Many have written about helping first-time homebuyers find their dream home. From finding the right financing to hiring an ethical real estate agent (find out how to get a 50% buyer agent commission refund), the vast number of tips and tricks found online has really made life easy for the homebuying novice. Or has it?
Despite all of the information that potential home buyers can readily access online, home buying as an investment still isn’t easy as it seems. In fact, you can also find many articles on the web recounting the “horrors” that unsuspecting buyers found right after they closed escrow. These include roof leaks that lead to things like damaging water infiltration during heavy rainstorms, mold infestation in the attic and asbestos-filled walls.
Believe it or not, many of the houses across the U.S. have one or a combination of these issues, which make them very dangerous to occupy. Yet, many homeowners didn’t even know these problems existed in the property at the time they toured and bought it.
Often due to extreme competition in the housing market, many homeowners make hasty decisions and naively grab any house that they find without consulting a professional home inspector. Home sellers can make a few inexpensive improvements to cover up years of neglect. A fresh coat of paint, new sod in the lawn can hide a lot of defects from the untrained eye.
Below is a tongue-in-cheek infographic from Tauscher Cronacher that makes a point as to why skipping a pre-purchase home inspection is a really, really bad idea. Sure, there are things you can inspect yourself, but hiring a professional home inspector will help you make a sound investment in a home with manageable issues. Any older home will have issues. A good home inspector will tell you which ones are deal breakers and which ones you can live with.
According to the infographic, these are the key things to look for when you spending your life’s savings on a perfectly wrong house:
- Poorly maintained roofs
- Cracks in the foundation
- Old plumbing, mold, and mildew
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Structural fails
- Pest problems
- Hazardous elements
How these issues can affect your finances, safety, and most importantly, the quality of life of your family will depend on their severity. Nevertheless, purchasing the wrong home isn’t a challenging endeavor; it’s what comes after closing that will make your life difficult.
To ensure you and your family’s safety and comfort in the new house, it’s extremely crucial to get the expertise of a licensed professional to inspect the property you’re planning to buy. Use review sites like Yelp to find inspectors with a good reputation. Once you get your inspection report, it’s a good idea to get estimates from contractors for any significate repairs needed. With these estimates, you can know whether to negotiate further with the seller, accept the issues and close, or walk away from the deal.
Now you know how to buy the wrong house. Skip the home inspection and you’re on your way. Buyer beware.