WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN YOU ARE BUYING A HOME IF YOU ARE SCARED OF EVERYTHING
Thank you @lenadunham and keep those requests coming! I think you asked about home buying? Ps this is the first time I've ever tried to provide useful info on social media
- 1.Get a pre-approval letterUnless you're paying all cash, you have to go through a pre-approval process from a lender where they will go under the hood of your finances and give you a pre-approval letter. In multiple offers the agent representing the house may use this letter to "make a case" for which buyer to choose. You don't want to start looking at houses and then you fall in love and have to get the pre approval letter real quick it's stressful. You want to know you got the loan on lock.
- 2.It's the land that has all the value.Interiors depreciate over time, but land always appreciates. Location location location! Your grandparents and parents are right on this one.
- 3.Random thoughts about location that might be usefulIn LA you have to look out for the traffic. Are there many ways to get to your street so you can bob and weave a bit if the traffic is bad? Another big indicator and where you can overpay if you're not careful is the school systems. If you find a house in a neighborhood with a good school system it will always hold its value. If the schools stink the prices won't hold as well when the market turns.
- 4.Anything can be changed/don't be lured by shiny appliancesThe biggest mistake I see newer buyers make is they get lured by stuff that's super easy to change and they choose things like counter tops or appliances over location. "But the other house has stainless steel appliances". You can change that with one trip to a home store and about $3000. You can change everything about a house over time but the location. EVEN A POOL! You can build a pool!
- 5.Make your agent work hard to demonstrate the valueSo you found a house you liked, you agreed to a price, and your agent says it's worth what you're paying. Make him prove it. Literally say "send me the best comps you have that prove its worth what I will be paying." Then take a hard look at them. Show them to your friends. Crowdsource the comps! Take the two or three best comps and go drive by them. How long can this take an hour? You will know how your house stacks up from this drive by and you will feel more in control.
- 6.Get every inspection you can possibly think of.Once you enter escrow your contingency period starts. This is your time to find out the condition of the home. Get a general inspection and then get every major system individually inspected. Get the roof inspected. Get the sewer line inspected. Get a mold test. Get a structural engineer to check the foundation. Get a geo and drainage inspection. Fireplace inspection. Imagine during the contingency period you're like a detective and it's your job to find out everything.
- 7.Don't freak out when you get the inspections back.There's no such thing as a house that passes inspections. It's not a pass/fail thing. There's always something. And you're in your contingency period. You get to go back to the sellers and request they fix stuff, or get a credit or renegotiate the price or bail. And the way they react is dependent on the market. In a hot market they might say take it or leave it. But at least you know what you're in for. And remember, everything is fixable.
- 8.Don't be afraid to personally call the inspectors and get the 411Each inspector will give you a report with their name and number and email. Nothing wrong with dropping them a line or being there for the wrap up and saying "is there anything you found that makes you nervous?" Thats a good one. A good agent will do this for you but in the end, the deal is between the buyer and the seller. It's on you the buyer to know what's going on because contractually, the agent isn't on the hook for much.
- 9.Ask your agent to pull permits on the house while you're in escrowNot enough agents do this. THIS IS A VERY GOOD TIP!! Most buyers don't know to ask. You want to make sure the work that was done was done with permits, or if it wasn't, that you were well aware of this before you remove your contingencies. I just sold a house and they advertised a bathroom but I pulled the permits and there were no permits for it and we were able to negotiate a discount on the price of the house. Pull them permits.
- 10.Make sure you read and understand the disclosures.The sellers disclosures are the sellers telling you everything they know about the property. When you remove this contingency, it means you accept all of them and the sellers are not culpable for anything they disclosed after the sale. They are only culpable for stuff they knew and didn't disclose, and you can prove they knew it, which is always tricky.
- 11.If you have a specific question that only the sellers will know, ask them. But not until you are in escrow!"I'm a light sleeper are there any loud noises I should know about that you can think of?" "I hate dog barking any crazy barkers?" I think sellers earnestly try to answer disclosures properly, but there's a lot of stuff that they are so adapted to they don't think would bother someone and then you move in and you're like holy crap I can't sleep!
- 12.Zillow blows.