House Hunting Tips

Darling Hubby and I feel like private eyes because house hunting turns you into a private investigator whether you want to be one or not.

 Armed with a flashlight, you peer beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, looking for old plumbing pipes, evidence of water leaks, and water damage.

You investigate insufferably hot attics to see if they're floored so service people can reach the air conditioning and heating systems.

You inspect ceilings and walls for telltale signs that a roof has leaked.

You scan the roof through binoculars or with the help of a drone to judge how old the roof is when a seller marks "unknown" for the age of the roof on the Seller's Disclosure.

You tromp through tall grass, checking to see if there are French drains in the yard. We've looked at several houses that should have been in excellent condition based on their price point. We've been disappointed each time.

Why Investigate So Thoroughly?

Because home sellers often don't tell the complete truth about their homes on the Seller's Disclosure.

They hope no one will ask questions that might derail their efforts to unload a lemon of a house.

Of course, sometimes, sellers honestly don't know the information called for on a Seller's Disclosure.

We're not looking for things that may be outdated. That's generally cosmetic or decor stuff.

We don't mind doing some remodeling, but we don't want to have to re-pipe a house because the old galvanized pipes leak or have a certified electrician correct a homeowner's DIY wiring. 

Caveat emptor

When buying anything, one must always remember the Latin phrase, "Caveat emptor," which means "Let the buyer beware."

That's why we thoroughly investigate every aspect of a home for sale before we plunk down $250.00 on a Contract for the option to buy if the house passes a professional inspection plus a few thousand in earnest money.

It gets costly to lose $250.00 plus the cost of the home inspection by a professional (north of another $250.00 to 500.00+). Sure, we'd get our earnest money back, but we'd be out the $250.00 plus the cost of the inspection.

Don't fall in love with a house! Buying a home should be an intelligent decision, not an emotional one.

If you fall in love with your dream home, you will rationalize the problems with it. The result will be a house you come to hate because it will drain your bank account.

What to Investigate

Everything! Open every door, cupboard, drawer, and closet. 

Run the water in all the faucets. Flush every toilet. Check every window and door for water damage. Look under every sink. 

Check the attic to make sure there is easy access to the systems up there. Ask questions of your realtor if you don't understand something. 

Check the yard to make sure rainwater drains away from the house.

If appliances are included with the house, check them out to make sure they work properly.

Takeaway Truth

When househunting, check everything thoroughly and ask your realtor for the names of really good home inspectors who should check everything I've mentioned and more. Always remember, "Caveat emptor."

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