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Old 12-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default I want to learn about Real Estate.

I am not totally devoid of real estate knowledge, I know why sub prime happened . But I don't know enough where I feel totally comfortable talking about it. I want to know real estate on the same level that I know miata's, which I can honestly say is extensive compared to a year ago.

My new years resolution is to buy a house 1 year from now.

I want to start learning more about real estate. How to buy a house, what goes into buying a house, how to acquire the best mortgage, and etc. In this weird economy things are not as simple as they once were. I would like to really get a good background in it so I can take maximum advantage of everything available to me.

Do you guys know any good resources that I can look into to get started? Forums, books, articles, etc would be perfect.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:07 PM   #2
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Sam, if you're planning to buy a home 1 year from now you should see this 60 Minutes section: A Second Mortgage Disaster On The Horizon?, 60 Minutes: New Wave Of Mortgage Rate Adjustments Could Force More Homeowners To Default - CBS News

At least it will provide you a sense about home prices and timing on your purchase.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:13 PM   #3
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Look into some of the "complete guides to buying and selling relestate and be a gabilionaire too" info packs. They're expensive, but good. More than you want to know. Charleton Sheets used to have one my dad bought ~10 years ago. Honestly, the program worked. Best 250 bucks he ever spent. We've bought/sold 10 houses sense then, and own 7 right now.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:32 AM   #4
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More advise: buy cheap **** that nobody wants because it needs work/has 'serious' problems. Key is knowing what serious problems are easy to correct.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa View Post
Sam, if you're planning to buy a home 1 year from now you should see this 60 Minutes section: A Second Mortgage Disaster On The Horizon?, 60 Minutes: New Wave Of Mortgage Rate Adjustments Could Force More Homeowners To Default - CBS News

At least it will provide you a sense about home prices and timing on your purchase.
Translation: "The middle class is dead. You'll be renting forever." :(
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:09 AM   #6
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and here I am wondering if it's worth refinancing a 5.75 down to a 4.5.

only kidding.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:09 AM   #7
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Really not too much to learn if you are just trying to buy a house to live in. Find a house you like, get a good low fixed interest mortgage, pay it off as fast as you can (for peace of mind). The more expensive the house the faster it appreciates. I bought my first house for $40K and sold it 10 years later for $60K. Only a $20K gain in 10 years. My second house went up $20K the first year I owned it (because it was more expensive to start with). It isn't unrealistic for a $1M house to go up $100K in a very short time.

We kept a running list of what we really wanted in a house. I think there were about 20 things on the list and our new house met about 80% of our requirements. My wife spent 3 months looking at houses online (we had access to someones listing database so we could see things like taxes, how long it had been on the market, etc) and when she found one that looked promising she jumped in the car to take a look at it. In the end she only took me to see 3-4 houses (we were pretty picky). We knew when we saw this one that it was the one we were going to buy. It was black and white (no other house even came close). We paid it off in about 5-6 years so no more worrying about mortgages, int rates, losing my job, etc. Peace of mind is worth far more (to me) than some interest tax savings at the end of the year.

FWIW, the first thing we did is print out an amortization table so we could see how much INT we were saving when we made extra payments. I printed it out and stuck it to the wall so I could check off each month when I made the payments. When I got it down to the last $45K I did a 401K loan and paid off the rest of it. People said I was stupid but selling stocks when the DOW is 12,500 and buying them back after a market crash can work out very well. I would never do it now but the timing was right on that $45K.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:40 AM   #8
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rmcelwee is right on. i think i could break down home buying into 2 main categories: The home itself...what to look for do's and don'ts that type of thing.
The financial aspect...down payment, interest rate, ltv ratio, taxes, repairs.

I've just gone through this and we make settlement on our first house january 16th. we looked/waited for a year and a half till we found something we were happy with(i'm picky too). I'm financing 190K and am confident i'll be paying it off in 12-13 years if i don't move by then. My only 2 mistakes so far may have been my initial offer and my bargaining after the home inspection. We saw the house the day it hit the market and 4 couples had already seen it that day, we knew we wanted it and were tired of looking so i made an offer $100 more than asking price hoping to bump any offers made at asking price or slightly lower.(the home is already priced $50k less than the neighborhood). They accepted our offer right away but wanted to push settlement back from dec15th to jan16th, i didn't really want to for tax reasons and i wanted to make sure my parents could see it when the flew in from cali for the holidays. Maybe i should have played harball a little more i didn't know and didn't want this to fall through so i accepted this after i called my parents and they'll still be home that week. Next came the home inspection, all in all the house was fine just needing some minor repairs here and there i didn't mind doing myself except the electric was a tiny *** panel(100 amp) and the whole house was wired on 4 breakers. So i got a quote from my uncles electrician friend to fix everything and upgrade to 200 amp service. I was quoted $3500 and i all i asked for was half that($1750), they accepted but they wanted to move settlement again back to january 30th. This time i stood my ground and got the money and the previously accepted jan16. This was my first time though this process, and i'm left not really knowing how much more i could have gotten, at the time i was afraid to scare them off and lose the house.
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