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First Time Home Buyer

Its time for us to move out of our apartment as our family grows. What are some first time home buyer tips?

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Asked by mama28th at 11:11 PM on Jul. 17, 2009 in Money & Work

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • We purchased our home (22+ yrs ago) on an FHA loan. Even so, their home inspectors failed to notice that our roof had 4 layers of shingles (only 2 allowed by law - we ended up replacing rotten boards when we had to get a new roof a few years later and it also caused damage inside when the roof leaked through the ceiling b/c of the hole), and also that there was asbestos covering the old furnace ducts (which cost us a LOT of extra money when we replaced it b/c we had to have a special outfit come out to remove the asbestos before the furnace guys would touch it). They held us up, causing us to pay 5 extra points, because there were 2 little clips that had come loose from a gutter - something that could have been fixed in less than 5 minutes! That is the only thing they found wrong. We trusted b/c we were young and naive! If at all possible, get your own home inspector to do a check before you buy.

    Answer by PSMother at 11:23 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • Also, if at all possible, do a check of any home repairs that had been done in the past. See if you can dig up any background on the house. Something like those carfax vehicle backgrounds when you buy a used car. A friend bought an otherwise perfect house only to find out after they moved in that there was some major work that needed to be done on their sewer system which backed up and flooded the basement every time it rained! Supposedly the previous owners had taken care of this, but not to a perfect solution. They had a heck of a time trying to get some restitution in court!

    Answer by PSMother at 11:30 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • Shop around. I just bought my second home in 07 my first home was in 03 and that was a piece a shit it looked good till will moved in and things just fall apart. When buying this home we looked at 15 homes before we settled i made sure we would never have to move unless god forbid it were struck by lighting or caught on fire. Make sure it has all your looking for. Bedrooms for now and the future if you plan on more kids. Bathroom space. Basement or garage space for storage. Parking yard size etc etc. Make sure you dont settle for the first thing you see.Also negotiate .Say the home you want is 120 and you bid 105 and they come back 116 . try 110 . And make sure you get seller assit.That is my only regret not negotiating enough and not getting help with closing cost. Good luck :)

    Answer by mpoohdinky04 at 11:35 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • If you buy a used house ask in the contract for a Homeowners Warranty. We used Old Rebpublic and they are AWESOME! It cost the seller all of $500. We have had a couple of thousand dollars worth in claims to Old Republic and they have only denied one claim and in all seriousness we could not blame them one little bit.
    When you find the house you want, go and observe the neighborhood at different times of the day at different times of the week. If you visit around 1 pm on a Tuesday things may look very different from visit on Saturday around 7 or 8 pm.
    Look around at the hot water heater, is it new or old? A newer one is probably more energy efficient. Our house has a brand new water heater, range, microwave and side by side refrigerator (all energy star) our house is about 31 years old (Lol it's older than us).
    When you go to look at houses, take pictures of the ones you like, that way you are not remembering from memory.

    Answer by kc932 at 12:56 AM on Jul. 18, 2009

  • Cont'd
    After looking at a lot of houses you will start to get confused.
    A lot of people say ask for closing costs, but we did not, we paid our own closing costs and because of this we got our house thousands cheaper than what they were asking. They had 4 other bids all were higher than ours but because we were paying closing they went with our offer.
    You will know the house when you see it. I would think about it but not for too long. Believe it or not good houses are not sitting on the market long. Our house was on the market all of 3 days, last summer.
    Good luck and happy hunting.

    Answer by kc932 at 12:59 AM on Jul. 18, 2009

  • Make sure you have a great realtor and deal with a competent mortgage consultant. We just bought our home and close in a week. We looked at 27 houses and during that time our realtor figured out what we really wanted in a house. The house we are buying he said was our home when he took us to see it. We walked in and it was. We bought new construction and hired a home inspector that works for my dad. Even with a new home you want to have someone you trust check it out.

    Pull your credit report from all three bureaus and get things straightened out if there are any issues. Then go to get credit approved from the bank. You don't want your mortgage to be anymore than 25-30 percent of take home(ours is 18 percent of take home). Having your preapproval will give an edge if there is a bidding war and someone else bids and does not have any type of financing approval. Think about school districts and if there is shopping

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:11 AM on Jul. 18, 2009

  • 1. use to do your own research. most agents are super on top of things. I found every house we looked at on my own. and don't forget to check the fsbo sites.
    2. buy below your means. we could have technically afforded $400 a month more...but the bank isn't thinking about all those repairs that instantly pop up. And they do- not just ones you foresaw. And once those things are handled, we have money to improve the house and take trips. Its really nice.
    3. be open. We didn't think we wanted a detached garage (I mean, who would?) but we found a house selling $20k under market value just because people wouldn't even look at a detached and it had bad curb appeal. Inside, its a gem and the outside was easy to fix! Make a list of real deal breakers, like being near a busy road, city water, x bedrooms and then a list of "wants" where you're flexible, even if you think you aren't.

    Answer by mrs_pulley at 9:12 AM on Jul. 18, 2009

  • oh and I forgot! school district!!! #1 issue. I don't care if your kids are going to be homeschooled, it matters a lot for resale purposes. We almost bought into a lesser district with the intentions of moving but it fell through. And now we're in the best district for less...and the other district just lost more funding

    Answer by mrs_pulley at 9:46 AM on Jul. 18, 2009

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