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Old 06-23-2005, 10:03 PM
motherof2's Avatar
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First Time Home Buyer

We are thinking of buying a house next summer. We will be first time buyers. Any advice? What to do and not to do? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 06-30-2005, 11:06 PM
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Two things I would do and that is to check into financing for the first time home buyer. I have seen a free seminar (in my city) for first time home buyers and special financing that is available for them (for all income levels). The second is to have a professional home inspector inspect the house prior to signing any contract. They can find things that you don't see and should be independent of both the buying and selling agents. Ask lots of questions, none should be too silly as this is a major purchase.

If possible get the current homeowners of the house to have an extended home owners warranty. This will usually cover any problems with appliance breakdowns, air conditioner, furnance, water heater, etc. if something happens within the first year.

Look beyond bad decorating as you can repaint or redo if minor. If possible, have a week or more of time when the previous owners have moved out before you have to move in. This will allow you to repaint or do any repairs before you get all your furniture in the way. It might look perfect but once they move their furniture you may see fading or scratches from were they moved items.

If you are in a bigger town and they have what is called a sixth class city make sure they tell you if there are any deed restrictions. There have been some problems with those here lately. For example they can tell you what type of fence and how high, you can't park a trailer in your drive, etc.

Well these are all I can think of right off the top of my head, we have not had to do this for awhile.
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Old 07-01-2005, 06:10 AM
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As was said earlier, check on your financing first. See what types of financing is available, determine how much you want to spend (not how much the bank says you can get a loan for). I'm in the process of looking to buy a home myself. I found out that I am eligible for a program called Downpayment Plus, which is a grant to help with closing costs, downpayment or minor repairs. I am also eligible for a rural housing loan which allows me to take out a loan without paying PMI (private mortgage insurance) due to not having 20% downpayment. The preapprovals are usually good for 6 months. Once you have preapproval, it gives you leverage when you come across a house you want. When looking for a house, take your time! A lot of first time homebuyer's rush into buying the first one they find because of the whirlwind of excitement. Know what you want (i.e. # of bedrooms, type of kitchen, # of bathrooms, amount of square footage, garage, etc.) and make a list before you start looking. This will keep you on track when you look at a house. Use a BUYER'S realtor when searching for a home. They work for YOU. If you call the number on the sign in front of a house... that is the listing agent. They work for the seller. Educate yourself on buying a home -- there are lots of resources online. I hope this helps. Good luck!
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:53 AM
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If you are novice buyers, I suggest you get a Buyer's Agent. Let me explain.
Let's say you see a house you like and go to the Real estate office offering the listing. The real estate agent for that property works for the SELLER.. not the buyer. His/her job is to get the best deal for the seller.

Now, let's say you know a real estate agent, or find one that you like. Ask the agent to be a buyer's agent...your agent. She looks out for your interests and you don't have to pay her... she gets HALF the seller's agents' commission. She can help you with all that is required, inspections, surveys and all the other stuff
that goes with it... It made our buying our house an easy transition.....
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:26 PM
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First Time Buyer

motherof2.....Glad to see you are checking everything out before you decide to buy next summer. The more knowledge you have the better you will be prepared for this great part of your life.

Here is a great website to check out.

"The only reason why people hold on to memories is because memories are the only things that don't change when everything else does."

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Old 07-01-2005, 06:46 PM
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We're on our 3rd house and learn something new every time.

If you know the neighborhood you want to live in, drive or walk (even better) through it at all times of the day/night, weekends etc. You will get a feel for the people living there and what the neighborhood is like.

City halls are great resources. We live near a flood zone that runs all over our town. City hall was able to tell us which areas were in and out of the zone.

If you have kids, schools are VERY important as you know. Some are better than others. Websites can give you details, city hall also or the local chamber of commerce.

Once you find your dream home, please get an inspection. Sellers may reassure you that nothing is wrong. HA there is always something whether they know it or not. Here in IL we have 3 days from signing to get one done.

Have fun but don't get so excited that you miss all the little details.
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:05 PM
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First Time Home Buyer

Hi it looks like you have gotten some good advice so far, and I hope it has all helped you. My husband is an Independent Home Inspector and like "redcardinalbird" said it is important to hire an inspector that is Independent of the real estate agents. You can read some of the info at my husband's website, and also click on the link for Independent Home Inspectors of North America and maybe find an inspector in your area. Larry works in Southern Kansas and Oklahoma, if you are in this area he would be glad to talk to you. He will even talk to you if you are not in the area, if you need more help hiring and inspector.

Good Luck
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:12 PM
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I second the suggestion that redcardinal made about a home warranty. When we were selling our first home we bought a home warranty as soon as we put the house on the market. It immediately paid for itself as our water heater went out. It was only a $50 deductible and we had a new water heater. That was a selling point too...

When we bought this house we asked the owner to buy the warranty for the first year, and we raised our offer a little bit if she would do that. She liked that idea. We have renewed the warranty every year. In the almost 8 years we've been here we have had 2 electrical problems fixed, dishwasher repaired, air conditioner REPLACED, water heater REPLACED, a couple of leaky sinks fixed, a few heater repairs, and stove repaired. When our heater goes (it's old....) they will replace it.

If the seller doesn't provide such a warranty, look into buying one. The realtor can help you with that. It's a great investment especially for that first year....things seem to break down just after you move in
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Old 07-15-2005, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by barbszy
If the seller doesn't provide such a warranty, look into buying one. The realtor can help you with that. It's a great investment especially for that first year....things seem to break down just after you move in
Who should I contact if I need to buy a warranty? Does this works on renting?
I am renting an old house and things just keep popping up out of nowhere.
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Old 07-15-2005, 11:13 AM
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If you are renting, it is the LANDLORD's responsibility to fix things that have to do with the real estate. In my experience, either the landlord fixed it or had it fixed. -or- I would fix it and then the landlord would allow me to take it off the following month's rent. You can buy renter's insurance to cover something happening to your personal property. It does not cover things that need repaired or have broken, however.
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