I assume most of you have their own home, that is why you might be able to give me an advice

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wrote:

Yes, for sure. A million homes foreclosed last year, representing I guess about 4 million people, over 1% of the population, in just one year. Millions more expected in years to come. Of course that is because this is the first big? downturn in the economny or interest rate increase since they started writing in this case, I think most were adjustable rate mortgages. ARM's with no fixed interest rates.
Didn't interest only come later, so we will soon see many foreclosures (and evictions of course) on those. Because those people are paying even less. Even ARM's applied something to the principal every month, although it is almost all interest for the first years.
I'm almost always an optimist, but imagining that interest rates won't go up is not just optimism, it's foolish dreaming,
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On 24 Mar 2007 22:05:12 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If there is only one real estate guy, he represents the seller, NOT YOU. Never forget that. You can get a buyer's agent, but I think you need a written contract with hir to make certain that he will be functioning as your agent, or liable for not. Not that you have to have this, but just remember that the listing agent is the SELLER'S AGENT, not yours.

You should never buy a house on installments. What you want is a deed, and since you don't have enough money to pay for the whole house at once, a mortgage. Unless that's what you mean by monthly installments, that you are paying that to a bank or another lender to which you give a mortgage.
Which do you mean?
I have a lot more to say depending on your answer.
When you are done with the closing, you should be the owner, and the bank or mortgage company will have a mortgage. The borrower (which is the buyer) is the mortgagor, and the lender (the bank, for example) is the mortgagee.
It is even possible for the seller to take back a mortgage when he sells, but the terms should be the same as with a bank. No seller should do this, unless he is desperate to sell, because he's not set up for the headache of collecting from people who don't pay well, but somettimes they do. Even people who do pay well can be a pain, one more check he has to collect, record, deposit, every month.

Good. I was afraid you already made the arrangement you refer to above.
The real estate agency usually has a fairly standard form, with some blanks that need to be filled in. You don't have settle for that form, but if not you'll have to have another one or read the thing carefully and figure out what changes you want to that one.
At this stage, I behaved like a jackass. They had filled in 45 days, and I wanted to settle and move in in 30 days, so the real estate woman changed 45 to 30, but I had complained about the wrong number. 45 days was the amount of time **I** had to come up with the money, before the contract expired. By changing it to 30, I damaged my own interests, and indeed for some unusual reasons (but it could easily have happened for usual reasons) I couldn't get the mortgage in 30 days, and I had to borrow the money from my brother. I don't think many people have a fairly rich, generous, trusting brother, who happened to have 65,000 dollars in what was basically a checking account. Even he only had it because he was hoping to find and buy a medical practice. I'll tell you the whole story if you want, but I'm happy to say neither I nor my brother lost anything during it.
BTW, since there was no mortgagee, there was no one there insisting I get title insurance or fire insurance, and somehow, when I borrowed the money to pay back my brother, the mortgage company didn't ask about fire insurance then either, even though I had bought it. I don't think they knew that, but I think they just assumed assumed I'd gotten it at the first closing.
BTW, I paid twice for tax stamps that in Maryland are proportional to the sale price. I don't remember how much that was, and because I ended up changing mortgage companies, I also paid another mortgage processing fee, but because interest rates were going down at the time,I still ended up 100's of dollars ahead, maybe more. But this decline was fairly rapid and it's very hard to delay getting a mortgage to get the best rate. But you can go to different banks etc. looking for the best rate.

The owner pays the commission. Although you are right that one can negotiate a decrease in the price while the buyer might pay half of the commission. Why if it is good for all concerned to have the buyer pay half, it's not better for him to pay all, I don't know.
But a lender won't want to lend you the full, what 7? % in some places, because that doesn't represent equity in the house. They won't loan you a million dollars on a house that is worth 100 thousand, and they won't lend you 107 thousand on a house that is worth 100 thousand.
Why the buyer would want to do this, I forget. Maybe something to do with taxes? Maybe he woudl pay the points (7 points equals the 7% commission that is charged in some places) because he really wants the house and he is competing with other buyers. Why he wouldn't just offer more money and have the seller pay the points, I don't remember.

