Buying a House in one page (for entertainment only)
Finding a house:
- Location, location, location. Houses can often be changed, but location, school district, yard can’t be changed. Buy for location
- Find houses on redfin.com or zillow.com
- Don’t use a buyer’s agent. If you know what you’re doing, work directly with the seller’s agent - this way, they get more commission (and will work to make the deal happen)
- Educate yourself about how much a house is worth; use sales within the last 6 months of comparable houses (“comps”).
- Lowball is 20% below a comp (based on sales)
- Remember, an offer isn’t binding until a contract is signed; that cuts both ways
- Try to check your emotions at the door; it took us > 10 offers to get a house; don’t be stupid w/ a high offer price
- Get a good inspector; inspection takes 4 hours, costs around $750
- What to watch out for differs by region, but some biggies are:
- Mold: Check for good, working gutters; check for lack of moisture in attic and basement, check for good bathroom venting
- Termites: Check for chewed up wood outside the house
- Oil tank: Ensure it’s not in-ground
- Radon: mainly Jersey
- Get a good lawyer. The terms matter, a lot. Should be around ~$1500
- You need a downpayment, so start saving. These days, it’s 20%.
- ARMs are scary - know what you’re doing for those. Otherwise, 15yr or 30yr fixed are your best bet
- Closing costs are expensive and can run > $10k
After all this, pop a bottle and enjoy the closing!