Buying a house, need some advice

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first time home buyer .
Working through the closing and some times in my checklist I’m sure someone here either does personally if knows someone .
I need a solid home inspector. My agent has a recommendation but would like someone independent.
A good lawyer to review the closing paperwork and contracts . Same thing, agent has a rec but wou’d rather someone of my choosing.

Oh ya, property is in Maynard.
Any other advice while I work through closing?
 

42!

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My only advice is get a survey, written descriptions in the deed sound very clear but unless you can find the makers and check yourself, they can be misleading. A seller telling you where the property line is, is useless.
 
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Back when I was an inmate of the PRM, I used Scott N King as my lawyer and Tiger Home Inspection...for my home inspection. All parties conducted themselves as professionals and were easy to work with.
 

boiler_eng

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first time home buyer .
Working through the closing and some times in my checklist I’m sure someone here either does personally if knows someone .
I need a solid home inspector. My agent has a recommendation but would like someone independent.
A good lawyer to review the closing paperwork and contracts . Same thing, agent has a rec but wou’d rather someone of my choosing.

Oh ya, property is in Maynard.
Any other advice while I work through closing?
My advice is to never forget that you have the most interest in the contracts so always expect that the agents, lawyers, etc might have missed something.

I liked the lawyer I used, though he is in Haverhill so it was ultra convenient to do the walk through then go to his office 1 mile away.

I liked my inspector but there were a few things that came up later which ideally he might have caught but I get that he doesn't have x ray eyes. (My back stairs fell OFF when I was walking down them a few weeks after closing. Seller had lattice work covering the side of the deck and stairs so inspector couldn't just get under and look but wish someone would have pointed out that the stairs didn't look quite right.)
 
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You are typically getting very limited representation from closing attorneys. They essentially review the docs, mortgage, etc, and make sure all your paperwork ducks are in a row. You get what you pay for for about ~700. They typically handle getting the survey, recording, etc. They should find anything obviously wrong, but there is a reason you are getting title insurance. Any practice that does closings all day long or has that as a part of their practice should be pretty proficient at it, it's not rocket science.

My inspector caught the obvious stuff, but without really digging in to an old house you aren't going to catch everything. If you are planning on doing work, you may want to find someone familiar with construction in the area to fill you in on some of what was typically done/what you can expect.
 
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I thought the realtor could give you list of inspectors but not specifically recommend one over the other....

If not already a member you might want to put in an application to the Maynard Rod and Gun Club...
 

Evadd

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I agree with going with an independent inspector. Some have the agent's best wishes in mind - ie, an easy, fast close with no hangups.

For an atty, I highly recommend Norm Peters of Peters and Sowydra in Worcester. He's been doing it for decades, has a lot of office staff to support him, and he pulls no BS.
 

zboys

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Dump your agent, thats why they get paid, your lenders atty will take care of the legal matters, dont pay for another one
 
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If you don't trust your agent for information and resources then you're not working with the right one. You have to do your own due diligence but your agent is supposed to work for you and help make the buying process easier. If you out right reject their recommendations then you probably want to revisit why you're utilizing their services to begin with.

With that being said, I can recommend Wave Inspection as they've been thorough. They will only catch what's visible so don't expect them to break into walls or poke into areas that are inaccessible. You'll need a contractor or someone who can help estimate the cost to fix things. Two pieces of advice in regards to the inspection process - if you like the house then don't nickel and dime the seller. It's probably not the right house if you find yourself trying to negotiate a thousand here or there. Lastly, don't be afraid to walk away if you find any major issues. Good luck.
 
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My inspector caught the obvious stuff, but without really digging in to an old house you aren't going to catch everything.
This. Even a good inspector is going to miss stuff.
For starters, put your grubby clothes on and follow along with the inspector. Crawl in the dirt, get cobwebs in your hair, etc. It will give you a good idea of what you need to look further in to.
 

