First time homebuyer

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by HGoat1, May 15, 2019.

  1. HGoat1

    HGoat1 Active Member

    Sep 25, 2018
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    I'm looking at buying my first home by the end of summer/fall. I am pre-approved for a loan and have a realtor I'd like to work with. There is a lot that comes with it, so I am looking for some advice on your experience being a homebuyer and owner.

    Any house shopping tips?
     
  2. 1100011CS

    1100011CS Well-Known Member
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    whatever you think it's going to cost, it will cost a lot more.
     
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  3. BCClone

    BCClone Well-Known Member

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    If single, buy a house that you can resell easy. Will probably step up if you get married.
     
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  4. ArgentCy

    ArgentCy Well-Known Member
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    Don't be broke when you buy a home. Renting isn't that bad.
     
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  5. mdk2isu

    mdk2isu Well-Known Member

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    Just closed on a house a month ago, so this is fresh for me.

    First, go visit multiple open houses so you can see a wide variety of layouts and d├ęcor to determine what you want/like.
    Second, figure out the area you truly want to be in
    Third, know the maximum you want to spend
    Fourth, don't be afraid to move quickly.
     
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  6. alarson

    alarson Well-Known Member

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    My first suggestion was going to be 'have a realtor to help', but you've already done that so you're on the right track in that regard.

    Do a lot of looking, even on your own time without a realtor when there are open houses and whatnot. I found that helped me figure out what things i wanted and that i didn't, and made me more ready to jump when i found the house that fit me.
     
  7. 2020cy

    2020cy Well-Known Member

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    Have a legit inspector check it out. Don't take previous owner's word for good on anything, get everything in writing. Buy on top of hill, low ground = water problems. Don't buy the most expensive property in the neighborhood.
     
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  8. mtowncyclone13

    mtowncyclone13 Well-Known Member

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    it's cliche, but once you know, you know.

    don't be afraid to buy less than you're approved for. Future you will thank you.

    Don't buy wood siding. I've done that twice and should have learned after the first time.

    Look at the age of the heater, a/c, water heater, etc. Those will need replaced and will cost a ton when the time comes.

    Save $4,000 to buy furniture, blinds, TV, etc. Nothing looks worse than a freshly painted living room with a single tv and couch. Make your house your home.

    A house doesn't define you. It's exciting to think about decorating and the change in your life, but after a month it just becomes life. Houses come and go. Don't rush it but don't drag your feet when you find the one you like. The perfect house doesn't exist.
     
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  9. mb7299

    mb7299 Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2013
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    agreed on the look at a bunch of houses to come up with a list of things you really want/need to be happy. Location means a lot, neighbors can make a big difference as well. Big one for me is garage/s. Super expensive to get a new roof as well (well cheaper now if you go metal) so always check that out.
     
  10. STATE12

    STATE12 Active Member

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    Depending on how long you plan to live there or how willing you are to make minor improvements, I think it is important to try to focus on location, layout, and budget. Whether improvements are done by you or hired out, it drives me nuts listening to people rule a place out because of something like the color of the walls. Try to look past the things that are easily changeable if you don't care for them.

    Also, take your time walking through the houses you visit. Try to visualize your items in there for fit. Don't feel pressured to be in and out of the front door in 5 minutes.
     
  11. SCNCY

    SCNCY Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2009
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    I purchased my first home back in 2016.

    1. Don't get emotional over the home, this could lead to irrational financial mistakes.
    2. If you are looking at buying a fixer-upper, be sure to accurately evaluate the cost to fix it up. The house I purchased was livable, just outdated. My agent said that the list price for the house was within limits to similar houses in the area would sell for. I think the agent just wanted to get the sale; as a result, I probably overpaid for the house by 10-15k. This is because my agent was rushing to close the sale.
    3. Make sure there aren't any issues behind the walls, such as electrical, plumbing, foundation, etc. My house electrical was not grounded, so my dad and I rewired the entire house. The mistake I made here was not asking for an allowance, or decrease in price because the seller said they would not fix it themselves. Again, this was partly because my agent was rushing things in order to get the sale, something I realize now.
    4. Make sure it is not on a busy street, this will help in resale.
    5. Overall, just make sure it is something that you want.
     
