Zillow Advice RSS: Question-Discussion-Guide,Home Buying,Tampa- FL http://www.zillow.com/advice/Tampa-FL/home-buying/question-discussion-guide/ Zillow Advice search results | Zillow Real Estate Who Are The Best And Worst Lenders To Borrow From? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-Are-The-Best-And-Worst-Lenders-To-Borrow-From/574988/ I recall back in 2009 hearing a lot of bad things about Bank Of America during the recession.&nbsp; Are the big banks really that problematic to borrow from for a house?&nbsp; Is it better to go with a smaller company, or are the big banks like Wells Fargo, SunTrust, 5/3rds, etc. not so bad?<br/><br/>What do you all think are the best and worst lenders to work with?<br \><br \>13 replies Sun, 08 Feb 2015 18:48:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-Are-The-Best-And-Worst-Lenders-To-Borrow-From/574988/ 2015-02-08T18:48:00Z How To Research A Property's History Before You Buy? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-To-Research-A-Property%27s-History-Before-You-Buy/577118/ Is there a website or some other way to look up the address and make sure no taxes are owed, there's no lawsuits, foreclosures, liens, or other legal problems that the seller might be hiding?&nbsp; How do we make sure the house is legally safe to buy?<br \><br \>14 replies Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:47:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-To-Research-A-Property%27s-History-Before-You-Buy/577118/ 2015-02-27T00:47:00Z Where to begin? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Where-to-begin/582049/ I am curious where do i start?&nbsp; I have my 2 years of self/business taxes, my credit is good i think? credit karma says trans/equifax is 812. No debts, i pay off credit cards monthly down to 0, since i use them for purchase safety. I carry no balances, i own my car outright.&nbsp;&nbsp; We have an idea on what we want eg.. 1.5+ acres a smart home (or convert one) etc.. etc..&nbsp;&nbsp; I think my combined 2 years of income averages in the 170's. Not married.<br/><br/><br/><br \><br \>6 replies Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:54:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Where-to-begin/582049/ 2015-04-08T12:54:00Z flooring allowance http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/flooring-allowance/594331/ Seller wants to give around $2000 for a flooring allowance. They said they have seen where it gets worked into the contract and used in the closing costs and the buyer really never gets to "see" the allowance, but rather it's just deducted the amount of closing costs the buyer pays. (For what ever reason they don't get closing costs come out of my pocket whether they give me a check that day or just deduct how much I pay at closing) my question is it common to have allowances outside of the P&amp;S contract? A attorney drafted letter stating the "seller" will give a check made out to "buyer" on day of closing for $2000?<br \><br \>6 replies Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:31:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/flooring-allowance/594331/ 2015-07-06T17:31:00Z How long do I have to vacate a foreclosed property? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-long-do-I-have-to-vacate-a-foreclosed-property/592010/ I am the tenant in a property (on a month to month lease) that was recently foreclosed on by the bank. They are offering me cash for keys in 30 days however I would like to have more time since I'm looking to purchase my next property. Is it true that I am allowed at least 90 days notice before they can force me to move? When does the 90 day clock start, at the time the property is taken possession of after the auction by the bank or after I actually receive a notice from them?<br \><br \>5 replies Fri, 19 Jun 2015 12:49:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-long-do-I-have-to-vacate-a-foreclosed-property/592010/ 2015-06-19T12:49:00Z HOA fees (homeowners association fees) in listings, is it monthly or annual? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/HOA-fees-homeowners-association-fees-in-listings-is-it-monthly-or-annual/588021/ When I see property for sale and it mentions HOA fees (homeowners association fees). &nbsp;Does this dollar figure represent the monthly fee or the annual fee?&nbsp;<br \><br \>6 replies Fri, 22 May 2015 11:21:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/HOA-fees-homeowners-association-fees-in-listings-is-it-monthly-or-annual/588021/ 2015-05-22T11:21:00Z what does MOL mean? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/what-does-MOL-mean/579705/ 1 reply Sat, 21 Mar 2015 03:41:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/what-does-MOL-mean/579705/ 2015-03-21T03:41:00Z How To Avoid Buying From Investors http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-To-Avoid-Buying-From-Investors/577116/ Shopping for a house and I WILL NOT buy from someone if I know they're an investor.