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House Hunting is Hard Work


terrawombat
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Oh yea. Right after we got married we were looking for our first home. We looked at everything. Each visit was disappointing. Then we started to get desparate and considered lowering our expectatioins. Fortunately, we found what we were looking for. We figured it out the second we walked through the door. I have heard from other home shoppers, that is not unusual.

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My expectations have been lowered. Twice. Originally looking for a house with a very large detached garage and/or workshop. Found a couple, but the actual house was in such poor shape, it wasn't worth the $$ even if I'd be in garage heaven.

 

Now looking at houses that have some form of garage, but also have the land to build a separate shop in the future. Again, found a couple, but the house is trashed. What was once a nice home with a beautiful interior has gone to crap because the owners simply didn't care. Nothing a little elbow grease can't fix, but still a bit disappointing, especially with some of the asking prices - you'd think these places were in pristine condition.

 

Might be time to re-work the budget or ask the GF to help pitch in for the mortgage so I can get up to the next tier of houses.

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It's tough out there, i just had to move from Dallas to Sacramento for a new job that i started in April. We started looking in February, couldn't sell in TX, i ended up having to leave my family behind and finally got our brand-new bank owned foreclosure in August after many many disappointments. I went down the same road as you and ended up settling on a largish house with a 3 car & zero lot instead of the detached that i wanted. I highly recommend doing a lot of research & making sure you get a reputable lender & real estate agent, ours by luck only were both superb otherwise we would not have our home & be together again (as i type this from Santiago Chile)...

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Sorry.... but no good experiences...

 

Realtors that want to sell the most expensive house to maximize commission...

 

One that flat out lied to me about the presence of asbestos in a house when I was at the bottom of the stairs looking at it....

 

Owner after owner thinking they own the nicest house on the planet... or at least pricing like that...

 

Bankers telling us we could afford twice what our own budget said we could...

 

 

Miserable, miserable experience... That's why next time it will be the exact place I want...

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By far the most stressful thing Ive had to go through. Hoops to jump, absolutety no financial privacy, hard to find what you want for what the bank says you can pay.

 

My current house was sold because of the garages. I have one large 3 car and one smaller garage.

 

Next house will not be bought for the garage because I'm going to BUILD the garage I want.

 

I hate moving to top it all off!

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The first agent I was using was going after the homes that were at the upper limit of the budget I gave her. I kept telling her that even though I can spend up to XXX amount doesn't mean I want to. Didn't seem to sink in as she kept sending me home after home that would have stretched my budget thin. Stopped wasting my time with her.

 

The second agent that I went with, and am still using, is a friend of the family. Don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but she's been doing it for 8 years and she knows what I can and cannot afford. We talk more about the things that are wrong with the house and how much we can reasonably lowball the seller without them getting insulted. A much different experience than the first agent who would try to sell you on every little aspect of the house.

 

I hear you on the privacy thing - none of it whatsoever. I got some random guy at a bank asking me for my W2's from the past two years. Also wants my pay stubs and bank statements for the past two months. I understand why, but geez - I don't even let my GF of 4+ years see that stuff. And the amount they pre-approved me for....yikes....I'd have to live off Ramen noodles to pay off that monthly mortgage.

 

I did find one house with a nice garage and a good amount of land for a nice price, considering the neighborhood it's in. It's currently being rented so the tenants didn't exactly take care of much. It's a definite fixer-upper and the owner knows it and listed it as such. I just have a feeling that a home inspection is going to reveal some pretty ugly things about it and I'll have to go back to looking/waiting. I've looked at the house once and the tenants were not supposed to be there - of course, they were. Makes it incredibly awkward, especially when the wife isn't feeling well and is sleeping in the master bedroom - probably the one room in the house besides the garage that I actually care about...and now I can't go in. Trying to get a second showing of the house with a guarantee that no one will be there as I want to bring my GFs father with me to check it out as a bit of a "pre inspection." He's a carpenter by trade and knows what to look for structurally. He's also in the market to buy a house so hopefully he doesn't like this one too much :D

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well i had a few good experinces buying my house, namely banging my well endowed freshly single MILF realestate agent for a few months. i was 20, she was 34, and turns out she was friends with my dads girlfriend :yes:

 

other than that is was 2 long years, 4 realators and countless houses til i found a house that i thought i would like and had a payment that i was comfortable with. one thing i wish i woulda have done was got a quality home inspection instead of a cheap one, and a different home all together lol

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Wife and I have been mulling around the idea of buying a home since we plan on relocating far away from this metropolitan chaos called Kansas City. Her grandmother is a Realtor on the other side of the state and has been guiding us and recommending questions to ask. She won't be our Realtor. For the type of house we want, a mortgage will be cheaper than our current rental rate.

