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Old 01-19-2013, 12:26 PM

RE: Any tips on buying a house?

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My first home I bought, I was very naive. I bought an older home and it had termite damage. I should have spent more time searching for a home, hiring home inspectors, etc. However, we had been building a new home, and the builder committed suicide due to shady dealings on his part that were discovered. I got out of that deal with just a foundation up (lucky I did, as the banks started placing lawsuits on all the other homeowners in the development to try to get their money back that the builder had cheated them out of). Anyhow, due to all of that, I was in a rush to get in a home, so made poor decisions.

If you are buying a resale, please inspect everything! Go see the home on a rainy day to check for leaks, and flooding areas if you can. Look under sinks for leaks. Don't just look at superficial things, dig for problems. Or just hire a good inspector. Don't ever, ever, ever fall in love with the house. There will ALWAYS be a better home for you. Keep that in your head while shopping to help yourself make a good decision. A friend of mine said she was in tears because her spouse would not agree to pay the price they wanted for what she thought was her 'dream home'. She cried, and hated him so much. The home they ended up with was cheaper and better in the long run. She learned greatly from that experience. I didn't believe her when she told me not to get attached to any one home. Every house we went to see at first I thought was 'the one'. How wrong I was!

We ended up buying a short sale. It took about 3 months. I wanted to offer the full price. DH said to offer $20,000 less. I was devastated, as I thought they would NOT accept our offer. The home was only 3 years old, and I really wanted it (after getting over several other homes I 'really wanted). I was in shock when they accepted our offer! Of course, then the bank had to approve it. As long as it is within a certain percentage of the debt they owe, they will, or will counter offer. They accepted it in the end.

I recommend buying NOTHING until after you move. You don't want to have to explain any new debt. Also you will find out that no matter how much money you have saved for the closing, you will always need more.

We did buy in an area with higher taxes. I could have gotten something much lower tax-wise, but wanted a newer home. I would recommend buying a short sale if your lease is month to month like ours was. You will get a far better deal than a regular home,if you can be patient. There are so many out there. I know friends who have bought foreclosures. Only thing there is you may get in a bidding war over the home.

It is a buyers market out there right now. Go see LOTS of homes! We did put our offer on our home the same night we went to see it, as I knew it was a great deal. It had been on the market several months though. I am sure you will have a list of the key things you desire in a home (# of bedrooms, SF, lot size, fireplace, central air, etc.). I kept a notebook and would write down pros/cons about the homes as I saw them. My current home had everything but two things on my wish list. I would have liked a couple acres. I could have gotten an older home with land, or a newer home with less land. We settled for the newer home. Figured it would have less problems for me in the end. I wanted a fireplace or wood stove. There is none, but this spring we will be installing one.

Good luck! Do your homework, and shop wisely!
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Last edited by RNSAMRN; 03-05-2013 at 07:50 PM.
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