&nbsp; They're just greedy people trying to make a quick buck and I'll have none of it.&nbsp; Why should I get suckered into paying more for a house that some investor just paid less for?<br/><br/>I think if all buyers got together and REFUSED to buy from investors, we could all PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS.&nbsp; Whose with me on this?<br/><br/>Now here's the question.&nbsp; If you're house shopping, how do you know if the buyer is an investor?&nbsp; If the seller is secretly trying to hide being an investor, how can I know that so I can avoid buying from them?&nbsp; I only want to buy from normal people who actually live their and are just trying to sell for some LEGITIMATE reason.<br \><br \>26 replies Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:40:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-To-Avoid-Buying-From-Investors/577116/ 2015-02-27T00:40:00Z Accepting back up offers after our contract was accepted? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Accepting-back-up-offers-after-our-contract-was-accepted/578372/ My husband and I are in the process of purchasing our first home. We made an offer on Friday and the sellers agreed to our offer (full asking price and seller contributing 3% to closing costs). A contract was signed and delivered to all parties. Along with our contract was our pre-qual letter which was more than sufficient than the sales price. <br/><br/>Should we be concerned that they are accepting back up offers? Could it be because we are doing an FHA loan?<br \><br \>11 replies Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:38:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Accepting-back-up-offers-after-our-contract-was-accepted/578372/ 2015-03-10T14:38:00Z A Credit Score Of Zero -0- ? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/A-Credit-Score-Of-Zero-0-/578183/ About 6 weeks ago, I met with a Bank Of America loan officer here in Tampa.&nbsp; She ran my credit and found that I had a credit rating of zero -0-.&nbsp; She said this is an indication that I can't be found in the system.&nbsp; This makes sense because I've never had a credit card or a car payment in my life.&nbsp; I've always been a cash-payer, except I did have a student loan which I paid off 5 months after college.<br/><br/>She said that based my application, if I can find 3 entities that I had a clean payment history with for the last 12 months, I could probably be approved for a $200,000 loan.&nbsp; She said this is what they call "unconventional means" for approving a loan, where those 3 entities would be contacted and asked for payment histories.&nbsp; Well, I already know I have PERFECT payment history with utilities, cell phone, and apartment landlords, so I think I might just be able to do this!<br/><br/>My plan is to put $50,000 down and that would leave $25,000 as a cushion remaining in the bank (I have a total of $75,000 saved right now).&nbsp; With an annual income of $53,000 with no other debts and living alone in the house, I believe I can actually afford this.<br/><br/>Does all this sound normal for someone with a credit score of zero - 0 - ?&nbsp; You can still get approved via "unconventional means"?&nbsp; At first, I thought I was doomed, but I guess I still have a chance?<br/><br/>Thanks.<br \><br \>4 replies Sun, 08 Mar 2015 23:04:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/A-Credit-Score-Of-Zero-0-/578183/ 2015-03-08T23:04:00Z No Online Home Insurance Quotes For Florida? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/No-Online-Home-Insurance-Quotes-For-Florida/578175/ I'm finding that a lot of online websites to estimate home insurance tell you they don't do online qoutes for Florida.&nbsp; Why?<br/><br/>Is this a bad state to buy a house?&nbsp; Is my only option to have to spend time going to places all over town to get an idea of what house insurance costs?&nbsp; I've lived in apartments all my life and haven't bought a house yet.&nbsp; I just want to research this first and sure I can do this.&nbsp; I home insurance costs like $2,000 or some crap, then I might just scrap it and stay renting.<br \><br \>3 replies Sun, 08 Mar 2015 22:09:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/No-Online-Home-Insurance-Quotes-For-Florida/578175/ 2015-03-08T22:09:00Z How Can I Trust "Zillow"? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-Can-I-Trust-Zillow/578180/ This website "Zillow" is something I've never heard of until the last month or two.&nbsp; After renting apartments all my life, I'm now considering a first house at the age of 38.