Otis at Ask Metafilter seeked for help on buying a house – what process does home buying involve. There are couple of good advices:
… Some obvious things which you may already know about/do:
– check your neighbours (try to get introduced quickly, as it gets embarrassing after some months have elapsed!)
– find out what parking is available (do you have an allocated space? Is there room for 2 cars? Guest parking? Do you need a permit?); a bit moot if you’ve got a house with a drive, I suppose!
– find out where all your water and gas cut-off taps are (before you have a problem!)
– get a small cheap toolkit together (hammer, screwdriver, ruler, etc. maybe even a drill) – fortunately my Dad lives reasonably close, so I could borrow his. Make sure you have a torch at hand in case of a power failure!
– we decorated before moving our stuff in, which really worked well. Don’t know if this is an option…
… Shop around for a real estate agent. Mine refused to let me sign a buyer’s agreement until we went through one round of house hunting (and then he asked me to take it home, read it, and call with any questions). That way neither of you are stuck with a poor personality fit. The buyer’s agent should work for you and disclose any conflicts in advance of viewing a house (such as being a dual realtor for a piece of property). Make sure they know how much you are WILLING to spend, not ABLE to spend. Only tell them you can come up with XX% for a downpayment, not a $XX amount.
If you get a weird feeling from a seller, like I did on the first house I really wanted, walk away. They are not ready to sell and you will jump through hoops and get nowhere. If a house seems really overpriced for the area, they may be using a bank’s evaluation of the property. This will be skewed, as they want to give the homeowner the biggest loan to make the most money. This is not necessarily what the house is actually worth, but the homeowner will not want to take a “loss”…
Home buying tips – [Ask MetaFilter]