First time home buyer- Tips?

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MadDash335
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First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by MadDash335 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm

All-
My fiancé and I are beginning to aggressively look to buy a home. I believe we will need a jumbo mortgage as we will be planning on taking out around $600k.

Our gross income is around $300k and our monthly payments (principal, interest, tax, insurance, HOA) will be around $3,500-$4,000, which we are comfortable with. We are going to work with a buying agent as our desired neighborhood is hyper competitive in Boston and once we find something that works for us in our price range, we will have to act almost instantly.

Couple of Questions:
1) We will look to get pre-approved this weekend for the loan, are there stellar institutions people would suggest? Right now, I've been searching extensively, but it has been hard to narrow down quality lenders with competitive rates.
2) What are some things to consider to get the best possible rates and what are some things to avoid in a lender?
3) Any general tips? We've looked at this through a lot of lenses and it seems as though we are in good shape for this
4) It's common that no-contingency offers are made and accepted by sellers in this market. This makes me extremely nervous, what are things to really dissect if we are forced to compete like this?
5) What are some red flags to avoid in a buyers agent?

Thanks very much in advance.

mega317
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by mega317 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:37 pm

I would also be very nervous about no contingencies. Although I guess the worst that can happen is you lose your earnest money, no? That's not a small amount of money but I guess in some markets you have to do what it takes to get the house you want. What you need to know is basically if you don't like the inspection, or the house doesn't appraise, you will lose that deposit.

For the lender, just shop around for the best rate. Look online, find a broker, and check with a local bank and/or credit union. I can't imagine a problem with a lender that would make me prefer a higher rate. At your loan size an eighth of a percent is like 15k or something over the life of the loan. I would put up with some headaches for 15k.

I don't know a better way to choose an agent than my way: word of mouth. I've been very happy with agents referred by friends.
3) Any general tips?
Well my general tip is pile up cash and don't buy a house until you're married and maybe even you've had some kids and know what you want in a long-term house. But that's not what you want to hear.

Nutmeg
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by Nutmeg » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:12 pm

Having purchased five houses, I have always found my real estate agent before a lender, and have sought lender recommendations from my agent.

Ron Scott
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by Ron Scott » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:40 am

After 5 home purchases I would not align myself with a buyers agent. I don’t need somebody to “negotiate for me”. I would deal with listing brokers only. The fewer people between the buyer and seller the better. Talk less, email more. Don’t believe the “stories”.

There is no one house you’ve got to have. Never get in a bidding war. If you lose a nice one no big deal.

Look at a lot of houses. Become an expert on comps, taxes and values for your personal tastes. Study recently sold homes throughout the market area.

I would rather remodel a kitchen or bath than pay for someone else’s that’s 3 years old and not my taste.

In modeling your finances assume you’ll be in your first house 7-8 years unless you know you’ll be there for a shorter period of time.

First bid should be reasonable; the second “best and final”.

If possible, don’t set a schedule to make a decision on a house. Relax and take your time. Don’t get into that frenzied “sellers market” mindset.

Rupert
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by Rupert » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:01 am

Ron Scott wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:40 am
After 5 home purchases I would not align myself with a buyers agent. I don’t need somebody to “negotiate for me”. I would deal with listing brokers only. The fewer people between the buyer and seller the better. Talk less, email more. Don’t believe the “stories”.

There is no one house you’ve got to have. Never get in a bidding war. If you lose a nice one no big deal.

Look at a lot of houses. Become an expert on comps, taxes and values for your personal tastes. Study recently sold homes throughout the market area.

I would rather remodel a kitchen or bath than pay for someone else’s that’s 3 years old and not my taste.

In modeling your finances assume you’ll be in your first house 7-8 years unless you know you’ll be there for a shorter period of time.

First bid should be reasonable; the second “best and final”.

