March 14, 2011
Finding a property that you can call your own takes a lot of time and effort. I have purchased many properties before (for other people and myself), and the process never gets any easier. Each time, the experience is very different. And it is most difficult when the property that you are hunting for is for yourself.
So my husband and I have our hearts set on a cute country cottage that we can use as our vacation home and maybe someday our full time home as well. But even though everyday on the news, you hear how bad the real estate market is, it doesn't make finding the right home any easier. I know that they say that there are more homes on the market than there are buyers, but they DON'T tell you that there are very FEW good homes left on the market. The majority of the homes that we have seen have either been abandoned for too long and or they people who have lived in it before (the seller) don't keep a clean house before they put it on the market. In addition to that, my husband and I have not really notice the prices getting any lower either...what is going on?
So here are a few examples of what I am talking about when I'm telling that the prices are not going down...either that or the sellers are crazy to think that they can still get a really high price for their property. So my husband and I saw this one house that we had put in an offer for (a month ago). The asking price was for $110K (this is a foreclosure), and through a back and forth negotiation, we decided not to spend anymore than $100K on the property (because it needed some remoldeling (which have to come out of pocket). And guess what? the bank denied our offer on the property! What the heck???? So we offer $10K under the asking price and they wanted more $$$??? No way! So we walked.
That is one thing that I wanted to let you know (if you are looking for a property right now), is not to be afraid to walk away. If a property that is meant to be yours, then it will be. My husband do not have as much experience in purchasing property (like me), so he made a lot of mistake that many people make when they go house shopping...and that is falling in love with a property too soon. When I go to shop for properties, I take the emotion out of it. Treat your house shopping experience like dating! Don't settle for the first house/date that you go on. Give it some time to sink in, so that you can thoroughly analyze the property for any major flaws (potential big money problems). Here is a list of things that you should do when you go look for a home:
1. Do have a list of things/ features that are important to you (for a house to have).
2. Don't have your expectation too high.
3. Do expect to pay more for a property if it has all of the options that you want.
4. Don't expect the property value to be too low either. Home prices have not gone down that much in some regions.
5. Do shop around for a good lender...not all lenders are created equal. Compare interest rates and loan fees.
6. Do know your credit scores (both you and your spouse, and any co-signer).
7. Do know your maximum that you want to spend. If you don't have a set price in mind that you want to spend, between the seller/real estate agent/and lender, you might end up spending more than you want to. So make sure you know your budget.
8. Don't forget about the down payment...0% down is very rare and almost doesn't exist anymore. The normal is 10% - 20% down payment.
Also, I have noticed that many real estate agents are rude to us! I can't think of a reason why they would be rude and mean to us other than how old we are. I won't tell you how old I am, but we are a young couple (and plus I look a lot younger than I am). But we have the money, the credit, the know how, and we are a serious buyer...so I don't understand it. Don't they want to sell houses? I can think of at least 3 situations where hubby and I have walked out or hang up on a real estate agent because they were rude to us. One real estate agent, even hung up on my husband when we were in the middle of talking to her on the phone. We called her back and got her voicemail instead?! Don't people have any manners anymore?
I think it is more frustrating to deal with the seller and the seller agent when we are looking for properties. The seller agents are 8 times out of 10 are mean and rude to us. Which I don't understand why, because don't they want to sell the properties?
I used to sell real estate (and I was the nicest person you can meet), why can't people be more like me? But there are a lot of crappy people in this industry, and that is why I am NOT doing real estate full time anymore...it just sucks the life out of you! I have had many different jobs in my life and I think that the WORST job that I have ever had was in the real estate industry. People were all sharks, no one was nice, and I really didn't have any friends in this industry. The clients were mean (not all of them, but some of them are just so nasty to work with), the other agents were mean, the sellers were mean, and the buyers were mean. It was really rare to find someone to help you out in this industry...very cut throat. It was almost like being a stock broker with all of the competition and back stabbing. Anyways, I am so glad to not have to do this full time anymore. I left it to do my own business and it was the best decision that I have ever made!
So we found 1 property (after a few others that we have let go) and hopefully this one will work out. Wish me luck! If anyone is house shopping right now, I feel your pain! haahaa....Please share your experience with me, because no experience in real estate are ever the same.