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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/23/2005 4:26:18 AM EDT
Guys, we are looking for our first house. It is a little overwhelming and I was hoping there was some good info on the web or in a book that I can show Mrs.ByteTheBullet to help. Our Realtor is/seems fine, he is new too. We actually put an offer on a house but after a couple counters the guy just didn't want to budge and wouldn't accept our offer. We just are not sure of what exactly to expect; from our agent or/nor the sellers. I have called some of my siblings and they have been helpful and the in-laws may be coming in to assist. We just kinda want to do it on our own as much as possible.

Thanks,
ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:00:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 5:01:26 AM EDT by j3_]
Do not close untill you have given it a GOOD inspection. Consider getting a home inspection done. Look at everything then look again. It you want it you better get it written in the contract. If you expect anything to be there or be left by the seller get it on the contract. Anything not fixed by the closing may never get fixed. Go at night a few times late and listen to what background noises you here.
Look for out of level floors. Do the doors all close properly. Water stains on the ceilings. Water damage in the cabinets. Drawers and doors work on everything. Age of roof, appliances, AC and heater. Water problems and drainage problems under the house and yard. Termite contract. Home warranty. Too many things to list.
Then buy what the wife tells you to or you will reget it way more the the headache of fixing things.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:32:58 AM EDT
Ok, great start, especially the last line...We have almost all of that covered, it is good to hear, we seem to be on the right track. I have insisted that we have one point of contact(the wife) from the agent so that signals do not get crossed and confused. That may be part of why she is feeling overwhelmed. I help though...no, really...I do.


ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:34:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By j3_:
Consider getting a home inspection done.

I'll go one better than this - ALWAYS get a home inspection performed on the house. Don't just consider it, do it. It shouldn't be an option in your mind.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:50:58 AM EDT
Yup, that is one of our 'must haves'.

How about some advice on the making offers and such? Anyone? How many offers/counter-offers is normal?

ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 8:19:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By the_reject:

Originally Posted By j3_:
Consider getting a home inspection done.

I'll go one better than this - ALWAYS get a home inspection performed on the house. Don't just consider it, do it. It shouldn't be an option in your mind.



And I'll expound on this a bit.

Find your own inspector, and not one that the realtor suggests or the homeowner/builder.

Lots of times the inspector is hooked up with the builder and passes houses that would not get passed otherwise.


You also want to keep up on the materials used in the build. OSB or plywood floors? What the stud/joist spacing in the walls/floors?

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 9:32:20 AM EDT

How about some advice on the making offers and such? Anyone? How many offers/counter-offers is normal?


The number of offers depends on you and the seller. You may want to consider calling the seller and discussing some things outside of the realtor. It makes it a little more personable. Takes out the paperwork back and forth thing that some people dont like. You never know exactly what the realtor says unless you are sitting right there. I have seen it in the past when people dont like the realtor they are less likely to deal on the house.

Houses in general are selling so good right now that some sellers are stingy and think there homes are worth more than they really are.

Obviously you like the house since you made an offer. Don't let yourself go into the "you gotta have it" mode. If you think your counters were fair, then maybe give it time. If the seller doesn't get any good response in the next week or two, I bet they might change their mind on your offer. Or it could sell to the next person. You just dont know.

Good luck. I was never so nervous as I was when I signed that freakin loan on my first house. Too many zeros on the end of that number.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 1:29:51 PM EDT
Get the book "home buying for dummies". It might be called house buying for dummies.

Just remember that the realtor is technically an agent of the seller, that's who pays their commission. Do not let them negotiate for you, and remember that the less you pay = the less they earn. +/- $1000 on a price isn't going to matter much to them, but $10,000 will.

Get a GOOD inspection. Don't get one of these rubber stamp guys the developers use for new home code inspections. The first house I bought the guy had 20+ years as a contractor and 5+ years of home inspection. I knew exactly what the issues with the structure were.

Get a better agent with more experience. You're paying a lot in the purchase price to cover their fees, might as well get good value for the money.

Here's another hint: start looking at lower prices than you can afford and move up in price until you find properties that are maintainable, safe, have quality neighbors, good schools and enough space to do your stuff. Remember you can always fix a house, you cannot fix a broken neighborhood. Watch out for the signs of a neighborhood in a downward transition.



Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:12:23 PM EDT
I think you need to be more involved in the process...
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:41:08 PM EDT
Where are you looking to buy a house? I know someone who is selling there house in Stockbrigde off of 138. And it is a good buy too.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:38:16 PM EDT
Don't trust the realtor unless you are related, and never use a relative as a realtor. Good luck meeting those criteria. Seriously though, as someone stated before, when it comes to making offers and counter offers, don't listen to the agent, and be prepared to walk away from the table.

I disagree that the housing market (on the sellers side) is that great right now in GA. It certainly depends on what are you are looking in, but most houses are listed for more than the fair market price (obviously). There are a lot of people that cannot sell at the price they think they deserve, and so they are renting. It is a great time to buy a house. If you can find a house being sold by a relocation company, or by someone being relocated for work, you can probably get a good deal righ now.

And again, don't use your agents' inspector or mortgage company. IM me if you want a reputable mortgage company, and/or if you get tired of your existing realtor.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 8:38:39 PM EDT
Ok, as far as Agent/Realtor, there is a difference. A Realtor has to take more classes every year to maintain that "Realtor" designation. All agents/Realtors are somewhat governed by the Ga Real Estate Commission. If you have doubts about your agent, call the commission and see if there have been any problems with this certain agent. I would pick a Realtor if I were you, and one that works as a "Buyer's Agent", they represent you, not the Seller. If it makes you feel more comfortable, call one of the big firms.. ReMax, Prudendtial, Century 21, something like that. They generally have interoffice training that they have to follow that is more stronger that what the state requires. If you are using a good agent/Realtor, usually the mortgage lender that they recommend is a good bet. They know the lender on a more business sense and generally know if they are going to be able to take the package to the Closing Table! So many small, no name mortgage companies that promise the world to you and when you get to the closing table, there is NO Closing package from the lender. Now you, your agent, the Seller, their agent and the Closing Attorney are pissed that they have all wasted their time for a no name mortgage company that had a "good" rate.

As far as the home inspector, if you are buying a New Home from a Builder, I personally think a home inspector is a waste of money. The County inspects the house a minimum of 4 times during the building process to make sure everything is within County Code. If buying a re-sale home, find a home inspector the has many years background in the building business. There are so many people out there that take a week long class and POOF! they are a Home Inspector. Last week they were changing oil at the Quick-Lube, now they inspect homes.


What part of town are you looking to buy in? New or re-sale? IM me with the name of the builder that you find a deal on (if you are going the new home route). I know a lot of builders out there in the metro area and maybe I can steer you away from certain builders if I can.

GlockSpeed31 -
Currently Project Manager for a Drywall Contractor (2 1/2 years)
Former Real Estate Realtor (3 1/2 years)


Link Posted: 8/24/2005 3:32:48 AM EDT
We are looking for an existing house(not new build), we are looking in the NW'ish area with the Cobb/Paulding line as a general cut off, down to around Douglasville. We have a Metro Broker Realtor that I have known for a while. We have called around to a few inspectors and we are talking to two different mortgage guys. Oh, and a few family members that have experience have been consulted.

Uh, Bradd_D, involve this...

Thanks for all the great info.


ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 3:37:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 3:58:11 AM EDT by j3_]
Just a note. Home builders in Georgia are not required to take a state exam to build homes. They may or may not know anything about home construction other than getting the money from a bank and calling sub contractors. Also there are no state requirements I know of for building and mechanical inspectors in Georgia to be tested and licensed other than what a local area may require for employement. Some of the mechanical trades require a state tested license but only one person with the company that qualifies it must have a license and it is doubtful they will show up on the job. I heard some of the home inspection people attend a short class then go in buisness through some sort of franchise but most I have seen did have a developed program to go by to search for defects. Also home inspectors have the ability to comment on items that are not governed by building codes that may be issuses that concern you. Local inspectors can only cite items that are direct violations of adopted building codes. Building codes are minimum codes for safety. The home inspector will most likely spend more time looking at the structure than a local inspector who has a day full of inspections located over a large area.

<­BR>

Link Posted: 8/24/2005 10:59:00 AM EDT
Yeah, the inspector we like says he will take about 3 hours to do the job.

Keep the great advice coming!!! Thanks all, again.


ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 12:12:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 12:14:16 PM EDT by BeetleBailey]
Get an inspector that is not linked to your realty agent in order to secure a non-biased opinion.