If possible, don’t set a schedule to make a decision on a house. Relax and take your time. Don’t get into that frenzied “sellers market” mindset.
I agree with everything Ron Scott said, with the exception of the bit about not aligning yourself with an agent. I think his method works great in a city/neighborhood you know well. But if it's a new area to you, I would align myself with an agent. Why? Because good agents know stuff about houses and neighborhoods that is not in the MLS and that the listing agent is never going to tell you. For example, I was once shopping for a house and loved a particular small neighborhood. Everything about the neighborhood looked great. But the agent who was showing houses to me (not technically a "buyer's agent," just an agent I asked to show houses to me) told me that the neighborhood had experienced some flooding issues a few years back and was involved in a "simmering feud" with the city over storm water drainage issues. It was nothing I wanted to get involved in so I passed, which turns out to have been the correct decision. Homeowners in that neighborhood subsequently got stuck with some huge assessments to replace all their drainage infrastructure.

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jfn111
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by jfn111 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:11 am

I don't like non-contingent offers unless your a rehabber or GC who knows their way around a house.
A good real estate agent knows which local lenders get things done on a timely basis. The choice of lender, and the type of financing, will have an effect on whether or not your offer is accepted. (In a competitive market).
I'll confess that I'm a Buyers Rep so I might be a little prejudiced. :D When you work with the listing agent they represent the seller. Real estate is a referral based business so I go out of my way to ensure that my buyers are happy and feel good about the transaction. I'm sitting here working on several counter offers to address street assessments and inspection items. Do you think the listing agent is going to be querying city records to make sure you don't get a surprise at closing?

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peterinjapan
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by peterinjapan » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:45 am

It is very easy to make mistakes won't using a house, so take a lot of time for this part. Things like, thinking you won't mind a certain noise level when you will six months later, or a little bit tails that your mess, and with your agent WILL NOT tell you about, because he wants the deal to go through. My wife and I bought a condo in 2010, the price was good and we liked it a lot, but there were many details that annoyed us. We had to take two elevators, not one comment to get to our car, plus we were on the sixth floor, and always kicked ourselves for not holding out for something better with a view and a higher floor. In the end we ended up buying a second condo, and I'm selling the first one now. Okay because we made a profit, but a slow period of searching while studying about the market would have been better.

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Watty
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by Watty » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:21 am

Spend a lot of effort in finding a good home inspector.

Do not use the home inspector that your real estate agent recommends. All too often that will be one that is easy to work with and is unlikely to find problems that will kill the deal. You really want one that the seller will consider to be "the home inspector from hell" as long as what they find is valid. It varies by state but in some states there is almost no regulation of home inspectors and people can become one by just taking a short course. The best one I had was a semi-retired contractor with decades of building experience.

Being there when the home inspector is doing a the inspection is a must since they will often say a lot of things they will not put into into writing.

Also spend some time learning the basics of how to inspect a home yourself even if you are not handy. Most things like seeing a corroded pipe or a leak are not rocket science. There should be lots of information and videos on the internet on how to do this. Do not be afraid to get up in the attic or crawlspace to do a yourself in a DIY pre-inspection before the real inspector is there or even before you have made an offer on the house. You can then ask the home inspector about anything you saw that looked questionable.

Things like a furnace, A/C, kitchen appliance will usually have a label on them with things like the model number, serial number, and the date of manufacture. You can look at the manufacture date to tell how old it is. They can be hard to read so have a flashlight and if you take a picture of it with your cell phone you can often zoom in on the writing to be able to read the manufacture date.

You may need a seperate roof or HVAC inspection since sometimes the home inspection will exclude those.

Take lots of photos of the house. I have heard of sellers doing things like switching out an expensive light fixture or appliance so you need photos that show what was in the house when you made the offer. Having photos of how they decorated the house may also help you decide on how to arrange your furnature.

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lthenderson
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:33 am

MadDash335 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm
3) Any general tips?
It is hard but don't become emotionally attached to any house. It always adds extra unnecessary dollars to the bidding process. Another one will come along and it might even be better. Every lost bid is another data point for you on current comps. Use that to advantage the next time. Along the same lines, don't every rush with an offer. Take your time and do your due diligence.

When looking at houses with the realtor, give them a list of Needs and Wants. Make sure to review a house after a visit and tell them what you didn't like. This saves you time in the long run by not looking at houses that don't meet all your needs. My first time I wasted a lot of time by not being specific with my realtor and thus ended up looking through many houses I would never make an offer on.

