(Closed) House hunting advice?

posted 8 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Are you going with a relator or on your own? Where online did you find the houses… you have to be careful because some sites (Yahoo RealEstate, relator.com, and local ones) do update their houses. I found that most the houses we found on those sites were under contract already. Our relator would send us all the newest listings to a website and we could go and look through there.

Take pictures

Know your marker for your price range. How quickly are houses going? Odds are, if you DO fall in love with one, you’ll need to pounce on it… 

Post # 4
Member
2083 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Don’t wait around! Houses were going so quickly because the prices are so much lower in the market right now. I agree though that having a realtor is very helpful, because they can show you the updated listings. I don’t even know how many I looked at online that were already under contract.

Also, whatever you do I wouldn’t recommend any short sale homes! If you are trying to make the tax credit deadline that is not the route to go at this point. If you find a place you love, just pounce on it because even sometimes when we did other offers were put in. We lost two homes to other offers before we finally locked in the third 🙂

Post # 5
Member
2083 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Oooh and also, ask the seller to pay a portion of the closing costs… That was super helpful for us.

Post # 5
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Take your time! Try to be relaxed. Take pictures. Know your budget and what you’re willing to spend. Try to look past the current owners decor and style. Nothing makes me more irritated then when someone says “Yeah I don’t think we can live here, that paint color is just awful”, like, helloooo?? You can change all of those things!!

Best of luck and have fun!!

Post # 5
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Yes, NO short sales. Foreclosures, yes…. short sales, no.

Post # 6
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Take your time! Try to be relaxed. Take pictures. Know your budget and what you’re willing to spend. Try to look past the current owners decor and style. Nothing makes me more irritated then when someone says “Yeah I don’t think we can live here, that paint color is just awful”, like, helloooo?? You can change all of those things!!

Best of luck and have fun!!

Post # 7
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Umm… don’t know what happened… sorry for the double post!

Post # 8
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Best househunting advice I’ve ever heard is that you can’t change the 4 L’s of your home:  Location, Lot size/shape, Light exposure (sunlight that is) and Layout (without huge structural changes).  Look beyond superficial finishes (paint, carpet, wallpaper, tile, the furniture that is in the house currently).  You can always change that down the road!

 

Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
1752 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Definately know your price range.  It’s something that ends up getting people in trouble.  Don’t go by the number that the bank says you can afford, they use your before tax income to figure it out.. funny, you don’t get all that money!

I knew what I wanted my max payment to be, monthly, and worked out what size loan that would be.  That’s how I started my search.  It made it more realistic, and i dind’t bother looking at houses that were too far out of my range.

Def. know what you want:  fireplace, finished basement, Min. number of bathrooms, min. number of bedrooms, outdoor space?, yard?  Garage – attached or unattached.

Look up comparible prices of houses in the neighborhoods that you are looking in.  The goal is to find the least expensive house in the nicest neighborhood.  You never want to have the nicest house in the neighborhood – hard for reasale!

Look at room sizes.  If you are planning on saving money by using your existing furinture, make sure that furniture fits!  Look at cabinet space!

Most importantly – look in the basement!!!  Look for signs of water infiltration, cracks in the basement walls, pools of water.  Look at the furnace and hot water  heater – see what the dates are on each & if they are energy star.  Look at the electrical box… how old is it?  Updating electrical is expensive.  Go back and look in the kitchens and bathooms for GFCI outlets (those are the ones with three prongs that have a little red and black button in the middle.  These are ground fault circuit interruptors & are important to have in places where there is water!

I could go on forever.  If you have specific questions, ask!  I work with historic buildings & own a 90 year old house!

Post # 10
Hostess
18644 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

All the advice on here is great.  I agree with looking past the superficial stuff in the house that can be changed.  I would recommend choosing a house in a good neighborhood even if it isn’t the best house on the block.  You can always do updates on the home but you can’t move it from the bad neighborhood that it is in.  Depending on where you live, homes might not be selling that quickly.  The market is still pretty slow in areas.

Know what you can afford before going to the bank.  They are probably going to offer to a higher amount for a loan that you possibly might not be able to afford (that is what caused a lot of people problems right now).

Post # 11
Member
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

Have a set list of must haves, would like, and no way. That way, you go in knowing what you won’t compromise on, and what you can deal with not having.  We put in a bid on a short sale in December and 3 months later still hadn’t heard anything, so i don’t recommend them!  We ended up finding a house that had a smaller yard than we originally wanted, but it was almost completely renovated so we are getting basically a new house for a used house price.  Find a realtor you can trust – we found ours on ziprealty.com and she is AWESOME!  I used sites like Long and Foster and Zip when looking for houses, Zip is nice because you can customize your searches and have any new ones sent to you.  Our realtor also sent us new listings about once a week, since they can go on the MLIS website and pull from all realtors, so she was able to find houses I couldn’t. 

Post # 12
Member
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

Oh, and order your credit reports to make sure there is nothing that needs to be fixed, and start shopping rates.  Get a pre approval, and DON’T budge on your max budget.  I plan on getting a better paying job hopefully in the near future, but we only got what we can afford on what we both make right now. We would have loved to be able to afford it on one income, but around here houses are really expensive, so it just wasn’t feasible for us.

Post # 13
Hostess
18644 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

One more thing.  If you have a seller’s agent, don’t tell them anything about what price you are willing to pay (even if they are your agent).  They report to the seller not to you so they can go back and tell them that you are willing to go this high.  If you want someone that you can discuss prices with who won’t talk to the seller, you should look into a buyer’s agent.

Post # 14
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

My tip is to open and look inside all the closets, if storage is important to you. Our house looks like it has a lot of closet space…until you look in the closets and find out that one is shaped like a triangle so you can’t hang anything in it, one is filled with the water heater, and one is super shallow so again hangers don’t fit.

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