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Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Old Apr 25th 2017, 1:46 am
  #61  
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

I also think valid reasons for getting out of the contract, like problem with the house, happen early enough in the process here to give both the buyers and the sellers opportunities to sort the problem out, or walk away with still plenty of time to find somewehere else.

One of the houses I sold in UK, the buyers suddenly told us the day before the contract was going to be signed that they wanted to move in a week after the contract was signed. The place we were moving to wasn't ready for us to move into, so the buyers ended up paying for our hotel, our storage and our dogs in kennels for a full month. They also had to pay for our removal people to pack everything, as I hadn't even started packing our stuff. It was incredibly stressful and yes we could have walked away from the deal, but you are so far down the road at that point I just felt I had to continue. Hopefully that type of thing is less likely here as you agree a moving date when you sign the contract, when you put the offer in.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 1:49 am
  #62  
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Not quite. The (typically) 6% fee gets split four ways equally in most cases, with the buyer's and seller's agents each getting 1.5%, and the agency they each work for, aka "the brokers", getting the other 1.5% each. Obviously a self-employed realtor gets 3%, being 2× 1.5%.
Oh I hadn't realised that's the way it worked. I think that probably means even more incentive for the agents to get the most amount of money for the property, so their 1.5% is worth the effort - not that my realtor has done much.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 1:55 am
  #63  
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

My realtor has worked her butt off on the latest home buying saga and it's for a house that's 40k cheaper than another we had an offer in for.

She has a few referrals coming her way when we've closed.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 1:56 am
  #64  
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by Wibblypig View Post
Good luck with whatever you decide. Buying a house here seems to be much more expensive than buying one in the UK and more stressful too! We put an offer in on our first house here yesterday and are in some sort if bidding war nightmare right now and we are at the point of saying sod it and waiting for another house....but sadly we really like this one UGH!
I know this probably won't help you feel better about your situation, but one thing that seemed to happen to me back in UK, whenever we lost our supposed dream house, another one would appear. Maybe we were just lucky, or maybe we just managed to persuade ourselves further down the line, but looking back we always said the house we ended up with was much better than all the ones we lost....
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 3:59 am
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by becks_r View Post
Oh I hadn't realised that's the way it worked. I think that probably means even more incentive for the agents to get the most amount of money for the property, so their 1.5% is worth the effort - not that my realtor has done much.
Not really, I think most buyers agents know that in a level market (not tipped to either buyers or sellers), that buyers will push for a 5%-10% discount, and that if they (the realtor) don't do their bit then their client will drop them.

I am surprised that the realtor we used when we bought our home in NC didn't drop us - she must have showed us 100 houses, and over an area easily 70 miles long, and nearly as wide.

We put offers on several houses, got counter offers on at least two that we then had second thoughts about and walked way from, and got close to agreeing a contract once, paying earnest monies on, getting inspections, .... then ripping up the draft contract and starting over!

Given the time and mileage she put in I doubt she really made much from us even though the house we bought was near the upper end of our budget. And she ended up finding a house literally around the corner from her own home, about 5 minutes walk away!
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by zzrmark View Post
We're not in the priciest of rental areas in Florida but your logic, if applied to our rental situation, would equate to $80,160 (+ professional carpet and deep cleaning costs, as per contract, upon our exit, so lets say at least $82k)...

EDIT: Not to mention that the robbing barstewards would have added another two years ball busting rent increases if we were to stay another two years!! Which we won't be, offer accepted yesterday subject to buyers action re septic tank issue that previous hopeful's inspection revealed (first timer who withdrew because the dreamy secluded rural property was ... wait for it.... 'going to be too much like living in the country'. WTF, who bids on a rural property expecting it to sit in the shadows of Walmart/CVS/Dollar General/HOA's et al?????)
That is very interesting, and Sarasota is a place that we've considered.

Any advice on good areas to look into?

Our plan would be to find a house that was getting a little tired and install a new kitchen and bathrooms, give it a lick of paint etc. All of which is hopefully adding value to the property so if we didn't get a GC and had to sell after 4 years, it's hard to see how we'd be worse off than having spent $82k on rent instead.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 11:18 am
  #67  
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by jammiie View Post
Our plan would be to find a house that was getting a little tired and install a new kitchen and bathrooms, give it a lick of paint etc. All of which is hopefully adding value to the property so if we didn't get a GC and had to sell after 4 years, it's hard to see how we'd be worse off than having spent $82k on rent instead.
Please, do the figures and stop thinking about this from a British housing market perspective, your assumptions about adding value may not be valid. It's already pointed out, house renovation and maintenance costs more in the US, even before you start planning alterations, and you may or may not need permits for some of the work (I have no idea on Florida building regs).
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by jammiie View Post
.... Our plan would be to find a house that was getting a little tired and install a new kitchen and bathrooms, give it a lick of paint etc. All of which is hopefully adding value to the property so if we didn't get a GC and had to sell after 4 years, it's hard to see how we'd be worse off than having spent $82k on rent instead.
It doesn't really work like that in most of the US - unless you get an absolute steal of a deal, .... and then put in cheap fittings and provide your own labour. And if you think you can do it because you've seen the US house-flipping shows, they are entertainment and the costs they report are often inaccurate, and when it comes to selling, conveniently omit the realtors' fees on the sale!

