Author Topic: Buying House (what to look for, any advice, regrets etc)  (Read 1553 times)


  • Bristles
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Buying House (what to look for, any advice, regrets etc)
« on: January 12, 2017, 03:12:32 PM »
So I've found a place that I am very likely to be putting an offer in on after a 2nd look with some extra people to accompany me who are a little more knowledgeable and experienced.

There will also be an actual inspection afterwards however,

What are the major things you would be looking for and asking about at this point?

Are there any major things that you overlooked and wish you wouldn't have?


  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Location: NJ
Re: Buying House (what to look for, any advice, regrets etc)
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 12:02:09 PM »
We lucked out with our first (and only, so far) house.

Things I would check in the future, apart from the obvious such as real estate taxes, school district etc.

1) Google maps - when looking at the aerial view in satellite mode, how close are you to major highways? Are there train tracks nearby? Is there an airport/airfield nearby, and if so, will you have planes flying over your house?

2) Orientation. Our house faces north, which is perfect for us, as our daytime living areas are in the back of the house, and get sunlight all winter long, which saves a lot on heating bills.

3) A good home inspection, obviously. We bought our house from my in-laws, and I knew going into it that there were issues that needed fixing, but if it had been another seller, those were things I would have wanted fixed up front, before the sale (or a decrease in the house price so that we could fix it ourselves).

4) Check the traffic. There's a reason realtors have open houses on Sundays. I would pick a weekday morning and/or evening and go park in the street to see what kind of thru traffic you get. We have a few streets in our neighborhood that are used at rush hour by people who are bypassing the traffic lights on the main road. I've seen people move in and then complain on FB about speeders, etc.

5) If you can, talk to the neighbors. When our neighbors moved out, we talked to the new buyers, and were able to tell them that the house had been perfectly maintained, and which roofing company had done the roof (because I plan on using the same company in a few years).

6) If you have the DIY Network, check out the Holmes Buy it Right show. He brings up a lot of issues that people generally don't notice, some minor, some major. It can be as simple as having an electrical switch within reach of the shower, or foundation issues due to water damage. Well worth a look if you can record and skip the commercials, etc.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Buying House (what to look for, any advice, regrets etc)
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2017, 02:23:27 AM »

There will also be an actual inspection afterwards however,

...inspection after the offer? Or after the sale has finalized?

I would pay the best inspector you can to inspect it right after the offer is in.

Other things to review...

1. If this is in an HOA neighborhood, go to the Board Meetings. See what people complain about and what kind of discussions they have. What is the state of their budget? Do they foresee HOA dues going up in the next 3-5 years?

2. If 1 is true, find out who the management company is. Call them and get a copy of the Bylaws and CC&Rs. These can be really convoluted and very difficult to change in a large HOA community.

3. If not in an HOA, I second Dave1442397's advice. Talk to the neighbors. Drive by weekdays and weekends during the day and night.

4. Look on Turn the offender filter on, and look at crimes in the area for the past 6 months.

5. See if you can get your realtor to request a homeowner's warranty in the offer. Usually they run between $350-500 and cover HVAC, appliances, electrical and plumbing. You might have a deductible of about $75.

6. If you're wondering how well the property is priced, call an insurance agent and ask them what the max they'll cover the house for is. That'll tell you if it's over or undervalued.

7. I would also call the utility companies to get a rough idea what the utilities will cost. A friend of mine and her husband found out upon moving into a new house that their gas bill was going to be 4x compared to their previous place.

8. Get multiple quotes from multiple lenders.

9. Think about how much you want to put down. You have to balance monthly payment vs. liquidity of the cash you put down. The down payment is the highest risk money in real estate.

Good luck and I hope it works out for you!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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    • The Hidden Green
Re: Buying House (what to look for, any advice, regrets etc)
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 10:04:02 AM »
Best move here is get FrugalVagabond's ebook for $5. Read over the purchasing section, and, if you follow the checklist, you'll be hard pressed to get screwed.

Can't recommend this ebook enough. Absolutely amazing content