I was pleased with Countrywide for our loan, their online account info is excellent and they don't charge a loan origination fee.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 3:59:59 PM EDT
go to www.clarkhoward.com

he is a damn good consumer/real estate advocate with tons of advice and resources on do's and dont's.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:18:14 PM EDT
Byte......being a homebuilder myself and in the residential construction trade since I started working,J3 offers good advice. Sounds like he's been there,done that and got the T-shirt. If there is any assistance I can offer,feel free to email me and I'll be glad to help. When selecting a home inspector.....I highly urge you to get one that is a member of ASHI and/or GAHI. Both websites offer a ton of info on how to choose a good inspector with excellent credentials in your area. New home inspections are pretty simple. You definitley need to search for an experienced and seasoned inspector when it comes to resale properties. Good luck on finding your investment.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:28:24 PM EDT
You, may also want to shop for a good lawyer who is not connected to the realtor when the time comes to sign on the dotted line to do all of the title and lean search requirements. This can save headaches down the road, and they can be of assistance in insuring that your escrow account is set up appropriately so everyone who needs to get paid is getting paid.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:56:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SSN_Doc:
You, may also want to shop for a good lawyer who is not connected to the realtor when the time comes to sign on the dotted line to do all of the title and lean search requirements. This can save headaches down the road, and they can be of assistance in insuring that your escrow account is set up appropriately so everyone who needs to get paid is getting paid.



In Georgia, the Closing Attorney does not work for the Seller or Buyer, they work for the mortgage company/bank. Also there is no "Escrow" like in other states that hold everyone's money for days. Once both parties sign everything the Attorney has, generally the Attorney faxes certain paperwork to the lender, then they "Fund" the closing. Meaning thoses that need a check, the Attorney writes them a check from their account, keys are exchanged and everyone usually walks away happy. It is rare that a closing doesn't "Fund" within a couple days. In the 3 years that I worked as a Realtor, I had over 50 closings, I had 1 that didn't "Fund". And that was because the Buyer wanted to use a "No-Name Mortgage Company", instead of one of the 3 lenders that I worked with every day, that I knew they would tell me if we needed to even schedule a closing.

One thing I will tell you you need to have. TITLE INSURANCE!!! It cost a few hundred dollars, can be added into your loan. This is really important especially buying a re-sale. Title Insurance is a protection for your Title incase there is a long lost family member that knocks on your front door and tries to lay claim to your land/home. You tell them to contact your Title Insurance company and they work everything out. It will save you thousands of dollars you will have to pay an Attorney to try to protect you.

If you have any questions, feel free to IM or email me and I will try to help how I can.

GlockSpeed31
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:57:58 PM EDT
I'm in IT but I started building houses with my brother in law and his brother in 2002. They do real good work so i have some good people to learn from.

first home inspectors.. lots of wannabees or teachers who quit their job a year ago or failed builders. They take a few thousand dollars worth of classes, join a society, and then do cookie cutter inspections. Believe me I know. They all say basically the same things. They know some code and not others. YOu can get the code books for less than 100$. And few know all the details. They all do 3 hour jobs it seems.

Example, once a framing crew is done and the sheet rock guys come in, how is your inspector gonna know about the quality fo the frameing (knots in wood, notching, how the electrical system was done etc? Did your guy ijnspect at each phase.. like a county inspector or did he come in at the end right before closing?

I just bought a home about 3 years ago. Small and cheap.. all i need. but i used an inspector that has been doing it for many years, graduated from tech with structural engeering degree and does 10mill dollar house to. an certified engineer. this is what i would look for in an inspector...

paulding/cobb. we build right on the line. cobb is better for schools/resale. paulding has lots of extra homes for sale. in cobb you pay more.

about home prices. at least in cobb you can search records, deeds, and tax records on a perspective street to see EXACTLY what people are paying for houses in an area.

agents. an agent on you side (there always is one on the seller side) is your agent. a good one can help you out. they have to split with the seller's agent. but that agent is on your side (hopefully).

Link Posted: 8/24/2005 6:00:15 PM EDT
Thanks guys for all the great info and offers! I may just have to take some of you up on it.


ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 6:50:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 6:54:39 PM EDT by j3_]

You can get the code books for less than 100$.

Been a while since you bought a code book? The books for these test are over 100 for each one.


