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Tips to consider when buying a home. Post your ideas.
With the bad U.S. economy, more houses are now for sale. If shopping for a home, if it was pre-owned, inquire about the sewer, plumbing and if it has a septic tank. Have the seller get the septic tank pumped out before you purchase the property. Have an inspection done on the electrical, all the plumbing and on the home, in general (roof, siding, termite damage, mold, caulking around the windows, and seals around the doors, if it has an attic fan, attic insulation, etc.)
By Terri from NV
I purchased a small house (1,000 square feet) in a blue collar neighborhood. The owners had decided to retire about 3 hours away and kept lowering the price until I was able to pay cash. God is sooo good! I love my little house but it did need a lot of work including an electrical upgrade. I have done a lot of painting, cleaning, etc., but I have enjoyed every minute of bringing my house to life!
Buying a home is a great American dream. However, too often first time home buyers (second timers too) save and pay for the purchase, but don't really plan for the ownership.
Before buying a new house in a new area, first rent a home for a few months in the vicinity you're planning on living. Allow yourself a period of time to see how the area is for you. See what's around the neighborhood if it really is the area for you and your family. Find out if there are local dairies or pig farms. These could be smelly, and interrupt those summer time backyard cookouts. Flies could also be a factor. Find out what was there at one time on the ground where your new dream house is located. If it was a wash or a quarry, could there later be sifting soil, erosion, washouts, sinkholes? How's the flood zones in that area? It's better to do this, than to rush into purchasing a new home and regret it later, for some reason or another.
By Terri from NV
When House Hunting, Buyer Beware! My tightwad living tip of the day is when buying a home, any kind of home, it is buyer beware time. If you aren't handy, don't buy a fixer upper, buy a home that is livable, but within your very tight budget.
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My DH and I are considering buying our first home. We are looking at an "as is" home and are wondering what all we need to consider before calling the agent, including questions to ask about the house and loans, etc. I have plans to call our insurance company within the next couple days to find out those costs as well. Thanks in advance for the advice.
By Jessie from KY
A home inspector could tell you the condition of the home, a bank could answer your questions on loans, a visit to a realtor could also answer or give suggestions and lastly there may be some books on home buying at your local library or book store you could read through.
Some communities also offer workshops for first time home buyers. You have to have a home inspector examine a home after your offer is accepted. If the inspector finds a lot of expensive repairs that would have to be made to make the home safe, you have to decide if you can afford to have the work done. A lot of repairs have to be done according to code rules and therefore can't be done by a DIY handiman. I have never heard of a home inspection being done before and offer is made on the house and accepted. After the inspection is made and the house is found to need a lot of repairs that you can't afford, you do have the right to walk away.
Here is a Florida perspective:
Does the house have east/west exposure? If so, expect your front door to bake or your backyard to sizzle depending upon the time of day. North/south exposure is better in a hot climate. Is there any wood on your dwelling? Virtually all older frame homes have had some degree of termite damage and wood rot- which must be repaired quickly. These issues are a given in our humid climate. If you purchase a wood house you must keep up with termite inspections and periodically replace doors and boards that have softened. Split plans are best if you want quiet in your master bedroom and you have kids. Don't get a home with a pool unless you are prepared to keep up with its care and are willing to be vigilant 24/7 that no neighborhood children get to it and drown. Check to see if window screens can be easily taken off and on for cleaning. I bought a house that even a handyman had trouble removing my screens. Just a few thoughts.
I forgot: Find out where your water pipes are. Did some fool plant an oak tree where the roots would eventually get into your pipes? It will cost six to seven thousand dollars to remove a large oak tree and re-lay your water pipes. There is a neighborhood near me in which every yard had an oak tree planted directly above the water pipes. Landscapers don't check for such things before they put a tree in the ground.
FYI to redhatterb: in many communities, the buyer can waive a home inspection. They aren't necessarily required. To the original question, I notice that you are from Kentucky, and you stated that you are considering an "as is" home. That means that you would be willing to buy the house regardless of its condition. Depending on the laws in Kentucky, the seller may not even be responsible for repairs to bring the house up to code. I would advise that you stay away from "as is" as a first time buyer because this could affect your ability to get a mortgage. Talk to a real estate agent first. They should be able to answer all of your questions.
Find out the age of the furnace, water heater, air conditioning and roof.
I personally would still want an inspection for an "as is" home. Inspectors are trained professionals who may see expensive problems that a normal person would not. For instance, replacing a furnace isn't really a big deal (to me anyway) but if the house has foundation/structural problems, that's not something I know how to fix or even how to price, therefore I would walk away. An inspection doesn't mean the seller has to repair those things that are found wrong, it just means that as a buyer you'll have your eyes wide open to what you're buying.
Get a home inspection even if it is not required. I bought an as is and 7 years later I am still living with a 4x6 sheet of particle board as my living room floor. The washing machine drain had problems and leaked into the wall of the living room and the floor. This was covered by carpet at the time I bought it. Not that I would not have bought it because my payments are only $385 a month for a 3 bedroom in a nice neighborhood, but an inspector could have told me what to expect, not mushrooms growing in the carpet due to the leak. I also recommend taking the classes for 1st time home buyers!