 

We have a few requirements for our future home:

- Property not located within city limits or to be annexed by surrounding cities (crazy high special taxes in town)

- 3 to 10 acres

- Basement

- Fireplace

- Porch

 

I am going to follow this thread. Nothing is better than hearing from folks who have experience.

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Never could find a house my wife and I were happy with the first time, so we built. Liked getting what we wanted so much that we built again the second time. Of course, it helped that I was a licensed general contractor at the time.

 

However, the real estate agent experience when selling the first house sucked....she was quite nice but also quite dishonest. I wanted to list the 1st house for 25K more then she recommended, and she responded "it would never sell...(even) at her price it will take weeks". Listed it at her price and the daymn thing sold in 2 hours.

 

She made 17K in TWO HOURS! I felt like I'd been screwed without even being kissed first.... :(

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Its no fun we just went thru it a few months ago we looked about a month wanted around 3 acres and a garage was a must also. Your right what the bank makes you go thru is UNREAL! The closing cost was out of this world every time we talked to them it went up. My wife actually knows all the higher ups at the bank that worked on the loan and with my temper I was told to stay home as much as possible. And yes condition of some of these places was unreal also. Big thing here if it was out in the woods the water or sewer was messed up bad, roads were shared, leins etc.

Finally we found one well under what the approval was for (yes they offer way more than anyone can afford) its small one story,finished basement, very well kept, wood burner , propane and oil hot water baseboard heat, one acre of ground all cleared it was 99% move in ready and best part is a LAGRE 2 car attached garage, huge closed in porch, 2 large sheds. Hit the owners at the right time it was listed in the high 80`s and few years ago then a guy tried a rent to own on it and gave up due to lack of money.

We got it at $64,000.00 which I thought was a steal. But I do feel your pain we got lucky. We moved because our old place had a 25 x 100 lot no garage and rentals on all 4 sides and beyond and was getting to be hell. It was a cheap house in a bad neighborhood we were afraid we would never sell it even though it had alot of work and updates. Tried selling it by owner for a month or so and gave up as alot of gas wells are going in around here and they look on relators web sites since there from out of state. Sold it 13 days just last week full asking price in cash should close this week. Since we owned it no I have some money to set the new garage up with.

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Took a peek at another house yesterday that has promise. Older house that was redone from the ground up - including foundation, electrical, windows, walls, appliances, A/C, heat, hot water heater. Comes with a wide, long garage with upstairs storage. Downsides are it's very close to neighbors (who are older and apparentely very quiet people) and it's close to two major roads so plenty of road noise. The road noise doesn't bother me too much, but the fact that I've got grandma on one side and great grandpa on the other will likely be an issue when I'm firing up engines in the garage or hosting parties for my friends. Going to keep it on the list of potentials while I take a second look at one house (without the tenants inside this time) and then go down the street some and take a peek at another house that just went on the market recently.

 

Also need to deal with about 32 pages of fine print from the potential mortgage company. I want to shop around and get some competitive rates, but I don't really like that each one does a credit pull on me - too many in a short amount of time normally leads to a drop in credit score, which is ridiculous.

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Good luck, it is probably the most stressful and time consuming event you may take on. We just moved a year ago. We were in a contract on a different house in this subdivision. The inspection found moisture in 3 walls. They wanted to give us 1500 at closing! Bye bye. The house we are in was an experience also. The owner had passed away and the 4 trustees of the estate were in 4 different states. The house desperately needed a new roof and they didn't want to deal with it. Luckily our roofer changed their schedule and was reroofing a day after closing. They came down in price but we should have held out for more. The biggest piece of advice is make sure you have a good inspector and talk with him/her before you agree to hire. Ask many questions and follow them through the whole inspection. Wear work clothes and ask any question that pops into your head. If he/she has a problem with that, go with somebody else. You can't sue them if they miss something, you can only get a refund. We had a bad experience with an inspector 11 years ago with our first house and had a great experience with the last inspector, esp since he kept us from getting into that other house.