Dennis in MA

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Unless I was buying a house more than 50 years old, I'd probably do my own inspections at this point. There isn't much they can tell you. Look at the heating/cooling. Look at the roof. Check the level of things. Look at the rafters in the basement. Look around. As a homeowner, you start to notice stuff.

I will also echo that you should work with an agent you trust - and trust their subs. A good trustworthy agent uses subs that are top-notch. Not just anyone. Or not just people that will get them the closing. Because a good agent knows that one sale is losing money. Getting your next 3 sales PLUS referrals to friends and relatives is what makes his (or her) business prosper.


My last closing - a sale - I had no atty. I think on purchases I'd likely always have an atty. Buyers of the house didn't have one. Bank obviously did.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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first time home buyer .
Working through the closing and some times in my checklist I’m sure someone here either does personally if knows someone .
I need a solid home inspector. My agent has a recommendation but would like someone independent.
A good lawyer to review the closing paperwork and contracts . Same thing, agent has a rec but wou’d rather someone of my choosing.

Oh ya, property is in Maynard.
Any other advice while I work through closing?
My advice would have been to have everyone lined up before starting the purchasing process. But anyway....

Be a project manager. Push everyone as hard as possible like your life depends on it. Trust me, they will slack.

Anything you want has to be in writing and signed. If it isn't in writing it is not happening.

Good job on not going with your realtors suggestions. F*** that. Maybe he is a great guy, or maybe he is just pointing you to someone that will say everything looks good.

I dont have a good lawyer in that area.

Also, everyone will want to do everything online or over the phone, even the bank. Go meet them in person. I'm a face to face guy. I found out people worked harder after I met them. I went to the bank and sat with the guy for 30min, went to the lawyers office and so on.

Did I mention.... PUSH THEM :)

And the lawyer, dont let him slack and get out of it easy. Get someone that works on a fee, not a per hour lawyer. And make sure they earn that. Most will charge you a bunch for what amounts to maybe 2hrs worth of work, including the 1hr closing. The purchase and sale agreements are not that complicated.

Oh, and make sure you have a way out and it is clearly spelled. No BS, no owing money if the bank falls through, none of that. PROTECT YOURSELF.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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Dump your agent, thats why they get paid, your lenders atty will take care of the legal matters, dont pay for another one
Never use the lenders attorney. Their job is to protect the lender, not you.

Dont be a cheap bastard.

That being said, it can work out. My parents did that and never had an issue. I got my own guy. You work for me and only me, f*** everyone else's interests.
 
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Never use the lenders attorney. Their job is to protect the lender, not you.

Dont be a cheap bastard.

That being said, it can work out. My parents did that and never had an issue. I got my own guy. You work for me and only me, f*** everyone else's interests.
This! Closing legal work isn't rocket science... but if you don't know what you are doing and aren't represented a P&S in the other sides favor can f*** you six ways till Sunday.
 

BlacknRed

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Congratulations on your first house. Ours was in Maynard as well. We were down from the Rod an Gun Club off of Waltham street. It was a great little town with the movie theater, Outdoor Store and restaurants. The power grid that DEC put in was rock solid. We never were down for any time. As far as recommendations, that was about 25 years back so I can't remember any of that sort of thing. Enjoy the town.
 
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I trust my agent , but let’s be realistic, everyone works in their own interest..
I take suggestions but want some backups if they don’t seem right .
Home inspector agency of Dana Wilson was recommended . They seem reputable, good reviews, probably as good as anyone I could find. Their fee includes radon and my realtor was good in telling me it’s a great opportunity to learn about the house while following him around (which on plan on doing ).
The attorney side is a tad different. That’s where I would like to keep things separate.
 
