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Moving to the Bay Area -- where to live?

My spouse is about to be offered a new job that splits time between Emeryville (most of the time) and Redwood City. Where should we look for a house? Bonus earthquake question. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 12, 2014 - 23 answers

Mortgage dilemma: seems like there is no optimal solution?

This was me a few months ago: Rent or sell my condo at a loss? Well, now I've decided to sell it. But have a question about what to do about my mortgage. [more inside]
posted by myorangesocks on Jun 26, 2014 - 1 answer

Real estate agent recommendations in Manhattan/NYC?

We're thinking seriously about buying a place in Manhattan (and possibly Brooklyn). We have a fairly unique split search (one strand of which is focused on looking for a place that will lower our costs, and the other strand of which is focused on finding a place that might increase our costs a little bit). We need recommendations for honest, intelligent, and very capable real estate agents to help. [more inside]
posted by yellowcandy on Jun 16, 2014 - 6 answers

Regret and home renovations: is it worth it?

I am considering two properties for purchase. One of them is straightforward and the other is complicated (multiple parcels, over 20 acres of land, has tenants living in the cottage, needs to be significantly renovated). I am looking for those with experience to offer advice on whether purchasing a property with major issues like this is worth it. [more inside]
posted by treehorn+bunny on Jun 12, 2014 - 40 answers

NJ Real Estate - Split Listing Question

Hello, I am new in the Real Estate business, and I don't have too many people to ask questions to. I am going to list my parents house for sale as an agent, this woman offered to help guide me through the process if I split the listing with her. She originally wanted 50% of the commission, I told her that was not going to happen, I offered 25%. The way she explained it, is that when my parents sign the listing agreement, both her name and my name have to be on the listing. I am nervous about this proposition, I am wondering if I could somehow get her into a subagency contract for 25%, rather then having her directly on the listing? ------ Thanks, Leon
posted by MrLLG on Jun 11, 2014 - 5 answers

Can my parents make me a mortgage loan?

Trying to buy a house. Have money for a down payment, but I'm self-employed and was turned down for a traditional loan. My parents are willing to lend me the money I'd need for the balance, and have me pay them back with interest, á la a mortgage loan. Is this doable? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Jun 5, 2014 - 12 answers

Tell me about owning a vacation rental property in Florida

We are considering buying a second house as an investment property in the Orlando area. We'd rent it out on a weekly basis through a management company. Help us decide whether or not this is a good idea. [more inside]
posted by bassomatic on May 30, 2014 - 4 answers

Where to do (online) real estate training?

I'm going to get my real estate broker license and want to take the required class hours online (90 for WA state). There are a number of sites that offer the classes, however none have impressed me in the least. Is there something out there I just haven't found? [more inside]
posted by shawnmk on May 25, 2014 - 2 answers

Ethical 30-year fixed co-op mortgage in NYC?

NYC MortgageFilter. We want an affordable 30 yr fixed 80% LTV co-op loan that underwrites quickly - but! With either ethical considerations or portfolio from a local lender. Need reccs. for lenders and especially loan officers please; or really savvy NYC mortgage brokers. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on May 20, 2014 - 6 answers

How big a deal is it to live near a fire station?

Based on your experience, do you think we are going to regret buying a home near a fire station? [more inside]
posted by handful of rain on May 12, 2014 - 40 answers

Details on how to buy a condo/co-op real estate: The Dummies Version

Filter: NYC version or competitive real estate market. I am trying to understand the time table for each step of the process. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster on May 12, 2014 - 11 answers

How do I determine if these shady new neighbors are squatters?

I share a fence with a single family detached home in Nassau County, NY and am concerned that it is being occupied by squatters. Help? [more inside]
posted by waterisfinite on Apr 29, 2014 - 15 answers

How to buy a flat in London?

I would like to ask you for any advice/hints/tips for a complete beginner on buying a flat in London. This is the first time in my life when I am buying a property I am really overwhelmed by this whole thing. That's why I would appreciate any feedback and advice from you. Anything which could help me plan this whole process and do it in a proper, organized and satisfying way. [more inside]
posted by dogbert on Apr 21, 2014 - 9 answers

Finding an apartment without the nasty trash compactor odors

This is a question about NYC real estate, specifically about a building maintenance issue. After many years of renting, I am in the market for a co-op apartment in the five boroughs of NYC. There is a problem with my current building that I am willing to tolerate as a tenant that would be a complete deal-breaker as an owner The issue is this: [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 6, 2014 - 6 answers

Tips for auditioning a real estate buyer's broker

My wife and I will be sitting down with a real estate buyer's broker over the weekend as we start our home search. The broker would like to represent us exclusively, which I'm not necessarily averse to, but I'd like your recommendations for how to chose a broker to help us be certain she would be the right fit before wasting our time. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Apr 3, 2014 - 11 answers

Rent or sell my condo at a loss?

