Tag Archives: buying a house in las vegas

Housebuying Woes

One of my goals for 2010 is to buy a house.

We need to close on a house by the end of April. We started looking for a house in January.

Obviously, there is a top amount that we can afford, and that number is contingent on the HOA dues.

The homes in HOAs are usually better maintained than those that aren’t.  There isn’t always a lot of pride in ownership in Las Vegas.

We also need a home with at least three bedrooms, although four would be better, so that we have room for children (when the time comes) and my sewing room (which will be my work).

We do want a home with a yard, a decent sized kitchen, and nice sized living area.

Most of the houses for sale in Las Vegas are bank owned or short sales. There are very few houses for sale by a real person. The list price for the house that is either bank owned or a short sale is actually lower than the price the bank expects the buyer to pay, sometimes $10,000 lower.

97% of the homes we look at are bank owned.  This usually means the floors are worn and stained, the switchplates are missing, the paint is dirty (though painting is the easiest thing to fix), and many times the appliances are missing. Some of these homes are in worse condition missing cabinets and fixtures.  As I understand it, though, most homes can’t be financed if they aren’t in “livable” condition. This means it has to have a sink, stove/oven.

It seems more than 75% of the houses we are looking at are not in livable condition. 15% are in bad neighborhoods. 5% are too much. 4% are nice, but won’t work for us. 1% are just right.

The most frustrating thing that happens on the 1% that we like, is while the home is listed on the MLS, it’s not actually available.   Our realtor calls the listing agents for homes we plan to see before we go and see them.  After seeing the house our realtor calls the listing agent to find out about making an offer on the house and the listing agent apologizes that he/she didn’t have time to update the listing and the house is in contingency (or has a contract).  It seems that the listing agent should be more ethical and warn realtors that their houses are in contingency the first time we call, before we waste our time seeing the house.

The search continues as we look at 30+ houses a weekend hoping that there will be one that will be right for us.