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Author Topic: Buying a House  (Read 138882 times)
prof_smartypants
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« Reply #405 on: October 02, 2012, 8:48:15 AM »

Agree with all of the above. I've never signed a contract with an agent. Even when I entered into a contract for a home purchase, there was no explicit contract between us and our agent.

It sounds like you need to shop around a bit for another agent, rafraraf. If you are even remotely uncomfortable with the agent (which I would be, given what you have shared so far), I'd go meet with a few more.

In the meantime, you can search zillow.com yourself and start saving houses to your favorite homes. Bring this list to a new agent and have him/her go through it with you and begin looking in person.

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rafrafraf
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« Reply #406 on: October 02, 2012, 9:06:09 AM »

Thanks everyone.

I got the agent's name from another colleague. He recommended the agent as a very professional person who knows the area well. I didn't sign a contract yet.
I do have two pre-approval letters; one for the amount that I prefer to pay, and another for the maximum amount that I'm qualified for.
I don't think I'm comfortable with not having an agent because I don't know the process. Which forms to fill out etc. I know the procedure roughly (read few books), but I'm someone who stresses out easily. So I'd like to have someone who knows the process.

If I get an agent, do I need a real estate attorney as well?  If I decide not to hire an agent, I'll definitely have an attorney to check paper work.
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prof_smartypants
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You're getting hosed by small minds with no game.


« Reply #407 on: October 02, 2012, 9:14:24 AM »

Thanks everyone.

I got the agent's name from another colleague. He recommended the agent as a very professional person who knows the area well. I didn't sign a contract yet.
I do have two pre-approval letters; one for the amount that I prefer to pay, and another for the maximum amount that I'm qualified for.
I don't think I'm comfortable with not having an agent because I don't know the process. Which forms to fill out etc. I know the procedure roughly (read few books), but I'm someone who stresses out easily. So I'd like to have someone who knows the process.

If I get an agent, do I need a real estate attorney as well?  If I decide not to hire an agent, I'll definitely have an attorney to check paper work.

You can get an agent, but I wouldn't work with one who asked me to sign anything prior to a contract for sale.

Once you enter into a contract for sale, you will get an attorney. Your agent will be able to recommend one.

Get on zillow.com and start getting to know the area. You shouldn't be this clueless about your surroundings heading into a potential home purchase.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #408 on: October 02, 2012, 10:33:59 AM »

Before you do anything else, I would find out exactly what it is that the individual wants you to sign, and why. Simply ask for a copy to review, ask why they want you to sign it so early in the process,  and take your time finding out what it says and what it means.

In some states, for example, any agent having any interaction that might lead to a sale (so even just doing a preliminary search for someone) is required to get a signed disclosure form that explicates the state law on agent-client relations. It's not binding on the potential buyer, but does attest that one understands how state law governs the responsibility of the agent to the seller and to the buyer. It's not a contract per se, but it does govern the relationship.
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mythbuster
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« Reply #409 on: October 02, 2012, 1:27:57 PM »

FYI, in some states it is required to sign a "contract" for the realtor to represent you. This is mainly in states that have laws that discourage dual agency by realtors to ensure hat the buyers agents make a commission. Given that I'm not sure if it really counts for much were you to go to court over it.
   As for the pre-approval, for the house we just bought we had our "real" number and then the document that listed approval for the exact amount we were offering, not a dime more. This turned out to be key in our 5+ rounds of bid and counter-bid, as the seller did not know how much we could supposedly afford. So do NOT give away the real number!
   Again, needing a real-estate attorney will vary by state. Most states go through escrow using just the title company, but some (such as NC) still use real estate attorneys for the closing. Your realtor will have one that they use for this process if needed.
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rafrafraf
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« Reply #410 on: November 28, 2012, 11:09:27 AM »

Hi everyone,
What are the disadvantages / advantages (if any) of buying a house with a septic tank?

I found a house I like, but it has a septic tank. The city has no plans to connect the area to city sewer. because the house is old (65 yrs), city doesn't have records of the existing tank. The owner has never lived there (it is an investment property), so he doesn't know the condition of the system either.

(If I decide to buy the house, I'll definitely have the system evaluated.)

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anon99
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« Reply #411 on: November 28, 2012, 11:42:10 AM »

Hi everyone,
What are the disadvantages / advantages (if any) of buying a house with a septic tank?

