August 22nd, 2014 7:08 AM by Jackie A. Graves
those crafty sellers, disguising the deferred maintenance of their homes!
not saying they’ll lie, but if they can get away with selling the house and not having to spend
thousands of dollars on a moldy basement re-do?
it’s hard to blame them: they want to make the most of their home investment,
When buying a home, keep a keen eye peeled as you asses the
potential of your new house, and hopefully you can avoid the costly mistake of
buying a place that needs a lot of pricey repairs soon after closing.
at least, gain some leverage in negotiating costs and/or required fixes, so you
aren’t stuck with a new mortgage—and new repairs.
are some tell-tale signs to look for when buying a home:
of Deferred Maintenance
do you discover the true condition of a sale home? Use all your senses.
at the walls: cracks can indicate a shifting foundation. Signs of water damage, like peeling
ceilings, can indicate the need for roof repairs. New paint on a single wall
could hiding mildew, mold or water damage.
the basement. Do you detect a hint of mustiness? This could signify mold. Touch
the electrical faceplates—are they warm? Is that an odd shadow on a wall? Or a
bump that means a shoddy repair?
yourself these questions, too:
the masonry have visible cracks or crumbles?
there broken fixtures?
there any barricaded spaces in attics, basements or corners of rooms?
do the electrical outlets and vents look?
the doors and windows open and close as they should—with no sticking, uneven
corners or drafts?
Help From a Home Inspector When Buying a Home
you’re not alone in determining the conditions of prospective homes.
Home inspections become crucial here, as
they locate red flags. A qualified home inspector is trained to spot structural
and system problems that layman won’t notice. They can advise on potential
repairs. They’ll check the reliability of your heating and ventilation system,
and they also can spot foundation problems your untrained eye may skip.
reliance upon the expertise of the home inspector allows you to mount a little
offensive when buying a home. You can use the defects described in an
inspection report as an effective negotiating tool to get a better price with
lender’s appraiser may also have some thoughts. While they are tasked with
ensuring the lender is making a good investment, they may also spot some
issues. A new rule gives buyers the right to see the appraisal, which could note issues with the house.
Closely at the Neighborhood When Buying a Home
are buying into a neighborhood as well as into a home. Check red flags in the
area, too. Abandoned and boarded-up buildings or excessive amounts of
garbage and graffiti are obviously not good signs.
there local industry in the form of factories or business parks? Do neighbors
park on the streets or in garages? Are cars and debris filling adjacent yards?
In other words, do people take pride and care in their community? And are
there signs of stability and growth?
course, you may also see the good signs: senior citizens walking, children playing,
clean school yards, parks, convenient shopping, places of worship and a
public library. You knowwhat you want in a neighborhood. Make sure you see it.
Repair Issues When Buying a Home
you do find red flags, they may not tank the deal, as long as you bring them
up. A goodREALTOR® can help you with this.
issues—like plumbing, electrical wiring problems or structural concerns—could
push a motivated seller to agree to fix the problems or lower the price of the
home. Because if one buyers spots them, another one might, too.
the neighborhood, the home layout and the price all seem right, it might
be worth trying to push the seller to mitigate those flags. And once they’ve
finished, you’ll have the home you’ve always dreamed about right in front of you.
By: Anne Miller | Updated from a previous version by
Frank Alan Herch
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