First Time Homebuyer Advice

First Time Homebuyer Advice

first time homebuyer adviceA family friend asked for first time homebuyer advice for this spring.  We are definitely still in a buyers market so I tried to put down my thoughts on how to score the best possible house deal. My top rule is Buy an Ugly Duckling

  1. Find a distress sale situation: short sale, foreclosure, or private owner ready to fire sale a home.

  2. My target house will probably need some serious cosmetic work.  I would include in this category

    • Paint
    • Sheet rock repair
    • Landscape probably over grown.  Maybe no grass in lawn areas because of parked cars, trees may need to be cut.
    • Kitchen countertops beat up.
    • Appliances outdated but hopefully still working.
    • Light fixtures outdated
    • Bad carpet but hopefully hardwood floors underneath
  3. Target house would NOThave the following obstacles to deal with

    • High traffic street location
    • Unsafe neighborhood
    • Schools on the unacceptable list (I am more flexible here than most people)
    • Bad lot topography (I like lots that have some level areas)
  4. Items I could deal with but would have to figure in to the purchase price

    • Leaky basement (We have some great contractors that can handle these situations)
    • Roof needs replacing
    • Mold: Another area where there are some great contractors who can turn lemons into lemonade.  But, I would have to be able to positively identify the source of the mold so that the source and the symptoms could be repaired.
    • No HVAC (stolen or missing from house) and / or HVAC that does not work.