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This. Even a good inspector is going to miss stuff.
For starters, put your grubby clothes on and follow along with the inspector. Crawl in the dirt, get cobwebs in your hair, etc. It will give you a good idea of what you need to look further in to.
plan on it.
And yes, I'm realistic on what an inspector will find. They don't have X-ray vision and they can't predict the future. But hopefully after seeing thousands of houses and "hopefully" getting training or seeing first hand what caused what, they have an eye for certain things that I wouldn't catch...."oh, that crack in the basement wall is nothing, but this discoloration over here spells trouble.."
 

Dennis in MA

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Never use the lenders attorney. Their job is to protect the lender, not you.

Dont be a cheap bastard.

That being said, it can work out. My parents did that and never had an issue. I got my own guy. You work for me and only me, f*** everyone else's interests.
I'm mixed on this. I'd say get an atty, but honestly, really??? I mean the bank has a very unilateral contract. You either sign or take a flying leap. So there's not much negotiating room done at the closing. And the deed itself?? Well, the BANK is going to ensure the deed is correct and title insurance is in place. So not a lot of need there either.

I'm not saying NOT to have an attorney. But there are a lot fewer items the atty can steer you clear from than you might think.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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I'm mixed on this. I'd say get an atty, but honestly, really??? I mean the bank has a very unilateral contract. You either sign or take a flying leap. So there's not much negotiating room done at the closing. And the deed itself?? Well, the BANK is going to ensure the deed is correct and title insurance is in place. So not a lot of need there either.

I'm not saying NOT to have an attorney. But there are a lot fewer items the atty can steer you clear from than you might think.
What about the purchase and sale?

What happens when the bank falls through (maybe the appraisal comes in lower), you dont want to put more cash and the seller doesnt want to go down. Does the PS say you lose your deposit? You get it back? (Just an example).

What about adding things to the document? Will the bank lawyer work on your behalf?

I always feel better when I have someone that represents me and no one else.

One of my couches costs more than the attorney fee. The way I see it, I paid it to avoid a possible headache in the future and to have someone I could call and tell him to add stuff to the contracts. And I did just that and he added whatever I wanted.

I also got other stuff out of the attorney. He helped me write a contract to get out of an apartment I was leasing and gave me advice. I also learned a few things from meeting him face to face and speaking with him. I like to get a little bit of an education out of everything I do.
 
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mwalsh9152

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I was a first time buyer a few years back. Didnt know that a lawyer at closing was a good idea. Lawyer after the fact discovered wife isn't on the deed. I wanted her on the deed, but not the loan. Not that it matters though, its half hers by NH law anyway
 

George D

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Bank documents are set in stone, you can certainly pay someone to review them and explain them to you, but that's about all they can do, they can't be edited.
If you hire your own attorney, their main job is to review the two contracts, the Offer to Purchase and the Purchase and Sales, as MA is generally a 2 contract state.
As far as using the bank attorney, 95% of the transactions I do are set up like that. Even though the attorney's job is to protect the interest of the lender, the lender's best interest and buyer's best interest follow a lot of the same lines as the lender has to view it as being a potential owner.
They want clean title, clean survey, and no surprises.
The part where the lender's interest differs from your is in protecting your deposit. During the process, if everything blows up, the lender isn't out any money, but you could be out one or both of your deposits. That is the part where you want to pay an attorney to review the contract. A lot of people sign the P&S without even reading it or understanding what is at risk. It kills me when I hear stories of people losing their deposit because they didn't understand the terms of the contract.
Background: 23 years as a Mortgage Originator and about 6,000-7,000 closed transactions.
 

George D

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I am not an attorney, but there are a few things to pay attention to on the Offer To Purchase contract. Generally you are putting the first contract together without any input from an attorney so you need to know what youa re signing up for.

DATES: Make sure you apply by the time you need to apply, and your loan is approved by the deadline on the contract. If it isn't approved by the deadline get an extension IN WRITING. If you go past that deadline and your loan gets declined, they can legally keep your money and re-list the home.

