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First time homebuyer dilemma

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by archman, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. We're in the market for a new house, and we sort of have it narrowed down to two houses. One is a 1951 colonial in Lyndhurst (nicer area, closer to work, more neighborhood feel, older home) and the other is a 2003 colonial in Northfield Village. We live in Woodmere (right by Beachwood) currently, so we are pretty used to the Lyndhurst feel. The Lyndhurst home is in good shape, but has some issues that some older homes do (electrical is not up to code). The Northfield home is very attractive because it's in perfect shape, and won't require as much maintenance. We plan on selling in about 7 or 8 years. I'm just not in love with the area. We have done a lot of looking and have come to the realization that no matter what we will have to compromise. If we live in Lyndhurst, we will get a nicer area, but an older house that's probably not as nice, whereas in Northfield it's a much nicer house, but we will compromise on the area. Both are around the same price but we do know that Northfield sellers have to sell it pretty soon (at least that's what their realtor told us). Any thoughts?
     
  2. Justin S

    Justin S c-ya on the water

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    i would base my decision on what the resale value will be in 8 yrs, i mean which neighborhoods home values have increased more in the last 8 yrs and what trends are happening in the areas, i have friends that live in both cities and they both like their neighborhoods very much. what i can tell you about lyndhurst is that they are very about every little thing being up to code.
     

  3. Justin, was there a typo in the last sentence? Resale in 8 years would definitely go with the Northfield house. That is unless Northfield gets run down like Maple Heights.
     
  4. Even though you're down to two, keep looking around. This is a great buyers market and folks are reducing prices to get the rare sale. I'm trying to sell one now in Cleveland (much below you're level) and it's slow at all levels of income.

    Unless there is competition for buying these houses, one or the other will probably make a deal that you can't refuse. For the 2003, find out who the builder was to get an idea about the quality of construction.
     
  5. location/location . keep looking ,its a buyers market. you don;t know whats in your futere 8yrs is a long time . take a good long look at the area is it going up?? or down hill ?? this a major undertaking , don;t get talked into something the realtor wants you to buy, buy what you want, let them do the paper work. and make sure your contract calls for cancellation of the deal if it does not pass a home inspection to your standards.write it in, both partys sign.
     
  6. Justin S

    Justin S c-ya on the water

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    opps sorry , yes they are very picky about everything being up to code(crack in driveway, crack in sidewalk,window glazing,ect....)
     
  7. If you like the older home, get the seller to bring it up to code for you as a condition of the sale. Make sure it is written into any offer and ultimately the contract. This is VERY common these days.

    As was said, it is a buyers' market. Don't be afraid to "get creative" on your offers. If there are things that you know you want done to the house, don't be afraid to ask. A good realtor (of which there are few) will go the extra mile and coordinate things like this.

    Right now I wouldn't make an intial offer any higher than 80% of asking price. In the last year I have three different friends that had their initial (low-ball) offer accepted. Some people will counter, others will tell you to take a hike but there are TONS of houses sitting out there.

    Also remember that the realtor does not work for you. Unless you have hired one specifically as a "buyer's agent", they work for the seller. Any information you give them will go right back to the seller. So NEVER tell the realtor in advance what your highest price will be.
     
  8. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    some good advise so far.as for getting the seller tio bring it to code,that is very good advise if you're really set on the house.
    while neighborhood,schools,etc are important factors to consider,resale is another important issue.if you'r planning to sell in 8 years,you want to build as much equity as possible.if you put money into upgrading,remodeling,ec in a house,consideration should be taken to not take away from your profit down the road.some things just don't add value,which is like throwing your money away.unless you get a super deal and add to the future selling price,it's not wise/profitable to sink lots of money into a house you're not keeping more than a few years.it might be fine for your future permanent home,but not a starter in certain cases.
    my youngest son just bought his second home a few months ago,and has already spent thousands on necessary updating and isn't near done yet.he thought he got a deal till i reminded him that he'd put around 40 grand into updating his first home(by refinancing twice),and basically came was lucky if he broke even,with no down payment for the second one.and if he sells any time soon,he'll go in the hole.
    some day he(and my other son,similar situation)will learn that pops does know what he's talking about(sometimes);)
     
  9. If you make an offer whoever mentioned the %80 rule is right. Worst case they say no. Most of the time you will meet in the middle (first offer and asking price) and sometimes you get it cheap because they want it gone.

    Also whoever mentioned about them paying for it to be up to code had a good idea. I just bought my first home a few months ago and did this same exact thing. The house had an old breaker box. They wanted $130k for the house. We offered $108 first offer, Ended up getting the house for $115, they paid for a new updated breaker box, included a washer and dryer that wasn't included at first and included a newer riding mower.

    Of course their realtor looked at our realtor like he was crazy when they seen our initial offer but our realtor just pulled some comps and said hey this is what we feel its worth. After all, its not about what THEY think its worth, its what the BUYER thinks its worth.....
     
  10. picktowndad

    picktowndad share the joy of fishin

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    Archman,
    You have just got some great advice from some people that have been down that road before, but I will add my 2 cents worth. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. As someone that deals with builders and contractors as a installed material provider. I see daily tons of empty homes selling for 75%- 80% of there purchase costs 3-4 yrs ago. Im 51 years young and havent ever seen any thing like it is now. Be patient figure your costs to update the older one to determine your investment for resale later. Again it is a BUYERS market.

    good luck on your new home