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Old 07-25-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
cando
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Buying a house
Hi!

My husband and I finally decided to stop moving and settle down for a few years here in CO .
So now we're looking for a house to purchase. It'll be just the two of us and possibly a doggie friend.

I tried googling to find property listings and some info on what to look for and what to check. The sheer amount of info is overwhelming!
So I'm turning to you guys for help.. anyone have any good websites for me to read? This will be our first home and I have no clue about what is involved. What do I need to check when we go see the home? What questions to ask? What records to check?

Thank you so much!
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:05 PM   #2
auburnchick
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I don't know if you've already raised children or plan on having any in the future. If so, I would check out the schools. Find the best district and then start shopping from there.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:33 PM   #3
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We are buying our 2nd home right now and what I would suggest is sit down with your husband and decide what you really want in your home-bedrooms, bath-that type of stuff and of course your price range. Then check with your friends who have bought a house and see what their opinion of their realtor was, I know I would recommend ours to anyone cause for the past 5 months she worked very hard for us. For us, she really listened to what we wanted and sent us (via email) the listings and price changes as often as they came in. We ended up using the website through our realtor and it worked great for us but you can also go through www.realtor.com, for houses to check out.

As I read bailsmom's post it reminded me that getting a pre-approval letter from your lender does help you out if someone else is bidding on the house you want and it tells the owners that you have the money ready and waiting.

For us also the house being a little bit of a fixer upper was not a bad thing, in fact the house we will have needs a new kitchen and work in the bathrooms but that is fine with us. Be sure to get a home inspection when you do find one you like, the very first house we tried to buy, the inspector looked at the foundation was falling apart so we backed out as fast as we could.

And although we put bids on other houses, this was the only house that we both had a feeling that we would get and were excited about it. After the second visit (I would recommend that too) we drove away and I told him that I thought we would get this one and we did!

I hope what I said helps you out, it can be a little frustrating but in the end it is worth it! Good luck!
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:36 PM   #4
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When DH and I were looking a few years back after we got pre-approved for the loan we found out there was a first time home buyers class that was being offered at the YMCA. Free too. I would strongly recommend finding out if you can get into something like that.

They had different people come to the class and talk about their part in the whole process. Like a banker, a home inspector - that one was really informative - and a real estate agent.

It really opened our eyes to things we never would have known to ask for and things to do on our own.

That would be my suggestion for you. Good luck!!
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:56 PM   #5
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Knew I did the right thing asking here

auburnchick, we don't any children and aren't planning any for the next few years. So, I guess any school district works for us.

The info about home buyers classes was very helpful, I found a number to call for my city and will find out tomorrow morning about upcoming classes. Also helpful to know that a pre-approved letter is good to have.

I do have a question about realtors - what is normally their commission? And is it unthinkable to try to buy a house without a realtor?

Thank you!
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:11 AM   #6
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If you're in Colorado Springs, I can hook you up with a stellar realtor team. Seriously, they showed us 20+ properties without getting testy about it

The most important thing about real estate is the location. You can change practically everything else -- carpet, kitchens, yards, add on to make it bigger -- but you will never be able to move it.

Even if you don't have kids, pay careful attention to the school districts. That will be important for re-sale later on.

If a home you're interested in is in a newer area or adjacent to undeveloped property, check with your local government(s) to see how the adjacent property is zoned and if a development plan has been submitted. You don't want to be stuck next to a tire place or a car stereo place.

Find a GOOD inspector, ALWAYS get an inspection, and ALWAYS make any offer contingent on your satisfaction with the inspection.

Shop around for your mortgage. Rates may be similar, but some mortgage companies charge nickel and dime fees that really add up.

Lastly, be sure to leave enough room in your budget for repairs and spruce ups. Blinds for a new home will cost upwards of $500. Most Colorado sellers offer home warranties like Blue Ribbon that cover things like the frig, furnace, etc. But things like lawn mowers are on you.

Good luck and have fun house hunting!
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:47 AM   #7
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In the Denver area, find Lynn Zenger. The guy's a kickass realtor. Good luck with your search!!
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:11 AM   #8
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Terrific points to make a note of. So, before I hunt for houses I need to find a good lender, a good realtor and a good house inspector.

What is considered an average down payment on a house priced between 150-200? I read that there will be other costs associated with closing etc. approximately how much does it add up to?

We're looking in Fort Collins, anyone know of any excellent realtors here?

Sorry about the numerous questions.. we just moved here a month ago so we have no friends or contacts to ask. I'm trying to get a handle on just how much money we're thinking about before getting started
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:32 AM   #9
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And whatever you buy ensure you have a building inspection done. Not sure if you have the same system there but here we have a pest control and a building inspection done - usually - before contracts are finalised (after deposit is down). I only know ONE instance where a pest controller completely failed to identify extensive white ant damage and he's since had to make good on all the repairs. In this case almost $20K worth as one was a major bearer. Given the extensive inconvenience the family faced he's lucky he got away with JUST that much.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:36 AM   #10
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By the way, most agents will recommend a house inspector. To be honest, I've lived in two homes where an inspector paid by the agent came and they did a VERY superficial job. In one instance there was a lot of bathroom water damage which he admitted to me went right into the wall cavity but on the report he minimised it.
I would cross compare prices and see what an independent would charge. If anything is picked up you can negotiate a lowering of the price to have the issue addressed OR have current owners address it prior to sale. Whatever you feel best. I would tend to negotiate a price drop to ensure work was done to my satisfaction.

I liked the previous comment about an agency not being concerned at showing many places. In my last town one agent rarely kept homes on their books for more than a month or so because they were very realistic on price and had similar wonderful 'nothing is too much trouble' service. Other agents who overpriced had houses on their books for months.
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