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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Viking's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 03:26 PM
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    Default House Buying Help!

    My fiancee and I are in the process of trying to buy a house. This is a first for me, and I'm not real familiar with the process. Anyone here that would like to share their stories about buying a house and offer any tips, or direct me to a website with good information on buying a house, it would be greatly appreciated.
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    12.14.17 @ 04:49 PM
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    You first need to get married, if you need both incomes to qualify.
    Dealing with it.

  3. #3
    Romeo Delight Paco's Avatar
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    Talk to somebody at a loan company like Ditech, LendingTree etc. before you buy. These companies can be great at not letting the seller/builder take advantage of you. They can also do wonders when it comes to keeping your monthly payments low.

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    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 05:57 AM
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    When you are doing a home inspection, I HIGHLY recommend you check for foundation for cracks. Bring a 4 foot level with you and check the floors in each room to make sure they are reasonably level. I made the mistake of buying a house with a foundation problem (My kitchen was off 2.5" over 20', and it cost $8K to jack the house back up.
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  5. #5
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paco
    Talk to somebody at a loan company like Ditech, LendingTree etc. before you buy. These companies can be great at not letting the seller/builder take advantage of you. They can also do wonders when it comes to keeping your monthly payments low.

    My mom runs an escrow company...Don't even THINK about going the internet mortgage route...Whenever you refinance, there will be penalties for early repayment.

    Talk to your friends and get a mortgage broker they know and trust...Home buying is a bit of an anal exam on the credit side...Be prepared...They will want your most current pay stubs so keep them all until you are past that point of the process.

    I would go online and get your credit report. Then, any problems, you can address NOW. Also, your broker will see that you are on the ball and taking care of stuff. This is why you want a relationship with your broker...so he/she will really represent you to the lender.

    If you have open credit that you aren't using, CLOSE THEM ALL NOW IN WRITING. Even with zero balances, open credit lines increase your debt risk because of your ability to run up a bill.

    If you want this to be smooth, get that credit report, make a file, and start making sure it is as spotless as possible...

    Then, talk to pals and get a broker with a solid rep...

    It will work out...
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

  6. #6
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    11.30.17 @ 06:15 PM
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    Vike, I'm currently closing our first as well. Sounds like I'm about a month or two in front of you. You're always free to pm me as well.

    1. Ask around and find a good real estate agent. I say ask around because word of mouth is just the only way to go. If you call some place out of the blue, those are the calls that the office rookies get. You don't get a seasoned pro on a cold call.

    The agent is there to watch out for you and guide you in the entire process. They become the project manager of the whole show for you and it's a great deal. They are paid by the seller after closing, no cost to you at all.

    2. Get pre-approved for a loan. If you find "the" house, the chances of it being somebody elses "the" house are pretty good. When all other factors remain the same and you're pre-qualed and they aren't, it's yours. Sellers and sellers agents are looking for that when you make an offer. They don't want to risk taking the house off the market while you dink around getting approval.

    There are a few loans I'd consider but talk to your lender for the best product for your situation. Ask to see a regular 30 year fixed and compare that to a 15. Also look at the 80/20 (basically two loans but a loophole that gets you out of having to pay mortgage insurance at 100+ pm if you don't have a down payment).

    3. Go shopping. Find your house. Your agent should be able to provide you a good list of homes to look at based on your initial interview with him/her.

    4. Plan on having 4/5k available in cash to close with.

    5. Don't forget the amount of cash you will need to fix it up and make it "yours". It'll probably need paint etc.

    Gawd. There is soooo much.
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  7. #7
    Romeo Delight Paco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoFan
    My mom runs an escrow company...Don't even THINK about going the internet mortgage route...Whenever you refinance, there will be penalties for early repayment.

    Talk to your friends and get a mortgage broker they know and trust...Home buying is a bit of an anal exam on the credit side...Be prepared...They will want your most current pay stubs so keep them all until you are past that point of the process.

    I would go online and get your credit report. Then, any problems, you can address NOW. Also, your broker will see that you are on the ball and taking care of stuff. This is why you want a relationship with your broker...so he/she will really represent you to the lender.

