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House Hunting Part 1.

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Princess and I are looking at houses and sometimes we drive by law offices to see if they have deals on discount divorces. ;) Just Kidding. It is so very stressful to find something you can afford and will still enjoy years from now.

We went with a buyer’s agent instead of a realtor thinking we wanted someone looking out for our wellbeing. Well that's a huge crock of shit. They cannot separate themselves from their base hunger for a cut of the sale price (3.5%). Now we just treat her like one of Clinton's lawyers. We assume everything that comes out of her mouth to be a lie or at the very least extremely insincere.

We decided to make an offer on a nice looking place. Instead of relying on the realtor I went to the courthouse and dug up the plats and deeds to the place for $11.00. It was there that I found out that the house sat on the only buildable surface on the lot because of a 60 foot easement in the rear. Yep, you guessed it when I asked our buyers agent about it she about fainted when I suggested that she knew it already. When we first looked at the house I asked about a large manhole cover in the middle of the yard. Her response was “they are like that everywhere in this neighborhood. Don’t worry you can still build back here.” Then she hustled us away from the site and worked the conversation towards the quality of the deck.

I wouldn’t insult a whore by calling her a Real Estate Agent.

Thank God for my limited experience working in this field or we would have been screwed.
 
Messages
5,353
Points
31
I plan on becoming a home owner in the next couple of years and I will certainly be on the look-out for the playas and pimps in the real estate biz.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Good Idea. Learning how to look up things on your own at the Parish Courthouse is my best advice. Don't Trust and Personally Verify. Oh, and keep a fresh can of that quart sized whoop ass handy.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
2nd oldest profession?

I think you may have come in contact with one of those "double agents".. the ones that like to screw and screw alike-
 

Bullwinkle

Cyburbian
Messages
176
Points
7
This is a slight hijack, but I have a theory about planners and the houses they buy. I think a high percentage of planners find the 'sleeper' houses: the modest home in the high-end neighborhood, the house that really is next door to the natural area that won't be developed, etc. I think that because we deal with land use and development issues regularly, we know what to look for.

I know it worked for me at another job. I bought a 'fixer upper' that was adjacent to 50+ wooded acres that was undevelopable. Really undevelopable, not just the realtor's version of undevelopable. It was a sweet deal.

I have seen other planners do the same thing. Have your experiences been similar?
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Two men...

...a realtor and a lawyer, are walking down the beach.

They walk past a buxom blonde sunning herself in a tiny bikini. The one turns to the other and says, "Wow! I'd sure like to screw her!" Perplexed, the other replies , "Really? ...out of what?"
 
Messages
5,353
Points
31
"Good Idea. Learning how to look up things on your own at the Parish Courthouse is my best advice. Don't Trust and Personally Verify. Oh, and keep a fresh can of that quart sized whoop ass handy. "

Thanks for the advice El Guapo! :)
 

planasaurus

Cyburbian
Messages
215
Points
9
We bought a new place a little while ago. The construction was not completed, and we were promised all kinds of stuff when we first talked about it - a washer and dryer, marble countertops, $2,500 in upgrades. When we went to sign the contract and close on the place, they told us that their company won't give is that stuff. Our realtor didn't do anything.
 

biha

Cyburbian
Messages
25
Points
2
"Sleeper" Houses

Bullwinkle's comments about planners finding "sleeper" houses are on target. My wife and I had been admiring a nice 18th century colonial that abutted a pond and several hundred acres of municipal open space, and I casually mentioned to the owner that if he ever was to sell it, to contact me first. About a year later he approached me and we settled on a fair price within a couple of minutes ( I had already done my homework, and knew it wasn't in a flood zone, there were no easements, etc.). Since realtor's were not involved, the price was cut by the 6 percent commission they would exact on top of the selling price ($9,000 on a $150,000 house). After the transaction was recorded in Town Hall, a local relator yelled at me for "cutting him and his colleagues out of their rightful commission." What a jerk!
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Re: "Sleeper" Houses

biha wrote:
After the transaction was recorded in Town Hall, a local relator yelled at me for "cutting him and his colleagues out of their rightful commission." What a jerk!
Heh heh heh... "Rightful" commission. You found the house, did all the research, worked with the owner, but cut out guy who didn't do squat... Tsk tsk.