Should I sell my condo at a loss to make a fresh start on a new place with my partner? (I am using a sockpuppet, because this question contains personal financial info that I don’t want linked to my primary --and identifiable -- account and I may need to answer follow-up questions.) [more inside]
posted by myorangesocks on Mar 31, 2014 - 18 answers

Neighborhoods near Cambridge?

I am considering moving for a job in Cambridge MA. I know nothing about the neighborhoods, and need help. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 31, 2014 - 22 answers

Is it a bad idea to buy two houses at the same time?

My fiancé and I have been planning to buy a home this year. This will be the first home purchase for both of us. We currently live two hours apart, and I'm trying to move closer to him, which is where the house will be. However, there's a chance I'll be stuck where I am for another year due to job-hunting difficulties. I recently learned that the condo across the hall from me (where I rent at my current location) is up for a sale. I think it would make a great investment as a rental property down the line. Is it crazy to buy this condo as well as a house with my fiancé in the same year? [more inside]
posted by redlines on Mar 30, 2014 - 11 answers

Aluminum wiring! Asbestos! Termites! Are they a big deal? What to do?

First-time homebuyers under contract for a 60-year-old house-- how serious/expensive are these problems: aluminum wiring, friable asbestos insulation, termites, undisclosed window leak causing water damage? Along with original plumbing and an old HVAC, is this a pretty standard situation that falls under the umbrella of "all houses are going to have some problems, no house is perfect" and is this the kind of stuff they mean when they say you'll be spending 1%-ish of your home value on this kind of stuff every year? Or are these costs and issues on the high side, and this is probably on top of another 1%-ish every year on other repairs and maintenance? Help us put this in perspective! (We need to decide whether to give the sellers' relocation company the right to cancel our contract by requesting repairs. And we need to figure out what we should fix and how much it'll cost if we go ahead and buy the house without repairs.) [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Mar 20, 2014 - 30 answers

Buying when I'm not selling?

I recently purchased a house. The deed was recorded back then and the initial flurry of "you should buy our security system, new homeowner!" junk mail has stopped. After a few weeks of quiet in my mailbox, I'm now receiving individual letters asking to buy my house. None of them has quoted a price, nor do I really want to sell. I usually just e-mail the address on the letter saying "make me an offer and maybe." Should I do anything else? [more inside]
posted by fireoyster on Mar 16, 2014 - 12 answers

how to move?!?

After 17 years, I'm leaving my beloved Brooklyn apartment for my NEW beloved Brooklyn apartment. Hooray! Except - how on earth do you do this? Please share any advice, tips, motivational thoughts, etc for any and all aspects of how to undertake the process of moving. [more inside]
posted by fingers_of_fire on Mar 15, 2014 - 18 answers

Paid off mortgage -- how would new house purchase financing work?

Me and my SO completely paid off our mortgage a couple years ago. So, we have full equity. That's great, we're happy w/the situation. Now, if for whatever reason we decide to uproot and move to an entirely new city and/or state, how would the financing work? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 9, 2014 - 8 answers

Selling My House. Still Living In It. Best Practices?

I've gotten engaged so it's time to sell the bachelor pad (2br/1ba/1k sq ft) and buy a bigger house with the Soon To Be Mrs Toole Box and her kids. Final Jeopardy: I'm still living in it. [more inside]
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box on Feb 27, 2014 - 33 answers

What's more important? Parental presence or top schooling?

Okay, this may well be a false choice but I'm trying to sort this out in my mind -- I see two roads ahead of us, one in which we stay where we are currently living -- an underwater house in good shape in a middling-to-poor neighborhood (but with adjacent nicer amenities) -- which is affordable and where we are making enough money to save for all the things we need to save for (retirement, college, cash savings, etc.). OR, we can buy our way into a nicer neighborhood and school district, keeping this house as a rental. Right now my husband and I are both working at well-paying jobs and our 3-year-old is in full-time daycare. My goal, when she starts kindergarten in 3 years, is to work 3/4 or less time, so that I am home with her after school and do to this for the rest of her school years. [more inside]
posted by amanda on Feb 15, 2014 - 32 answers

FSBO in Chicago - how to appeal to investors?