&nbsp; "Zillow" had a link on here that said "Get Pre-Approved", so I clicked on it, answered some simple questions, and it referred me to a company called "Sierra Pacific Mortgage."<br/><br/>Then I got an e-mail from "Sierra Pacific Mortgage" with a link <a href="http://www.sphomeloans.com/application-form/" rel="nofollow">http://www.sphomeloans.com/application-form/</a> to apply for a loan.&nbsp; Before I go on there and enter lots of personal information, how do I know this is legitimate?&nbsp; Is this "Sierra Pacific Mortgage" company real?&nbsp; Is this link safe to submit personal information on?&nbsp; The fact that this all came through "Zillow", does that mean it's safe to proceed, or is there any chance this could be a scam?<br/><br/>Thanks.<br/><br/><br/><br/><br \><br \>10 replies Sun, 08 Mar 2015 22:53:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-Can-I-Trust-Zillow/578180/ 2015-03-08T22:53:00Z What If Your Title Insurance Company Goes Out Of Business http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What-If-Your-Title-Insurance-Company-Goes-Out-Of-Business/578161/ So let's say you finally buy the house and pay a fee for title insurance.&nbsp; Now a year later, even five years later, the title company you paid the big buck$ to goes OUT OF BUSINESS.&nbsp; Your money is GONE and the company is GONE.&nbsp; What do you do now?&nbsp; Will the lender make you have to buy another policy?&nbsp; If not, do you risk it and not buy another policy yourself?&nbsp; How can you make sure that you buy a policy from a title company that will be around for a long time?<br/><br/><br \><br \>7 replies Sun, 08 Mar 2015 21:07:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What-If-Your-Title-Insurance-Company-Goes-Out-Of-Business/578161/ 2015-03-08T21:07:00Z Agreed upon repairs not fixed, what now? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Agreed-upon-repairs-not-fixed-what-now/577653/ We just bought our (first) home and closed about 2 months ago.&nbsp; Now I have water dripping down in my kitchen from the master bathroom above.&nbsp; The seller agreed to "fix the leak in the master shower" and there was evidence that repair work was done and tiles repaired when we moved in.&nbsp; However now 1.5 months after we finally moved in and have been showering there regularly, we have a leak I am assuming is from the shower still.&nbsp; There is a home warranty that should cover the plumbing issue, but nothing else.&nbsp; Can we go back to the seller on this?&nbsp; Please any help?&nbsp; This leak didn;t just start after I bought it, it's been going on or the newly remodeled kitchen would not have damage to the ceiling.&nbsp;<br \><br \>9 replies Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:03:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Agreed-upon-repairs-not-fixed-what-now/577653/ 2015-03-03T22:03:00Z Can I get this mortgage? If so, how? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Can-I-get-this-mortgage-If-so-how/577333/ <div>Hi there, I've read quite a few posts about different ways to finance a house and basically get a higher mortgage if you're self-employed, but I didn't see anything too specific for my situation. Currently, I own a home and have roughly $35-45k in equity depending on the appraisal value. My situation is pretty simple. The house is way too small.<br/><div>My fianc&eacute; and I have 6 pets (they're our kids since neither of us want children for a while) and need to expand a bit. Basically I'd like to go from a 2,000sqft house to a 3,300+sqft house. The home I'd "like" to purchase would probably run us about $385,000.00+.<br/><div>I'm self-employed and make north of $200,000.00 a year, but after taxes (write-offs, etc.) I make roughly $55-70k a year. My parents, who helped me purchase my first home, have already agreed they'd be more than happy to co-sign another loan. I've never missed a payment and have a credit score that floats around 760 (theirs is over 800, the kind of people who have never paid a bill late in their entire adult lives).<br/><div>My main question is, could I get a mortgage for a $370-400k house? The payments aren't an issue as I've been able to afford as high as $4,000.00 a month when I rented, but I'm just trying to figure out if I could "prove" on paper whether I could afford the house?<br/><div>I'd be putting down anywhere from 10-15%. I'd put more but for me it doesn't make sense financially as I'd be better off investing it into my company, which would turn far more value than property could (invest $1 get $2 back kinda thing). My parents have almost no monthly debt ($240 a month in car payments) and bring in around $80,000 a year together. Would a lender let me "combine" our incomes to get a larger loan, as long as they agreed and were willing to sign the contract?