Stop by the house at night and park for awhile with your windows down. 99% of the time realtors show you the house during the daytime when everyone is away at work. There is a much different vibe when everyone is home in the neighborhood.

ThriftyPhD
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by ThriftyPhD » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:52 am

MadDash335 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm
Couple of Questions:
1) We will look to get pre-approved this weekend for the loan, are there stellar institutions people would suggest? Right now, I've been searching extensively, but it has been hard to narrow down quality lenders with competitive rates.
2) What are some things to consider to get the best possible rates and what are some things to avoid in a lender?
The lender is somewhat irrelevant. The 'difficult' part is underwriting, and much of this is set by guidelines so that the mortgage can be sold through fannie/freddie. Your mortgage will almost always be sold within a month or two of closing, and possibly again at later times. So most likely won't be dealing with the lender for very long. Focus on the rate, the points, the fees, and the terms.
MadDash335 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm
3) Any general tips? We've looked at this through a lot of lenses and it seems as though we are in good shape for this
4) It's common that no-contingency offers are made and accepted by sellers in this market. This makes me extremely nervous, what are things to really dissect if we are forced to compete like this?
5) What are some red flags to avoid in a buyers agent?

Thanks very much in advance.
Read tons of listings, and importantly go back and see what homes have sold for. That way you get a sense for what a typical list price is, and what a typical sale price is. Since you're likely targeting a narrow swath of home style/price, you'll likely be better at this than a buyers agent would be after a few weeks of getting up to speed.

Avoid using anyone your buyers agent recommends. Get your own inspector, lawyer, lender.

The inspector your agent recommends won't be working for you, they will be working for your agent. Your agents wants the deal to go through so they can be paid, so it's in the inspectors best interest for the deal to complete smoothly. That way the agent will recommend them going forward. If they point out too much and is interferes with the sale, the agent won't recommend them on the next transaction. We hired our own inspector, and both the buyers and sellers agent HATED him because he pointed out EVERYTHING. They complained the entire time that he was taking too long and pointing out too many problems. It was a much better inspection than we had from the yes man we got from our agent on a previous house purchase. Know what they are going to inspect and what they will not inspect, and figure all of this out before you even start looking at homes. If in your area inspectors don't look at roofs for example, consider also getting a roofer to inspect independently. Similarly for well/septic if that is an concern.

One thing we've learned is to start with lining up your lawyer. Then lender. Then you can look for a realtor. Remember when you're making an offer, you're writing a legally binding contract. Your agent will fill it in real quick and ask you to sign here here here initial here done sent. A lawyer will be better able to advise you on the contract you're entering. This also comes up if there are repairs to be made and you need to modify the contract based on a contingency, etc. Like the inspector, don't use the yes man the agent recommends. Get your own lawyer, preferably from a few towns away so there is no chance of them frequently working with either agent, to avoid any conflict of interest.

Get your own lender and not the person your agent recommends simply because you should be looking for the absolute lowest cost.

Finally, throughout the process know how everyone is getting paid. The buyers and sellers agents get paid when the deal closes, so they are fiscally motivated to close the deal as quickly as possible. So when your agent says you should offer more money, or accept some stipulation the seller wants, this is motivated by trying to get to a deal the seller will accept as soon as possible. You're the only one looking out for your interests, so have a plan going in and as much as possible ignore the noise that will be coming at you.

Don't fall in love with a house. If you like it, figure out your top dollar and what level of repairs will be necessary, and stick with it. Realtors will use the car salesman tricks to try and trick you. "$5k more is only $15/month...". This is why you need to be knowledgeable on the market and the process before you even start looking. I have friends and colleagues that ended up stretching to buy a house 50% more expensive than their target price because it's only $X more per month. They're not quite uncomfortable with the payments and are regretting the decision. They got caught up though, so try and avoid that.

As for what to look for in a buyers agent, the main thing is speed of reply. When you message them, how many minutes does it take them to respond? Are they comfortable using docusign, or are you going to need to sign in person? Do they listen to your wants, and look for houses that fit them, or do they come back to you with completely different style of homes at a different price range? There are parts of the process where things need to move quickly. Having a realtor twiddling their thumbs for a few days between responses makes it very frustrating. Make sure they are a full time realtor (not a side job, not a part time job).