I own a condo in Chicago (in a trendy neighborhood) in a building that has no rental cap and is mostly renters. I'm interested in trying to sell it myself, and am interested in thoughts on what sort of things I'd want to do to make it particularly interesting to investors rather than owner-residents. [more inside]
posted by juniperesque on Feb 12, 2014 - 6 answers

Is it time to move to the Boogie Down?

What are some good neighborhoods I should look into if considering moving to the Bronx? I have a 5 month old baby. I am looking for something affordable (for NYC), near good restaurants, amenities, transit and possibly a park. [more inside]
posted by demonstartivepapadonous on Feb 9, 2014 - 5 answers

Reasonable expectations for a buyer's agent in a sellers' market?

We're entering our third season of trying to buy a house in a very hot real estate market, and just lost another one. Our agent is a really nice person, but we feel like she's just not doing that much for us. I'd appreciate some thoughts on if our expectations are realistic. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 6, 2014 - 25 answers

Location, location, location

[Asking for a friend] My family and I are moving to a new bigish city in the non-California west. There is a house that is essentially my dream house, for what I think is a very good price. It's been on the market for a bit, probably because the property borders a fairly major thoroughfair. How big of a problem is this? Should I just run away?
posted by LittleMissCranky on Feb 2, 2014 - 17 answers

Selling house absentee-style...need reassurance

I got a new job in a new town that required me to relocate from central New Jersey to Northeast PA. I moved and my husband stayed in the house. Now we're living separately and we can't carry a mortgage and rent for long. How best to sell our house when we're three hours away? [more inside]
posted by Otter_Handler on Feb 1, 2014 - 15 answers

Costs of pricey home repairs/replacements? (& IDing them before buying)

We're first time homebuyers, and getting a little overwhelmed thinking about all the things we might have to fix and/or replace in whatever house we buy, and how that should affect what we're willing to pay for a home. What are the most expensive (and/or frustrating to fix) things we should be keeping an eye out for and factoring into deciding whether to make an offer on a house and the offer price (i.e. adjusting up/down compared to comparable homes)? [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Jan 21, 2014 - 13 answers

Looking for experiences with Boston’s western suburbs

My wife and I are planning a move to Boston’s western ‘burbs in the next couple of years (think Newton, Wellesley, Needham, etc.). We are looking for a community connected to downtown Boston via some form of public transportation, and with good schools. We do not need an interesting town center, and are happy to walk a mile or so to get to public transport (provided that there is a sidewalk). Since this is surely going to be a backbreakingly expensive purchase, I need the advice and anecdotes of random strangers on the internet to help us focus our search. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Jan 21, 2014 - 19 answers

The American Dream of Co-op Issued Share Ownership

NYC co-op apartment owners (and anyone with relevant apartment experience) I need your help in figuring out where to compromise on our dream home. It gets long. [more inside]
posted by griphus on Jan 17, 2014 - 38 answers

New Jersey "exit tax" questions. (Nonresident sale of NJ real estate)

How do I file to get the money back that was withheld at the closing of a condo in New Jersey? [more inside]
posted by bink on Dec 30, 2013 - 2 answers

Who owns/services your mortgage and what're they like? Does it matter?

We're shopping for a mortgage (in the DC area), and are feeling anxious and frustrated that 1) it's so hard to know who we'll end up with because so many lenders/originators are likely to sell our loan and/or servicing after closing, and 2) it's easy to find complaints about most servicers out there and hard to find anyone that's satisfied.  What has your experience been like with the place(s) that own and/or service your mortgage?  Or should we put all that to the side and just try to find someone with the best rates/fees and the best reviews/recommendations regarding smooth and quick closing? [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Dec 20, 2013 - 21 answers

holding the deed to my parents house--what should i be thinking about?

My parents are moving to florida (previously--they ended up in Lehigh Valley). They are also in the midst of filing for bankruptcy, and have asked that I therefore hold the deed to the new house. Help me wrap my head around this. [more inside]
posted by msjoannabanana on Dec 18, 2013 - 21 answers

Home buying tools, maps, data crunching etc.

Glorious SO and I plan to buy a home in the next 18-30 months. I'd like to line up all the best tools, maps, and data to keep track of homes we've seen, neighborhoods and towns we'd consider, flood maps, commute times, train lines--really anything and everything that could inform this decision. Yes, yes, friends, colleagues and a good agent are great resources--but we want tools at this point! [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Dec 16, 2013 - 3 answers

How long is the "chain" of moving, when people move?