There should be a title search before you buy the house, so that the title company is ready to sell you the insurance the same day as the sale. When you sign the contract, someone? should arrange for the title insurance.
Because of problems with the real estate agent (they refused to relay my first offer to the seller, which I later found out is a violation of law in Maryland, and maybe eeverywhere) I hired a lawyer. I got a reference from a friend here, but I don't know how much he referrer really knew about his work. Maybe he just did a good job for him once. I think I asked my friend and he wasn't going merely by knowing him socially.
But... he never mentioned title insurance, and I thought the money I paid him would include his arranging that, or at least insuring that it was arranged. When the purchase was over, I asked him why he didn't. He said "Because it's a new property, you don't need title insurance", Actually, because it's new, 4 years since the house was built, I need it all the more. If the surveyor made a mistake, or the builder did, then my lot wouldn't be what the deed says it is, and since there had only been four years and one neighbor on each side to challenge it, new people might come and challenge. Plus the county owns on one side and they might challenge. And my little lot is oddly shaped, 8 sided I think, with a narrow waist in the middle. Plenty of places to make a mistake.
In fact the whole n'hood was laid out wrong, and it turned out we were using land that belonged to the next n'hhod. I think before the houses were even sold, the builders worked out a swap of land with the next big property. Before these houses were built in 1970, I think it was a combination of woods and an auto junk yard.
If your lot is rectangular, and has been the same size and shape for 100 years, your need for title insurance won't be based I guess on disputes about the size or shape of the lot, but there are other reasons. I don't think it is very expensive, but I forget. I was taught that everyone needs title insurance.

I don't know about that.

No. The people who tax you will find you.
You have to connect the utilities, but that would be true if you rented also.
CAll in advance and arrange for them just to be put in your name so there is no interruption in service. It's best if you can get the seller's cooperation, becasue he'll want the bils out of his name as soon as he doesn't live there. My seller was a nice guy and trusted me, or called them and told them whatever. I did that and it worked for electricity and gas, but I had no phone when I got there until the next day. It was their fault, but no big deal, even before cell phones. I had no one to call, so I didn't miss the phone. The owner had moved out the morning of the closing. In fact he fertilized his bushes and took his final few things before we met him at the closing, but don't expect that kind of devotion from most sellers.

Title search. Aha, I knew there were reeasonss. I always figurted title insurance would pay for that, but that's why the title company does a search first, so there will be nothing to pay for.
If they find back taxes due, I don't think they have to get paid, but you can also have the amount subtracted from the sale price at the closing.

