Buying a House - Akron,OH

Updated on February 17, 2011
H.V. asks from Akron, OH
14 answers

I just entered into the "wonderful" experience of buying our first house. I'm still kinda new at it, I know some things but am confused on others.
I called a lender the other day and gave them my info. I was wondering, is it ok to call them back and ask what the result is or should I wait for them to call me?
Also any other 1st time home buying tips would be awesome!

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Home inspection, home inspection, home inspection! Our home qualified for FHA loan and was FHA inspected and we thought that was good enough. Fast forward 10 yrs and we've had to fix and/or deal with a consistenly leaking basement and back mud room, replace a $5k beam in the living room that was not up to code and the engineer literally made us leave the house until it was fixed and a $6k electrical update!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

The best tip I would offer is not to overspend. When I bought my first house at 30, when I was single, I was approved for a mortgage of $1100 per month. I bought about half that much house and my mortgage was about $500 per month. I often wondered where in the heck I would have gotten that other $500-600 per month!
Beware, the agent that starts saying things like "just stop ordering a pizza on Fridays...." etc. Know what you can afford and stick to it.
Oh--and a home inspection from a reputable professional is worth every penny!
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I don't know what information you gave them, but they should be contacting you! They should be trying to "win" your business. Of course, you can contact them to find out what's going on.

I just want to say that in my experience, talking with a lender should not just be a quick phone call. You should find somebody who is willing to take the time to sit down, talk with you, and go over all the nitty-gritty details. Shop around--your local bank, credit union, large mortgage broker, personal broker, etc. They each have strengths and weaknesses, it's up to you to find the one to best fit your situation.

Good luck! (I'm in the process of buying my 2nd home and it's still very overwhelming sometimes!)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

I agree with the inspections.

Split up from your spouse when you walk through the first time and if you can manage it from your realator. Get a first impression and look with your own eyes then come together, disscuss and point out things. It is amazing on how much more you see when you do it this way.

Take some one you does not have a vested intrest in the house that you trust (a friend or co worker) through the house and ask them what they see. It is great to have an unbiased opinion. Also they will look at things without the heart strings attached to it. A good question to ask them is if they see you in this house too. We got a lot of good feedback this way.

Warrenties are not all they are cracked up to be. IF the house is old, might be worth it. We bought one and have still have had to pay for a new furnace becasue one little piece in the furnace was still under manufactures warrenty (not even the main one that was broke) and that voided the other warrenty.

Definately look at location for the long term. Are the schools and services good.

Drive by the house you are looking at several times at different times of the day. What are the neighbors like or doing, is the street to busy or dark, Do things not look as good in the night as when everyone is home at night.

Take virtual tours on-line. It helps weed out some of the houses.
Look at houses just above your price and below it too. You are both going to be negotiating the price so it may end up in your range anyway.

Have a realator that you like, that is willing to make suggestions and is proactive. It will make life a lot simpler for you. It is their job and you pay the same amount either way. (comes out of the sellers money at the end)

Ask questions!! Maintnence, history ect. We found out that the septic on the house we bought had never been cleaned in 6 years. It was one of the first things done. Ask yourself if you could live in it today! It takes time to do renovations and paint. Do you have the money to do it all now or is it going to have to be over time. Chances are you will move in and then work on things.

Lenders... I had a answer within 24 hours and a preapproval in 48. They should call you but it never hurts to follow up. Maybe they have something wrong in your file.

Hope this helps. We bought out first house 13 months ago and are overall happy with it. Oh and one last thing trust your gut if it is pushing you away from a house. We were looking at a great little house and it did not sit right with me so we kept looking. 6 months later the area flooded and that house was on the front page. I did not know it at the time but I am sure glad we did not buy that one. We live less than 1/4 mile from there and never had a water problem.


answers from Columbus on

Something to watch out for from the bank as well as your realtor, is not to take out the maximum loan amount you get approved for. I know a lot of people that shop for houses based on the amount the bank tells them, and the realtor will push you towards the high end of your budget so they get a larger commission. Instead think about what your monthly payment will be, and how much of a strain it will be to make your house payments if something unexpected happens.

Also don't jump at the first house that you like. Go through at least 3 times before you make an offer. Every time you look at a house you will notice things you didn't see before.

Good luck, and remember to have fun!


answers from Minneapolis on

Call them whenever you feel like it. It let's them know you are a motivated buyer vs someone just curious about rates or casually thinking about a move.



answers from Cleveland on

Do you have a realtor yet? That should be your first step. A GOOD realtor will help you through everything. Ask your friends for referrals. There are a lot of crappy realtors out there, unfortunately, but there are good ones, also. Ones that care about the buyer, and not just the sale.

In which areas are you looking? West side - Copley, Fairlawn? Or further outside of Akron - Stow, the Falls? Like the others said, location is everything.

And yes, call the lender (though they should be calling you) and then call some other lenders to get competitive rates.