We wanted a house a bit more secluded with a bit of land and a large kitchen. First set of homes an agent sent included a townhouse and a condo, and all were above budget...

dsmil
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by dsmil » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:59 am

I recommend goodmortgage.com (First Guaranty Mortgage Corp). I received good faith estimates from them, as well as some local lenders, and they beat the others by .6 points. The process was completely done online, my loan officer was very responsive, and we closed in 30 days. I really only used them at first because they were quick to give me a pre-approval letter when I needed one, but in the end, they were very good. I found them by using the Mortgage Professor's real-time quote tool (https://www.mtgprofessor.com/ext/partne ... rLoan.aspx).

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jharkin
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by jharkin » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:32 pm

My #1 tip- Think seriously about basing your home purchase budget not on current cashflow, but on a single income.

There are many reason why you might at some point be forced to live on just one income - you might have kids and one of you decides to stay home, you might face a layoff, one of you might burn out and want to go back to school/change careers. Even if you love your jobs today and are stable , you cant predict how your life or the economy may change in 5, 10,15 years...

Being tied to a house you can just barely afford severely limits your options in those situations.

wfrobinette
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by wfrobinette » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:11 pm

jharkin wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:32 pm
My #1 tip- Think seriously about basing your home purchase budget not on current cashflow, but on a single income.

There are many reason why you might at some point be forced to live on just one income - you might have kids and one of you decides to stay home, you might face a layoff, one of you might burn out and want to go back to school/change careers. Even if you love your jobs today and are stable , you cant predict how your life or the economy may change in 5, 10,15 years...

Being tied to a house you can just barely afford severely limits your options in those situations.
+1

You'll need 2/3 of your current combined income to afford that house and keep plowing 18.5k and 11k in to your 401k and Roth if one of you leaves the workforce. I was laid off last year(the only breadwinner) and am now employed at 20k less per year. 560k mortgage with 11k in RE taxes. I can still do it but i've had to give up some luxuries. Damn HCOL areas.

livesoft
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by livesoft » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:28 pm

I would not look aggressively to buy a home. What's the rush?

The Boston area has had bubbles created by real estate agents drumming up rumors and demand ... and you know what happens when bubbles pop.

Some advice on selecting a home:
viewtopic.php?p=3351835#p3351835
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Meg77
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by Meg77 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:45 pm

Congrats! I'm a banker and previously was a mortgage banker so I have a few insights.
MadDash335 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm
1) We will look to get pre-approved this weekend for the loan, are there stellar institutions people would suggest? Right now, I've been searching extensively, but it has been hard to narrow down quality lenders with competitive rates.
Wells Fargo generally has the most competitive jumbo purchase mortgage rates. I don't work for them and never have, but they are tough to beat when folks are shopping around. In general though, if you're looking for a standard product (15 or 30 year fixed), there is VERY little difference between lenders on rate. And most places are pretty good about closing purchases on time as long as they have 30 days lead time. Oh, and FYI, you don't have to go with the lender who gives you the preapproval letter. You can shop around after that and change your mind if you want to. But it can help to go ahead and pick one.