<br/><div>Any help from lenders, agents, or just someone who's gone through the process themselves would be greatly appreciated.</div></div></div></div></div></div><br \><br \>4 replies Sun, 01 Mar 2015 01:24:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Can-I-get-this-mortgage-If-so-how/577333/ 2015-03-01T01:24:00Z Outdoor Antennas http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Outdoor-Antennas/577117/ If you want to get a house and make sure you'll be allowed to put up several outdoor antennas, how do you do it?&nbsp; If I wanna put up a TV antenna, and couple ham / scanner antennas about 30-40 feet up, will this be a problem?&nbsp; What about putting up a 50 foot tower?<br/><br/>Will this cause your insurance to go up?&nbsp; Or could it make your neighbor's insurance go up?&nbsp; If the neighbor complains to code enforcement, what can I do?&nbsp; Basically, I just wanna make sure that when I buy a new house, I'll be allowed to put up 3-4 antennas on push-up poles (or maybe a tower) with no problems.<br \><br \>1 reply Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:45:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Outdoor-Antennas/577117/ 2015-02-27T00:45:00Z Maintenance And Repairs: Homes Versus Renting An Apartment http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Maintenance-And-Repairs-Homes-Versus-Renting-An-Apartment/575864/ Living in apartments all my life, I've always been used to calling maintenance when something breaks.&nbsp; It's a big convenience, and they can usually do the repairs while I'm at work, so when I get back from work, it's all done and I've saved a mountain of time and money.<br/><br/>Now compare that to owning a house.&nbsp; You're basically on your own.&nbsp; This is one big thing I fear about becoming a homeowner.&nbsp; I don't have many tools and have no handy-man type experience.&nbsp; So how do you cope?&nbsp; Everytime something breaks, you gotta fix it yourself and it's a lot of time and money.&nbsp; It could be like a full time job just maintaining a house.<br/><br/>I often overhear other homeowners talking about all the time and money they spend on projects and maintenance, like a washer leaking water and flooding the place out.&nbsp; It is scary to think about.<br/><br/>And then there's landscaping.&nbsp; Mowing, weedeating, raking, trimming, etc. is a lot of hours of work and $$$ for the equipment.&nbsp; Never once had to worry about any of this living in apartments.&nbsp; Is it really worth it to own a house instead of renting an apartment?<br/><br/>Thanks.<br \><br \>9 replies Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:09:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Maintenance-And-Repairs-Homes-Versus-Renting-An-Apartment/575864/ 2015-02-16T11:09:00Z What If Your Computer Gets Stolen? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What-If-Your-Computer-Gets-Stolen/576997/ Say you're a homeowner and your place gets broken into.&nbsp; I think one of the WORST things they can steal is your COMPUTER.&nbsp; If your machine has personal info and saved passwords on it, you're basically DONE FOR.&nbsp; Living in apartments all my life, I've always lived on the top floor which is less prone to break-ins.<br/><br/>Now I'm considering a new house and am WORRIED about how to physically secure the computer in case the new place gets broken into.&nbsp; Any ideas how to lock it down?&nbsp; What do you all do to prevent an information disaster if your home PC ever got ganked?<br \><br \>2 replies Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:12:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What-If-Your-Computer-Gets-Stolen/576997/ 2015-02-26T00:12:00Z Burglar Bars http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Burglar-Bars/576999/ It seems like in Tampa every third house has BURGLAR BARS.&nbsp; Isn't this a big fire hazard?&nbsp; Is Tampa really that bad that that many houses need BURGLAR BARS?&nbsp; Is there not anywhere decent to live that isn't 25+ miles away from downtown (where I work) and an hour-long + commute in traffic everyday.&nbsp; Seems like the only places to live close to downtown are basically a dump if your budget is under $200k.&nbsp; All these rich people you see working in downtown, are they all really commuting that long?&nbsp; Why can't we have a town with AFFORDABLE houses that are within 5 miles of downtown WITHOUT having to be a rich guy???<br \><br \>7 replies Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:18:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Burglar-Bars/576999/ 2015-02-26T00:18:00Z Test http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Test/577000/ Test<br \><br \>1 reply Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:18:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Test/577000/ 2015-02-26T00:18:00Z