I'm sure. Even though I actually took Real Property in a real law school (before I dropped out) I can't remember if you forgot something.
I felt chewed up by the process, and I have said many times, How can people whose parents didn't own their own homes and who never learned this stuff from their parents or bought property before get away in one piece. Yet millions do. And even I didn't lose any money. And most of my complaints were with the process of getting the mortgage, and a few with the lawyer for not doing much. And the real estate agent(s), a pair of women fwiw, for breaking the law. Although they asked the boss as he walked by how to handle it, and hte boss agreed with them.
He wasn't that old but 5 years later I noticed that the real estate agency had closed and I no longer saw ads for the two agents where I used to see them. So this might well have been a below-par company that others didn't like either.
I also was in a hurry and in a new town and didn't ask anyone for help, thinking the lawyer was enough. You're doing the right thing by asking.
One thing you forgot is mortgage insurance. If your downpayment is less than 20% in most places, mortgage companies will insist that youget mortgage insurance, which will make your mortgage payments if you don't. Their doing so doesn't get you off the hoook, even if you are out of work or dead. You have to reimburse the mortgage insurance company. The only place that benefits is the mortgagor, or mortgagee?, the bank that lent you the money. But I think it's not that expensive.
More importantly, when you get to 20% equity, which I think means that your down payment plus the amount you've paid on the principal equals 20% of the purchase price, you can cancel the mortgage insurance and stop paying for it. NO ONE will remind you to cancel. The mortgagee is happy if the insurance continues because he is guaranteed to get his money without fighting with you. And the insurance company is happy because the borrower (you) is paying premiums.
In maryland and I'm sure some other states, every mortgagor can prepay on his mortgage with no penalty, so that if he gets a raise or has more money, he can pay off his mortgage early (although I was told you have to specify that pre-payments are menat for pincipal). This is probably not true everywhere. So in Maryland, one can turn a 30-year mortgage into a 20 or 15 year mortgage just by paying early. And save a lot of interest.
If you don't live in a place where you can prepay with no penalty, and If you can afford it and it won't make it more likely that you default (which is bad in many ways) and if the bank or mortgage company will do it, you could find and get a shorter-term mortgage, which will save you a lot of interest. OTOH, some people would take that extra money and invest it, and might end up making more money on the investment than they are losing on the extra interest, especially since your intersest is dedecutible from your income tax. so if you are in the 25% marginal income tax bracket, and you are paying for simple mathematics sake, 8% interest on the mortgage, you get back 25$ of the 8% = 2% on your taxes, if you remember to deduct the interest. Then, if you can actually, reliably make more than 6% in the stock market or some other investment, the 2% plus more than 6% will be more than the 8% interest you are paying. And you'll be a little ahead. This is the kind of thing that I just hate. It makes my brain hurt. But I can't really recommend a short-term mortgage withoout mentioning this possible advantage to a long term mortgage.
This won't work with credit card debt, or personal loans, because the interest on those are not tax-deductible iirc, and because you won't get nearly as good a rate on them as you will on a mortgage, where there is something tangible for the lender to foreclose on.
In fact, if you already have credit card debt, the more you have the harder it will be to get a mortgage and the greater downpayment the mortgage company will insist that you make, but otoh, you should borrow enough money or make the payments low enough that you can pay off all your credit card and personal loan debt at the lower mortgage interest, instead of the 24% a year or more credit card interest rate.
Had enough?

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wrote:

To enlarge on this, the only place i know where a lot of people bought houses on installments was in Chicago, until the '70's, and the only people who had to do this were Black people. The lenders would not take mortgages from Black home buyers, even if they had good jobs, had been at their jobs a long time, and had good credit history. That's what made it racism and not economic disparity.
So they were forced to buy a house like one buys a car, and if they missed a payment, like a car, the home could be repossessed, which takes little time, unlike foreclosure where people have months to get a new job or scrounge the owed money from someone.
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On 24 Mar 2007 22:05:12 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I should probably say that the townhouse I was buying was only 4 years old, so there was no concern that anything had worn out, and little concern that something was built wrong.
And I also talked to the next door neigbhor about the townhouse n'hood.
She assured me that it was nice, but forgot to mention that her own dog was a barker.
I also did things like go their late evening or night to make sure there was adequate parking when everyone was home.
I was supposed to go out to the main street to the xway during morning and evening rush hour to see the level of traffic, but I only made it to one of those periods, and I might have been late to that. I also asked the gas station attendant and though he turned out to be right when he said it wasn't bad, etc., it would have been better to see for myself. OTOH, traffic is lighter all around this city in the summer, and a gas station guy is there, outside some of the time, all year long. So both looking oneself and asking someone are best.
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On 24 Mar 2007 22:05:12 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