Good luck! We always had fun when we were house shopping. It should not be a bad experience, and won't, if you find the right realtor to walk you through it.




answers from Philadelphia on

I think rules maybe different today than when I bought a house but I do remember our lender told us we qualified for a mortgage almost double the one we ended up getting. If we had listened to the lender we would have been house poor and we would not have been able to decorate our home or go on vacations or even out to eat. We would have been eating a lot of noodles, eggs and other cheap food. So my advice is for you to figure out what you can afford in terms of a mortgage, taxes, home owners fees, insurance, etc. Happy house hunting!



answers from Johnstown on

Totally agree with Amanda--INSPECTION!!!! Including PEST! NOT by someone the seller or the seller's realtor suggests...we ran into an issue with our home since we didn't know anyone and it ended up costing us big-time in the end. Check the plumbing by filling up the tub and then draining it, flush toilets, run water in sinks, etc. If you see ANYTHING wrong with the home--insist the seller fix it or adjust the sale price accordingly so you can do it yourself.


answers from Washington DC on

URGH!!! I just had a whole note typed and lost it!!!

YES!!! Follow up with them!! Find out what you are qualified for!!

Location, location, location - make sure your home is WHERE YOU NEED IT TO BE!!! Kids? Park/pool nearby? Major Highway? Noise? Etc. Walking distance to places....don't get caught up in the emotional purchase.

Measure your furniture - make sure you KNOW how your furniture will fit into the new place. DO NOT stress over the "staging" of a home - this is YOUR place - you need to be able to see yourself in it. You will know within the first 5 minutes if the place is for you. Seriously.

DO NOT FORGET THE HOUSE INSPECTION!!! This is sooo truly important!! this will tell you any deficiencies in the home - you can either make a decision to move on or work with it.

DO NOT strain your budget!!!! Buy only what you can afford. The bank or lender may say you can afford more - not likely giving the state of the economy - however, make sure you KNOW how YOU spend your money..

Do NOT buy a fixer upper if you know you or your husband will NOT follow through on the repairs....

Buy for what you need - if you plan on having more kids - make sure there is space for what you want. for example - we knew we wanted 4 kids - we had none when we purchased, we found a 5 bedroom/3bath home. God blessed with two kids - but you see what I mean!!!

Good luck!!



answers from Cincinnati on

Your first step should be to get educated on the process and about how to analyze your budget to determine what you can truly afford, not what a lender tells you that you can afford. These are usually vastly different numbers. Your educator should not be a realtor or a lender. It should be someone who is not going to profit from the sale. As the buyer, you have to especially careful. No one gets paid till YOU buy, but no one will have to deal with the consequences but you. Contact a homebuyer counselor at a non-profit, who is a person paid someone else to help you understand the process.

In answer to your question, if you did an application over the phone, there is no reason that lender couldn't tell you something basically right away. It is all computerized nowadays, and he should have had at least a basic answer for you of what type of loan program you may qualify for, unless something was amiss and s/he has to hunt for a program for you. Talking to a homebuying counselor can tell you if there are any red flags.



answers from New York on

They really should give you a call back. However, I would expect to hear back within 48 hours, so give them a call.

Remember there are lots of lenders out there in all different forms - banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers. If you don't hear back from the first guy, call someone else.

Some other tips...
Have you checked your credit reports? I would do this first to make sure there are no surprises and make sure you clear up any errors that might exist.

Have you worked out a budget? Do you know how much you can afford for a home? Do you know how much of a down payment you can make? The more a mortgage broker lends to you the bigger his commission. They will give you a range for the homes you can afford. Chances are you cannot afford the higher end of the range without being really strapped for cash.

Start looking for a realator. Ask everyone you know for referrals.



answers from Bloomington on

I'm actually a mortgage underwriter for a local bank. You have already got a lot of good information on picking out the house. My advice would be to get an inspection, but do not use anybody the realtor recommends. A lot of times the realtor and inspector work together and things will get missed in order for the deal to go through, because the realtor does not get paid unless the loan closes. Also, when trying to decide which lender to go with make sure you ask about interest rates, closing costs, prepayment penalty fees (if you pay the loan off early is there a prepayment penalty), will your loan be sold, is it a fixed rate or adjustable. Some lenders may have low interest rates, but the closing costs are $7,000 versus $2,500 somewhere else. Also, they may have low interest rates, but if you payoff the loan or refinance within so may years (5 years for example) then you will have a $5,000 prepayment penalty. Make sure you sit down and go over your budget and decide how much of a monthly payment you can afford. Do not let the lender make that decision for you because 9 out of 10 times they will tell you an amount you really can't afford or will struggle with. You know your situation better than them. When a lender decides how much you can afford they will look at your debt to income ratio(your debts compared to your gross income), which only includes car loans, student loans, credit cards, child support, taxes on the home, homeowners insurance, and anything that would show up on your credit report. They do not include life insurance payments, car insurance, cell phone bills, utility payments, daycare, etc.
Good luck!



answers from Cleveland on

I came across this while also looking at houses for sale, how funny is that. I love my house, my first, don't get me wrong, but there were some things I didn't think about when I bought it 5 years ago. I sit on 3 lots in a downtown area, and have a fully fenced back yard. This was great when the kids were small, but now when my oldest is almost 12 and they want to venture beyond our fence I am overly aware of just how terrible the neighborhood is really is. The elementary school for our area is fine, but as a whole the district stinks, and my middle two are ready to stop the homeschooling, so we are looking into open enrollment in other areas. They can't go to middle school here, the social experience isn't worth the exposure to sex and drugs. And then we have the space issue, our house is to big. Someone said to buy for the amount of space you will need down the road, and that's not bad advice, but don't go overboard, cleaning it all, and paying for it all when you don't really need it gets old. We have about 1000 sq ft that we don't need. Also, have your own realtor, don't just call the name on the sign. they work for the seller and you want someone working for you.

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