Look into getting a home warranty also. In some states the home owner pays for it and sometimes the buyer does. The neighbors next door were lucky and paid about $450 for theirs and within a year had to have a new roof put on. The warranty covered it. If it is an older home the builders probable used asbestos as insulation. That is an expensive problem to remove and now illegal in Ca. I don't know about the other states.
Good Luck and Best wishes. I hope you find the perfect home. GG Vi
Things to consider when looking for a new home. Post your ideas.
We just sold our family business and home, which we ran for 17 years. Due to the economy, we only ended up with $16,000 profit from the sale. Now we need to move out by June 1st and find a home to live in. Any advice on what we could find? We also have one child and two cats. We had to declare bankruptcy and can't seem to get a loan anywhere until maybe in January. I am looking for jobs in my field (teaching) so I can finally realize my dream, but most teaching jobs don't start until mid-August. Hubby has a part-time job which doesn't go in the summer. So all we have to live on in the summer is un-employment from a part-time job. I'm so stressed out and and can't take this anymore.
The way I understand it, is even if you started teaching right now, a mortgage company wouldn't finance you until you had been teaching for awhile. You might have to crowd into a small apartment if you can find one that will allow cats, and for the amount of income that you currently have.
Put the money you have in savings and don't touch it because when you have enough income to buy another house that will make a down payment. I know people that have filed bankruptcy and been able to keep their house, even though the house was mortgaged. If you are a qualified teacher, why haven't you been teaching all along to help pay bills? Consult a realtor and a lender to see what they say.
I was helping to run the business (my husband's dream) and raising our child. Someone had to be here to run the business during the times my husband was at his part-time job.Trust me, my husband isn't too patient with our child, so I had to be the primary parent, which has been my main pleasure in my life.
Any chance you could put your things in storage and move in with friends or relatives for a few months? Probably not an ideal solution but it would help you get through the lean times. Otherwise I agree that renting would be best until you get back on your feet. Renting can be a lot more flexible if you need to relocate if you find a job in another town.
Since you have specific needs (two cats, need to move pretty quickly) you might try calling up local rental agencies and see what they have available now. If the cats are a problem you might have to rehome them for a while. It sounds like you've really had a difficult time of things, and I hope it all turns around for you soon!
Are there summer school teaching jobs in your area? I agree with saving the $16000. That is your nest egg for the future. The cats may have to go - hard to face, but realistic.
Look for a summer job with your education, you may be able to find something else. Consider part time as a replacement for people on vacation.
To deal with the stress, make a flexible plan. Depending on where you live, look for real cheap housing; some landlords will reduce rent if you fix up a rundown house, but get it in writing what you are to do.
Why are you looking for loan already? While this is a good time to buy a house because interest rates are low, this may not be the smartest thing to do. Rent - it can save you money. Make a budget, and cut out expense you can. It is amazing what one can live without; cell phones, cable, vacations, eating out, fast food, soft drinks.
One trick I used was to have a set of cans, each with a label; tires, oil change, shoes, etc. and put myself on a weekly allowance. Anything left over when into the different cans. Hope this helps. Been there.
Have you looked into substitute teaching? I am retired, and only do it when it is convenient for me, but it pays well and I can work nearly half time in some months. I could likely work nearly full time if I desired. There are sometime mat leaves and so on that you may have a chance to get for the last months of the year.
At this time of year, you could perhaps get into some tutoring as well - helping students prepare for exams.
Also, time for hubby to get a full time job. Or more part time jobs. People who need money work at several jobs if they have to - even if it is pumping gas or doing home repairs or yard work.
Check with your library-many hire tutors during the summer to work there, or perhaps you could advertise yourself as a tutor to help kids over the summer who are behind, and use the library as your meeting place.
See if you can do summer work at the park department, daycare center, or zoo or other places that have summer education programs for kids. Check craigslist.org for camps that are hiring help or summer childcare positions.
How do you find real homes? All I get is the various foreclosure rip off sites.
Jerilyn from South Bend, IN
Put the name of any major real estate company in your area in your google. Most share listings(MLS).
You can go to forsalebyowner.com. Also rmls.com and search by area.
Go to www.realtor.com. You can search for any area by putting in the zip code. Good luck.
I bought a bank foreclosed home a few years ago. I asked my friends if any of them knew a real estate agent. One of my friends works in a restaurant and has a regular who is an agent. She gave him my name and he found me a few houses. Try asking friends.
Where R - U trying to move to ? I use to live in S.B. In. for years.
I need advice about what to do. I'm 49yrs. old, have multiple sclerosis and am recently divorced. My ex of 30 years burned me really badly in the divorce (a $250,000 home on 4 acres of land). I didn't have a lawyer.
I ended up getting very little in the divorce. I am living on Social Security. I thought buying a trailer would be better than having to live with the state having to pay my bills for the rest of my life. I had $10,000 to put down on it, I knew I could have bought a better place but, I left my home running. I am on a fixed income.
They have increased my payments 3 times in the first 3 months. Blaming it on many different things. I did not know until after I signed to buy it, that they had done the whole bait and switch on the papers. There is so much, they have done that I know is not legal! I did talk to a community lawyer, a year ago, but he never has done anything. The home, is a danger to me, making the MS much worse. I have no money to take care of myself at all and no one cares! I have called everyone, no one cares to help. I do not qualify for anything, which stocks me. Please, who can I call who could help me? I am losing my body going through all of this.
Thank you, for any advice!
How can you buy a home with nothing down?