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Old 12-10-2014, 11:02 AM
 
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Renting or purchase? SFH, Townhome, Apartment, multi-family? Price limitations?

I don't know either market in LaGrange, but the above are pretty basic questions that are needed for anyone to help.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:26 PM
 
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Purchasing a house! And I was trying to learn more about the area...so wasn't trying to set price limitations. Definitely not over 350k!

Thanks so much for your helpful and friendly tips, Brian!
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
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Originally Posted by elm_tree View Post
Purchasing a house! And I was trying to learn more about the area...so wasn't trying to set price limitations. Definitely not over 350k!

Thanks so much for your helpful and friendly tips, Brian!
You can have a very nice home in LaGrange for well under that budget. Start with LaGrange college and go in concentric circles from there. My nephew and niece are just older than you with 2 little ones and have one of the old mill homes just south and west of the college that has been totally gutted and redone. They love it, he works at the hospital, she is stay at home mom.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:58 PM
 
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Again, no clue with the LaGrange market, so this will bend towards generic advice.

Research Real Estate agents. I found these posts to be very helpful when I was interviewing agents in Denver from Alaska (2 moves ago), and have used the information/knowledge since then:

//www.city-data.com/forum/real-...s-sellers.html

//www.city-data.com/forum/real-...nt-really.html

//www.city-data.com/forum/real-...-realtors.html

Find a Good agent and they can make the process feel simple, easy and low-stress. Find a BAD agent and you're going to be hating life for months as everything that can go wrong, does.. and some things that should never go wrong, do. It's Very much worth the time to learn how to interview, and then do it. Every agent I've ended up with through this process has found it unique but were enthusiastic to go along with me (some wouldn't give me the time of day, too bad for them).

Anyway, past that get your 3 lists together. Those being absolute Must haves, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, Ranch only, or multiple floors okay, must only be a new built or absolutely Nothing built after 1980 (that's actually one of ours, have never found a Quality structure built after 1980). HOA acceptable, or absolutely not... the more Must Haves, the quicker the initial search but also the fewer the options you'll have to choose. Also make a list for the "would like to haves", walking distance to schools/library/park/grocery, cul-de-sac, HOA with pool... things you'd really like, but are ultimately on the chopping block. And then a final list of "icing on top" just incase all the above are met. And the more of these different listings you have (I think we had nearly 80 items on our lists once), the better the Agent will understand what you're looking for. That's really what you're trying to do, educate them quickly instead of having them drag you from house to house and listening to your likes and dislikes while further trying to narrow a search.

When looking, ignore/forget colors, carpets, how someone has decorations... those don't matter at all. DO pay attention to structure, foundation, build quality. This is the reason we skip newer built homes, they just aren't built to the same quality level as 70's and earlier structures. I think 1950's homes hit the sweet spot for us, still built solidly but includes insulation (missing on our 1930 house). Granite counters on crappy Home Depot boxes may look nice... for a couple years, but aren't something that'll last.

Good luck, hope you can find a good agent who can point you in the right direction. Buying Really doesn't need to be some nightmare experience. As a plus, this is a Great time to get a home loan.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:33 AM
 
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Saintmarks, thank you so much! That is exactly the type of advice I was in search of!

Thank you as well, Brian! We've moved a lot in the past 4 years, in fact this will be our 4th home that we're purchasing within that time frame. But that is a great list for someone that needs general real estate buying advice. Especially in reference to the older homes vs. newer homes.
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