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Buying a House

Updated on December 4, 2014

Buying a house a house can be a long, tedious process with a surprising number of fees and paperwork. Get a clear idea of whom you'd like to deal with before embarking on the process. For instance, you don't know a homeowner from Adam. So how do you know he could or even would sell you the house in way that won't come back to bite you?

Real Estate Agent

When we bought a house we went through a real estate agent. We also went through an agency that had a national brand. If anything goes wrong you want some recourse. If you take on a real estate agent who is working out of the back of his pickup, and everything goes south the moment he gets his commission, what are you going to do if he has split for parts unknown?

Pick a real estate agent that you can deal with. If they are always sloppy or late or wrong or bringing along pets or family members who interfere with the process, you may be stuck with that nonsense at a crucial time.

You don't necessarily want someone who has the same tastes as you, but they should be able to convert spoken or unspoken requirements into a prospective house. For instance, if you and your spouse have trouble walking or climbing stairs, you don't want someone who thinks showing you a million dollar five story monstrosity would be a good idea.

Don't Buy Your Neighbor's Dog

Examine the lawn of the house you are thinking about buying carefully. If possible, inspect the house more than once so you can see changes over time. If every time you come to the house, there are fresh dog droppings, but the seller claims not to have a dog, do not buy the house. The neighborhood dogs are already using the yard for their toilet. You do not want to fight that battle.

Don't buy a pool

You do not want a pool.

You do not want a pool.

You do not want a pool.

A pool requires constant maintenance, cleaning and attention. It will be up to you to make sure that the water is free of contaminants and is maintained at the proper PH level. If you don't do it you must pay someone else to do it. Unless you are some kind of Olympic swimmer in training, a pool is just like a boat in that it costs money and you will use it much, much, much less than you think.

When leaves fall in the pool you must take them out. The pool can crack. Algae can grow in it. Taking care of a pool yourself means messing with chemicals like chlorine.

Don't buy a pool.

Don't buy Mosquitoes

It might seem nice to live next to nature by a lake, but a lake does mean mosquitoes and all those nasty chemicals that are required to repel mosquitoes.

If you live near nature prepare to see what rabbit droppings look like up close and personal.

Your oak tree does not belong to you. It belongs to the squirrels. Squirrels will bury their nuts everywhere. Your lawn and maybe even your garden will have the holes to prove it.

Get ready

Get all your documents and finances ready before you start buying a house. You don't need the hassle of trying to get some document you forgot on an emergency basis.

If you have a spotty work history you might want to consider working a few years in a row so that your work history will not harm you

Make sure that you spend a few years paying off your bills promptly before buying your house. Try to never carry a credit card balance. Pay it off at the end of the month. Try to earn a high credit rating before buying a house.

Pay it off early

If you have the cash and if you are of a mind to do so, pay off the house early. If you are going to live there for 30 years you should certainly do this. If you only want to live their 5 years or less it is probably not work the hassle to pay off the house early.

When you make extra house payments, make sure that the payments go to principle only.


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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Trust me Glenis, unless some other poor slob is maintaining it, you are much better off without a pool.

      Have a blessed day!

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      GlenR 2 years ago from UK

      LOL. Good advice poetryman. Luckily for me, a pool is generally a temptation in the UK only to those with a strong constitution and lottery winnings.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Thanks for the vote of confidence Sandy. I think my wife and I may in for the house hunting thing one or two more times before it's all over.

      Be blessed!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 3 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Great tips to buying a home. Hope I don't have to go through that again. Thumbs up.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Peggy, your advice about not having a tree around a pool is very good advice. It would be a lot less painful to have our pool if there wasn't always tree stuff falling in it.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      If one has a pool, make sure that there are no trees around it! My mother had a pool at her last house (prior to both of us selling our houses and finding this one in which we could all live together...prior to her death) but the neighbor behind planted some oak trees. They grew quickly in this climate and then the battle began! If acorns drop into a pool they actually leave marks!

      My hubby and I once put a spa in our backyard at a former home. We used it hot and heavy at first and loved it. Gradually we used it less and less and eventually gave it away.

      We are home owners, but one must always be prepared for unexpected expenses in addition to the usual ones. There was a time when one could always expect to make money when selling a home...but for many years now that is no longer a certainty. Much to consider! You have given some good advice in this hub. Using a reputable Realtor is a must! Will share this.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Hello Katelyn. In the end, there is only so much you can control. In the real world we have to put up with something we don't necessarily care for to get something we want.

    • katelynstuart profile image

      Katelyn Stuart 3 years ago from Orlando

      Great read! Looking at houses now and I never even thought about the lake... or the dog...etc. Good insights!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Susie you must be a hardy soul to take on both the mosquitoes and that snow. I hope you inherit good things! Be blessed.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 3 years ago from Minnesota

      I am not in the market to buy another house, but will inherit one in the future. I agree not to buy a pool, but the mosquitoes come with the property here. There are ways to keep them at bay. -- Good useful tips.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Mona I have watched some of those house flipping programs as well. For awhile, I thought the economy was making it too hard to make money that way but apparently some folks are still doing it.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Very interesting. I love shows like flip this house and house vs. house. I think I watch all of them, including flipping in Vegas. Seeing it from the point of view of the buyer is also very interesting. You have mentioned some very helpful tips in this article.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Hello Favored. Yes we do need to consider that we are buying into a neighborhood for years when we buy a house. If you really don't like your neighbors then it may be really hard to like your house.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      I don't think we think about what we're buying into besides the house itself. Sound advice.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Thanks Varun. I will give the matter some thought.

    • profile image

      Varun 3 years ago

      I was curious if you ever tuhhgot of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what you've got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. You've got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Lady Guinevere I am sorry that you had such a bad experience with a contractor.

      I had always been told that living in West Virginia was much less expensive than Maryland and Virginia. I lived in Maryland for a little while years ago.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Yes, you do not want a pool! We got our house from my parents and therefore did not have to go to a real estate agent, BUT when we needed to do upgrades to it and bring it to current codes we had to go to a bank. They nearly killed us! Seriously I have a story about that and may publish that here as well for all to see how a bank can put you in ruins. We got in with a shyster contractor and that was a lesson we will never forget and now we do not truat ANYONE anymore that are contractors.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      DeborahDian, I am sure that if folks are careful they can have a positive home buying experience but I am not a thrilled by the prospect as I once was

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I used to be a Realtor and you have given home buyers some good things to consider, here.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Shyron thanks dropping by and thanks for the comments.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      I would buy a house, as soon as I possibly could if I were young again.

      Renting is giving money away, without the possibility of a return on the money. If you buy a house 9 times out of 10 you would make a profit.

      You do have a lot of good advice, and interesting advice.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Mary buying house is one of those things that sound much better than it is!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      If I had my life to live over, I would not buy a house! I would rent! Good advice here in your Hub.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Marlene, thank you so much for your remarks. Have a blessed evening.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from USA

      Oh my gosh! You covered all of the most important issues buyers need to consider when buying a home.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Nonaweeks good luck with finding a nice house!

    • nonaweeks profile image

      Nona Weeks 3 years ago from Florissant, CO

      In the process of trying to find a home for my family. Thank you for sharing the tips.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 4 years ago

      Koralee, we can only hope that people will listen and not regret their housing choices.

    • KoraleeP profile image

      Koralee Phillips 4 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

      Great advice for buying a house. I totally agree that you don't want a pool. The idea always sounds so romantic, but in reality they are tonnes of work.


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