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About to make an offer for my first ever home

Posted by Violet.West (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 4, 12 at 23:08

and I'm pretty terrified! I Never thought I could buy a house -- I've come a long way in my life!

I want to thank this forum, on which I've lurked for quite some time, for a lot of helpful insights. I'll let you know what happens, and will probably have a lot of other "home" questions if and when I get the (a) house!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Congratulations! I remember when I bought my first house, quite thrilling.

All the best,

Anicee


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Thrilling and terrifying at the same time!

Congratulations


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Congratulations! It's scary, exciting and stressful, but so worth it. You're already ahead of the game by reading this forum :)


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Are you people crazy or short term memory? Thrilling? :)

It is thrilling after underwriters have approved your mortgage, appraisal completed and inspection is over so you can start thinking about decorating. PRior to that all of those items are stressful and I would not use the term thrilling.

Also, closing is no thrill either as it is mostly electronic but the last few days it seems banks or something comes up which makes all of your efforts go into question.

I would say after it is all said and done - it is great and relaxing but the process can cause a bit of stress. Congratulations and best of luck! I do agree with this forum you can vent, share or seek advice during hte process and probably someone has experienced it and can give you non-bias feedback/input.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

What kind of house are you looking for?

Are you using an agent?

Looking forward to your questions!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

I have an agent, and am trying to purchase a new builder home from the builder. It's thrown me a little, because there's no "offer/counter offer" process like I was expecting, because it's being sold direct by the builder with incentives, so that the purchase price is what it is.

They have a standard boilerplate purchase agreement which my attorney (aka my boss) took one look at and said, "no way you're signing this without an addendum to protect your rights of refusal if the survey, title commitment, and inspections are not satisfactory." So, we'll see what they say.

I was told, "get ready to be treated like a cockroach by everyone after you sign" which is definitely NOT thrilling! I'm a flippin nervous wreck!

This post was edited by Violet.West on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 23:04


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Good luck! I'm in my first ever house and putting in the offer and closing day were absolutely exciting! As mentioned above, everything in between can be a complete roller coaster ride but without the cheers. The good news is that it is all worth it in the end. Surround yourself with a good team of professionals. Having said that, learn as much as you can about the process. No one is going to look out for your best interests as earnestly as you will!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

The builder is liable to refuse an addendum or any changes to the contract.

They pay an attorney to have them drawn up and are not likely to pay their attorney to review any alterations.

They simply refuse to bargain.

They are often very one sided, with the builder being the only one with any real protection (from the buyer).


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

that's quite true -- their contract gives me no right to review and accept the title commitment, the survey, or anything. We'll see. I'll walk away if we can't work something out.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

That's a good attitude to have. It would be a big mistake to fall in love with a house to the extent that you agree to something stupid or risky financially. No house is worth that much.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

we're still trying to work it out, but it's pissing me off. They seem insulted that I want to see the survey and title commitment. It's like, oh, honey, we're good people, just sign the contract -- everyone else does.

Do people really put themselves in debt for 30 years without having an attorney review the contract?


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

"Do people really put themselves in debt for 30 years without having an attorney review the contract?"

Only the uninformed.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Yeah, blows my mind that in a closing, people will let the realtor or banker give them the cliff notes on what each form means, and sign it without reading. I'm married to someone like that. He signs anything I tell him to. :-) But I read the stuff first.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Here's a response to their "honey, we're good people" comment: "If that's the case, then you should be confident that the experts I hire to take a closer look at it will confirm what you're saying and have no problem with it."

Methinks they doth protest too much. Geez....


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

the problem is there's no outs for the buyer if there's something wrong with the title or the property -- only the seller. and yet, they bristled when I demanded to look at the survey and title commitment.

Further, and this one really gets me, there's a clause in the contract which disclaims any warranty of habitability or good workmanship other than what's in their warranty booklet. Or at least that's what I think it's supposed to mean -- there's a typo in there that makes the sentence makes no sense. No one ever saw that before? And . . .

they don't even give you the warranty booklet ahead of time, so there's no possible way anyone can know what they're agreeing to.

I may just have to walk away, and that's a shame, because it's a cute house and a good deal.

This post was edited by Violet.West on Sat, Dec 8, 12 at 10:11


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Stick to your guns!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

"Do people really put themselves in debt for 30 years without having an attorney review the contract? "

Depends on their experience level.

