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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    NO,NO,NO,NO,NO!!!!!!!!

    You are going to close on a house. The bank has an attorney there. You are signing a shitload of paperwork; do you know what the ramifications of each document is? An attorney is a small price to pay to avoid big problems.

    When I bought my first house, we got to closing, and the seller's attorney had screwed up a couple of documents. We walked out of the closing, and rescheduled a few weeks later. My attorney possibly saved me from signing on a title that was not clear, meaning that there may've been somebody else who had a claim on the property. Could you have spotted that error?
    Ditto on having a RE attorney. When purchasing my house, the person selling it was doing so on behalf of his mother's estate. Turns out, the RE attorney found out that the home was jointly owned by his mother and father, and the father had passed away in the previous year. The house never went through probate, so the estate technically only owned 50% of the home.

    So we waited about 6 weeks for the county to probate the father's interest in the property. If it wasn't caught, there could've been potential for a giant sh*tstorm. For me it was about $650 well spent on attorney fees and title insurance.

  2. #27
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    Assuming you are getting a mortgage - The bank will require all that title search stuff. You will not have any choice in that matter. The bank, mortgage broker, or agent will have a recommendation for title agency.

    Attorneys, agents, title insurance, title transfers, form of ownership, etc., are all beasts of jurisdiction. Each state is different. One person's experience in one state has little to do with someone else's in another state.

    As for down payment - VA loan. Zero down.
    Last edited by crit_boy; 10-19-2017 at 07:43 PM.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    Assuming you are getting a mortgage - The bank will require all that title search stuff. You will not have any choice in that matter. The bank, mortgage broker, or agent will have a recommendation for title agency.

    Attorneys, agents, title insurance, title transfers, form of ownership, etc., are all beasts of jurisdiction. Each state is different. One person's experience in one state has little to do with someone else's in another state.

    As for down payment - VA loan. Zero down.
    Yes, there will be a mortgage. No, I didn't serve. If I do decide to move outside of city limits, I can do a USDA loan, but it makes bike commuting a bit of a stretch with bad routes and ~20 miles.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    2 things you absolutely must do:

    1: Have the house you choose inspected by a professional inspector that YOU hire.

    2: Find a good real estate attorney before making an offer on your house. You do NOT want to close on a house without legal representation.

    Also, have mortgage financing approved before you make an offer.
    In NY, you are required to have an attorney represent you--and I found the process no better or no worse than the states where we bought where everything was handled by the realtor. IMO, all that the NY requirement does is slow up transactions and raise costs. (And contributes to the fact that NY still has the most houses awaiting processing for foreclosure as a result of the "Great Recession".)

    The contracts are standard, most lenders (that I am aware of) require you to have a PPI done by a commercial company, and any transaction that I have been involved in involving a real estate company, a title search is done, and you (as buyer) pay for title insurance and that should cover you if the title insurance company has not done their job correctly.

    The only time I would involve a lawyer would be on a commercial transaction, a private transaction (like the probate example above) or if I was doing something fancy. Still though if you are not comfortable reading the contract yourself, or if your realtor seems like he/she is unresponsive to your desire to change some part of the contract's boilerplate language (should you need to), then I would involve a lawyer.

    For the OP--really take a good look at the house yourself (as others have suggested). After the "Great Recession" shake-out, it seems that a lot of the decent inspectors left the biz, and the guys that are left are underpaid and not that competent. If they fail to find serious flaws with the house the extent of their liability is that they will refund their fees. That tells you how much they stand behind their service. If you know someone who is in construction/remodeling who has skills, I would get them to look too. I speak from experience--ours was "inspected", I looked at it as well, and it had a lot of problems that were not disclosed, not found by the inspector and not found by me...
    Last edited by paredown; 10-20-2017 at 03:51 AM.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    Assuming you are getting a mortgage - The bank will require all that title search stuff. You will not have any choice in that matter. The bank, mortgage broker, or agent will have a recommendation for title agency.

    Attorneys, agents, title insurance, title transfers, form of ownership, etc., are all beasts of jurisdiction. Each state is different. One person's experience in one state has little to do with someone else's in another state.

    As for down payment - VA loan. Zero down.
    Yeah, that's pretty much been my experience. The lender basically owns the house so it'll want to make sure the title is clean. The buyer pays for that. There's no need for an attorney. The closing/title outfit will arrange everything. The whole process has become so regulated since the housing implosion s decade ago.