I'd inquire at a big bank like Wells, a regional bank, and a local credit union or community bank to compare rates. Beyond that you really don't need to shop exhaustively. I like to just send an email to somebody from their websites to avoid sales pitches and being forced to give too much info. Just say "We are looking for a [$600K] [townhome] in [City, State] and plan to put down [20%]. Our credit is great and debt ratios are normal. What are your current [30 year fixed] interest rates, and what are the total lender's closing costs? I am not ready to formally apply but am just rate shopping at this point. Thank you!" You want to do this all at once to all the lenders as rates change daily and can even change more often in markets like the one we have today. So to compare apples to apples, get quotes all on the same morning or afternoon. The rates will change, but whoever is the lowest when you shop will likely stay the lowest.
MadDash335 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm
2) What are some things to consider to get the best possible rates and what are some things to avoid in a lender?
Avoid any lender who doesn't respond to you quickly. Most mortgage bankers will (should) reply to emails or phone calls within an hour or two. Time is of the essence with mortgages to ensure the file processes as it should, appraisals are ordered and back on time, underwriting's questions get relayed to you, title work is finalized, etc. You'll get the best possible rate with 20% down, credit scores over 750, and debt to income ratios within policy range. Type of property matters (condos and townhome mortgages are pricier than SF homes), and zip code/state can matter too. But within your control is mainly down payment and credit score.
MadDash335 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm
3) Any general tips? We've looked at this through a lot of lenses and it seems as though we are in good shape for this
4) It's common that no-contingency offers are made and accepted by sellers in this market. This makes me extremely nervous, what are things to really dissect if we are forced to compete like this?
5) What are some red flags to avoid in a buyers agent?
-When you apply for a mortgage they will want 2 months of statements for your bank account and any other liquidity accounts you need to verify the down payment funds. You're not allowed to use borrowed funds for the down payment - so if mom or dad lent you money, they'll have to provide a letter saying it was a gift if the deposit is recent enough to show up in the last 2 months of statements. You will have to justify any large or unusual deposits to ensure they aren't loan proceeds (usually this involves writing a memo).
-Try not to use credit cards right now (outstanding balances per the credit report will be amortized and added to your debt service calculation), and don't apply for any new loans or else that means more memos and underwriting delays.
-Be ready to complete a mortgage application and have all your tax returns and statements ready to send as SOON as you have a contract - like the same day preferably - to get your application open and interest rate locked.
-It sounds like you aren't selling a home now, so you don't really need any contingencies in your contract. You always have a short window in which you can get an inspection and back out or renegotiate based on the results. But you don't need to worry about a financing contingency based on the numbers you shared. And you don't need a contingency to sell anything to get your down payment money. So don't worry about that. (Plus at the end of the day they can't make you close. Absolute worst case you might be out your escrow money, but I've never even seen that when contracts fall apart at the last minute. Which can happen but is rare - usually because of cold feet or some family issue that pops up like a pregnancy or death.)
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

MadDash335
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by MadDash335 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:44 pm

Thanks, everyone- It's amazing how much thought goes into these replies, the boglehead community is such a valuable resource.
Meg77 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:45 pm
I'd inquire at a big bank like Wells, a regional bank, and a local credit union or community bank to compare rates.
This is a great call, we're going to work close friend that works as a loan officer to help us vet the offers. I'm confident we'll be able to shop around and find the best rate/situations. As far as the rest of the lending process goes, I think we are in good shape to provide all necessary documents immediately- Our credit usage is subdued right now as well, so our scores should be around peak.
livesoft wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:28 pm
The Boston area has had bubbles created by real estate agents drumming up rumors and demand ..
Livesoft- What makes you say Boston is in a bubble? From our vantage point there have been several economic developments that have really brought the Boston market up at a reasonable, if not steep rate. Things like the GE HQ, rising wages, improved tech job market, etc. The competitiveness is slightly intimidating to us, but it seems to be at least mostly justified.

wfrobinette wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:11 pm
There are many reason why you might at some point be forced to live on just one income - you might have kids and one of you decides to stay home, you might face a layoff, one of you might burn out and want to go back to school/change careers. Even if you love your jobs today and are stable , you cant predict how your life or the economy may change in 5, 10,15 years...

Being tied to a house you can just barely afford severely limits your options in those situations.
+1
We're the cost through the lens considering a single-family income- It would be tighter, but we'd be able to afford this with only my income- Including significant savings/safety nets. We're just trying to be mindful of what our top dollar is that we can support the purchase easily and enjoyably. Maxing out all savings account is top priority
dsmil wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:59 am
I recommend goodmortgage.com (First Guaranty Mortgage Corp). I received good faith estimates from them, as well as some local lenders, and they beat the others by .6 points.
Contacted them yesterday and have a call with them tomorrow- Super responsive, we'll see the lowest rate they can provide!
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:52 am
Read tons of listings, and importantly go back and see what homes have sold for. That way you get a sense for what a typical list price is, and what a typical sale price is. Since you're likely targeting a narrow swath of home style/price, you'll likely be better at this than a buyers agent would be after a few weeks of getting up to speed.

