Trulia San F…, Other/Just Looking in San Francisco, CA

If you could go back in time to give yourself one piece of advice before buying your first real estate property, what would it be?

Asked by Trulia San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Wed Nov 7, 2012

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, ,
Tue Nov 13, 2012
Condos can be a trap. Buyer beware!
If you're so rich that money doesn't matter - then obviously, you just buy whatever you like without
worrying about the hidden costs.
If money does matter, or if it will take all you have to swing the deal, think again. Rather than what
you think you're buying: a home that you don't need to do any upkeep on (because that's all the
responsibility of the HOA), you'll likely discover at the worst possible time that: most HOA's are
seriously under funded (inadequately reserved), many if not most are built with defects that later
cause hugely expensive repairs, litigation or not, you could be in for a Special Assessment which
is no insurable (sky's the limit - $39K for us now), most people refuse to serve on the Board, and
those who do probably won't please you with their choices.

We love our house, but it's been a financial nightmare. Lot's of extra stress. No way to solve some
common problems, because they come from Common Area beyond our control. Consider this the
executive summary of the book I want to write on this subject.
0 votes
Claudia Mull…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Fremont, CA
Thu Nov 8, 2012
I would not have sold it!!
1 vote
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Make sure you give a lot of thought to who you hire to help you. I had very specific needs for my first property ( I was not licensed then) and my then agent kept showing me things that obviously wouldn't work, and he was such a bad negotiator that I had to take matters in my own hands and negotiate with the seller direct to resolve a last minute issue. Me and the seller resolved something in ten minutes the agents couldn't do in days.

Make no mistake buyers, even if the seller pays for the buyer agent commission you are hiring someone to trust with what is likely a huge investment. Don't do it lightly. Make sure your agent/broker is experienced, knowledgeable, reputable, and available.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
1 vote
James Romeo…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Think before you sell any property and look at the long term. Passive income comes in handy over time.
1 vote
Leopold A Ro…, , San Francisco, CA
Wed Nov 7, 2012
To take a year off and bang around Europe.

Real Estate Broker 00849905
400 Montgomery 505
San Francisco CA 94104
Office: 415.781.3000
0 votes
Haha, I wish!
Flag Mon Dec 3, 2012
Eric Castong…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Push yourself a little bit.

Under buying only makes you want to move sooner and that is expensive.
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Read every single document! I love the place I bought but didn't follow my own advice about reading everything you get.
0 votes
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Before becoming a realtor, once upon a time I was a 1st time home buyer.

I remember coming inside our 1st house and thinking: "The ceiling is too low".
But, the price was right, location was great, so I let my husband talk me into buying
that home. He loved it, but I was not in love. It was a purely rational decision for me.

Well, every day after the closing, I'd wake up and look at the ceiling that was hovering above me,
and think the same thing: "It's too low!"

So, we sold that house 2 years after, and got the one with higher ceilings, lighter, brighter and overall better. Both of us loved that 2nd home.

What I have learned from this experience: If you don't like something about the house that can't be changed later on - don't buy it, and make sure that all purchasers are genuinely happy with the property.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes
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