I found a house I like, but it has a septic tank. The city has no plans to connect the area to city sewer. because the house is old (65 yrs), city doesn't have records of the existing tank. The owner has never lived there (it is an investment property), so he doesn't know the condition of the system either.

(If I decide to buy the house, I'll definitely have the system evaluated.)

My mom has a septic tank and lives in a community where everyone has one.  You need to get it emptied periodically (she gets it done every few years as she lives by herself).  The only thing you need to be aware of is what chemicals and items you can NOT flush down the toilets or use for cleaning.  For example you can't use bleach.  If you need to add any plumbing (a new bathroom not change existing plumbing), the current septic system may need to be modified.

If the owner isn't sure of its current condition, make sure it is emptied and checked before any offer is finalized.  Also ask around to find out what the costs are if you need to replace it.
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parispundit
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« Reply #412 on: November 28, 2012, 4:23:51 PM »

I had a septic tank for about 15 years when I lived in Florida, and my inlaws have had one (two, actually) for 70 years on a house up north. Septic tanks normally are just fine, presuming you do pay some attention to what you put donw your drains. They do need to be drained periodcially, which costs $100-$300, depending on where oyu live. How often depends on size of family, but if you are 2-4 the answer is every 3-5 years.
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rafrafraf
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« Reply #413 on: November 29, 2012, 9:56:17 AM »

Thank you.
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professor_pat
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« Reply #414 on: January 27, 2013, 12:56:50 AM »

This happens to be a refinancing question in my case, but it would apply to buying a house for the first time as well.

My refi application has gotten final approval and we're ready for signing. The first available date for them was Feb 1, so I took it, but now I'm remembering something from back when I bought my house, about trying to wait until as close to the end of the month as possible to do the closing. I can't remember why. Although I'm leaving on an extended trip mid-Feb, I could delay the signing until Feb 12 or so. Is the a financial reason to do a closing later rather than earlier in a month? Would there be significant savings?
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clean
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« Reply #415 on: January 27, 2013, 1:02:54 AM »

Really makes no difference on the date.  You will be paying interest from the day you borrow the money.  The sooner you refi the house the sooner you will be paying less interest! 

Sign soon! 

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msparticularity
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« Reply #416 on: January 27, 2013, 9:46:29 PM »

This happens to be a refinancing question in my case, but it would apply to buying a house for the first time as well.

My refi application has gotten final approval and we're ready for signing. The first available date for them was Feb 1, so I took it, but now I'm remembering something from back when I bought my house, about trying to wait until as close to the end of the month as possible to do the closing. I can't remember why. Although I'm leaving on an extended trip mid-Feb, I could delay the signing until Feb 12 or so. Is the a financial reason to do a closing later rather than earlier in a month? Would there be significant savings?

You will need to pay the interest from the closing date until the next mortgage payment date. In the case of a February 1st closing, IOW, you'll be paying as a part of your closing costs the interest for the 28 days until March 1st. If you wait until February 12th or so, you'll have fewer days of interest to pay. Since you own the house already, though, it will all come out in the wash, since you'll need to pay the old loan company for those 12 days in February before you closed. (Remember, with a mortgage you're always paying in arrears, rather than in advance as with a rental.)
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
professor_pat
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« Reply #417 on: January 31, 2013, 1:07:15 AM »

Thanks, Clean and Ms. P. What Ms. P. described sounds like what I vaguely remembered hearing before - but before, I was buying the house for the first time, not refinancing. So it sounds like there's no real financial penalty for signing earlier rather than later. And it happens to be particularly convenient right now that my first new mortgage payment isn't due until April 1, so all's well.
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galactic_hedgehog
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« Reply #418 on: February 02, 2013, 12:26:40 AM »

The Mortgage Professor recommends not closing a refinance on a Friday, because of the likelihood of of paying interest on both loans for several days.
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the_geneticist
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« Reply #419 on: February 11, 2013, 7:29:50 PM »

Hi all,
I got a tenure track job starting this fall (yay!) and am considering buying a house.  Real estate prices aren't too bad in the area, especially compared to my current location.  I've only ever rented so this is all new for me.  I already checked my credit history and did some back of the envelope calculations to estimate my budget.  Any advice for a potential first time home buyer would be great.
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