    If you have open credit that you aren't using, CLOSE THEM ALL NOW IN WRITING. Even with zero balances, open credit lines increase your debt risk because of your ability to run up a bill.

    If you want this to be smooth, get that credit report, make a file, and start making sure it is as spotless as possible...

    Then, talk to pals and get a broker with a solid rep...

    It will work out...

    I've bought 5 houses, refinanced 3 times and have used 3 different types of mortgage companies. Never had penalties, never had a bad experience with the companies I mentioned. I did the "talk to a friend for a mortgage person they trust" and that was the only time I got screwed. Big Time. Everyone has different experiences. Funny how you can't give advise without someone saying their way is better.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 11:13 AM
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    Mortgages get real, real confusing. We refinanced a few months ago, and all the places through Lending Tree tried to get me into an adjustable rate product, insisted it was the "right" one for me. Then I hooked up with a guy who runs a sizable mortgage company, I trust him as I tutored both of his kids, helped get them into their colleges of choice. He has ZERO motivation to do anything but help me. He said that the best choice for me, given my situation, was a 30 year fixed. And he explained it well enough so that I understood why.

    It's kind of like buying vs. leasing a car - it all depends on your expected life in the house. If this is a starter house that you'll likely upgrade in 5 years or so, and the housing market in your area is pretty solid, then go with the cheapest mortgage you can find, even if it's interest only. Your house should appreciate enough over 5 years that you'll get a return you can trade up off of. If you're going to be there for 20 years, then a 30 year fixed may be a better long term deal.

    The PMI thing is a valid concern. Now, the housing market in eastern MA is red hot - if you're in a hot market where houses are appreciating, I'd suggest the absolute MINIMUM down payment possible, especially if you have to save. My wife and I put 3% down on an FHA loan, and were able to refinance out of FHA and out of PMI (20% equity) in less than a year. The same mortgage amount went from 97% of the house's market value to 77% of the market value in 10 months. No PMI on that refinance, since we were borrowing less than 80% of the value.

    Also, try to find a new home buyer's seminar, they're usually around. Just do it to try to understand all of the processes and laws. Different states have different laws around what the seller must disclose, or not. In some states you have to know to ask the right questions - they can't lie to you, but they don't have to offer up negative info.

    And ABSOLUTELY get a home inspection from a qualified professional, again look for referrals - any offer you make should have that as a contigency. No exceptions, period.

  9. #9
    Baluchitherium mistere's Avatar
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    07.11.09 @ 03:27 AM
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    Living in Socal, the likelihood of my income ever catching up to housing
    costs are pretty low. Therefore, I'm considering buying property elsewhere
    and leasing it there to build equity/turn a small profit/ and actually have
    some parcel in my name. My $300k, for example, would buy a nice amount
    of square footage (not to mention acreage!) in my old South Carolina
    environs, whereas here, I'd be lucky to land a closet-sized condo for this
    price.
    The thing is, I'm not wild about buying in South Carolina and was curious
    what others might know about good property elsewhere, as well as any
    other advice to this end.

  10. #10
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    11.30.17 @ 06:15 PM
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    Vegas and south Florida are the places to invest right now in housing. Baby boomers are retiring. Investigate those markets. Your 300k could be 500 in a couple years.
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  11. #11
    Eruption vh resurrection's Avatar
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    03.31.15 @ 05:22 PM
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    My wife and I bought our first house in April. We close this Wednesday the 25th. It was sold at auction. It wasn't a foreclosure or a seizure or anything, just an older woman who didn't want the hassle of trying to sell it through an agent. Since we bought it through an auction, we didn't have the luxury of an agent either. We did the whole thing ourselves, flying by the seat of our pants. My best recommendation would be to get yourself an agent unless you want to do all of the work yourselves... You could also check the local library for Mortgages for Dummies books or something. They put the info in an easy to follow format.
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  12. #12
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    12.14.17 @ 04:49 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by seenbad
    Vegas and south Florida are the places to invest right now in housing. Baby boomers are retiring. Investigate those markets. Your 300k could be 500 in a couple years.
    Esp in the Del Boca Vista area.
    Dealing with it.

