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Thread: Real estate agents: What should I expect?

  1. #31
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Oh Pinktoe, that is yuch. I am looking at a house that is currently rented and you can't get in to see it--no showings, and I wonder about that. Ugh.
    That would be a big NO for me. If you can't see it...what are the renters doing to it?
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  2. #32
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    Yeah, I wonder that too. Pinkytoe, did you get in to see the house and was it trashed in any way by renters? You hear a lot of horror stories about disgruntled renters.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Yeah, I wonder that too. Pinkytoe, did you get in to see the house and was it trashed in any way by renters? You hear a lot of horror stories about disgruntled renters.
    I'll tell you what my dad did with the last renters of the farm house. He told them the bulldozer would be there in a month, Tuesday 3 pm. Then he told them 2 week, Tuesday 3 pm. He reminded them a week out. The day of they were pulling things out of the house as the bulldozer worked on the back corner.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  4. #34
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    Spouse spent hours looking at "comps" on Trulia and Zillow (I guess they are generated by an algorhythm) (sp?). I don't know about other areas, but the comps are all over the place around here. They seem to be based mostly on price, not on features.

    That said, this is not a fun area to look for houses. It's an old rust-belt depressed area with a lot of cheaply built houses constructed when the town was booming in the late 19th and early 20th century. There's a river the floods every so often, brooks and streams that do the same, and a water table that tends to make a lot of basements wet. Also, due to the construction of the older places, they are not made of good material--it's some kind of "cement" made of anything from old ashes to mud. And it crumbles.

    Also, we're in the cheap seats. We can't afford anything that great. We're buying because rentals are outrageous here due to out-of-town landlords from neighboring states snapping up houses and renting them to people emigrating to our area. (Have had a huge Hispanic influx in the past decade).

    My sister has given me a reference--I'm going to email her now and see what she has to say.

  5. #35
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    I would never buy a house I couldn’t see.

  6. #36
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    People here who buy property on the courthouse steps are amazing to me. They buy with interior sight unseen. That is a risk.But rhen, they are pretty much buying the property as a shell and assuming they will put in a ton of money to renovate it. That is not a bad approach because that’s what we did with our house. We bought 4 brick walls that contained two new windows. There was rough flooring on 3floors. The rest of it was gutted. In this 3 story house, there wasnt even an interior staircase. So in a way that is good, it was completely a clean slate.

    The people who buy gut rehabs know how much it costs to rip out everything. Other than plaster, it is pretty cheap, a week’s work.

    We drove by the tiny house we sold recently, and the new owners have gutted it. Yay for Them! This tiny house needs everything, there is nothing worth saving on the interior. It is back down to its original two rooms plus attic bedroom. I cant wait to see what it looks like when renovated. I may have to re-buy it when they are done, haha. DH would divorce me if I did that, but
    I always loved that little bitty house house and its location.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I always loved that little bitty house house and its location.
    Didn't you show us a photo or two of it once?
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  8. #38
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    The people who buy gut rehabs know how much it costs to rip out everything. Other than plaster, it is pretty cheap, a week’s work.
    Ripping out stuff is pretty cheap, but there probably (tens of) thousands of people who got suckered into the house-flipping craze and lost $$$$$ because they thought they were good with a hammer but they never thought how much even a quickly-flipped house would bring in its neighborhood (comps) or what the local code/zoning folks required for either a CO or a sale. Here, for investment real estate, there are requirements like who can file the city-required cert documenting that the heating system is up to snuff. Not only can most local plumbing companies not supply the cert; Harry Homedepot surely cannot, either. It's an expense the suburban folks don't even suspect exists but they don't get to rent out the place until the report has been submitted to the city.

    Quote Originally Posted by frugalone
    "comps" on Trulia and Zillow
    Yeah, fun numbers there. A lot of people eating pie on Trulia and Zillow, thinking their houses are worth what those sites say they are. In fact, I just looked at both sites' estimates for our house and think they're about 10% higher than what this house would sell for in the real world (I've kept track of that closely since I bought the place). I looked at my rental property and they were about that high over on it, too, with Zillow noting that the estimate had dropped about eight percent in the last 30 days alone for no explicable reason (this neighborhood is hot right now and there's an extreme shortage of houses in that price range).

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry
    I would never buy a house I couldn’t see.
    Ditto. And though inspectors don't catch everything, I wouldn't buy one I couldn't have inspected. I get that you should give tenants time to vacate for a showing but not allowing a showing? You're hiding something, even if it's that the tenants don't know the place is being sold.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  9. #39
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    I think if one is very sure of the neighborhood one is buying in as we were, then buying sight unseen (as we did) can work out. We had already zeroed in on a neighborhood when first looking and when our house popped up, we jumped with an offer even though out of state. The realtor did a video walk-through with comments. It was not practical or economical for us to keep going back every time a house seemed interesting. We have bought enough houses to know that inspectors always miss things and aren't always reliable. We actually had a separate plumbing inspection done. Other than the weird tenant issue and some oddball things the previous owner "updated", everything turned out OK. Old houses in dying rust belt cities sounds worrisome, but maybe there are some solid brick houses that have been maintained at the least. Plumbing and electric is always a big thing to check out in any older house.

  10. #40
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    sounds like your realtor's heart isn't in the game. The last realtor I had, I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with her before our first house-viewing, giving her MLS # of houses I liked online, and what appealed to me about them, and my must-have list. Long story short, on our first (and only) meeting day, she showed me 6 houses, all of which met my criteria, and one of them is the house I'm sitting in today. That's what a realtor should be! But, this wasn't my first house and I was pretty specific about what I had to have, and I didn't expect perfection, either. Gardenarian gave you some great advice about checking out the house more fully. And pay top dollar for a mad-dog inspector, and walk the property with the inspector (you can get some great advice this way) Frugalone, any houses built in the late 1940s/1950s in your town? From what I understand, that was the golden age of house-building.

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