  6. #31
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    You decide what you can afford. Don't let the realtor tell you what you can afford by a formula. You will be house poor.

    Decide what is important to you. (example- I told our realtor a geographic area I required and no split levels and a price limit)

    Know what the market is and if you see a deal pounce on it.

    Don't fret. If you buy a house and lose your job and lose the house, it is no worse than renting if you were lived there a few years.
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

  7. #32
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    Well, some good news and bad news. Good news: I am enrolled in LegalShield through work and one of the features they provide is Real Estate Attorney services.

    The bad news... I am an authorized user on a credit card and well, that card is maxed out at the moment (not by me). This has screwed up my credit utilization ratio and 2/3 credit scores are now in the "poor" rating. I have voiced to the owner's to have me removed as an authorized user, but it seems like they can't be bothered... not sure how to go about getting this resolved.

  8. #33
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    So, I assume you co-signed for somebody else's credit card, and now that has come back to bite you hard? Hard lesson learned, there. Contact the credit card company. I think if you pay off their debt then close the account, you can resolve this quickly.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    So, I assume you co-signed for somebody else's credit card, and now that has come back to bite you hard? Hard lesson learned, there. Contact the credit card company. I think if you pay off their debt then close the account, you can resolve this quickly.
    No, its not a co-signed card. I was added as an authorized user but it seems Experian and TransUnion weighs the debt on the authorized user as much as the cardholder. Equifax does not weigh it as heavily and that credit score is excellent as a result.

  10. #35
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    I'm still trying to imagine what this means. Do you ever USE this card? If not, have yourself removed from it. FWIW, the credit reporting agencies are only supposed to use those things in which you are responsible for paying. If your credit was not used as a guarantor for the card, then it should not be held against your credit. Time for an attorney if it was.

    If, OTOH, you were a co-signor, oh well, that's what being a co-signor entails.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I'm still trying to imagine what this means. Do you ever USE this card? If not, have yourself removed from it. FWIW, the credit reporting agencies are only supposed to use those things in which you are responsible for paying. If your credit was not used as a guarantor for the card, then it should not be held against your credit. Time for an attorney if it was.

    If, OTOH, you were a co-signor, oh well, that's what being a co-signor entails.
    Right, I get the co-signer part which this is not. Generally this is done for someone who either has no credit or very little credit history as a way to get into a credit card and start building credit. Normally this is for a spouse or a child.

    I did use the card occasionally out of convenience when I needed to pick things up for the owner of the card. It was more convenient than settling the debt in cash as they simply paid for it. During a recent spat expenses (and no emergency fund, but that's a different story), they have maxed out said credit card.

    I haven't tried calling to get myself removed yet, since most cards explicitly state only the main account holder has access to make said changes. I guess it doesn't hurt to try.

  12. #37
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    Guess it is not so convenient now. Your going to have to resolve this conflict or live with it forever. That account will never be payed off.
    BANNED

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason124 View Post
    Right, I get the co-signer part which this is not. Generally this is done for someone who either has no credit or very little credit history as a way to get into a credit card and start building credit. Normally this is for a spouse or a child.

    .....
    Not true. If you had to sign paperwork for the card, guess what? You became a co-signor. Now you are 'jointly and severally' responsible for all the debt, and until it's paid off, you're all screwed. Once again, if you offer to retire the debt and close the account, your credit will improve over the next 3 years or so. Do nothing, and it will be a blot on your credit for a lot longer.

    BTW, it always amazes me how fiscally naive the younger generations are today.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  14. #39
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    I don't quite understand how the 2 credit agencies are looking at this. I can see if the card has a large (unused) credit limit, then that certainly can be looked as 'accessible credit' (which you can easily draw on) but since you are NOT the owner and it's already max'd out, you can't really access any of that. Now, you're screwed either way.

    I wonder if the card owner would do the right thing and promptly remove you as an authorized user, once you tell them you're trying to buy a house. I would imagine he/she would understand.
    Last edited by config; 10-29-2017 at 07:55 AM.

  15. #40
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    Much ado about nothing

    So I learned 2 things this morning. Turns out CreditKarma doesn't actually show your FICO score, but only shows "your" accounts and assumes any charges made are made by you. Hence my credit score was "poor" due to credit utilization.

    I did get my actual FICO scores and all of those show my credit is "Very Good" (740-799).