1. Remember that the Agent ONLY represents the Seller, not you. His job is to be nice to you and then screw you over as much as legally possible.
2. In my city, the title insurance companies do the cheapest jobs of transferring title. The title insurance protects your and they arrange the closings for you - often by mail.
However, if you get a loan from any bank or savings and loan or credit union, then they are the best at arranging the closing for you and they have rules they must play by that keeps them honest.
3. If owner financing is involved then the owner is probably going to provide everything for you. This is the case where you need an attorney or knowledgable friend to help you - and title insurance. In my state, we honor a 'contract to sell' where you pay for 20 years and then get title. Definitely not a good thing to do if you are the buyer.
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On Mar 25, 1:05 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Is he your real estate agent, or the seller's? A real estate agent's role is to represent their client's best interests. You should not be dealing directly with the seller's agent unless you feel capable of negotiating the best deal possible and know the ins and outs of real estate law in your state. The fact you're asking questions in this forum says you're not even remotely familiar with the real estate process and have your work cut out for you.
But that's OK! Your situation is why we have real estate agents. Real estate law is a confusing tangle of rules, laws, traditions, etc., and is more complicated than any of us can really deal with on our own. Real estate agents are not fast-talking slicky-boys out to bilk clients (OK, some are, but they're the exception!); rather they are people who have studied the laws and strategies, have passed exams and are licensed by the state to represent you and your best interests in either selling or buying a house.
You need your own real estate agent. If the agent of which you speak is your agent, you have to ask yourself why you haven't asked these questions of him. Do you not trust him to represent your interests? Do you not like his personality? Do you not trust yourself? You have some serious systemic misgivings here, and I would advise you to find someone you trust to help you through this process.
Yeah, buying a home the first time is a frightening process not only because of the size of the purchase but because of the mountains of details and legal obligations. I know; I went through it last year. Thank God this was the third time for my wife, so she kept me sane. But it also helped we found a real estate agent we felt was working hard to help us, who wasn't pushing us to buy larger than we could afford, who gave us good advice in what we were looking to buy, and who had a good eye.
Because you have myriad questions whose answers are not universal or even national, you really do need to talk with a professional in your area. You can't get your questions answered here because real estate laws vary from state to state. For example, in Delaware you cannot do a residential real estate settlement through a title company; you must use a lawyer. Not so in Maryland. In Maryland a real estate agent is allowed to represent both seller and buyer; Delaware sees that as a conflict of interest and requires separate real estate agents for both parties.
Talk with people you know and trust about who they have used as real estate agents and would they use them again. Don't just call someone out of the phone book or based on their ad in the real estate section of your newspaper. Many real estate agents now have websites where you can take a look at who they are and how they present themselves and see if you're comfortable approaching them. There are lots of possibilities out there, but you have some serious thinking and homework to do before you're even ready to consider buying a house.
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Admittedly it has been a few years since I bought a house, but at the time it was told to me that the Real Estate agent BY LAW was the agent of the seller no matter if he was working with buyer or not and thus was legally beholden to the seller and couldn't suggest to you things that might be in your best interests if was not in the best interests of the seller. Has this changed nationally, or at least how would someone find out if this is a concern in their state? Is this something the neophyte we are talking to should find out about?
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wrote:

I can't help thinking that the unspoken words here were "in the absence of a written agency agreement between the prospective buyer and the agent."
That even if the agent says "I'll be helping you.... Mr. Scott said I should work with you... BY LAW the agent is NOT the buyer's agent.
But I'm sure the general concept of agent and agency has existed in English law for longer than laws like the one you refer to, and I would be surprised if any real estate law excluded it here. I'd be surprised if it prevented anyone from hiring an agent to represent him, in any dealing, and if that agent knew something about real estate, that would be fine too.
Unlike most contracts, contracts for the purchase of real estate must be in writing. So the notion exists that certain contracts have to be in writing, and a seller's hiring a real estate agent could be one of them.
IANAL.

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Many banks and Savings & Loans offer free classes on buying a home. Obviously, they want you to borrow money from them but there's no obligation to do so. Classes like these will give you the most basic info on how to get started and who is responsible for doing what.
If you haven't already, you might ask your bank how much they'll lend you - then you've got some idea of what you can afford.
Google How to buy a home + state name.
If you've decided that the house you refer to is the one for you and you need to act quickly, get a lawyer, though as many have remarked, in many states all the legal papers are routinely drawn up by the RE agents.
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