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Author Topic: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?  (Read 3398 times)

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Danismom

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2012, 12:53:39 PM »
check out daveramsey.com  He has some great advice on home buying and selling. 

We are moving soon and searching for a new home.  Here are some of the things we are reminding ourselves as we go:
1) there's a lot about a house you can change after you take possession.  Don't like the paint color.  That can be changed.  Carpets need replacing?  That can be done.  But make sure you include the cost of any repairs you plan to make in what you are considering as the "price" of the home. 

2) You can't change ugly bones.  If the house has a bad design/layout, you can't change that without major renovation.  Don't buy a house that has ugly bones. 

3) Landscaping can be a clue to the seller's state of mind.  If the landscaping is overgrown/unattractive, the seller may be in more of a hurry to sell or is often more likely to accept a lower price for the home.   A little work can go a long way into building curb appeal. 

Think about HGTV's show on selling homes (I can't remember the name of it).  The seller puts $2000 into sprucing up the appearance of their home and usually gets far more back in the offers received after the fixes than they were getting before. 

still in va

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2012, 01:06:13 PM »
We are moving soon and searching for a new home.  Here are some of the things we are reminding ourselves as we go:
1) there's a lot about a house you can change after you take possession.  Don't like the paint color.  That can be changed.  Carpets need replacing?  That can be done.  But make sure you include the cost of any repairs you plan to make in what you are considering as the "price" of the home. 

this so very much.  we worked with a stager to make our home as attractive and "neutral" as possible before putting it on the market, trying to get rid of anything that the majority of buyers might find a turn-off.  our realtor told us a couple of stories about buyers who were so focused on things that didn't convey that they would not consider what could have been the perfect house. 

in one instance, the downstairs bathroom was the last room to be viewed before heading upstairs.  they never made it upstairs.  the female buyer took one look at the shower curtain, and refused to go any further on the tour. 

in the second, when they pulled up to the next house on the list, the buyer compared her two spreadsheets, found this address on the "no way no how" list and refused to step foot in the house.  the reason?  she didn't like the bed treatments in the master bedroom when she viewed the on-line listing.

in both cases, the houses had absolutely everything on the buyers' "must have" lists, and a good amount of features on the "nice to have" lists.  they were so focused on items that didn't even convey that they didn't pay attention to the bones of the house.

so when you're looking, don't pay attention to what the seller is going to be taking with them anyway.  you won't be living with the hideous striped couch if you buy the house.

Danismom

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2012, 01:16:09 PM »
We are moving soon and searching for a new home.  Here are some of the things we are reminding ourselves as we go:
1) there's a lot about a house you can change after you take possession.  Don't like the paint color.  That can be changed.  Carpets need replacing?  That can be done.  But make sure you include the cost of any repairs you plan to make in what you are considering as the "price" of the home. 

this so very much.  we worked with a stager to make our home as attractive and "neutral" as possible before putting it on the market, trying to get rid of anything that the majority of buyers might find a turn-off.  our realtor told us a couple of stories about buyers who were so focused on things that didn't convey that they would not consider what could have been the perfect house. 

in one instance, the downstairs bathroom was the last room to be viewed before heading upstairs.  they never made it upstairs.  the female buyer took one look at the shower curtain, and refused to go any further on the tour. 

in the second, when they pulled up to the next house on the list, the buyer compared her two spreadsheets, found this address on the "no way no how" list and refused to step foot in the house.  the reason?  she didn't like the bed treatments in the master bedroom when she viewed the on-line listing.

in both cases, the houses had absolutely everything on the buyers' "must have" lists, and a good amount of features on the "nice to have" lists.  they were so focused on items that didn't even convey that they didn't pay attention to the bones of the house.

so when you're looking, don't pay attention to what the seller is going to be taking with them anyway.  you won't be living with the hideous striped couch if you buy the house.

This is one of the reasons we plan to empty our house as soon as possible.  We don't want our things distracting potential buyers!

