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If you plan to use a Realtor, it is a personality fit, so interview a few and don't feel guilty about firing them if it doesn't work out. Find one that you believe will be able to tell you the bad news, and that will allow you to view the homes you want to view versus the ones they want to view. I work with a lot of first-time Buyers and most require more in-depth education than the internet provides. 

When looking at homes, the amenities you see in the first 10 seconds make everyone feel good, but are just that. Remember it is hard to change the neighbors, the traffic amount, and structural condition of the home. Everyone "plans" on upgrading the windows, landscaping, kitchen and bathrooms, though few get it done in less than 5 years. What to know the pipes? Look under the kitchen sink.

When walking a house, look up above your head and look down by your feet a lot, you will find lots of imperfections. The amenities we see between our eyeballs and our knees are where most of the "upgrades" are.

Just be aware.

Steve (and yes I am a Realtor in PDX, OR-Vanc, WA area).

S

@Steve Awesome advice! Looking at every nook and cranny of a home is definitely a must of ALL home-buyers, not just the first-timers. Since you're a realtor, have you seen any of these buyer habits change because of the pandemic? (Are people buying houses faster, and sometimes ignoring the things you listed, because of the "speed" of the market, etc.?) 

N
Last edited by Nathan_Gregory

I advocate that Buyers smell the homes. Give it a sniff-test, or if considering remotely, have a Realtor do that and then showcase it through video phone call. Pictures do NOT tell the whole story. Pictures and video does not display a mold or smoke smell, or showcase the "aroma" of pet smells. 

Most pictures are showcased to highlight a property, not it's defects. On a recent tour I did for a rural home. It took me a while to find the driveway, which was a single-car width driveway with 45 degree angle drop-offs on either side. Then there was no lighting, and the grade was at least 40 degrees, of mud, and 200 feet long. There were no pictures of the egress.  Buyer was concerned how it would be once the rains started. Lol. A slip and slide!

Buyers are not really moving faster in my market, they are just more forgiving of defects because there is so little supply (this is the bigger issue).

S

Bought my first house about a year ago. The process itself was mostly painless, but houses were selling so fast in the area it was sometimes frustrating and annoying trying to find a good deal that wasn't being snatched up immediately. One thing I have learned since buying the house that I never would've considered beforehand is to look at the composition of the soil in the area. Where I live the soil is mostly clay which can expand and contract a lot depending on how much moisture it is getting. During times when we aren't getting much rain the clay soil contracts a lot and causes the foundation of our house to start shifting, which then sometimes causes cracks to form in the walls or doors to start sticking. Almost all of the homes in the area have the same problem so I am not sure that it is something that we could have avoided but it is something that is definitely worth taking note of. Currently we just have to put a soaker hose around the entirety of our house and literally water the foundation during dry times. This causes our water bill to be substantially more during those times. I am hoping that eventually I can get a rain collection system and collect water during times when it is raining more and saving it for the specific purpose of watering the foundation but have to figure out how that will work first.

LM

It can be very intimidating, especially in a seller's market. However, find a good agent that is experienced and they will be able to guide you.  Buying your first home should not be done by yourself (I am biased but for very good reasons).  There are a lot of mistakes that you can make. Most important is having a good down payment so that your payment is manageable.  If your mortgage payment is too high (above 45% of your total income- can vary slightly), then it may be too much of a stretch. Stay within your comfort zone in payments and you will be good.  Keep in mind the HOA and Mello Roos fees not just the property taxes when calculating your payments.  Regarding the property, be sure to always do an inspection (you hire the inspector) to make sure there are no surprises and you know exactly what you are buying.  Again an agent will guide you through this.  Good luck!

BTW-I am an agent in San Diego, California if you are looking in San Diego.  If you are looking elsewhere and you don't know of an agent- message me back and I may be able to refer you to one.

KN

Hello @Nathan_Gregory

What I did was talk to 2 realtors at the same time (Without them knowing). I wanted to know who was more transparent with me with the whole process. After I found out who was more informative/transparent I chose them. Along with feeling comfortable with them. Also did a lot of googling so I would not get fooled. Or at least try to minimize those possibilities. Also, cant go in blindly into this process. Also, once you are qualified, the realtors will obviously try and push you to get the max of what you qualified for (higher commission for them). Dont go with the pushy one. If you qualify for 300K and you want to look for a 250K. Make sure you tell them that is your max even though you know you qualify for more. Dont let them push you to the max because some will show you a really nice house so you can fall for it. They will also try and convince you by saying o just make a higher down payment if you are not comfortable with X monthly payment. Stand your ground. Of course, not all realtors are like this. I found my realtor that I have bought 3 houses from already.

R

It was not a good experience when I bought a house. Due to lack of experience I just bought a ruin house. The house was in very worst condition and after buying I have to spend a huge amount to renovate it. For renovation purpose, I hired labour from labour hire Brisbane, hire an interior designers and many more.  So, before buying a house always consult with a person who has the good experience in it.

M

Buying a home is never easy. But when you're a first-time home-buyer, it can seem like an impossible task. Any tips or things that you learned when you bought your first house? Anything that a first time home-buyer should watch out for?

Hi,

I remember when I have purchased this house where I am living now. It was beautifully structured. Because of my job I could not find a home for my family so, I meet a real estate business person and hire him for finding a good house for me. He show me some houses but I did not like them. One day he call me and said that he want to show me a house which is very beautifully structured. I visit that house and decided to purchase. I purchase that house and shifted from the old house but when we start living then I get to know that the existing solar system is not working properly. Then I complained to real estate agency, but nothing happened. After a month of waiting for a response, I decided to hire a professional solar repair team and repair the existing solar panel. I spend $2000 for repairing this solar system, after that it is working properly.

J

First, you need to learn the buying process because it is important to watch out for a successful first-time buyer. Some companies also volunteer your time working with those organizations that provide home options and these https://icytales.com/5-myths-a...-about-homelessness/ services always welcome and offer one-handed assistance. Their main motive is to facilitate people in society and to give them the confidence to buy homes for the very first time.

JA

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