Impossible to buy a house!

Asked by Paulo Sobral, Bakersfield, CA Thu Sep 20, 2012

I'm 0-4 on offers for single family homes. 3 of the times I offered full list price with 20% down on a conventional loan. Not even a counter.

Is the reality that the only way to get a home right now in Bako is to pay way over what it will appraise for or pay 100% cash? If so I should just rent?

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Mark R. Barr…, , Bakersfield, CA
Thu Aug 1, 2013
Most of my agents are offering more than asking price but many have clause that if appraise value is lower that would be the new sales price. Never ask for closing cost as your lender can generally cover those in the rate(raise interest rate and get lower or no lender fees which could include all closing cost) Never ask more than 30 days escrow as that is easy to make if you are not using a Down payment assistant program. Maybe offer to pay all closing cost to include sellers closing cost (typically sellers Title, transfer tax) but be specific in purchase contract. There are a lot of tricks I see agents using to win offers without borrower coming in with more than appraise value.
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Kelly Miller, Home Owner, Santa Ana, CA
Wed Jul 17, 2013
It all depends on the price range you are looking for. Also the locality matters. Though it is difficult to find a new house, not impossible either. Keep your eyes and ears open and be patient.
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Unspecified, Renter, Bakersfield, CA
Wed May 22, 2013
I ended up getting a home about two weeks after posting that question. It was on the market for 3 days, mine was one of 9 offers. I offered $10,500 over list, it appraised for $2,000 more than what I paid. Now 6 months later Trulia has it valued at $31,000 over what I paid!

When I wrote my original question I was set to give up, just remember things work when they're meant to be!
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Lin Lee Shir…, Home Buyer, Gainesville, FL
Wed May 22, 2013
Agree, 0-3 for me....after jumping through time consuming and stressful hoops the appraisals come back significantly lower than asking prices....last one 30K less!!! Ridiculous, I think it's just a money making scheme for banks and businesses on the backs of poor middle class suckers....not going to jump through their hoops again, have spent too much money (inspections, appraisals, earnest money etc...and gosh they do everything but a vaginal ultrasound or colonoscopy to look for funds you may have that they do not "approve" for use towards your home purchase....DONE.
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Robert and D…, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
Hello Paulo,

Your situation is not uncommon, there are many buyers who want to purchase a home right now and just not enough homes available. I would say that our buyers are averaging three offers before they get one accepted.

Many of the homes that are priced appropriately for their condition are selling at or above their list price (regardless of the type of financing being used) but I wouldn't say they are going way over the list price unless there have been recent sales to support the higher price, or the home was priced too low to begin with, as in the case of many short sales I see.

As for the sellers not countering your offers, I would suggest that any offer you make on a home be your best offer - don't count on the seller countering!

I wouldn't worry about the cash buyers too much - their offers are usually below the asking price and most sellers just want to net the highest amount from the sale, unless they want the security of having a cash buyer.

Hope that help some.

Thank you,

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Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Fri Sep 21, 2012
Short sales can be an excellent option for you! Are you working with an agent that is providing you with the necessary information to present a solid offer. It is very common for homes to go over listing price here in Florida right now and from speaking with agents I know in California it is the same situation in certain areas there.
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Sally Lawren…, Agent, Tehachapi, CA
Fri Sep 21, 2012
Hey Paulo, I feel your frustration! A number of my clients have lost on houses on which they have made offers. But I work with my folks with a different philosophy than most...

I truly believe that you get the house you are supposed to have. In your case, for example,offering all cash and 20% OVER market value would not get you an approved contract on THAT house if it is not the house you are SUPPOSED to have. If it's truly the right house for you, it comes together fairly easily.

If you are satisfied that your agent is helping you to find appropriate property and structure appropriate offers than just be patient. If you have concerns than interview some other agents and pick ONE that you feel comfortable working with.

Best of luck in your search!
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Unspecified, Renter, Bakersfield, CA
Fri Sep 21, 2012
I'm staying away from short sales, so far they are all regular sales. Should I be targeting short sales? I heard they take forever to close.

The problem with offering far over list is I might not be able to get it to appraise either. I don't have enough to pay 20% and the big difference between appraised value and my offer.
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I would definitely look at short sales IF you are patient enough to wait for the bank to approve the sale. The average wait for our customers has been about three months and then another 30 days or so to close escrow.
Good luck!
Flag Sun Sep 23, 2012
Jacob Marquez, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
Demand and supply. Always demand and supply.
What are the numbers?
The numbers don't lie. You are just a frustrated buyer. You just lack the info required in the market that we are in.
That's all it is. Somebody is buying the home that your making offers on, so not that impossible.
Good luck;)
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Felix Hung, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012

This is happening all over California. I've got buyers who have lost 3 and 4 offers too. There is very low inventory and that is driving up the number of offers and in some areas - prices too. What advice is your agent offering regarding the situation? If you're writing full price on short sales - it may not be enough to have the best offer. Many times short sales are listed below fair market value. If you're writing on short sales ask your agent to comp out the subject that you're writing on and come in at the market value. See if this is higher than the asking price. Don't just go off the list price in short sales. I consider them imaginary until approved by the short sale lenders.

I tell my buyers to keep looking and keep writing offers. Good luck!

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Moises Contr…, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
Every situation is different. Impossible to give you a scenario about what to offer. List price with 20% conventional financing is a strong offer but again depends on the property, condition, area, time on market, type of sale Ect. Your agent should be able to assist you on what is the best offer given the given scenario and situation. Given the lack of inventory in our current Bakersfield market properties priced at market value, in good areas and good condition are typically met with multiple offers immediately upon listing. Make sure you understand the factors affecting the specific property you are bidding on to best determine what is needed to be competitive.
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Walter 'Skip'…, Agent, Brea, CA
Thu Sep 20, 2012
It is not just Bako, buyers have the same challenges in Orange County.
Good luck
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