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In an article by Christopher Solomon of MSN Real Estate titled 5 First-time Homebuyer Biggest Surprises, five first-time homebuyers discuss the surprises they encountered and what they learned from them during their journey of buying a home. One found the process to be extremely simple and easy, while another didn't realize just how many "flippers" he'd have to battle to get a great deal. Buying a home, especially if it is your first time, will bring tons of surprises; some good and some not so good.
An Easy Approval
"I was really surprised at how easy it was to get approved to a buy a house," says Jon Briscoe, who closed on 1,600-square-foot Cape Cod-style home in the Cincinnati area in April. Briscoe says that working with a mortgage broker made it a smooth and easy process. Even with the credit market the way it is right now, Briscoe didn't seem to cross paths with the harsh credit world. He says all he did was supply his broker with an employment history and underwent a credit check. He was extremely surprised that your credit score doesn't have to be all that great either. According to his broker, a score around 630 will look decent to a lender. He found the overall process, from start to finish, to be quite easy.
Battling the "Flippers"
Patrick Kussman, a single 24-year-old, didn't have much money when he started looking for his first home. He naturally leaned toward foreclosures which are plentiful in many markets these days. Kussman says his big surprise was "finding the one that I could finally buy and put a down payment on was difficult, not so much because I was competing against other people who were also trying to purchase the house to live in, but competing against guys who were bidding to buy the house to rehab and flip it." He came across one offer of his that was rejected because another investor had the asking price available in cash. It wasn't until he placed an offer on a home, which had other offers from investors looking to buy and flip the home, where the foreclosing bank took another approach and realized that this 24-year-old was looking to make this a home and not just another investment to flip. He says you have to have faith that somewhere along the line there will be someone looking to help you out.
There's Money Out There
Drew Barth, a 26-year-old do-gooder, was pleased to discover that money is available for people such as cash-strapped first-timers who are willing to jump into an "overlooked" neighborhood and help revitalize it. He was lucky to have a realtor who came across an $8,000 grant given by Minneapolis' Pohlad Family Foundation for people who purchase a home in certain distressed ZIP code of the Twin Cities. And the even better part, if he lives in the home for seven years, the loan is forgivable and he doesn't have to pay any of it back. Just by asking his realtor what options and advantages were available to him, he was able to save $16,000 on his $100,000 home. Barth believes that owning a home now is much cheaper than renting and that came to be his biggest surprise of all.
A Quick Homebuying Process?
What startled Bryce and Danielle Johnson the most was "the amount of time that is actually took to find a place that we wanted was much shorter than anticipated." By finding a responsive real-estate agent who was always on the ball and spending a great deal of time doing research on-line, the Johnsons were able to make their homebuying process easy and quick. By doing on-line research, they were able to narrow many choices down to just a few that they knew would suit them best and from there they went to see them in person.
Don't Expect Much
Sandi Elliott knew that money was tight and that she didn't want to be "house-poor" when she began her search for a house or condo. She set out to find a foreclosure within what she thought was a reasonable budget of $75,000. But what she came to find was a huge surprise. Being a single person, she didn't want to have to do a ton of work on a house besides your usual painting and decorating. The homes she was viewing in her $75,000 price range were going to cost much more just to make them livable. She saw trashed after trashed home in what she would consider to be good neighborhoods. Elliott ended up settling for a one-bedroom condo that wasn't in foreclosure. The lesson she learned, that she hadn't expected going into the process, was that if you are looking to buy a home in foreclosure, you should expect to do a lot of work, which will require a lot of time and money.
Buying a home will bring many surprises, especially if it is your first time completing the process. Be sure to do your research and acquire a hands-on real-estate agent to help make your experience a smooth one. No matter what, you're going to have both good and bad surprises, but in the end, as long as you call it home, it doesn't matter.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.