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Buying a house, need some advice

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mr.E, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. golden chicken

    golden chicken

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    We did not specifically request anyone. Our inspector was actually a team of two guys. The report was sent by Peter Ottowitz. He was assisted by John Moulton.
     

  2. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    .and. if the seller got a court order telling the real estate agent holding the deposit to turn it over. The agents I have spoken to never refund a disputed deposit without being legally compelled to do so.
    Buyer was willing to forgo the $175 he spent on the septic inspection as a condition of having his deposit on the house returned rather than hire an attorney to initiate legal process. This was a requirement for the seller to give the agent permission to turn it over. See above for how this works.
    I had a buyer get rejected supposedly for a typo in the SS #. Buyer offered to up the price by $5K for an extension. I countered with "no price change, $5K at-risk deposit with no contingencies to be held by seller, not by agent". Agent said it was not worth even making that offer as the seller would insist the risk be mine, not his. Re-listed and sold for a bit more the following week. I still don't believe the typo story.
     
  3. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    Makes sense.
    And since 2000 they've been protected against nuisance suits
    as long as they don't try and cut corners.
    MGL Ch. 184 §17A: Agreement for purchase and sale of real estate; acknowledgment; recordation
    ...
    If an individual, firm or corporation holds funds entrusted to him pursuant to a written agreement for the sale of real property and the written agreement expressly authorizes the individual, firm or corporation, as escrow agent, to continue to hold the funds in the event of a dispute between the buyer and seller concerning entitlement to the funds, no claim shall be maintained against the individual, firm or corporation, as escrow agent, whether as trustee, stakeholder or otherwise, if the escrow agent has complied with the mutual written instructions of the buyer and seller, if any, and any order or judgment of a court or final decision of an arbitrator with regard to accounting for or disbursing the funds. ...​
     
  4. kalash

    kalash

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    I recently used Dana Wilson. Inspector Matt G. came out and did a great job, I'd highly recommend him.
     
  5. HARRYM

    HARRYM NES Member

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    Real Estate Agents like Home Inspectors who find no issues.
     
  6. kalash

    kalash

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    I would avoid flood zones like a plague. Not only can your house flood (duh), you'll be required to have flood insurance and you'll be restricted as to what you can do on your own land. Do NOT take anyone's word for it when they say that a property is or is not in a flood zone - FEMA designates those and they have a great online mapping tool that will tell you exactly where the flood zones are.
     
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  7. amm5061

    amm5061 NES Member

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    Mine was Mike Kilgaren, but my Agent said all of them are pretty great. We trusted her recommendations and she didn't steer us wrong.

    You can request a specific one if they have availability. If you schedule online they list out the inspectors available on that day and their time blocks.
     
  8. zboys

    zboys NES Member

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    Keep in mind there are numerous home inspectors that haven't a clue what they're doing, they put such a fear into uneducated home buyers and they squash deals for no valid reason.
     
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  9. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    What you really get for your money on a title policy is their research. Sure, you are insured, but a significant portion of the value comes from the fact that they do a decent bit of research looking for title defects before issuing the policy.
     
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  10. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    LTFY.


    Years ago Sister In Law #1 decided to
    dump her mid-island bungalow at the Jersey Shore.
    (Yes, that Jersey Shore - I've biked past Snookie and J-Wow's pad).
    She offered it to the family first.
    For grins I looked at the FEMA flood maps.
    The only place on the island for miles guaranteed to stay above water
    is the abutment of the causeway to the mainland.
    We noped out of that offer like a pair of Nope Badgers.

    Sister In Law #2 bought it.
    Hurricane Sandy only put a couple of feet of Atlantic in the crawl space.
    It only ruined a rolled-up area rug and a pre-rusted bicycle.
    They really dodged a bullet.
     
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  11. richc

    richc NES Member

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    Always hire an attorney when you're making what is likely the biggest purchase of your life. If nothing else than to translate the legal mumbo jumbo to something understandable. And not for the legalese from the bank which is regulated by law and largely boilerplate. But to watch your back in the P&S and to have your back if something goes off the rails. It's short money for insurance.

    To be clear I went to a closing on a refinance a few years back. Bank documents. Bank attorney. I scanned the documents and noticed a $50K error in the paperwork... in my favor! Which I mentioned and the attorney was mortified. I've also found errors in the math in a closing where I'm the seller. Argued with the attorney for a few seconds because he thought my mental math was incorrect. That saved my about $700. All this to say they are not perfect.

    And, if I may, I would not buy right now. We are way overdue for a recession. The economy is cyclical... but you know that. And IMHO real estate prices right now are at nose bleed levels.

    YMMV...
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  12. crazymjb

    crazymjb

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    But really, who knows?