We're moving to a new house, and the people in that house are moving somewhere ... and someone is moving into our place, and probably someone is moving into the place they left... How long, typically, is one of these "chains" of moving, which are terminated by vacancies on each end?
posted by dmd on Dec 14, 2013 - 16 answers

Private Long Lease?

Pros and Cons of a Private Long Lease? I'm looking at property that must be purchased via this method (rather than fee simple or gov. long lease). Anyone have any pertinent information? [more inside]
posted by jne1813 on Dec 11, 2013 - 0 answers

Community referrals for a Realtor in Saint Paul.

I am assisting family members as they work to move out and sell their condo in Saint Paul, MN. We are looking for a local, reputable Realtor to manage the selling process. Can any MeFites provide a firsthand referral for a Realtor you had an excellent experience using? Also, what dangers or warning signs should we look out for as we navigate this process?
posted by BigLankyBastard on Dec 6, 2013 - 3 answers

Bay Area Apartments: Explain like I'm 5

I have a job offer in San Francisco. I understand that renting there is more difficult than it's ever been. My requirements are: I want to be able to walk + bike + BART/Bus to work, which is around South Beach. Other than that, I am cool with East Bay, South, whatever. I could swing $2500-ish a month, but that is an upper boundary. Tell me about neighborhoods, tell me whether there exist "apartment headhunters" who could reliably do this for me, school me thoroughly. Thank you in advance.
posted by anonymous on Dec 4, 2013 - 13 answers

Homebuying and Homeselling fiasco...snowflake details inside.

Can you offer some advice on how my wife and I might recover some funds spent to satisfy a lender's requirement prior to denying the loan of the buyer, or how we might be able to continue with the purchase of a new home we're in contract for? [more inside]
posted by drewski on Dec 2, 2013 - 7 answers

What should I know about Lake Merrit that I'm afraid to ask?

We'd like to learn everything there is to know about Lake Merritt and the surrounding neighborhoods. [more inside]
posted by nominal on Nov 29, 2013 - 16 answers

Buying a house... weirdly

I want to buy the house I'm renting. How do I even start? [more inside]
posted by MrVisible on Nov 13, 2013 - 12 answers

Where to live in Boston?

I'm looking for advice on where we should be looking at potential places to live in Boston. Small young family with dog, looking to buy rather than rent. Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by pallas14 on Nov 9, 2013 - 21 answers

Home, home on the...market

Give me your best home selling tips and tricks. [more inside]
posted by MayNicholas on Nov 2, 2013 - 37 answers

Questions regarding PMI...

I'm investigating reappraising our house to get rid of PMI. We meet the conditions for application, which involve bringing in an appraiser. The appraiser we would pay for is hired through the mortgage company — we have no control over the appraisal process. Do appraisers who are hired to get rid of PMI do a fair and honest job in calculating the true market value, or, alternatively, do their valuations fall close to online appraisals on average, within some percentage? (Are online estimates close to market value, within noise? Two online estimates suggest we are over the required valuation by roughly 40-50k.) Finally, are there downsides or gotchas to getting rid of PMI, other than a smaller federal deduction at tax time? [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 8, 2013 - 9 answers

When is a contract not a contract?

If a contract on a house is signed 'subject to finance, building and pest inspection', what does that actually mean? If the buyer wants to pull out of the contract, must they provide proof that they were not approved for finance? And how much needs to be wrong on a building inspection before the contract can be broken? I guess what I'm trying to ask is, is a contract just to protect the buyer, or does the seller have rights too?
posted by superfish on Sep 24, 2013 - 16 answers

Neighbor foreclosure

What can we do in preparation for our neighbor's foreclosure? [more inside]
posted by otherwordlyglow on Sep 21, 2013 - 29 answers

Help me compose a letter/buy a flat

I'd like to buy a flat in a particular building. I'm going to do a hand-written letterdrop, but would love some advice about the best way to execute this. [more inside]
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Sep 18, 2013 - 4 answers

Referrals for Real Estate Lawyer or similar near Las Vegas?

A good friend owns an underwater house in a suburb of Las Vegas. Payments are current and house is in good shape. The friend reported that a similar home in the development recently sold for several thousand (something like $50-80k) less than his current mortgage. If I can provide referrals to knowledgeable local people so he can get good, sensible information on his options, that would be a huge help. [more inside]
posted by Kpele on Aug 29, 2013 - 0 answers

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