I saw a billboard for LGI $0 down in an "up-and-coming" area close to work. I figured it would be the perfect spot to own my first piece of property since it was as close to work as I could financially afford and the property value in surrounding cities/towns has increased exponentially in the past 5+ years.
I went in with my son just wanting to get some more information about the property and to have a look at a model home. Like many of the stories here, I was asked for my information so that they could run a credit check before even looking at a home. Although the sales agent seemed very nice and attentative, the process was very rushed...they push you to make your decision right then and there. I was told that the last model I was interested in had just been sold to the couple that just walked out the door and that there was only 1 other house left in my price range.
So, naturally, me being a first-time buyer and not well versed in the home-buying process or common sales pitches/tactics, I felt I had to jump at the chance to buy this ridiculously overpriced home in this ideal area (I figured that the pricetag was, in large part, due to the location even though the home is extremely basic and the builder does not allow for customization of any kind to the home before purchase). So, I was told that $1,000.00, which would be used towards closing costs, is all I would need to move in...I qualified for the $0 down payment and LGI would cover the remaining closing costs. I was a bit reluctant, but said I would go home to get my checkbook and bring it back the following day...that would have given me a little time to confer with family and friends and to mull over the decision. However, the salesperson was having none of that.
"There's a convenient store just up the road. We can go get a money order." This should have been the 1,000th red flag for me, but, of course, my naivete was out in full force that day. We (the salesperson drove us -- 1,001) left to get the money order, went back and signed some paperwork, and 3 hours after walking through the front door to "get some information" and to "have a look around", I was told that my plot had been taken off the market and I was the (almost) owner of a brand new home! Now, I would have to come back to meet with a lender to ensure I could afford the home.
The pricetag on a basic 3 bed/2 bath/0 frills/1600 sq ft home - $215,000.00. I'm a single mom that doesn't even make $50k gross, yet, somehow, I was approved to buy this home that would carry a near $1800/mo mortgage. I convinced myself that I could make it work...I'd get a second job, reign in spending habits, lessen the quality of life for my boy and me..afterall, we would be owning our first home! The best thing about this process turned out to be the week or 2 it takes for the lender to fully approve you.
My stomach was never NOT in knots...I was never able to be excited about the possibility of owning this home. All tell-tell signs that you're probably about to make the worst decision of your financial existence. Summary of the story to first-timers, do your research, know what you can afford, don't fall for cunning sales tactics or low payment ploys, trust your gut, and DON'T RUSH. For most, buying your first home is a life-altering decision that should not be made lightly or under duress.
The market is forever changing. There will always be another home. Make sure you are making the right decision for you and your family. The salesperson is there to do one job, to get you into a home at whatever cost (to you) so he/she can put money in his/her pocket.
Nobody in the home-buying process cares about what happens to your family but you. Trust you and you only. Don't allow them to make a fool of you. I've learned so much from these reviews and am so glad that I ran across this site before closing.
I may lose the $1,000.00, which is a hard pill to swallow considering my single-parent making less than $50k situation (that LGI obviously couldn't care less about), but this is an invaluable lesson learned. Hopefully, my experience will help someone else avoid making the same mistake.
Product or Service Mentioned: Lgi Homes Home Buying.
Reason of review: Pricing issue.