    Buy what you can afford to pay for. I paid ~360 for my house in 2014 that cost almost half that when the recession hit. My mortgage payment is 1800 a month, that's not hard to do even with me in and out of work due to the Army's inability to give me a concrete schedule. At current market rate (plus the work, mainly sweat equity, we put into it) I'd be surprised if I couldn't get right around 600 for it. For 4 of the last 5 years people have been saying "don't buy the market is too high" and every year the prices have gone up. As I mentioned earlier, I have friends who are now priced out because they either believed that themselves and waited and waited and waited, OR they were too finicky. I know one girl who looked at over 100 houses. f*** that.

    It's true the market could take a massive shit, or that could happen 10 years from now and you'll have blown a ton of money renting and have been continuously priced out waiting for the drop.
     
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  13. richc

    richc NES Member

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    I fully agree. The markets can remain irrational far longer than I can remain solvent...

    :)

     
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  14. falcon123

    falcon123 NES Member

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    Never use the realtor recommended home inspector. He's not your friend.
     
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  15. kalash

    kalash

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    I'm closing right now, paying a lot. Based on the town and neighborhood I doubt it'll depreciate even in a downturn (at least not for long). In any event, it's a house I can see myself in for the rest of my life so if the value drops, so be it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  16. kalash

    kalash

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    My realtor seemed pissed that I didn't use his inspector and found my own. Made me really suspicious.
     
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  17. falcon123

    falcon123 NES Member

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    The home inspector relies on repeat business from realtors. If he screws up the sale, he's done. You, he'll never see again.
     
  18. Broccoli Iglesias

    Broccoli Iglesias NES Member

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    The market still has time. The Fed is already talking about cutting interest rates again. That will push more people to buy.

    My neighbors place (identical to mine) just went on sale for $20K more than what I paid for my place 1 year ago. And I have all hardwood floors, new kitchen, new paint ... the neighbors house has last been updated 20 years ago. I am hoping it goes into a bidding war and sell for well above the extra $20K.

    There are still plenty of buyers (at least inside 95).

    Very little has been built inside 95. It is insane.

    Down south is where people will suffer the next recession. The speed at which they are building neighborhoods is amazing. When looking in the realtor app, there are a ton of houses on sale. 2 year old homes going for less than brand new homes in Tampa, so people just buy new.
     
  19. crazymjb

    crazymjb

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    On one hand I'm glad my house is worth a ton more... on the other if/when we go to house #2 it will most likely be in this area anway, so the gains are proportional to what we'll spend. Ideally we'll find another fixer-upper for what we sell this for that is a bit bigger and on a quieter street.
     
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  20. Mr.E

    Mr.E

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    Ok, some followup questions for you house veterans.
    I just got off the phone the the mortage rep at one place (Institution for Savings), what a shithead first off. I asked some pretty straight forward questions she could answer.
    Anyways, my questions:
    -They are charging an attorney fee of $725 but when I asked if I could get my own and wave this she said "absolutely not". So we went round and round about what the fee was actually for and finally I got her to admit its the banks attorney fee and in no way represents me..Is this normal?
    -They are charging for a survey plot plan. I asked simply if this was a real survey or something as simple as a GIS lookup. First off, she had no idea what GIS was and laughed at the idea. After I educated her she simply said, it's required and I'm not sure exactly what it is...
    -She was utterly useless regarding my question of prepaids. If they are asking me to shell out thousands of dollars or prepaids I want to know what they are for. In one instance I merely said "so if you just billed me as usual I wouldn't need these?". her reply "well, would you really want to make a payment right after you close?". My answer " what the hell is the difference if I pay it up front or one week after?"...no answer

    Now, they have the best terms, rate, and no payoff penalty but friggen christ these people are so used to homebuyers glossing over these details they don't know what they are selling...
    So, are these fees normal? I have another quote where they don't have either the survey or bank attorney fees but the rate isn't as good. AND the mortgage broker is much better to deal with. I have a call later to see if he can match the rate.
     
  21. Mr.E

    Mr.E

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    Ya, that's always the catch 22. "Oh, we can sell the house we purchase 50 years ago for $500K and make a huge profit...BUT all the house we want to move to are just as expensive"... The math really only works if you're downsizing considerably or moving out of state to somewhere much less expensive.
     
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  22. kalash

    kalash

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    The bank will always have an attorney involved and you'll pay for him. You can also have your own attorney if you wish and pay him too. Some attorneys can serve both roles - represent both you and the bank, since the two parties' interests are largely aligned - and charge a lower fee than two separate attorneys would cost you.
     
