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Trulia, Other/Just Looking in San Francisco, CA

What are some surprises that first-time buyers encounter when purchasing a home?

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Thu Mar 1, 2012

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There are a lot of potential suprises when it comes to purchasing your first home. I will highlight some of the issues my first time buyers have experienced. Please feel free to view my blog. I have written numerous articles and blogs on first time buying that can help answer a lot of questions for first time buyers.

First, is the payment. most first time buyers do not know what is included in their payment. Just becuase a bank tells you that you are pre approved to buy a $200,000 home does not mean you want to or can afford to. Always tell them this is what I am comfortable a month paying with my taxes and home owners insurance included. How much house can I buy based on that. Work backwards it is smarter.

Second, what you can get for your money out there. There are a lot of great deals if you find an agent that will work with you and walk you through the process. But if you are looking for a $200,000 house for $100,000 it does not exist. be realistic in what you can get for your money. Put together a wish list and see if you can find homes that meet that criteria first. Then work down. Also give your self ample time to find a house. It can be as easy as a weekend and as long as a few months.

Third, home inspections. Just because the house looks pretty does not mean it is. Always have a home insopection to check for hidden damages and things you cannot see when looking at a home. This will also give you an idea of what you may need to budget for in the near future for replacement.

Fourth, the appraisal. Now that you have agreed upon a price for the house. it is subject to the house appraising. I have seen my fair share of homes come back with appraisals that were lower than the sale price of the house. Be carefull and be prepared to negotiate if you really want that house and that happens.

Fifth, title issues at closing. It is not as common but it does happen. More frequesntly on a bank owned home than a resale home. But if there is a lien on the title that noone was aware of that can hold up or even stop the sale from happening. or fi the bank did not properly foreclosue on a house that can prevent a house form closing.

These are the main highlights of suprises first time home buyers do not expect or factor in when looking for a house.

Dave diCecco
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
1) Some buyers are surprised at the amount of paperwork the lenders now require to get a loan. And even after they submit what was requested, more documentation is often asked for after the package is submitted to underwriting.
2) They are surprised at the low prices and the number of available properties.
3) Some buyers expect re-sale homes to be perfect. The reality is if they are buying a re-sale, there may be some things wrong with the house that a seller may not be willing to fix. Most of the time these are relatively small items and do not affect the structure of the home.

These are only a few things. If you would like additional information, please contact me.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Usually a first time home buyer doesnt know what to look for to begin. ie: location, schools, commute all things that mean so much after the fact. Also they have no understanding of the total costs associated with home ownership , it is just not the mortgage payment. There are many reason why it is good to have someone protecting your interests such as a professional Real Estate Agent. They have seen it all usually and can help you through it all. I love to work with first time home buyers and see them get into their first home. If you would like to contact me directly , please call my mobile at 704-607-7514 or visit my website at http://www.carolina-real-estate.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Nathan Wolf-

What a great answer! I concur.

One of my most frequent complaints from first time buyers is that they are not prepared for the amount of paperwork and documenting that the loan process requires. If you will just diligently work through the process, giving the lender each item they request promptly, you can be a homeowner before you know it.

If a first time buyer hasn't done it yet I encourage them to not just give the lender the basics they need for prequalifying (which typically produces a letter stating you are conditionally approved). Instead, go ahead and give the lender everything they need to get you approved for a loan. It will expedite the process when you find the home you want and assure you can actually close on the home you fall in love with.

Blessings upon you...
Jan Teel
TEEL Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Their pre-qualification letter from a Big Box Bank doesn't mean much. Similarly speaking, the seller may not accept their Pre-Approved offer from an online lender.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
The wealth of knowledge a Realtor has at their fingertips to assist you in the purchase of a home. This includes new homes, resale properties, foreclosures, short sales, area and school information, taxes, and that the real estate services provided to a buyer are actually paid by for by the seller and/or builder.
Web Reference: http://www.homesbycross.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
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