In many places the standard Board of Realtors contract is pretty comprehensive, but it is NOT used by builders.

Going without an attorney to a builder is probably not the safest thing for a first time buyer.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Sat, Dec 8, 12 at 13:07


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

we are going to get the title report, survey, and the warranties and look at them before I sign the contract. That's about the best we can do.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

That is good news. Have you been able to get a handle on this builder's reputation from people that built/bought from them?
This helps. Otherwise, it is hard to sort those honorable builders that treat people right but have been burned and abide by their attorneys contracts right or wrong, and those builders that use their contracts to take too much advantage.
Does this contract permit you a financing clause? If it does, that could help, as your lender is not typically going to lend unless there is clear title, an accurate survey if it was provided for in the contract, etc.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Good for you for sticking with it and not caving.

As the above poster mentioned, you won't get a mortgage without clear title. This will vary, but very few lenders require surveys these days. That maybe different for new construction. That's not to say you shouldn't want to see it, but just pointing out it's no longer a standard requirement from lenders.

Also, an FYI, the title maybe clear today, but it is simply a moment in time. It might not be clear a month or week from now. Your lender is likely to require it be updated just prior to closing.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Good for you Violet!

Before my husband and I married, we tried to buy a house using his VA benefit. That was .... maybe 1973. They wouldn't let us buy anything until we got married. Let's just say I appreciated the help! We got married (me 24 and he 29) and bought our first house a month after the wedding. We have been married 38 yr. so VA forcing the union wasn't a bad thing.

I think it great that you and your boss are working to get this done. If there is a problem, walking is the best way to address it.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Violet,
Good for you for being diligent.
I want to to tell you that the day I closed on my first house was one of the happiest days of my life - I know that sounds odd to some, but it was a huge accomplishment/milestone. It turned out to be a great business decision, as well as being very fulfilling. I wish you the same good fortune!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Don't forget to get a home inspection (and contigency in the contract)! New homes have problems, too.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

no contingencies in the contract for me -- that's the problem. My boss got the builder to agree to a pre-contract inspection, so that's scheduled to happen on Wed.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

inspection went really well -- signed purchase agreement today--hope to close in 30 days. thanks for all your encouragement!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Good luck.

You should have someone with construction experience walk though with you as many times as possible, especial if the place is still under construction.

Still pictures or even a movie of unfinished walls before sheet-rock is applied are valuable later on if you want to make changes.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Good for you VW. A very exciting and scary time I am sure. From what I have read here you are one smart cookie. It appears you have all the bases you can have covered well covered. Since your boss is also your legal representative I presume he or she may have done real estate transactions before and in my experience it's the lawyers staff that really does all the work on a deal so you most likely didn't go in blind.

I want to make a list one of these days as to how many houses and homes I have bought and sold since my first at the age of 19, a very long time ago. Believe it or not every deal still gives that unique high as the very first.

The process has become stale over the years but the close is the thrill still today.

Welcome to the club, I'm sure you will enjoy the benefits of membership. Weather this is your 1st and last or the first of many to come.

I am surprised that a builder on a tract house, hopefully soon to be your home, is not bending over backwards to close a deal, especially in todays market. Real estate has recovered somewhat but up here at least it is still a buyers market and for every month that goes by on an unsold house a builder has, his carrying costs are formidable. Donald Trump included. These builders often borrow from Peter to pay Paul in order to get to the next project. My 1st foray in the US market was a condo in south FLA. The legal requirements to close was like closing a deal on a used car here. No lawyer required, a title search and some paperwork the agent provided. I was somewhat skeptical but it all worked out.

If I asked you do you think you would sell the day after you closed if someone came up with an offer that you couldn't refuse would you?


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

I have been taking as many pics as I can. If you're interested (and it works here at GW, here's a link to some of them at photobucket):

http://s4.beta.photobucket.com/user/cloudlb/library/house

It's fully constructed, but there are other homes on the street which are still being built. I've walked through them (not really knowing what I'm seeing), but if I can, I'll take the opportunity to take pics of those, too.

my boss/legal advisor is an experienced real estate attorney with a specialty in construction law, which is why he was so protective of me. I think once we got past the initial level of sales people, they were willing to work with me. I pulled all the deed records, restrictions, plats, etc. from the public records, reviewed the title, the survey, the reputation of the builder and checked for lawsuits. All this is what I do for a living, anyway. I'm still taking a risk, but I've done all I could.