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  23. Mr.E

    Mr.E

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    Makes sense, but at first I didn't know what the charge was for since it's called something ambiguous. She then said, "it's your attorneys fee".. At which point I merely asked, "Oh, ok, i've actually hired my own attorney so that can be removed correct?"...that started a back and forth in which I finally got her to admin that in fact it's the banks attorney more than mine. So to your point, the lender will always have one that can do everything (which the borrower has no say over) and then the lender can choose his or her own in addition to.
    She actually laughed at my question of removing the fee if I have my own which led the conversation to grow not so friendly as I questions the other fees.. Needless to say I don't want to work with them now and have reached out to others. If I can't question fees that amount to thousands and thousands of dollars then I don't want to work with you
     
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  24. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    You probably should have read this in the first place:
    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: What required mortgage closing services can I shop for?

    Huh, an actual exception/loophole in the conflict of interest rules:
    Buyers Brokers Only, LLC (Where your real estate agent is also a lawyer(*)):
    Should a Massachusetts Homebuyer Use Their Lender's Closing Attorney to Represent Them Too?
    Attorney’s Rules of Professional Conduct generally forbid an attorney from representing multiple parties in the same transaction, but it is allowed in real estate transactions (or at least, it has never been ruled to be prohibited).​

    (*) Somehow, the premise for Buyers Brokers Only, LLC
    reminds me of this old joke.
     
  25. jdgill

    jdgill NES Member

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    I've had good experience with Tiger home inspection on both sides of RE transactions. I used a local attorney who specialized in RE transactions, deeds, and trusts. If you don't know one, a local bank or CU can usually suggest one.

    And I agree on the survey part. Property descriptions in deeds can be confusing.
     
  26. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Instructor NES Life Member NES Member

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    NH operates very differently. A closing company typically does the legal work and closing (we didn't obtain a mortgage, so no idea if it makes a difference). I did have a MA lawyer look over the NH standard P&S and he said that it all looked in order.

    I also agree about the survey but reach out to that person before they do the work and ask that they put markers in place. When I bought my MA house I found out who did the survey for the bank too late and he said that had he known that I wanted markers he would have put them in. So for 45 yrs I have no idea where any of my boundaries are . . . but it makes no real difference as all three sides are loaded with trees and not usable for anything. My NH home doesn't mention anything about the old rock walls on 3 sides of me and the prior owner (for 33 yrs) never knew about them either but suspects that they are part of my property. Again it is heavy with trees and not usable land. What's funny is that the prior owner told me that he was only aware of one marker by the telephone pole. I think I found it . . . there is a Bud Light bottle cap directly in front of that pole. <LOL>
     
  27. Mr.E

    Mr.E

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    The survey isn’t really a survey. I think they just pull the GIS I can get for free and show the plot lines . I asked if they actually bring someone to do a real survey... big negative but then still charge $175 for who knows what
     
  28. Mark from MA

    Mark from MA NES Member

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    I agree. My daughter is in the Charlotte/Rock Hill area. They are building huge down there.....There will be a downturn at some point. That's the time to buy.

    The Boston and Northeast area in general doesn't do that, regulations, land expense, and up front costs are too prohibitive, and our market is generally not boom and bust, but overall slowly positive.

    Come out to Central, MA and lots of contractors learned their lessons in the early 90's not to overbuild. I remember huge condo complexes sitting unsold with 2 floor units selling for 30K each. And they could barely sell them. I wish I had money back then, I would have bought them, because it obviously turned around. I'd be sitting pretty.

    Out here they buy a big lot of land for a good price, subdivide over time, make lots, sell each lot off and build a spec house for a person who puts some money down. They don't build a whole development and try to sell all the houses at once like they do down south and out west.
     
  29. Mr.E

    Mr.E

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    Talk to me about title insurance, both owners and lenders...I am looking at a new mortgage quote and have included both. Obviously a good idea but since it's insurance I assume some company needs to underwrite the policy, looking for some good ones and details of what I should make sure are included...And is title insurance in general a money grab or does it actually work in you need it...
     
  30. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    Rumor has it that it is dirt cheap.
    Well, at least the owner's upsell atop the lender's policy.

    Dimly-recalled paperwork from buying our house leaves me with
    the faintest ghost of an impression that the bank's lawyer
    may always deal with one company;
    may even be considered an agent in some sense;
    very probably gets a piece of the premium as an agent's fee.

    Since the lender is who the lender's policy indemnifies,
    I wouldn't be surprised if the lender picks which insurer to use.

    If the quote didn't include this information,
    ask the prospective lender if perchance there is an info packet
    which you're going to receive further down the line,
    and if so, can you look at it now?

    Not saying such a packet exists, let alone is mandated,
    but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it does exist.

    The alternative is asking the mortgage company those questions.
     

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