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  1. #1
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    OT - Real Estate Question.



    My wife and I are in the process of trying to buy a house in MD.

    My mom is recommending us use a real estate attorney because real estate agents are hurting and looking to make a sale.

    Any recommendations on this topic?

    Also, how do we tell if a house is over priced and the seller is being unrealistic? I know most agents cant really divulge information like that.

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  2. #2

    Re: OT - Real Estate Question.

    Personally, I would not engage an attorney for anything but defending me. Nothing personal to anyone here, but most attorneys I have dealt with have been vultures.

    You need a good real estate agent.

    What area are you looking at? I don't know anything about Baltimore City or the northern counties, but I can tell you, from living in Anne Arundel County for decades, that prices vary widely be neighborhood. Our most expensive properties are Annapolis, Davidsonville, almost any waterfront property. Will you commute, or work from home? If commute, learn the traffic patterns to minimize stress and wasted time n the road.

    Each time my kids bought homes, they spent a lot of time on the internet exploring neighborhood crime stats, school achievements, real estate trends, etc, before engaging an agent.
    In a 2003 BBC poll that asked Brits to name the "Greatest American Ever", Mr. T came in fourth, behind ML King (3rd), Abe Lincoln (2nd) and Homer Simpson (1st).




  3. #3
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    We have been working with an agent. She seems pretty successful, but she is very aggressive. Not really sure how I feel about that.

    We are looking over in the Frederick area, northern Montgomery County, etc.

    We are looking for an older home, so the market is kind of limited.

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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wickedsolo View Post
    My wife and I are in the process of trying to buy a house in MD.

    My mom is recommending us use a real estate attorney because real estate agents are hurting and looking to make a sale.

    Any recommendations on this topic?

    Also, how do we tell if a house is over priced and the seller is being unrealistic? I know most agents cant really divulge information like that.

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    If this is your first home then you should go to housing counseling via a non profit. I know a few in Baltimore city and county... But they are all over. They go thru the process and explain the responsibilities of the persons in the real estate process and then go thru your finances and let you know what is affordable to you... Along with local grants and mortgage products. The state of Maryland has low interest products along with down payment grants but you will be required to go thru counseling first.

    And yes, you will need a realtor.




  5. #5
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    You're prior service, right?

    If so, the VA has killer rates right now and you won't have to put a dime down up front if you don't want / need to.

    Definitely go through an agent. I bought and sold two properties with Pat Hiban and his team was amazing. No pressure at all and very accommodating.

    And I'm not sure where you're getting that agents won't tell you if a house is overvalued. Your agent should be giving you a list of comparables ("comps") in that same area so you know what the market is for any particular area.

    Also, realtor.com shows past sales on houses so you can check your own comps as well.
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  6. #6

    Re: OT - Real Estate Question.

    Some great small towns in that area: I have had friends or employees live in Damascus, Boyds, New Market, Clarksburg, Middletown, Thurmont, Brookville (temp capital of US after the Brits burned DC in 1814), Middletown. Each of these towns has something to offer while allowing you to avoid Frederick, DC, or Baltimore crime and mediocre schools.

    Note that your real estate agent may be geographically limited. You can learn a lot by just driving to each potential town, get out & walk, and kibbitz with locals about the factors that are important to you e.g. crime, schools, traffic. Then, forearmed with that info, decide if the agent really covers the area that you want. I once had an agent who kept trying to steer me towards a certain community that I didn't like; it turns out, she was the listing agent for most houses for sale there. Get you agent to provide you a full disclosure of her most recent listings and sales.
    In a 2003 BBC poll that asked Brits to name the "Greatest American Ever", Mr. T came in fourth, behind ML King (3rd), Abe Lincoln (2nd) and Homer Simpson (1st).




  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: OT - Real Estate Question.

    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    If this is your first home then you should go to housing counseling via a non profit. I know a few in Baltimore city and county... But they are all over. They go thru the process and explain the responsibilities of the persons in the real estate process and then go thru your finances and let you know what is affordable to you... Along with local grants and mortgage products. The state of Maryland has low interest products along with down payment grants but you will be required to go thru counseling first.

