(Closed) In the Market for a Home

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Congrats!

Before you set foot in a house for a tour, think long and hard about what your current and future needs are, and what your lifestyle goals are. Like, if you want to train to run a half marathon, it may not be a good idea to buy a house on a busy street with no sidewalks. Or if you want to add a great dane to the family, a postage stamp sized backyard is probably not your best bet. Focus on the things that you cannot change, like a busy road nearby or lots of airplane noises because you are near the airport or being surrounded by neighbors who don’t care for their yards. You can easily change flooring, wall colors, add some windows/skylights, etc. But you can’t change your location, lot size, school quality (if that is a priority for you), property tax rate, etc.  And most of all, BE PATIENT! You may come upon a house that you love and a deal that is right quickly, but you may not. It’s okay to hold out for the right house, even if that means that you have to hunt for a while.

Post # 6
Member
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Take pictures! Like wedding dresses, after looking at 30 houses they all turn into 1 jumbled mess..

Post # 8
Member
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

@kmsw:  omg welcome to the mayhem!!  Fiance and I have been looking since Feb and when we finally started liking homes we lost both we wanted in a bidding war. and this was recently.

Based on your list of wants, I imagine the cost of living is different out where you are compared to here.  However, its a good tip to be prepared to make some sort of concession.  One never knows.  Examples: would you buy the house with the dated 2 bathrooms to have the extra bath? or take the older home in the kickass school district? nice backyward but smaller than you expected?  just stuff like that.

Keep an open mind and have fun!  Dont stress it out.  Youre only a first time once!!

Post # 9
Member
5762 posts
Bee Keeper

Look at the neighborhood as you drive up the street. Kids playing in the street or lots of people sitting around outside? Will it bother you to hear so much noise early in the morning when you can sleep in? What are the average ages of the neighbors? Kids grown and gone or young families? Newer homes don’t guarantee the families living there will be your age or are kid friendly.

How close are markets and drug stores and restaurants? Are there schools nearby and what is the transportation being used? Lots of drop offs by parents or school buses? Its always a good idea to visit a neighborhood you’re considering at different times of the day. Is everyone gone and its quiet or is everyone outside on a Saturday morning, mowing their lawns and trimming trees? What’s it like in the evening when peoole are coming home from work?

Take a notepad and jot down anything you don’t like as well as things you love. Check the closets, water pressure and don’t forget to look UP…ceilings that need work are often overlooked or can show signs of prior water damage. Open and close the windows to see if they all operate smoothly.

Remember that the agent is working for the seller and is trying to get them the most money on the sale.

Have fun with it and ask lots of questions!

 

Post # 10
Hostess
18643 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Everyone else has great tips.  You can get a buyer’s agent if you would like someone to talk to about what to offer and things like that.  A buyer’s agent is not allowed to talk to the seller’s agent about what you want (just because you hire the agent doesn’t mean they are a buyer’s agent, there is a special type of contract you sign to have them be a seller’s agent).

Make sure you know how much you are willing to pay a month including utilities and taxes.  Don’t go above the amount you can afford now, not what you could afford after a couple of raises.

Once you accept an offer, don’t forget the appraisal and inspection!  Super duper important!

Post # 11
Member
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

One thing that is a huge struggle for all first-time home buyers I’ve talked to: DON’T get emotionally attached to any house until it’s yours (ie closed on it, have the keys). Your market is certainly different from mine, or so I hope because I wish it upon noone. We put in so many offers, so much time, and it took us 8 months. 

A lot of real estate offices/businesses offer first time homebuyers classes/seminars. Redfin.com has some online. There are so many aspects at work that educating yourself is essential. We made a few rookie mistakes early on that cost us 2 houses in bidding wars and caused us to waste 3 months on a house that was a total waste of time while perfect homes were listed and sold in the same time period. 

A specific tip: Make sure you verify a home’s square footage with your state’s home database. Seller’s in my area often include basements in the total sq ft in order to make the price per sq ft look smaller. Basements aren’t taxable living space (in MD anyway), even if they’re finished. 

Post # 13
Member
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Fingers crossed for a thorough and smooth inspection. I know it’s hard, but try to not get excited just yet. After inspection and appraisal, then you can get excited. In the mean time, call your insurance agent for a home owners insurance quote and go negotiate your best rate with your lender!

Post # 14
Member
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Congrats! We are sort of looking for a house, but aren’t going to buy any time soon (boo). My biggest piece of advice is that the number you get from the bank (your pre-approval amount) is NOT what you can afford. They base that number off of your gross income, not your take home, so the amount you get pre-approved for is going to be much higher. Work out the numbers yourself, based on what you actually bring home, and don’t forget to add in utilities.

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