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Old 03-03-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
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just bought a house. need some advice!


hey everyone. what do you wish you had known when you first bought your house?

specifically, what projects have you done over the years, that you wish you had done right away after buying the house?

one example -- a friend recently told me to get a backup generator as soon as I move in.

any tips, advice, words of wisdom for this newbie are greatly appreciated!

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Old 03-03-2011, 08:23 AM   #2
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just bought a house. need some advice!


Assuming the house is in decent shape and not a run down wreck, live in it for a month or two and get a feel for what you like and don't like about it.

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Old 03-03-2011, 08:53 AM   #3
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Check on the condition of the sump pumps----main water shut offs and other essential mechanical devices that could lead to an emergency call to repair man.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
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My immediate thought is home maintenace related and not major project specific...

I agree with Joed. You need to get a feel for the home before. By tackling some of the items below you will get a feel for the place for sure.

- If you have a sump... replace the pump. It is one of the first things I do.
- Replace furnace filters.
- Replace Humidifier filter.
- Replace Water filters (fridge or in-line filter).
- Go get an idea as to where all your shutoffs are (gas, water).
- Label breakers
- Test smoke alarms/replace batteries - depending on age you may just replace them all
- Clean carpets while house is empty (if it still is) - you can rent machine and have it done in no time.
- Fireplace - have it swept/inspected if you plan to use it
- Dryer vent pipe... inspect for lint build up and replace if needed.

Address any items brought up in the inspection.

Paint before you move in if you can...just easier if the place is empty.

Last edited by ferris13; 03-03-2011 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #5
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just bought a house. need some advice!


! Ditto on the smoke detectors !

- identify/map electrical switches, outlets, and breaker box. Buy a flashlight and store it near your breaker box.

I am sorry that I didn't do some of the simple cosmetic stuff right away. Lots of these are easy projects that can, depending on the condition of the house, make a HUGE difference.

- scrub walls around light switches, door frames, and doors.
- wash ceiling in the kitchen.
- wash the outside of entry doors.
- touch up paint scuffs.
- dust/clean light fixtures.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:09 AM   #6
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this is great stuff, thanks a lot...
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 19mquinn79 View Post
hey everyone. what do you wish you had known when you first bought your house?

specifically, what projects have you done over the years, that you wish you had done right away after buying the house?

one example -- a friend recently told me to get a backup generator as soon as I move in.

any tips, advice, words of wisdom for this newbie are greatly appreciated!
We changed our furnace air filter and cleaned the ducts and air returns the best we could when we moved into our house. The one thing I didn't think to do was clean the blower and the heated-air chamber for the furnace. When I discovered that it probably hadn't been cleaned in 30 years, I got right to it, and doing so was like getting a new furnace. It made a huge difference. I wish I had done that when we moved in.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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specifically, what projects have you done over the years, that you wish you had done right away after buying the house?
My only regret was not replacing the carpeting before we moved in. It is trashed, and desperately needs replacing, but now that we have all our stuff moved in replacing it will be much more of a chore.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:14 PM   #9
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If you haven't had a home inspection by a home inspector you selected, get one.

If there's anything you're just not going to be happy with, go ahead and take care of it now. No point to being unhappy for 10 years and then fixing it
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:44 AM   #10
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If you haven't had a home inspection by a home inspector you selected, get one.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

Since you said you had already bought it, I assumed you were past that point, but if you haven't had an inspection done yet, choose the inspector yourself rather than relying on your Realtor. Choose your inspector as carefully as you would choose a doctor. Look for someone with lots of experience in the trades rather than someone who completed one of those courses advertised on late night TV.

Be there for the inspection.

Ask lots and lots of questions.

As a first time homeowner it is an opportunity - a crash course on home owning. Ask him/her what is priority, what can wait, etc.

When we moved, it was a seven hour drive from the old house to new so being there wasn't feasible. This is the thing I regret the most - the chance to ask someone knowledgeable "What is this for? Is this an issue? etc., etc.

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Old 03-04-2011, 01:01 PM   #11
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choose the inspector yourself rather than relying on your Realtor.
OR the bank.

Something a lot of people don't realize is that unless you've signed an agency contract, it isn't "your" Realtor you're dealing with. They all, by default, represent the seller.

Banks and Realtors both tend to hire home inspectors who they know will try to find ways to not kill the deal.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:36 PM   #12
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OR the bank.

Something a lot of people don't realize is that unless you've signed an agency contract, it isn't "your" Realtor you're dealing with. They all, by default, represent the seller.

Banks and Realtors both tend to hire home inspectors who they know will try to find ways to not kill the deal.
Are you suggesting that a thorough home inspection is not a good thing? To say that an inspector would intentionally provide details to squash a deal doesn't make sense to me from a realtors stand point as the only way they make money is on the closing of a deal.

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Old 03-04-2011, 01:37 PM   #13
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If you hire an inspector make sure he/she will allow you to record/video his inspection. I've seen some skimpy written reports. Be present for the inspection, ask lots of questions, take notes.

We hired a specialist inspector before we bought our 200 year old house. He spent around five hours at the house patiently answering my questions and explaining things to me.

One of my questions was about a single brick in a wall that was disintegrating. I asked him what caused it. He said, without missing a beat, "brick termite". It took me a minute to realize he was joking.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:08 PM   #14
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Are you suggesting that a thorough home inspection is not a good thing? To say that an inspector would intentionally provide details to squash a deal doesn't make sense to me from a realtors stand point as the only way they make money is on the closing of a deal.

Mark
I think they are saying the opposite of that - they are worried a home inspector will gloss over things that are wrong with a house in order to get the sale to close, but that's wrong too, at least with a bank recommended inspector. It is in the bank's interest to identify major problems with the home since it's their money that is on the line. If there are issues that could affect the value of the house, or the owner's ability to repay the mortgage, the bank wants to know about them.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:39 PM   #15
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Are you suggesting that a thorough home inspection is not a good thing? To say that an inspector would intentionally provide details to squash a deal doesn't make sense to me from a realtors stand point as the only way they make money is on the closing of a deal.

Mark
I'm saying that home inspections sourced by a Realtor or a bank are suspect because some home inspectors pull their punches when their client is a bank or a Realtor.

We just bought a house, and there were two home inspections done. The first was done on behalf of the trust that owned the house. They wanted to know what needed to be fixed before they put the house on the market. The second was done for closing. Interesting differences between them. The first is much more thorough.

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