Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers


The Obvious, and Hidden, Costs of Buying a Home

No doubt buying a home these days is expensive. Particularly in some parts of the country such as Southern California.

Many of the costs are obvious, but some are expenses buyers don’t necessarily think about, or are somewhat hidden.

In this first article of 3, the focus is on the costs you may incur during the home search, as well as after you get an offer acceptance. Because some folks are backing out of deals, or having them fall apart (especially the short sales and foreclosures [REOs]), there may be fees you are paying even though you don’t end up with the home you want.

Read more about some of the home buying costs you may not think about (Part 1 of 3)


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Visit my Real Estate Consumer Blog at Carlsbad Real Estate News for lots of information about the general area

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

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Are YOU Interested in Buying an REO?

I just wrote an article that may interest you IF you are interested in buying an REO…or perhaps have little choice because of price range.

There are some important questions that I like to ask, so these might be useful for you to consider so you can decide IF buying an REO is right for you.

If nothing else, it will help you be prepared for the issues you need to confront during the search.

SO YOU WANNA BUY AN REO? ARE YOU REALLY READY?

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

It’s Not Easy Buying a Condo These Days…Especially a “Cheap” One

Buying a home these days is not easy.

Showing homes that you are interested in is not easy either. You have to be prepared, despite our best intentions, to encounter problems with missing keys or lock boxes, limited showing schedules, and other factors.

READ MORE:  It Shouldn’t This Hard to Buy a Cheap Condo These Days

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If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude” Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits

What YOU Should Know About Home Inspections

I’ve written about home inspections in the past, in particular about the importance of having one. I ALWAYS recommend a buyer have one, and this is most important when considering short sales and REOs (foreclosures) since they are sold AS IS and often have a myriad of defects and repair issues.

Here is a link to a terrific article on Home Inspections by a colleague of mine, Lenn Harley, in the MD/VA area (by the way, if you are a buyer in that area Lenn is THE Buyer’s Agent to call at HomeFinders.com).

There is No Such Thing as a “Bad Home Inspection”

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Follow Jeff Dowler on Twitter Subscribe in a reader

If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude” Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits

Some Homes are Not All They Are Cracked Up to Be – Some Are, Literally!!

Buyers – you may find in your home search that some homes are not all they are cracked up to be. But others will be.

However, I’m not talking about what you think I am.

I’m talking about REAL cracks.

There are homes, unfortunately here in North County San Diego (and no doubt elsewhere in the country), that have cracks in their slabs, which can be a serious problem.

  • Lenders will not provide a loan on a home with a cracked slab
  • A cracked slab can be very expensive to fix (to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars or more depending on the problem based on what I was told by a guy who does this sort of work). It’s also expensive to have an inspection completed to determine the nature of the problem and the remedy.

These issues may or may not be obvious, which is one more good reason to have a home inspection. If there is suspicion of a problem then a further more detailed inspection is definitely warranted.

And certainly if a slab crack is a known issue the seller should be disclosing this (as was the case in a rather charming older home I toured the other day with my buyers  – the seller was there and freely shared the issue).

Needless to say, a HOME INSPECTION is essential so you know what you are getting, or can decide that the home is more than you are willing, or can, take on.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

New Construction Homes in Carlsbad

These may not fit many budgets, especially those of you who are buying your first homes.

Model Homes at Rockledge in La Costa Oaks Carlsbad

Model Homes at Rockledge in La Costa Oaks Carlsbad

There are several communities of new construction homes in Carlsbad that may be of interest. What I find particularly impressive is that these homes are going QUICKLY – quite a change from a year ago when homes were languishing on the market and new home building sorta stopped.

Now there are 5 new communities that are building with another (53 Melrose) just starting in South Carlsbad.

Read more about COPPERWOOD and ROCKLEDGE in the La Costa Oaks master planned community in Carlsbad.  If you want new construction for under $250/SF here is your chance – but it’s going fast.

Use Your Common Sense, and Others Too

I realized that I wrote this article some time ago that I didn’t share here.

I think it’s an important one.

Buyers, especially folks going at it for the first time, sometimes just don’t use their common sense. It’s easy to get swayed by a beautiful home, or turned off by an ugly one, without using your common sense about what really is important and what your ultimate goal is.

But in this market of short sales, REOs and sellers who just may not give a hoot about how their home looks, using ALL YOUR SENSES makes, well, sense (cents??).

Read on to learn more how and why YOU better come to your senses while house hunting.

Buyer’s Market? Hmmm

The media implies that it is a buyer’s market out there. In many areas, and many segments of the market, that IS, indeed, true.

People also seem to think that this is true for the REO/bank owned market.

Home for sale

That may be true in some areas but it is certainly not the case here in North San Diego County in Carlsbad, San Marcos, Escondido, Oceanside and similar areas. Multiple offers on just about every REO (and short sale) and with these properties selling in many cases over asking suggests it is a BANKS’ market, NOT one favoring buyers.

Buyers are, in many cases submitting offers on multiple properties, and are losing out on several properties before they are successful. While this is not the case in mid- and high-range properties it is very much a part of the lower end market where many first time buyers need to start out.

dollar_signThe other shift we are seeing is many more cash buyers (often investors) who will often beat out regular buyers with loans since the REO banks (1) do not have to worry about an appraisal or a loan, and (2) they can get their money more quickly.

This is not to scare you away but just to paint a bit of a reality picture so you are not surprised. Given me a call if you have questions, or talk with YOUR agent to learn more about the reality of YOUR market. It may not be what you think it is.

READ MORE:

10 Buyer Challenges for Today’s Market

The Question Used to be – How Much Less Will the Sellers’ Take?

First Time Buyers – What Are You Missing in Your Home Search?

Posted in Due Diligence,House Hunting,Short Sales,What do I Buy? by Jeff Dowler on July 21, 2009
Tags: , , ,

Believe it or not you may be missing some things in your home search.

This is especially true if your interest, or budget, puts you in front of a lot of short sale and REO (foreclosure or bank-owned) homes.

And it may not be what you think.

Read more about buying a short sale or REO – What Am I Missing?

The 10 Buyer Challenges YOU Must Be Aware of

There are plenty of challenges to buying a home in today’s market. Here is a list of the 10 I think are the most relevant to buyers.

First time buyers have some challenges because for many the price range limits them, in large part, to homes that are distress sales and REOs (at least here in Southern California. And that means lots of competition.

And lots of patience.

Take a look at this list so you will be prepared. If I can help, just let me know.

10 Buyer Challenges for Today’s Market

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