First Time Homebuyer Advice
A 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
Find a distress sale situation: short sale, foreclosure, or private owner ready to fire sale a home.
My target house will probably need some serious cosmetic work. I would include in this category
- 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- Appliances outdated but hopefully still working.
- Light fixtures outdated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
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)
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.