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Old 10-10-2019, 07:37 PM
amarinth is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Emerald City, WA, USA
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Originally Posted by Leaper View Post
since itís a hot high-money employment area, and Iím a little afraid that waiting will either boost my rent a lot, boost prices a lot, or both
I could have said (in fact, I probably did say) that exact same thing right before I bought my condo.

In 2007.


That said, I still love my condo and while overall I'm happy about the decision I made - hindsight clearly shows that it did not turn out to be the most financially prudent decision.

As other people in the thread have said, talk to your CU about your options and look into getting pre-approved to see what your absolute upper limit is. Start looking at your own personal budget to see what your more realistic upper limit is. Start visiting open houses in the area to see what's available around you. Start thinking about the features that you need in a home, which ones are absolute "no"s, and which ones are nice-to-haves. Be open to learning more and changing your mind. (One of the features I love most about my place and I now couldn't imagine living without was not even a thing I knew I wanted.) If you know anyone around you who is looking or has recently purchased a home, talk to them to find out what to expect. Get recommendations for areas to look in, realtors, and other real-estate professionals. (Don't rely on the experiences of people in a different market or people who haven't bought in the past 5 years - things are local and changing).

Finally, you have time. Especially if you are just thinking about things and are not looking at a specific house that's for sale right now. Because some things in buying a home do need to be done quickly, there ends up being a lot of pressure to get everything done as-quickly-as-possible. Some of the decisions (including whether or not you want to buy at all) can wait.
Old 10-10-2019, 07:52 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust is online now
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,281
Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
I've twice used a buyer's agent in buying a home and they've been paid the standard 3% commission by the seller. Other than a thank you gift I haven't paid anything directly.
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
The rules and practices vary by state in the US.[. . . ] it is not true that a BA always costs the buyer.
OK; thanks for info.

I believe there are generally regulations about how the agent needs to behave to the buyer, even when they're a sellers agent. But I think it is a good idea to understand that just because one calls up a realtor and expresses interest in buying, that doesn't necessarily mean one's dealing with an agent working primarily for the buyer, as opposed to the seller. That doesn't mean a buyer shouldn't talk to the seller's agent, of course; but just be aware of the situation.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:57 AM
filmore is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,570
Some general info:

- Avoid houses which were recently flipped. Often, the flipper buys the house cheaply and fixes it up as cheaply as possible. It may look nice, but the cheap materials can mean big problems later on.

- Consider how water drains around the property. Low spots will collect water. Hills and slanted land near your property may cause excessive water to flow into your yard.

- One-story houses are much easier for external work than two-story houses.

- You can fix up an outdated house. Appliances can be swapped out. Painting is pretty easy. You can do tile/hardwood yourself if take the time to do it right. Bad landscaping can be changed. Bigger jobs, like changing the cabinets and counters, would likely need to be hired out. Don't pass up a house just because it looks out of date. You may be able to get it at a good price and fix it up yourself.

If you have a homeowner friend, have them go along with you for a critical eye when you look at properties. It would be especially beneficial if they have experience with home repair and maintenance, as they can identify problems and what it might cost to address them. The realtor will just tell you the good stuff and put a good spin on problems (e.g. This tiny water heater will really save you a lot on electricity costs!). If you can't identify the problems yourself, take an unbiased person with you who can.
Old 10-11-2019, 12:55 PM
Haunted Pasta is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 565
I bought my first (and so far only) house through a buyer's agent. As I understood it at the time (~20 years ago), this was a good move for a first-time home buyer, but not for cost reasons- the agent still got the same commission as a seller's agent. The difference was that I signed a contract with the buyer's agent entitling him to a commission on any house I bought, whether he actually helped me find a house or not, during the life of the contract. (I think it was either 90 or 180 days, I'm not sure.) Even if he spent every day stoned on crack, addressed me as Shithead, and hit on my girlfriend, while I went off on my own and found a house without his help, he'd still get a commission. The theory, at least, is that the buyer's agent, assured of a commission, can take his/her time and work with you to find the house that really is best for you. By contrast, there wouldn't have been any such obligation to a seller's agent, so if I found a house on my own and hired a lawyer for the contractual stuff, the seller's agent would be out of luck commission-wise, regardless of how diligently he/she would have been working for me up to that point. It's in a seller's agent's best interest for you to buy a house for as much as possible as quickly as possible, which is why on your second home, when you're also selling your first one, a seller's agent is a better idea. Of course a buyer's agent has some of the same incentive as well, but again, at least *in theory* they have your interest more in mind than would a seller's agent.

Last edited by Haunted Pasta; 10-11-2019 at 12:55 PM.
Old 10-12-2019, 02:03 PM
Isosleepy's Avatar
Isosleepy is online now
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,821
“Aging out” at 35, aside from being of dubious legality, makes no sense from a risk management perspective. If you can’t make the mortgage at age 62 because you are retired, you will have made 27 years of payments, meaning the mortgage is significantly less than at closing. Absent a complete real estate collapse, that should mean that foreclosure should easily net the lender the mortgage balance plus fees. So they rejected you because they felt the values were not sustainable, because you didn’t fit their risk profile, or, more likely, because your mortgage (<300k/30 yrs/fha) couldn’t be re-sold to the people they typically dealt with.

Last edited by Isosleepy; 10-12-2019 at 02:04 PM.


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