  12. Gonzo

    Gonzo Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2009
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    Stalk any potential neighbors as much and by whatever means you can.
     
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  13. Clonefan32

    Clonefan32 Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2008
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    I couldn't agree more here. Fight the urge to buy a house just a buy a house. If you're anything like my wife and I were at that time, you are so ready to quit renting that just about anything you can call your own sounds good. I was constantly saying "oh that would be too bad" or "we can fix that" and thank goodness my wife and a more discerning eye and kept me patient until we found exactly what we wanted.

    But have a list of things you won't budge on and stick to it. And once you find the right place you'll be able to tell.
     
  14. jbhtexas

    jbhtexas Well-Known Member

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    #14 jbhtexas, May 15, 2019
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    This, this, and this again. Find out from your realtor what it really costs to "operate" a house where you are buying, and make sure you can afford those expenses. Generally this means buying less house than what the bank says your max monthly payment can be.

    Quick example...living around here requires foundation management...which usually means that you have to water around the foundation to minimize the soil contraction/expansion. Back in the 2000s, when all the monkey business was going on in the housing loan industry, several people bought homes in my neighborhood because the bank told them they could afford the house payments, but that left no money for maintenance. When those folks ran into financial issues because their monthly payment left nothing for "everyday" type home ownership expenses, they had to cut back, and many of them stopped watering to save money, which destroyed the house foundations. Many of those same folks couldn't afford basic maintenance, and ended up running beautiful homes into the ground.

    I had an excellent realtor, who explained these things to me, and kept me from overbuying.
     
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  15. KnappShack

    KnappShack Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2008
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    Location.
    Stress. (Lots of it)
    Work.

    Congratulations and welcome to the landed gentry
     
  16. ArgentCy

    ArgentCy Well-Known Member
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    There is one thing you cannot change about a home. The Location

    After that, its just a place to live. Nothing more and nothing less.

    If you really don't know what you are doing then paying for a good independent inspection is a good idea. This still doesn't mean nothing will break. That's what houses do, they age.
     
  17. Sigmapolis

    Sigmapolis Well-Known Member
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    #17 Sigmapolis, May 15, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    Punch your situation into this calculator first...

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html

    ...and put some work into making sure you plug in accurate parameters. Make sure they are ones you have good research for and it is not wishful thinking on your part.

    Read what it concludes carefully. Buying a home is putting most of your eggs into a single, illiquid asset that can appreciate but can also depreciate on you. Even staving off that depreciation has some significant ongoing costs. The dream can be a nightmare.

    Even a car is an order of magnitude smaller of a financial decision compared to a home.

    My wife was trying to talk me into buying this year.

    I talked her out of it with that calculator, along with a few other related arguments. There is absolutely no shame (and several advantages) to renting your place.
     
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  18. Walden4Prez

    Walden4Prez Active Member

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    I was going to say something similar. Social media makes it easy. Many neighborhoods (mine included) even have social media groups. Some are private, others aren't.

    Nothing can hose up a nice house like ******* neighbors.
     
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  19. Boxerdaddy

    Boxerdaddy Well-Known Member

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    If there are any things you want to remodel or fix, do it before you move in. This for a number of reasons, but i'll list two
    A.) makes a mess and easier to work if your stuff isn't in the way/getting dusty etc.
    B.) Once you move in and you're comfortable, it can be hard to get the motivation to work on projects as you may just be worn out from the regular upkeep
     
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  20. SpokaneCY

    SpokaneCY Well-Known Member
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    Doors, ceilings, attics, stains - open and investigate EVERYTHING! If something looks goofy even to an untrained eye, ask the question.

    If something smells funny - literally SMELLS - water damage, smoker or bad pet owners could be cause so take a pause.

    Get some friends or family you trust and have them challenge your decisions. I can now admit my Dad knew more about what I wanted in a house then I did.
     
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