FUNDS:Look at how much you need and when. It usually says something like $1,000 due with offer and the remainder of 5% due at signing Purchase and Sales. Many people overlook that part and then panic when they have to sign the P&S because they don't have the 5% liquid, it's tied up in equity of another house they are selling or in a 401K they need to borrow against.

CONTINGENCIES: The four most common are financing, appraisal, inspection and sale of current home. In a competetive market, people get coached to waive these without understanding the repurcussions. If your loan gets declined and you waived your finance contingency, good bye deposit. The same if it appraises too low and you don't have the cash to make up the difference, or if the inspection reveals someting awful and you bail, or if your existing house doesn't sell in time.
 
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Buck F

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When you get to the homeowners insurance part (after the P&S, usually a couple/few weeks prior to closing) feel free to message me if you need anything. Make sure you know if the house is in a Flood Zone, if you message me I'll be happy to check it for you.
 
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We used Hawkeye home inspectors and were very satisfied with them. Their report was thorough and they did exactly what you described--"no, that crack is nothing to worry about. Look how nice the boiler is. The wiring here is odd." Etc.

Very much agree with making your agent work for you. Remember they make 5% commission on the sale, so make them earn it.

I had my uncle/uncle's office do the lawyering for me.
 
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I didnt have an attorney and now I have an acceleration clause on an adjustable rate mortgage with an adjustment data amortization schedule with an annual percentage rate of 10% and the appraised value on an assumable mortgage with a balloon mortgage and balloon payment on a bankruptcy bill of sale with bi-weekly mortgage on a bridge loan with a buy-down call option and a cash out refinance a certificate of deposit.
 

andrew1220

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When you get to the homeowners insurance part (after the P&S, usually a couple/few weeks prior to closing) feel free to message me if you need anything. Make sure you know if the house is in a Flood Zone, if you message me I'll be happy to check it for you.
And if it is in a flood zone, DO NOT GET FLOOD INSURANCE THROUGH FEMA. Get it through a private insurance company to save big $$$. Ask me how I know....
 
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And if it is in a flood zone, DO NOT GET FLOOD INSURANCE THROUGH FEMA. Get it through a private insurance company to save big $$$. Ask me how I know....
Not in a flood plain but still might look into this
Mass GIS MassGIS (Bureau of Geographic Information) has some great mapping tools. They show property boundaries (+/- a few feet), Owner's name, wetlands, and other neat layers. It's a good tool when buying a house.
They included the GIS but I really dig the site. It shows appraised values of everything...And I just found out that the house is worth less than the land...shocker. Nice to see the neighbors houses are all appraised at the same or more than mine (and many over what I paid)..Weird, across the street the houses are worth about $100K more, but they have more land..
 
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I am not an attorney, but there are a few things to pay attention to on the Offer To Purchase contract. Generally you are putting the first contract together without any input from an attorney so you need to know what youa re signing up for.

DATES: Make sure you apply by the time you need to apply, and your loan is approved by the deadline on the contract. If it isn't approved by the deadline get an extension IN WRITING. If you go past that deadline and your loan gets declined, they can legally keep your money and re-list the home.

FUNDS:Look at how much you need and when. It usually says something like $1,000 due with offer and the remainder of 5% due at signing Purchase and Sales. Many people overlook that part and then panic when they have to sign the P&S because they don't have the 5% liquid, it's tied up in equity of another house they are selling or in a 401K they need to borrow against.

CONTINGENCIES: The four most common are financing, appraisal, inspection and sale of current home. In a competetive market, people get coached to waive these without understanding the repurcussions. If your loan gets declined and you waived your finance contingency, good bye deposit. The same if it appraises too low and you don't have the cash to make up the difference, or if the inspection reveals someting awful and you bail, or if your existing house doesn't sell in time.
might have to pick your brain...Most of the contracts seem boilerplate, and yes it's $1K now and then 5% in the very near future... I would absolutely be pissed if I lost that for whatever reason. What generally causes that? just financing falling through and not closing on time?
 
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