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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

5 steps to avoid buying a money pit

I read a great blog post today and wanted to share some ideas to help buyer's avoid buying a home that is going to cost them a lot of money later.

I have always encouraged home buyers to hire a professional inspector who goes through the home carefully and professionally BEFORE ordering the appraisal or at least before closing.  

With a professional inspector by your side you can discuss the finer details of the report they have prepared, and you can benefit from their experience and ask questions about the following items.
Hire a professional to inspect your home before you close your home purchase!

How to avoid buying a money pit:
  1. Attend inspections-when possible always walk through the home with the inspector, the additional insight, comments and "watch for this in the future" points they will bring out during the inspection walk through are priceless.  THIS is my #1 best to do suggestion of the 5 points!
  2. READ the report and the seller disclosures carefully- when in doubt, ask questions!
  3. Get multiple repair bids-2-3 is really the minimum and caution and research here will save many repair cost surprises later.  At this point, you have already paid the inspector for their knowledge, ask them questions about what the probable cost of a repair item might be.  When out of the inspectors area of expertise, hire a licensed professional for more information (roofer, HVAC, electrician, plumber, structural engineer).
  4. Stop overconfidence in its tracks!  Even the easiest repair jobs will cost more and take more time than you think.  I can remember clearly the time I replaced my toilet wax seal when I tiled my bathroom.  It ALL takes longer than you think!
  5. Prioritize price reductions and credits OVER seller repairs-to be in control of WHO does the repair and WHEN the repair is done, take a price reduction or a seller paid closing cost credit INSTEAD of having the seller do the repair before closing.