"Jerk" doesn't quite do him justice. "Pond scum", perhaps?

Did you reply to this guy at all? I'd have some real fun with an angry moron yelling at me for doing something not only legal, but well within the boundaries of proper behaviour.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
24
yeah...i couldn't believe i got roped into a 6 month contract with my agent...i can't wait for july...
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Check that contract - There is normally a "YOU SUCK AS A HUMAN BEING AND I AM FIRING YOUR LIEING ASS" section somewhere. It may not be entitled exactly the way I wrote it, but you'll find it.

The key is to have enough apples in your basket to tell them why you wish to cancel the contract. They count on people being polite and sucking it up.

Good luck.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
There's one good one

Having just closed on the sale of house yesterday, I can say I think I actually found a decent realtor in the crowd. At the end of transaction he advised that he was starting his own firm in 2003, and asked that if I was satisfied with his work, would I please write a testimonial for his advertisements.

My testimonial:

"Of all the realtors I've dealt with personally and professionally over the last decade, Arthur is the only one I would ever hire a second time."
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
My wife and I (she's also a planner) just closed on a house last month. Had a buyer's agent, but she and the seller's agent almost managed to screw themselves out of a deal. There was corrective work that clearly needed to be done per our home inspection, and the seller's agent didn't want to mess with it. Problem is, she was legally obligated to disclose the necessary work (read "structural problems") to any subsequent buyer.

We loved the house (small mill house built in the 1870s), and the owners liked us and understood that after pouring every penny of our meager public-servants-salary savings into downpayment and closing we would be unable to effect the necessary repairs.

We just cut the realtors out of the communications loop. Sounds crazy I know (and perhaps it is a bit of a rationilization) but I now view the "wasted" commission as payment for them to just get the hell out of the way. One quarter million dollars (ouch) and one reinforced foundation later, we're finally settled. I never want to see another realtor again. It's a blessing and a curse, but in this Eastern Massachusetts housing market, we won't be able to buy another home in our lifetime anyway.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Sean - I feel your pain. Friends of ours are looking in Colonie, and I am just stunned by the insanity of what people are getting for their house, and how quickly! We also got roped into a contract with a realtor who we ended up hating. According to her, there was absolutely NOTHING for us in the range we were looking and that we should bump up $20K (we were approved by our bank for $40K more than we wanted to spend). Short story long, we found a house on our own for sale by owner, and ended up buying it with out our realtor finding out.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,427
Points
53
Bullwinkle wrote:
I have seen other planners do the same thing. Have your experiences been similar?
Yuppers.

1) The fixer-upper brick Craftsman bungalow in Northwest Denver that, from the exterior, was architecturally PERFECT -- all original windows, doors, and details, unaltered. I did a lot of work inside, mostly cosmetic. The house is on a block with a wonderfully narrow street, lined by well-maintained brick bungalows and Tudors from the 1920s. The house was in a working-class area, but just two blocks the official boundary between the neighborhood and the rapidly gentrifying West Highlands neighborhood; if it was on the other side of the border, the price would be 50% higher. The house was also three blocks away from an abandoned amusement park that would become the site of a large New Urbanist development, and a five minute walk from the last pedestrian-oriented commercial area in Denver with no trendy or upscale merchants.

After the sale, my realtor said that I got the last affordable house in Northwest Denver. She was right. The neighborhood was declared "hot" by a local lifestyle magazine, every working class family that moved was replaced by young professionals or lesbian couples, and there was an all-out bidding war when I sold the house two years later. Good times.

2) The house I live in now, in suburban Orlando. By Florida standards, it's old -- built in 1987. However, the landscaping is mature (huge canopy trees, compared to the twigs you see in adjacent new subdivisions), and it's the classic "cheap home in an expensive neighborhood." The house was built with few of the upgrades the original builder offered for the model, and the price was about $40,000 less than similarly sized/aged houses in the subdivision. It was an "off the beaten path" FSBO, my realtor still managed to get her commission.
 
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