Last, First MI: J........... III
Certified under
this name: J...................... III
City, State:.............., GA
Certification Type(s): Commercial Building Inspector (expires 8/14/07)
Commercial Electrical Inspector (expires 2/06/07)
Electrical Plans Examiner (expires 2/06/07)
Mechanical Inspector (expires 2/06/07)
Mechanical Plans Examiner (expires 3/13/07)
Plumbing Inspector (expires 2/06/07)
Plumbing Plans Examiner (expires 2/06/07)
Residential Combination Inspector (expires 2/06/07)
Residential Electrical Inspector (expires 2/06/07)

Link Posted: 8/24/2005 7:06:54 PM EDT
j3.......you work for Paulding County?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 7:20:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 7:23:28 PM EDT by j3_]
No I am with a local gov. in SC. South Carolina requires inspectors to be tested, certified, and registered with the state. They also require continuing ed hours or they pull your registration and the city or county has to put you doing something else or put you in the road. Home builders are tested and licensed also. I believe the state requires home inspectors to be tested and licensed in South Carolina now also.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 2:24:10 AM EDT
Get an inspection, but do one yourself as well. Get on the roof, and walk around . If you feel soft spots as you walk, the roof structure is worn out and needs re decking and new shingles, (big bux).

Roofs here last less than 10 years before new shingles are needed, if not done, re decking will be required by 15 years. A quick fix done by sellers is a overlay job, just re-shingling over worn out roof. OSB is not your friend when it comes to roof structure.

If on a crawl space, get a flashlight and spend an hour under the house. Look for rat turds, funky wiring, wet insulation, pooling water, mold, etc.

Get in the attic and look for the same stuff as in the crawl space.

Get sq ft of house, and check the size of the heat pump/AC. Many are undersized here in GA. Stay the hell away from window units, very inefficient.

Elect water heaters are about 8 year lifetime here, gas 12 to 20 year.

My AC guy tells me efficiency of heatpumps degrade 5% a year, so figure you need some work if more than 12 years old.

Look at how the lot drains, and where the drainfield is if on septic system. Get size of the tank (this is on file at the health dept that issues septic system permits. If 1000 gal and has a disposal, the tank is too small.

Check pressure and flow on the water. Is it a well? if so, pumps average 12 years before need repair/replace.

Gool Luck

Figure on a new refrigerator.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 4:30:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 4:32:27 AM EDT by 00bullitt]
J3.....the law here in Georgia passed that requires homebuilders to be licensed. The state just does not have the testing and licensing board in place. I'm not sure of the grandfather date that excludes you from testing though. I went ahead and took all my classes preparing for the day the testing board is in place.BTW....those are some nice creds.

ARWrench........as far as OSB goes,its what 99%of the roofs are decked with nowadays. It is good material.CDX is way expensive and a thing of the past and has the same problems that OSB does when damaged. A good roof and flashing job will protect the OSB from swelling,buckling,and delamination. Soft spots in roofs can also be caused from unsupported seams in the plywood not breaking on the rafters properly and left unsupported. A couple 14 3/4" 2x4's nailed under can fix that.Other than the OSB,your info is great.

Byte.......I personally would stay away from a truss roof house and only buy a stick built roof. Truss is an engineered product that usually gets spaced on 24" centers and stick is still built as the house is constructed out of 2x6 and 2x8 nominal cut lumber and spaced 16" on center. Truss roofs are not "Bad" just would not be a preference of mine if I had a choice for my personal house.Truss floors are fine. More than likely they will be 24" on center which is fine but 19.2 would be a little more rigid. Chances are they will be 24" so do not let that bother you.Alot of builders(myself included)still use 2x10 floors. They are fine,but only if span limitations are not exceeded and proper grade of lumber is used where specified. Theres really so much I could confuse you with,I'll just stop now.Oh yeah,nobody has mentioned to take lots of pics.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 4:45:48 AM EDT
Good advice. Many people are not comfortable with crawling in attics and crawl spaces. Heres a list of common things I see.
Electrical: Open splices with no boxes, covers , or cable connectors. Ceiling fans and light fixtures hung with no box above them only open splice in the attic. Conductors with the wrong size overcurrent device. Conductors sized incorrectly for the load of the equipment or branch circuit they service. Cables added in boxes and panels with no cable connectors. Bond screws and straps missing from service equipment. Subfed panels installed incorrectly with the wrong type wiring methods and the grounding and bonding done incorrectly. Taps connected incorrectly under main services lugs of the service panel. Wrong type wiring methods used outdoors. Cables unsupported under the structure. Wrong style overcurrent devices used in the panel boards. Boxes, devices, and equipment incorrectly grounded or not grounded at all. Open spaces in panel covers. Splices made in conductors incorrectly with no mechanical connection. Single conductor wiring ran without being enclosed in a raceway. Devices plates missing. Broken devices and fixtures. Equipment that requires an individual branch circuit being fed from a general use branch circuit.
Deteriorated cables at the service and meter base area outside. Equipment not properly mounted.
Grounding style receptacles installed incorrectly on older wiring systems where no ground is available. Panel breakers not labeled for what they supply. Materials used incorrectly for the appliacation they were designed for.
Tired of typing.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 9:05:12 AM EDT
I am a licensed real estate salesperson. Note I didn't say realtor. The realtor designation has absolutely nothing to do with experience or training. You get the realtor designation by joining the National Association of Realtors through your local board ($350/year for the Gwinnett board) and pledging to treat people honestly, fairly, etc. Basically, Realtors are expected to follow the golden rule. I didn't pay my dues this year, so I am not a realtor. My license is currently parked in a holding company.