WillyNilly

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2012, 02:06:32 PM »
I would say one thing I never see people advise but that makes a huge difference to me - be mindful of the direction the house and yard face.  [In North America] a north facing house will have a sunny backyard and a shady front yard - great if you have a pool or like to garden, a bit more work if you will have to shovel the front walk often in the winter.  Likewise a south facing home will have a sunny front yard and a shady backyard.  And then where are the bedrooms - if you like to sleep late, you might not appreciate a eastern facing master bedroom window, but if you love to cook and work full time, you might love a western facing kitchen window for the evening sun.

kareng57

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2012, 03:05:29 PM »
When you're strongly considering a particular house - it's a good idea to visit the city/municipal hall to see what the future plans might be in the area.  You never know - the quiet dead-end street might be earmarked as a future major arterial road.  Or, there could be plans to build a large apartment complex in the attractive greenbelt in back of the property.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2012, 03:28:14 PM »
WillyNilly, that's a good point.  I never considered that when I bought my home.  Bedside Manor faces east and the master bedroom (the only bedroom actually) has a larger window at the front of the house, as does the living room.  I love having my morning coffee/breakfast sitting in the sun coming in the living room window, and my bathroom at the back of the house has a large window as well, facing west, and I love stepping out of the shower into a sunbeam in the late afternoon/early evening after work.
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Lynnv

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2012, 04:23:42 PM »
I would say one thing I never see people advise but that makes a huge difference to me - be mindful of the direction the house and yard face.  [In North America] a north facing house will have a sunny backyard and a shady front yard - great if you have a pool or like to garden, a bit more work if you will have to shovel the front walk often in the winter.  Likewise a south facing home will have a sunny front yard and a shady backyard.  And then where are the bedrooms - if you like to sleep late, you might not appreciate a eastern facing master bedroom window, but if you love to cook and work full time, you might love a western facing kitchen window for the evening sun.

Definitely!  Especially if you live in a place where either heat or snow are issues.

Our house faces east.  All the houses in our area that face north get too much shade to really melt snow well.  As a result, they can have ice in their driveways upwards of a week after it has melted off of all the east/west/south facing driveways.  And if our house faced south, then the back porch would never really be in sun.  Which might be nice in July, but also might mean I would be less happy about grilling in mid-winter.  In the case of our houses, the bedrooms are on the back, so east facing is great.  The big sunny mornings aren't happening in our bedroom.  :> 
Lynn

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buvezdevin

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2012, 04:52:16 PM »
Now that satellite pictures are readily available on line, check out an aerial view of the property and surroundings before making an offer, or before viewing a house.  Even though you may drive, or walk a neighborhood, it may not be readily apparent what is the actual proximity to commercial properties, railroad tracks, a football or baseball field which may have bright lights and noise, etc. 

For a neighborhood or property you may be considering, drive through at different times of the day and evening to see what traffic is like at rush hour, and what the level of activity is generally - it can vary significantly through the course of a day.

A Google map search can also identify how close any thing may be which you may want ready access to, grocery stores, shops, restaurants, public transportation.

Think about what you want now, and try to envision what you may want in a few years, so you look at houses with an eye to how well they will work for you longer term, or could be adapted in future.

Think of what you have liked, or not liked in any place you've lived or stayed - little things like having enough well-placed electrical outlets can have a significant impact on how you place your furnishings, and use things daily.

Have fun, and sending best wishes!
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2012, 04:56:31 PM »
Now that satellite pictures are readily available on line, check out an aerial view of the property and surroundings before making an offer, or before viewing a house.  Even though you may drive, or walk a neighborhood, it may not be readily apparent what is the actual proximity to commercial properties, railroad tracks, a football or baseball field which may have bright lights and noise, etc.

This is a really good idea!  I live quite close to my city's landfill; I didn't realize how close until after I bought the place.  Turns out, the wind direction isn't normally going my way so it isn't a problem.  However, the chicken farm about 5 miles away?  Much more of an odour issue.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
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GreenEyedHawk

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Re: S/O Of Etiquette for Homebuyers - Advice for a first-timer?
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2012, 05:15:28 PM »
My mom advised me that at every house I looked at, I should take some time outside and just sit...on the front porch, back deck, whatever, and just listen.  Listen to the neighbourhood sounds.

Do you hear things like kids playing, neighbours chatting?  Do you hear shouting, screaming, sirens, gunshots? (all of the latter were common in my old neighbourhood.)  Do you hear music, partying, arguing?  It'll give you at least somewhat of an idea of what the neighbourhood is like, or if there's something the neighbours do that would drive you nuts.  For example, I'd be put off by someone nearby having a dog that barks incessantly, or neighbours that have screaming arguments.
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