  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher Garibaldi's Avatar
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    I just bought my first house a couple months ago through a For Sale By Owner. It was an eye opening experience for sure. You bypass the realestate agent, saving you a few thousand dollars. Also, check foreclosed homes too. Sometimes you can find a steal in there.

    Before you start have a credit check done and get pre approved. Keep the pre-approval document in hand as you shop for a home. Some sellers will want to see it.

    1) Settle on the price of the house. This is where you negotiate as much as possible. Don't be afraid to say no and walk away if you can't get the deal you want.
    Make sure your finances are in order and ready to go. Keep the Mortage people up to speed on your progress.
    2) Sign a Purchase Agreement, and put down a security deposit. Make sure you get IN WRITING everything you negotiated for in the house. (Window treatments, gaming tables, furnature, patio equipment...basically anythin not nailed down that the seller doesn't want to keep.) Make sure the agreement states clearly in writing (usually requiring a signature from the buyer and seller) that the sale of the home is dependant on the house passing an inspection. Most standard purchase agreements have all little details already written in, but read and understand every word on that agreement. Make sure there are no typos anywhere.
    3) Pay for an Inspection...don't cheap on this
    4) Pay for appraisal
    5) Agree on a closing date with the Title company, Mortgage Co., and the Seller. Also, get an itemized breakdown of the closing costs. This is where Mortgage Brokers make their money. Beware the cheats here...I had to start all over when I went to sign my Good Faith Estimate at the Mortgage Brokers office. They promised me an interest rate in the mid 5s and on the Good Faith Estimate the intrest rate was in the mid 6s....called bait and switch. Make sure to get everything from the Mortgage people in writing when it comes to your interest rate, and closing costs. They will charge you a certain percentage of the total cost of the home. If you buy a 150,000 house, and they charge you 3% at closing you are at $4500 before any actual closing cost are assessed (Which are rarely more than $1000). Some people roll that right into the mortgage, so keep that open as an option. So, when they calculate your closing costs, make sure you know all the details.

    I know it's kind of a garbled description, but it's not as bad as it sounds. If you have friends/family that have been through it, consult them as much as they'll let you. The more you know about the process, the easier it will be.

  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing! csm5150's Avatar
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    Feel free to pm me as well. I've had to do this 3 times now and its no fun at all. They want everything from you. I knew the loan manager at my bank and it still was an ordeal. The worst experience I had was when I dealt w/someone other than the person I knew. This person told me I needed to get a termite certificate. Not a problem-cost a $1000 though. I told her I wanted no PMI (not sure what it stands for, but its mortgage insurnace basically so you don't default). She quoted me a downpayment amount and I gave it to her. The day before we closed, she callled me at the insurance agent's office and told me the monthly price. She then added it included the PMI. I was gripping the phone so tightly I wanted to blow up. She then added I didn't need the termite certificate-only reason why I got it was b/c she said I needed it. Again, the phone nearly broke in my hand. We had to pay an additional $500 to keep the low interest rate so that she could recalculate the loan. I was furious to say the least. I vented at my attorney's office. About an hour after this, the loan officer at the bank I knew called me up and apologized. She heard what had happened and called the president of the bank and they took care of all the "fees" plus paid me for my termite certificate. Since then, she's the only one I deal with. To make things better, that dumbass is now just a teller over there, so it all worked out in the end. This is one of the advantages of living in a small town.
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  15. #15
    Eruption EVHWolf's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 08:17 AM
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    My Wife and I bought a house a few years ago. After two failed attempts (first had too much go wrong during the inspection and the seller refused the budge and the 2nd did not appraise). The house we are in now we did a 30 year fixed with 3% down, have refinanced at a lower rate and dropped the PIM, and it is already 1/3 higher in value. One thing that I suggest is using an buyer agent, not only was she hot, but she knew how to do things, such as getting the buyer to pay all closing costs and getting me the best deal on everything.
    As the buyer you can always find a way out, so don't be afraid if you find yourself getting into a situation you don't like. If the house doesn't appraise, you can't get the money, or if there are too many issues in the inspection...
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