Because I am getting a divorce, and my husband would like to keep the house I now live in (I’m in Hawaii, he is in Indonesia), I need to purchase my own place.
I’m not a stupid person (usually), but offhand I can’t think of any person with no diagnosed intellectual disability who is less prepared for handling this kind of thing by themselves. For nearly 4 decades of our relationship, my husband took care of EVERYTHING related to finances. When we bought the house I’m in now, all I did was smile vaguely, sign on the dotted line, and start plotting where to put stuff.
Thankfully, money is not a huge problem; I can pay cash, I don’t need a mortgage. Still, I know nothing about what I’m going to need to deal with.
I have a real estate agent and have been regularly examining listings and doing the occasional drive-by for several months now. I just toured a house that is - well, not perfect (nothing in life ever is), but damn close. It has two features that aren’t easy to come by which are very important to me.
So, I’m about 24 hours away from telling the agent I want to make an offer. Will you, my fellow Dopers, follow along with this process and answer my ignorant questions so that I don’t make any enormous missteps?
Here’s what I’m thinking at the moment is most important: I want to make sure that I am taking ALL costs into account, so that I am not hit with expenses I had not considered. I’ve looked up “closing costs” on line but after a cursory look I haven’t found a site that is helpful. (If anyone has site recommendations, I’m listening.)
So: costs. What should I be prepared for? What I know about, or think I know about:
[li]I have to pay for an inspection [/li][li]The seller will pay for a survey.[/li][li]I’ll have to pay for homeowner’s insurance.[/li][li]I have to pay to move my stuff, obviously.[/li][li]I should budget for any modifications I want to make so the house is livable for me (there are two or three things: an island in the kitchen, an asphalt pad so I can turn the car around in the poorly designed driveway, a screen door to close off an open area in the back).[/li][/ul]
What am I missing?
And here’s my super stupid question:I thought I would have to pay a fee to my RE agent? Or does that come from the seller? (See, I told you I was clueless.)
My hope is that this thread will conclude in a few weeks/months with a link to a photo of me smiling in front of my new digs. But getting from here to there is terrifying for me - I am really counting on Dopers to help, and I know you will. Wish me luck!