Avoid using anyone your buyers agent recommends. Get your own inspector, lawyer, lender.
Thrify- Among everything else you mentioned, these stuck out to me! We're going to do our best to work with our own, trusted and known entities. We have most of this covered, but it's not something we would have considered- So thank you! We've also been scouring the listings, market info, trends, etc- So we're considering all buying situations as it relates to our wants/needs.
peterinjapan wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:45 am
Things like, thinking you won't mind a certain noise level when you will six months later, or a little bit tails that your mess, and with your agent WILL NOT tell you about, because he wants the deal to go through.
Love this- The devil can be in the details, we're trying to be as thorough as possible. While just barely into the process, we're working on stripping emotional attachment from the equation while being sure we're looking at what truly matter. Things that we would eventually find obnoxious certainly matters!
jfn111 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:11 am
I'll confess that I'm a Buyers Rep so I might be a little prejudiced. When you work with the listing agent they represent the seller. Real estate is a referral based business so I go out of my way to ensure that my buyers are happy and feel good about the transaction. I'm sitting here working on several counter offers to address street assessments and inspection items. Do you think the listing agent is going to be querying city records to make sure you don't get a surprise at closing?
Thanks JFN- The agent we're working with really knows his stuff and has been a real asset so far. He came as a referall from someone who has bought their 2 previous homes with him, so at this point we are really happy to have his insight and guidance! He's brought a lot to our attention both advocating and deterring from a sale- A very consultative agent
Rupert wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:01 am
Because good agents know stuff about houses and neighborhoods that is not in the MLS and that the listing agent is never going to tell you. For example, I was once shopping for a house and loved a particular small neighborhood. Everything about the neighborhood looked great. But the agent who was showing houses to me (not technically a "buyer's agent," just an agent I asked to show houses to me) told me that the neighborhood had experienced some flooding issues a few years back and was involved in a "simmering feud" with the city over storm water drainage issues. It was nothing I wanted to get involved in so I passed, which turns out to have been the correct decision. Homeowners in that neighborhood subsequently got stuck with some huge assessments to replace all their drainage infrastructure.
Rupert- This has already happened with our agent. We loved a place and were curious about why it was priced so reasonably. He calmly explained to us that it was likely because of various factors that we would likely try to avoid. While not a deal breaker, his candid response and deep knowledge of the area was a real help in this case. He's been in the area in various real estate capacities and is bringing this knowledge to the table immediately.



To everyone else that has contributed- I've really appreciated reading through these responses. This is a daunting and exciting process and everyone in this forum is a true resource. Thank you very, very much for taking the time.

Maddash

livesoft
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by livesoft » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:47 pm

MadDash335 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:44 pm
Livesoft- What makes you say Boston is in a bubble?
I am pretty sure I did not say that.
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Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by BUBear29 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:35 am

When you pick the house. Test the shit out of everything - its worth the cost.

Look at 6 months worth of water bills, and electricity bills. Looking for anything that might indicate water leak or high electircity usage.

Get a hydrostatic pressure test on the sewer lines. Looking for under slab leaks. These will cost a fortune to repair and you should not have to do it!

Roof inspection for any leaks or mold in attic from missing shingles or cut plumbing vents.

Check insulation in attic and see if needs ro be replaced.

Check sprinkler lines.

Gutters? No? Have a structural engineer inspect home foundation for possible damage from improper drainage.

Pool - Have pool equipment, plumbing and pool lining inspected.

Termite inspection.

Have your HVAC system, runs, returns and vents inspected.


I bought a house last year and noone told me this. I relid on the standard inspection. HUGE mistake.
There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.

Gray
Posts: 613
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:33 am

Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

Post by Gray » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:15 am

Wells Fargo
https://www.wellsfargo.com/mortgage/rates/

Navy Federal
https://www.navyfederal.org/products-se ... tgages.php

Ally
https://www.ally.com/home-loans/mortgage/

I found Ally and Navy Federal to be most competitive. I went with Navy Federal last May to get a 3.5% Jumbo

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