They're giving me $5200 in closing costs, a brand new house, new roof, energy efficient, front already landscaped, all appliances, including W/D. It's a decent deal, I think.

Life is a risk, anyway, and sometimes I think I'm crazy buying my first house in my mid 50s, but it's been a long standing dream. And I've lived for 15 years in apartment without a washer/dryer, so --YAY!

I'm trying not to get too excited beforehand (no counting chickens), as I'm know there are always hangups in the buying process. But I'm already planning my backyard landscape, because there's 1200 sf of dirt out there. I'm sure you'll see me on the garden and southwestern garden forums on here soon.

I'm thinking of putting out a crowdsource contest on arcbazar for the basic landscaping--it's a very cool website and idea. I'm no gardener -- at all, so it should be interesting.

Would I sell the day after if I were made "an offer I couldn't refuse?" Sure. There are other houses out there, and more being built all the time.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Violet, that is a very pretty, southwestern home. Great choice!

There has to be some garden clubs in the area. Search them out and members will help you with plant choices, design, etc. Talk to the County Extension Service (or whatever it's called in your area). Master gardeners, for a small fee, would help you design and select plants. There are a lot of ways to get help, but these are the first on the list. I'm a Master Gardener and I know they help others.

Good luck!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

there are master gardeners here--good tip!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

VW-I'm celebrating with you! I can feel your excitement from your posts. The home looks wonderful and your views are king!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

VW,
Good for you! I bought my first house at 50 years of age, not new construction but a bit of a fixer upper. So you are undoubtedly off to a better start than I was, but none the less it has been a lot of fun and one of the best things I ever did. I love being a home owner! Good luck to you.

Abbey


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

"my boss/legal advisor is an experienced real estate attorney with a specialty in construction law, which is why he was so protective of me."

I'm glad to read you have someone like him looking out for you. Our real estate buying process was aggravating. We went through the same song and dance about getting surveys etc. If our attorney hadn't done so much of the talking to the seller's people we wouldn't have made it to the finish line.

Having said that I'm excited for you! Bet your looking forward to all the 'first' things you will do once you get moved in. I know I did.

I took pics of the front of our place each month for the first year so I could compare how it looked during different seasons. I also keep the camera handy when we hire contractors. They seem to pay more attention when I'm taking their pic while they are doing the work! ;)

I think it might be useful for anyone we sell to down the road.

I also have a file with all the repairs, contractors, warranties handy so I can see what has been done, will need to be, etc.

Crossing my fingers for you that the closing will be smooth.


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

I signed my loan app and am in processing now. I understand this can be quite an aggravating process. Had to pay $500 for the appraisal :( . . . am shopping for insurance now.

really trying to keep my excitement level down --things keep popping into my head I want to "fix" and I know I won't be able to afford to for a while;

and trying to keep and my anxiety level down, too! for now! Also, not looking forward to moving out of the place I've been living in for the past ten years!

I appreciate all your encouraging words and tips. Very helpful to have comments from people who've been through it!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

got the word today from my lender that my loan has final approval and they are sending the docs to the title company! Woo -- I think I'm pretty cleared to close on Jan. 11.

After reading so many horror stories about lenders, I was surprised -- they didn't really ask me for any further documentation other than the insurance binder. It's a conventional loan with my credit union -- they're a machine!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Good luck!


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Updated! About to make an offer for my first ever home

Just a note to let you know I have closed on my home (Jan. 11) and am moved in! The whole process (except for the negotiating around the builder's contract) went very smoothly and fast.

My back and I are not on speaking terms, and I can't find a darn thing, but my lovely new house is awesome!

I did a blessing and cleansing with salt, smoke (sage) and rum. Very special. And watching my cats investigate every corner and surface was hilarious!

So happy. And exhausted!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Congratulations!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Congratulations! You must feel so proud to be a homeowner. When you unpack the camera, you will need to post some pictures. And mosey on over to the home decorating forum, those fine folks over there would be happy to help you spend your money ;)


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

oh, yeah, I have lots of pictures. And lots of ideas!


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

Congratulations!! So very happy for you. I wish you much happiness.

Jane


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RE: About to make an offer for my first ever home

a little overwhelmed -- still unpacking! I don't think I've lived in a single family home since 1979! I find myself nesting in the inner corners, lol!

Nice to play my music as loud as I want, though.


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