Questions from a first time home buyer (10 pts)?

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I’m looking to buy a condo in Las Vegas and move in pretty much immediately after I get out school in April. I know next to nothing about how to buy a home.

1. Location difficulties
I’m currently in Pennsylvania. Is it possible to buy a home without being physically present? I feel like I can get a pretty good idea of the units from posted photos. Are there people who I can hire to verify the integrity of the home and make sure that it matches the online description?

2. Timeframe
When should I start my search? Again, I’m graduating in late April. When should my house be purchased if I’m looking to move in immediately after I graduate?

3. Paying upfront
I’ve made enough to purchase what I’m looking for on my own. I want to pay everything upfront to eliminate the costs associated with loans/mortgages. Is this a good idea? Also, I’d imagine that I could use this to leverage the price?

4. What are other associated costs of purchasing a house?
In addition to the list price, what are the other major costs and about how much are they?

5. Any tips on how to go about doing this if you were me?

Thanks a lot for your help.

I have a somewhat complicated situation and would appreciate some serious, educated advice: My husband and I live in Las Vegas, NV in a home that has significantly depreciated since we bought it 4 years ago. We paid $ 570,000, and it’s now appraised at approx. $ 270,000 due to our lovely economy! We still owe $ 460,000, and we have an interest only loan that is coming to the end of the 5 year arm in a couple of months, so our mortgage is going to increase significantly! My husband also has a rental home that is worth what he owes on it. (We were just married, and all debts, etc. are in his name only) My husband is in the process of being sued for over $ 400,000 due to medical equipment that he leased for a Dr. he employed that has skipped town. He must therefore file for BK to avoid paying $ 400,000 for equipment he cannot use. My husband believes that our only option is to let our home go to the bank (ASC) and move into the rental home, but, we do not want to leave our current home! What are our options? Will a BK court allow us to restructure our current mortgage for the amount the home is now appraised? We haven’t missed a payment, and the bank won’t allow us to refinance now. And we’re afraid that if we stop paying on our current mortgage in order to get the bank to work with us, let the rental home go back to the bank, and file BK, that no bank will allow us to refinance/restructure because our credit will be destroyed, and then we won’t have any home at all! Please help! Thank you

6 Comments
  1. Reply
    Bob D
    February 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    look at realtor.com for home prices.
    with good credit,you dont have to put nothing down,if not so good..10%15% down.
    there are alot of hud (first time buyersr programs out there…….
    take your time.

  2. Reply
    SoAZ Gal
    February 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    1. Location difficulties: Being you are currently in Penn. I would find a reputable real estate company to work with if I were you. Consider ERA, Century 21, or even ReMax. The bigger the name the better and make sure they are recognized nationwide. They can work with you on your behalf in connecting with a sister affiliate in Vegas as well as provide you with accurate details about the property (i.e. neighborhood, structure, etc.) I would still consider at least one flight out to personally asess the property with my own eyes and to also meet the real estate agent handling things on your behalf in Vegas.

    2. Timeframe: Start your search NOW. Vegas is a big place and the more time you allow the better. If you can get everything settled before your move in April then that’s even better.

    3. Paying Upfront: Definitely!!! You are in a better position than most if you are able to do this. Not to mention that you will be treated like royalty if using that option as your realtor(s) will be expecting quite the bonus.

    4. Since I am also in the realms of house hunting myself…I can say that there are a few costs like inspections, realtor fees, and stuff like that…but talk to your realtor and have him/her lay it all out for you.

    5. Definitely stay in constant contact with your realtor. Don’t allow the realtor to talk you into spending more money than you have or want to spend. Stay firm on what it is that you want and go from there. As for the realtor in Vegas acting on your behalf…you will also need to keep in constant contact with him as well. He is going to be your eyes and ears and he knows Vegas better than you at this point. It needs to be someone that you can trust and associate with well. If at anytime you question your realtors integrity…go with your gut. Generally if you feel that something is fishy…it probably is. Good luck.

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