That said, your idea of buying a tired house isn't a bad one, and it would certainly mitigate some of the risk of buying in your situation. Just beware that you don't buy a tired house in a tired neighborhood - as selling when the time comes will only get harder and harder as years go by.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 25th 2017 at 1:35 pm.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by jammiie View Post

Our plan would be to find a house that was getting a little tired and install a new kitchen and bathrooms, give it a lick of paint etc. All of which is hopefully adding value to the property so if we didn't get a GC and had to sell after 4 years, it's hard to see how we'd be worse off than having spent $82k on rent instead.
This would make it easier to sell for you but not necessarily add value. Just as an aside, I have bought a house with a bespoke kitchen and handpainted cupbaords. I didn't like it when I bought it but thought that at least it was good quality. I would not have offered more for it. The kitchen cost about $50K -$60K 6/7 years ago. I bought my house for the same price as houses with kitchens that needed to be ripped out.

I think everyone who has bought a house here, and the online articles about it,are telling you the same thing. It takes about 5 years on average to recoup the cost of buying and selling a house.

Realtors and buyers also like to sell according to emotional factors. However, every realtor will know what the average price per square foot is for your areas. This is based on recent sales. So keep looking at the price per sq ft, if it's higher then you would expect a house to be in a better condition. This takes out things like size etc. This is what the mortgage valuers will be looking at too. You'll hear the realtor talking about "comps" (comparisons) this is what they mean.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
.... I think everyone who has bought a house here, and the online articles about it,are telling you the same thing. It takes about 5 years on average to recoup the cost of buying and selling a house. .....
Between years 4 and 11 after we bought, our house was valued at less than we paid for it. It is currently worth about 10% more than we paid for it, and the 6% realtor fees would eat up most of that. .... And we are rapidly approaching the time when it will need a new roof and heating/AC systems.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by jammiie View Post
Our plan would be to find a house that was getting a little tired and install a new kitchen and bathrooms, give it a lick of paint etc. All of which is hopefully adding value to the property so if we didn't get a GC and had to sell after 4 years, it's hard to see how we'd be worse off than having spent $82k on rent instead.
Maybe, maybe not. Do the calculations. How much would you spend "renting money", i.e. a mortgage? Property taxes? Insurance? Maintenance... etc. Someone posted the really good NY Times calculator earlier in the thread and I really recommend playing around with it.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

They said on the radio this morning, mortgage payments in my area have gone up around 12% year on year. The average house price increase across the country is just over 5% , so it depends a lot on the local market.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by jammiie View Post
That is very interesting, and Sarasota is a place that we've considered.

Any advice on good areas to look into?

Our plan would be to find a house that was getting a little tired and install a new kitchen and bathrooms, give it a lick of paint etc. All of which is hopefully adding value to the property so if we didn't get a GC and had to sell after 4 years, it's hard to see how we'd be worse off than having spent $82k on rent instead.
That's the problem. As several of us have said and experienced, British thoughts do not apply when it comes to the US housing market.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Maybe, maybe not. Do the calculations. How much would you spend "renting money", i.e. a mortgage? Property taxes? Insurance? Maintenance... etc. Someone posted the really good NY Times calculator earlier in the thread and I really recommend playing around with it.
Thank you, all valid points that I will certainly analyse and consider.

I think its worth reiterating that if we decided to buy, it isn't with the intention of flipping and making money from. It will be purely because we believe we'd have a happier time in our own home that we can design and put our stamp on, than in rented accommodation. I wouldn't expect to make any profit on it in 4 years, I'm just trying to understand if I'm likely to come away even or lose my shirt. Hopefully it's all a moot point anyway and our GC application gets approved and we can live there happily ever after etc. etc. etc....
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house - anything to be wary of

We have a friend who bought a house couple years ago, and after 9 months decided to move because they didn't like it. They made $60k after paying fees on a $350k house. Again depends on the market, just like in the UK.
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