    Additionally, Citi has changed their policy and I was able to remove my name from the account as well. Their old policy was only the account owner can and and/or remove additional authorized users.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason124 View Post
    .... Turns out CreditKarma doesn't actually show your FICO score, but only shows "your" accounts and assumes any charges made are made by you. Hence my credit score was "poor" due to credit utilization.
    ...
    OK, now things are starting to make sense; you were expecting a sales-driven website like Credit Karma to be giving you a true FICO store. They don't, they are only there to sell you their over-priced 'services'. In the investment and banking services industry, such things are referred to as "Fake-O" scores.

    FWIW, you neglected to do the FIRST thing that a prospective home buyer has to do, namely get a pre-approved mortgage BEFORE you start looking. This way, you know what you can afford, and you don't waste time looking at those you can't. Also, a situation like you just described would probably cause you enough time to resolve that any offer you made would likely expire before you had the issue cleared up
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  17. #42
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    Just an update to this thread, the card was removed end of October but the credit bureau was not updated until November 20th. Credit score jumped another 20 points, which was unexpected but still nice.

    Got pre-approved the same day and have looked at 9 houses. Only 2 fit my criteria and apparently for every Tom, Dick and Harry as well. The first one had an offer the day I saw it. Cut off for "best and final" offers was the following day at 1PM. By the time I had thought the numbers over, there was 3 more offers. I placed my offer at $2,600 above asking price, and still got rejected.

    Saw the other candidate yesterday, which had been on the market for 43 days. They had reduced the price about 2 weeks ago and again, as I was about to submit an offer, "we have 2 other offers. Please submit your best and final offer."

    I'll keep everyone posted.

  18. #43
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    I've always wondered about "other offers", if they were legit.
    Back in 1988 I offered 298 on an asking price of 295 and on that very same day my offer was accepted.
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  19. #44
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    I requested a investigation of a realtor in IN when I bought a house there. House on the market for months, I put in a offer... surprise, I was in a bidding war.
    BANNED

  20. #45
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    When I bought my second house in 2000, it was a strong sellers market. Houses were going way over asking price. "Accelerator clauses" were common. You'd make an offer -- usually at asking -- and then if someone else did the same thing, the clause kicked in and upped your bid by a set amount -- usually $1000. If the competing bid also had an accelerator clause, then that offer jumper by $1000. It would keep going until the increments hit the limit. So I put a bid in at asking price with a $40,000 accelerator clause. I got the house. The seller, who was a real estate agent told me there were four offers, all at asking price and all with accelerator clauses. But they never kicked in because they all asked for the seller to pay points on the mortgage. I asked for no points which made me the high bidder. Don't ask for extras in a seller market.

    The place I owned went the day it got listed on MLS for way over asking. That was a nice experience.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I requested a investigation of a realtor in IN when I bought a house there. House on the market for months, I put in a offer... surprise, I was in a bidding war.
    Realtors are a slimy bunch. A friend of mine who used to sell houses took a couple around to look at a half-dozen houses, then never heard from them again. A month later, he checked the status on those same houses, and, SURPRISE, they had bought one of them. The buyers realtor was the husband's brother! He contacted the guy, and suggested he give him 75% of the common 3% realtor commission, or he'd report the breach of contract to the real estate commission.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Realtors are a slimy bunch.
    They can be. Additionally, they're quite often clueless about real estate laws and regulations - and lean pretty heavily on title/escrow companies to make them look good.

    At least in the state I live, it only takes about $500 and a few days in a class room to become a realtor. Since real estate is hot and overpriced here, every slacker that can't find or hold down another job becomes a realtor.

    My wife has been in the mortgage lending and then title/escrow businesses for 30 years. I've heard tons of stories, and with a few notable exceptions, I tend to view realtors and developers negatively.

  23. #48
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    Another update, ended up looking at 18 homes total. One of the multiple offer homes has already sold while the other is pending. The seller went with a cash offer since the first 2 buyers trying to finance fell through, hence the house was on the market for 43 days.

    Found a house on the 9th, offer accepted on the 12th. Nice house with upgraded flooring and kitchen, includes all kitchen appliances. It didn't show well since it was a rental but definitely in better shape than other rentals.

    Home inspection did not reveal too many issues (the biggest ones were the replacement water heater was not installed up to code and a dirty HVAC unit, both of which are addressed by the seller. Moving along nicely and scheduled to close on the 19th of January.

  24. #49
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    Congratulations, and enjoy your new place.

  25. #50
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    Congrats on your first home.
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