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Old 06-02-2005, 10:19 AM   #11
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Hi Luvs,

Speaking as a homeowner and a landlord, I can say for certain that if you are going to rent property out, the two things you will definitely want are a CPA, and most definitely an attorney who's familiar with rental law in your area.

The other thing to remember is that if you have tenants, even if they seem like the nicest people around, you have to stick to the letter of your contracts. Once you start to deviate from them, you can possibly create exemptions that can be used against you should you end up in court over rent and such.

I definitely recommend a private inspection on any property you buy, but make sure you get someone on a referral - there are too many hacks out there who get there brochures into real estate offices without being checked out first.

And if you have any other questions, post away! There's a wealth of experience here on the board at your disposal!

John
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Old 06-02-2005, 11:09 AM   #12
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You really, really, really need to use an attorney. Both for the purchase of your home and, like RJ says, particularly if you are going to rent it out. Buying real estate without the aid of a lawyer is not a smart thing to do. Especially if it's your first purchase.

You absolutely must have a good home inspector, too. I have also used separate plumbing and electrical inspectors.

Like others have said, find out how old the roof and heating systems are and make sure it has an updated electrical system.

And, always remember that, legally, the real estate agent or broker works for the seller -- not for you*. It's not a good idea to trust them completely. Frankly, I don't think you can really trust them at all. And I was the general manager of a real estate business some years ago.

Never fall in love with a house. LOOK LOOK LOOK at lots of properties. That way, you get a better idea of appropriate pricing. Do research on-line. You can find out what properties in the neighborhood actually sold for, as opposed to what they were listed at. If you are looking on your own and not with the aid of a broker, try not to sign in at an open house, lest you get tied up with the selling broker.

Take a class in buying real estate, if you can find one. Take it from a community college or adult ed place and not a RE office.

If you are in no hurry to buy, in most locations prices are historically high "in season," from May to September. Prices drop during the winter, particularly in Nov and Dec.



* unless you hire what is called a "buyer's broker"
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:12 PM   #13
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Lots of great advice. Still early here, & I'm not percolating yet, but here goes.

If money is no object, disregard the following:

Budget: Figure out how much you can afford. Take a look at ongoing outstanding payments car, credit cards etc. Take into account you will also be paying property taxes 2x a year too.

Debt: Get rid of it before you apply for a loan. See if you can get your credit report & clear up any discrepancies FIRST. Get your balances down on your credit cards.

THE LOAN/BANK: The bank may or may not look at your oustanding debts, work history & income (depending on your assets, etc.). If you're paying off large loans re new cars, etc., & work history is not so hot, they may frown upon giving you the loan.

More Bank: You can opt for an impound account, so the bank takes out the mortgage & the property taxes each month, so you don't have to bother with it.

I can tell you what I did & why I did it, but you can decide what is good for you.

I chose a 30-year mortgage (fixed rate), put down the largest down payment you can swing - the monthly payments will be lower. I'm locked in at 8%, but, property taxes & interest on the loan are tax deductible at the end of the year check w your accountant. Then you can pay more each month when you want to.

I chose to not give it all the $ up for a loan. Put some aside for a cushion & live the lifestyle you choose while you're stilll young - if you're having kids, might want to think about socking some away for your/their future.

You will need to pay an inspector & perhaps termite inspector too. (Figure that in, closing costs, property taxes, moving etc. into your budget. Oh, you might want furniture too )

If there is a major problem w the home, it "should" be in the disclosure. Don't always count on it. Ask why the seller is selling - don't put a lot of trust in that answer either. They'll probably say they're selling to marry cousin Schlomo in another country.

You can go to realtor.com - but, I've heard that "hot" properties are sold before they hit the net or market...realtors get new listings once or twice a week. Might help to work with one you like to get listings first.

Didn't need an attorney on my first home, but could use one now (after the fact) with what was NOT disclosed on the second. Find a neighborhood you like, & drive around. If you see something for sale you like, jot down realtor's # & go look.

My eyes aren't open yet, so maybe I'll come back later. Hope this is of some help.
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:48 PM   #14
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thanks, john!
don't worry, jennyema, i have an EXCELLENT attorney. she knows what she's doing! and i am in fact looking into real estate classes at this point. my ex-BF was a real estate agent by the time he was 18. if he could do it at that age, certainly i could do it at 24.
thanks for the addtional info, mish. it's helpful.
have a good day, guys.
yours, luvs.
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Old 06-02-2005, 02:53 PM   #15
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Luvs, check into foreclosed homes. A lot of times you can find really nice homes for a lot less than they are really worth. Just be prepared!! Usually with foreclosures, the last owners will take ceiling fans, receptacle covers(especially if they're brass), etc. If the home has been sitting a while, you can usually talk the bank into covering closing costs too.
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:13 PM   #16
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Look for two bedroom or one bedroom houses that can be added to, These are the best investment. Find a General Contractor out of your county to inspect the house, Someone who knows homes and doesn't owe someone in that county a favor. Take a single bladed screwdriver big one with you poke at the bottom boards of the house if it goes in easy you might have termite problems, This is how they look for termites. also look for trails and wood dust close to the foundation.
Has anyone ever wondered why they call it "Real Estate" ? Is there a " Fake Estate " they compete with ?
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Old 06-02-2005, 11:43 PM   #17
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thanks for the tips, maidrite.
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:25 AM   #18
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Well this is going to be a long one Luvs! I've cut and pasted a list that I made up that I will be using when we find a house that is put on the market that we want to possibly buy. At the end are some additional notes I've added now.

-Why are they selling their home?

-Market analysis

-Have your realtor find out how much they paid for the house?

-What home defects have they reported on the disclosure statement?

-Have they ever had any water problems?

-Have they ever had any electrical problems?

-Have they ever had any sewer problems?

-Have they ever had any problems with a leaking roof or windows?

-Any structural defects?

-How old is the heating/cooling units?

-Taxes

-Utility Expenses

-Any history of termite damage?

-How old is the water heater?

-Any events happening in the home (paranormal)? Don't laugh it happens :) And the seller has to disclose this at the time they put the house on the market.

-Any problems with the fireplace/chimney? Does it operate properly without any problems?

-What surface is below the carpet? (Wood floors or concrete)

-Do all appliances that will be staying work properly? Dishwasher, garbage disposal, etc...

-What are the neighbors like?

-School District and type of school

***Above all be sure to pay the expense and have a house inspector come and do an inspection. Ask the realtor for a recommendation someone they would hire if they were looking for one themselves. Don't just pick one out of the book. The inspector looks for things we tend to take for granted and overlook. Its amazing what people can hide with some decoration and clever faux finishes.

***Oh yea and opt for the title Warranty at the closing.......just in case something does go wrong.

***And you might keep in mind if you buy a foreclosure its a pretty much guarantee it'll be sold "As Is". So as long as you have family and friends that are knowledgeable in home repairs then I highly recommend it. We bought ours for 55,000 and we put in about 20,0000 and we've just sold it for 150,000.....so we double our investment. But it was a lot of work. Thankfully hubby and I were willing to tackle it and had family knowledgeable in aspects we weren't so sure about and they pitched in.

***And from a country girl high tailing it back to the city where she should of stayed in the first place........steer clear of wells! If they have a well then run away and don't look back
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:37 AM   #19
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i was hoping to hear from you, sizz! thanks so much. i'm gonna go and read your post now.
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:41 AM   #20
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great tips, sizz! thank you very much. i knew that you'd be well-versed on this since you're buying a new home.
i have to take some notes on ALL of these posts!
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