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Yes, house hunting is hard work. Over the years, I have purchased a dozen new to me houses. Last one was in August of this year. We knew it was the house for us when we first saw it.

 

A good buyers agent is worth having.

 

Only one time did I buy a FISBO under the market price. You should expect to pay market price, with or without an agent. (NO - I am not a R.E agent/broker). Lots of agents out there - but not so many GOOD ones.

 

Before our latest purchase, we were looking of and on for 3 years. We did not have to move - just wanted a new house that would be "our" house.

 

Document requirements were the biggest issue I have ever seen. We submitted over 340 pages of documents for income, expenses, assets, and the source of down payment funding. Including copies of the wire transfers to escrow from each source of funds.

 

In past purchases, all I had to do was sign, sign, and sign some more. Documentation was what ever I said it was. But things have changed - just get used to it. The good news is if you have the down payment $$, there are good deals to be had. Keep looking and you will find a good deal that can fit your needs.

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I financed my house through RD 2 years ago, the one issue I had was that I couldn't look in certain areas because I made to much. But luckily it changed 1 weeks before my closing so I was able to buy the house that I had already put an offer on. I haven't had downsides yet, no PMI, for me, just a ~2500 add on to the loan.

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I financed my house through RD 2 years ago, the one issue I had was that I couldn't look in certain areas because I made to much. But luckily it changed 1 weeks before my closing so I was able to buy the house that I had already put an offer on. I haven't had downsides yet, no PMI, for me, just a ~2500 add on to the loan.

 

I'm still poor enough that I personally qualify for it. Both of the houses I'm interested in putting a bid on also qualify for it, so I should be good.

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I qualify for a USDA Rural Development loan, which means no down payment. The USDA RD loan is also a better interest rate than the FHA...I need to do some research on the downsides of RD loans...

I had heard of the USDA loan programs but dismissed them without much research. Obviously I should have done more. This looks like a very promising way to go. Ran through the online eligibility checks and it looks like we qualify as well as the property we are looking at.

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I thought buying wasn't too bad; its selling that's got me stressed out. I'm the only house on the market in my neighborhood right now, but I made the mistake of telling one of my neighbors that I had a showing coming up. He tried unsuccessfully to sell his house about two years ago (he wanted too much and he didn't have to move). So my neighbor, knowing that I need to sell my house because I lost my job, went and found the agent showing my house and got them to come look at his house too. He's retired and just wants to move to Florida. So, this older couple has looked at my house three times and has narrowed it down to mine and my neighbor's. I'm going to be ticked if they end up buying my neighbor's house instead of mine. My agent is a nice guy, but I really can't tell what they actually do to get that huge commission.

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I qualify for a USDA Rural Development loan, which means no down payment. The USDA RD loan is also a better interest rate than the FHA...I need to do some research on the downsides of RD loans...

I had heard of the USDA loan programs but dismissed them without much research. Obviously I should have done more. This looks like a very promising way to go. Ran through the online eligibility checks and it looks like we qualify as well as the property we are looking at.

 

I've been shopping around for better rates and I had one bank tell me that the USDA RD funding has dried up, but he's going to call me back and confirm that when he talks to someone with more experience with them - he thinks that the "re-finance" funds are on hold, but the purchasing funds are still flowing.

 

My agent is a nice guy, but I really can't tell what they actually do to get that huge commission.

 

For me, I feel like my agent has done some good legwork. She found some houses that I didn't even know about and because she's from the area I'm looking to move, she knows a lot of the people. We looked at one house that was pretty close to both neighbors and she knew both of them and gave me enough information on each to know that I would not be a good fit between them (loud cars/trucks, noisy dogs, late nights with friends hanging out on the back porch) and it would eventually just wind up being a hostile living environment.

 

I basically tell my agent the houses I want to see and the times I'm available and she does the rest, which is great since I can't be making personal phone calls at work. Is it worth the large commission she'll make? Maybe not, but it's not like they're getting commissions on a bi-weekly basis like we get paychecks. I've been making her take me around to houses for the past 2 months (I think we've seen over a dozen now) and she still hasn't gotten her cut. In fact, I could decide one day that I can't really afford the mortgage and just want to rent...then she'll get nothing.

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