Here is the skinny on buyer's agency. By law, the only way they become YOUR agent is by you signing a buyer's agency agreement. The agreement is between you and their broker, not you and the salesperson/Realtor. Ask about the broker's policy if you decide you don't like the agent you are using and want to break the agreement. My previous broker let us make the decision as to whether we wanted to break the agreement. He would do whatever the agent wanted to do. The smart brokers have a similar policy because they don't want to have good will with their clients and former clients.

The following is a list of things to consider for the folks on the board when buying a house. I am not intending this as advice since I am not your agent, and do not want to interfere with any existing agency relationship.

Things to consider:
1. get the home inspected by someone holding a GAHI and/or ASHI certifications
2. if you are buying a new home, make sure the inspector has the CABO certification as well
3. if the home is stucco, make sure they have the stucco certification. If the home has stucco, make sure you get the stucco inspected, or better yet ask the home owner to do it, since it costs as much as the home inspection.
4. Use a buyer's agent
5. Ask questions, your agent has a lot of information that can be helpful to you
6. When you go to make an offer, ask your realtor for a market analysis of the type of home in the area, but use your judgement
7. Listen to your wife, because you will never, ever hear the end of it
8. If you sign anything in a new subdivision w/o your agent being present, you will cut him/her out of the deal, and they won't be able to help you or negotiate for you. In addition, you may still owe your agent a commission which you will have to pay out of pocket. Many builders DO NOT want you to use an agent, and they DO NOT want you to have inspection clauses written into the sales contract.

That's my 2 cents, hope it was helpful.

p.s. I am not soliciting business. I am not your agent, and cannot give you advice.

p.p.s. there is a ton of good info. in the previous posts

Link Posted: 8/25/2005 1:14:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 1:18:45 PM EDT by j3_]

2. if you are buying a new home, make sure the inspector has the CABO certification as well



CABO is no more. It is the ICC now. Internationl Code Council. They do the test and certifications. Their test are more difficult than the old CABO One and Two fFamily Dwelling test.


J3.....the law here in Georgia passed that requires homebuilders to be licensed.


Good. I took the South Carolina homebuilders test and passeed it but never bought a license. Guess I will see how good the Georgia one is when they start it.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 1:42:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 00bullitt:


ARWrench........as far as OSB goes,its what 99%of the roofs are decked with nowadays. It is good material.CDX is way expensive and a thing of the past and has the same problems that OSB does when damaged. A good roof and flashing job will protect the OSB from swelling,buckling,and delamination. Soft spots in roofs can also be caused from unsupported seams in the plywood not breaking on the rafters properly and left unsupported. A couple 14 3/4" 2x4's nailed under can fix that.Other than the OSB,your info is great.




Respectfully disagree.

OSB is an economy grade product, and does not have near the lifespan of CDX. OSB is used more today because it is cheap, and no one sees it once installed. Nails don't hold as well.

I am on 12 to 20 year roofs on a daily basis, and OSB is a product that keeps roofers in business with recurring income.

As a further note on inspecting an oolder house, look for "homeowner repairs", especially elect. repairs. They are rarely done to code, and many are unsafe. Personally, I would avoid houses wired with anything smaller than 12 ga wire, but that is hard to find in moderately priced houses.
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