduced time wasted looking at homes that I wouldn't want.

Lastly, this is only my opinion and I hope it doesn't offend anyone but steer clear of Allen Edwin homes.

Good luck!
  
Back to top
AIM  
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send TopicPrint