    And yes, you will need a realtor.
    All of this, and even if this is not your first purchase, talk to a housing counselor first. Should be able to find some through HUD.

    I've got over 20 years in the housing finance industry. Being an educated consumer helps you immediately spot flimflam, because it is out there, and gives you so much more peace of mind.

    My recommended first stop online is knowyouroptions.com. It is a Fannie Mae site, and I know Fannie and Freddie still have a bad rep these days, but that site is the best for general information to get you started on the right path and to keep you in your home as long as you want to stay there.

    Best wishes in your home search.




  8. #8

    Re: OT - Real Estate Question.

    an aggressive real estate agent is not a good start. the agent is very important and rarely is the first one you find the best one to use. you are making what may be your largest investment. you have to have the expectations that the agent has to work for you and satisfy your requests. you asked about how to determine if a house is over priced. you should request comparable sales from your agent, the percent of offer price to asking price in the area, average days houses are on the market so you can compare to your targeted house, region practice for paying certain closing costs. in Virginia the seller pays the points. we closed on a place in Houston texas for my daughter where the buyer usually pays the points. everything is negotiable but there are strong regional practices that are usually followed.

    you can do a lot of work on your own as well. find a real estate website and research the offerings in the zip code where you want to live. this will allow you to formulate market prices on your own.

    to address your original question, a RE attorney won;t be able to help you in finding a house but i would suggest a RE attorney for your closing versus a title company doing the closing. it may cost a couple of hundred more but i have been burned buy stupid title company closings.

    the biggest decision in buying a home is the real estate agent that you choose. don;t feel guilty about telling an agent that you don;t think has your best interests in mind to go pound sand. its a big investment, its your money and you worked hard for it. the real estate agent has no skin in the game. they get paid regardless of the success you have with your purchase. that being said there are very good agents out there. its just a matter of finding one that will listen to you and be your advocate.




  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mista T View Post
    Some great small towns in that area: I have had friends or employees live in Damascus, Boyds, New Market, Clarksburg, Middletown, Thurmont, Brookville (temp capital of US after the Brits burned DC in 1814), Middletown. Each of these towns has something to offer while allowing you to avoid Frederick, DC, or Baltimore crime and mediocre schools.

    Note that your real estate agent may be geographically limited. You can learn a lot by just driving to each potential town, get out & walk, and kibbitz with locals about the factors that are important to you e.g. crime, schools, traffic. Then, forearmed with that info, decide if the agent really covers the area that you want. I once had an agent who kept trying to steer me towards a certain community that I didn't like; it turns out, she was the listing agent for most houses for sale there. Get you agent to provide you a full disclosure of her most recent listings and sales.
    We actually saw a house in Frederick that we really liked, but the school district is bad. We have a littke kid and dont want him dealing with that mess.

    The problem we are facing is we dont want new construction, thus the limited market.

    The agent we have been using defintely is Frederick centric.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post

    If this is your first home then you should go to housing counseling via a non profit. I know a few in Baltimore city and county... But they are all over. They go thru the process and explain the responsibilities of the persons in the real estate process and then go thru your finances and let you know what is affordable to you... Along with local grants and mortgage products. The state of Maryland has low interest products along with down payment grants but you will be required to go thru counseling first.

    And yes, you will need a realtor.
    This is good advice. Im a vet, so I wonder if the VA has housing counselors?

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRaven View Post
    You're prior service, right?

    If so, the VA has killer rates right now and you won't have to put a dime down up front if you don't want / need to.

    Definitely go through an agent. I bought and sold two properties with Pat Hiban and his team was amazing. No pressure at all and very accommodating.

    And I'm not sure where you're getting that agents won't tell you if a house is overvalued. Your agent should be giving you a list of comparables ("comps") in that same area so you know what the market is for any particular area.

    Also, realtor.com shows past sales on houses so you can check your own comps as well.
    That's the plan man! Problem with VA loans is they are verrrrrrry particular about the condition of the home. We are looking at homes that are 80-100+ years old.

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  12. #12
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