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Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

NWR: Realtor suggestions?

Hey ladies who have already bought a home!

Joe and I have been talking more and more about buying a home and are thinking that we will sometime next year.

The problem is that we need to renew our lease that expires in Sept and are not sure how long to renew for as we dont really know how long the buying process will take. That being said, we figured meeting with a realtor might help answer some of our questions.

So i wanted to reach out to you ladies to see if any of you have a recommendation on an awesome realtor or someone we can talk to about home buying timing questions.

TIA!

Re: NWR: Realtor suggestions?

  • edited December 2011
    Since you aren't trying to sell a house your home buying process can go very quickly. You will have a non-contingent offer which is very appealing to a seller. We used WebDigs to buy our house. They gave us a big check after we closed for I believe it was 2/3 of the commission. They worked really well for us since we didn't really want a hands on pushy realtor we just wanted to be let into the houses we had found online. It is an exciting process but it is a lot of work. I haven't regretted it for a second. I hated renting! I was tired of just handing my money away to live in a place I didn't really like all that much. I just read in the news today that they are trying to extend that home buyers program again so you may be able to capitalize on that too. I think the realtor and bank would know more about whether they have extended it or not.  
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  • drdifabiodrdifabio member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Emily - that WebDigs thing looks interesting. I am pretty type A so I could see wanting to do a lot myself so that might work well for us. How much do they help you with the home buying process? Because since we have never bought a house before we really know nothing.

  • edited December 2011
    I have a friend from college who works for Edina Realty in White Bear Lake (although he'll go anywhere, he helped me buy my townhouse in Burnsville four years ago).  What I liked most about him was he's not pushy at all...very laid back and always willing to find exactly what you want.  It's all family that works at that office and they work together.  His dad and other family members there have been doing this for years, so they are all very knowledgeable and will be upfront and honest with you, which is hard to come by around here sometimes! 

    His name is Sean Ecklin.  If you end up talking with him, let him know I said hi! :)
    http://seanecklin.edinarealty.com/
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  • edited December 2011
    We really liked our realtor, who is FI's ex-SIL (actually Jr BM's mom).  I had some issues that she wanted us to have several places to look at when we went to an area, which just doesn't work in places like Roseville and St. Anthony who have such a quick turnover for houses on sale, and we didn't want to infringe too much on her time since she was on maternity leave, but I think that had more to do with her basically still being family and not wanting to push her too hard because of that.  For someone that she doesn't know as well as us, I think she'd be fantastic to work with.  She was aggressive when we put in our offers and was really on the ball with everything, and generally worked really hard for us when we needed her to.  She didn't even complain that we looked at 33 different houses until we found the ones we wanted (we lost on our first offer).  PM me if you want her name/info. 
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: NWR: Realtor suggestions?:
    [QUOTE]Emily - that WebDigs thing looks interesting. I am pretty type A so I could see wanting to do a lot myself so that might work well for us. How much do they help you with the home buying process? Because since we have never bought a house before we really know nothing.
    Posted by drdifabio[/QUOTE]

    They did everything once we picked a house. They wrote up all the contracts and did all of the exchanges with the seller. I believe they just say that you may not work with the same person every time but in our case we did work with the same realtor every time. I thought it was great. We had already picked out all of the houses we wanted to see so I just sent them a list of MLS #'s of houses I wanted to see and they sent an agent to meet us when we wanted and she took us to all of the houses on our list. They are as hands on or off as you want. I really liked them and getting a piece of our commission back was of course great.
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  • amberh0515amberh0515 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I used our friend from Edina, unfortunately he has retired.

    Since it's your first home, the process could go very fast or slow! Two years ago, I started looking online in May/June and looking June/July. I found my house at the beginning of July and closed August 1st!

    Things in the market have changed, though. If you're looking at a foreclosure or short sale, it could take months. Good luck!
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  • hkieslinghkiesling member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011

    DH loves Scott Harold (www.scottharold.com).  He used him to buy our current home, and we've recommended him to at least three friends who have used him and gone on to recommend him to their friends.

  • edited December 2011
    Emily Green at Sandy Green Realty.  Family owned and totally awesome.  We placed an offer on a house at the beginning of March and closed the last week in March.  She is great!!
  • drdifabiodrdifabio member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies! I will have to take a look at these!

  • edited December 2011
    I am one!! I'd be more than happy to answer any of your real estate questions! My website is: www.jenniferstrangis.edinarealty.com or 763.494.8104. Or PM me with any questions!!

    I'd be glad to help!

    Jenni
  • edited December 2011
    drdifabio, I just PMed you! Cool
  • edited December 2011
    Great post!  DH and I are looking too.
    strangisj, I sent you a PM - couple questions for you if you don't mind  :)
  • bellaxanthebellaxanthe member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011

    I would recommend taking a first time home buyers class. I got prequalified thru Wells Fargo and they at the time insisted that I take one as part of my loan. It was so informative. It made a lot of sense out of the different type of loans available and what the process was going to be.  Since it wasn't run by WF, they were a bit more understanding of all the different situations out there.  The length of time from start to finish can vary drastically if you are going from buying a traditional loan to say a short sale or foreclosure situtation. I also think prequalifying sped up the process for me as well.  I knew my price range well before it became an issue.  I also recommend not buying the maximum house/loan that you are offered.  I was house-poor for a while and with the recession, it was so nice to have a reasonable loan when pay was dropped.  Many of my friends have lost their places or are struggling because of taking out the maximum they were offered.  I am glad that I was super frugal back then.

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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: NWR: Realtor suggestions?:
    [QUOTE]  I also recommend not buying the maximum house/loan that you are offered.  I was house-poor for a while and with the recession, it was so nice to have a reasonable loan when pay was dropped.  Many of my friends have lost their places or are struggling because of taking out the maximum they were offered.  I am glad that I was super frugal back then.
    Posted by bellaxanthe[/QUOTE]

    I totally agree with this.  FI and I got pre-approved for way more than we spent, and I'm so glad we got a house closer to the bottom of our range, because we haven't had to change our lifestyle completely to afford our home.  Our house was originally a foreclosure that an investor bought, renovated completely, and flipped to us.  Everything in our place was brand-spanking-new except for the wood floors in the bedrooms, which are luckily very well kept.  The house we'd originally made an offer on was $40,000 more, and would have needed a ton of updates, but was in a lovely neighborhood.  Our current house isn't in as nice of a neighborhood, but far from a bad one.  What we've got isn't our dream home, but it's pretty damn great for us for another 7 years or so, and our dream home will still be out there for us to purchase someday.  Also, going below your maximum gives you more wiggle room if you end up in a bidding war, which we did with our current place.  It was so much less than we were planning to spend that we had the cash on hand to sweeten our offer, which is what ultimately got us our house.

    Anyway, moral of the story:  don't spend more than you can afford if you ever want to have any cash to do anything fun outside of your house, even if your bank offers it.  It's the best decision FI and I ever made.
  • tpender13tpender13 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Just a thought, but can you go month-to-month instead of re-signing a lease?
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  • drdifabiodrdifabio member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies!

    Yeah we for sure are going to go way under what we can purchase. We love traveling and going out so it seems like a bad idea to me to put all our money into the house - I want to do other things too.

    And yes we can do month to month for rent but it is more than $200 more expensive every month....no way I want to do that...maybe for one month but not indefinitely.

  • edited December 2011
    Who offers the homebuyers classes? I though Ramsey county did at one point, but is it usually a city/state thing?
  • edited December 2011
    theophania, just sent you a PM! :)
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