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Old 05-12-2014, 08:43 AM   #31
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How to avoid surprises when buying a house


Great thread!
One of the best I've read. Kudos OP.

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Old 05-12-2014, 10:39 PM   #32
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How to avoid surprises when buying a house


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Great thread!
One of the best I've read. Kudos OP.
Agreed. I wish I would have seen this 8 months ago!
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:18 AM   #33
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How to avoid surprises when buying a house


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I understand you can ask your realtor to get you copies of the last 12 mos of utility bills on a house you may be interested in. Didn't know this when we bought ours.

Not only can it save you sticker shock come heating season, but can give you a heads-up on the general energy efficiency of the house.

My wife and I were able to get the 12 month averages directly from the gas companies (the one that we were interested in). This was helpful, as it confirmed what I thought about one house, that there was little to no insulation present.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:49 AM   #34
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How to avoid surprises when buying a house


Two things I'd like to chime in on--

First, visit your potential dream home at NIGHT. Swing by the property at ten or eleven at night; that's when you'll get a feel for what the neighborhood is like, in terms of noise, etc. Pick a weekday and a Friday or Saturday night.

Second, don't skip the lead-paint inspection. I was out of town for work while we were going through the pre-purchase rigamarole, and we were worried about funds. $500 for a thorough paint inspection seemed a little steep... I mean, asbestos abatement isn't *that* expensive, so leaded paint can't be too bad, right?

Dammit, we even checked the plumbing...

Long story short, we're now living in a peeling nightmare, at least on the outside. Good news is that the poisonous paint is mostly on the exterior; bad news is that the paint (which looked pretty decent when we bought the house) started blowing off in chunks by the fall. Removed the soil from around the house--which had about 1 part lead to 300 parts soil--covered and re-covered the paint... Still (slowly!) abating. Especially if you've got kids, shell out a couple hundred bucks and get the dang paint tested!
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:10 AM   #35
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How to avoid surprises when buying a house


Good advice----about the lead---
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:56 PM   #36
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Oh, and as I stand up here in my attic, I remember to add one thing to that last comment of mine--don't assume that the accessible surfaces are the only ones with lead-based paint. If you do any remodeling, anything you find with paint on it should be treated as suspect. My house is awesome because they recycled lots of its original pieces when they remodeled back in the 50s, but it sucks because they recycled wood too. I keep finding lead-painted boards used as furring strips, behind fiberboard walls... It's not the end of the world, but make sure you play safe!
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:23 PM   #37
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A guy out here was selling a house full of appliances on craigslist. We both got so into talking I forgot to even buy the appliances. He tells me he is a big shot structural engineer. I show him about a half dozen house of mine. before that day I never had faith in those book smart folks. Even from the street this guy could tell me things I had never known about my houses. He never did charge me but I take him to look at houses from time to time. His knowledge covers cost, time, best way to do it. Not sure about engineers but this guy was brilliant
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:21 PM   #38
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How to avoid surprises when buying a house


^^^^^^^^^ know your market area^^^^^^^^^^
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:06 AM   #39
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How to avoid surprises when buying a house


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I don't know that I'll add much new here, but I'll give it a shot. This is what I have taken away from searching for my first home:

- Check the roof. Outside, inside, and all along the perimeter of the house. Check it very closely. Don't be afraid to climb up in the attic and go from one end to the other.

- Check the crawlspace/basement if it has one. Mainly checking for water damage, but many homes have been junked underneath from the previous owner not wanting to dispose of his unwanted items the proper way.

- Check every window inside and out. Will they open? Will they lock? Are they square? Do they seal properly?

- Check all cabinets, especially those that are located beneath sinks.

- Look at every square inch of bathrooms. Water damage.

- Check the age and condition of the heating and ac unit.

- Check and decide what updates will have to be done immediatley and ones that can wait.


After all of this (I'm sure I am missing one of my personal steps) if you still like the house very much. Do the right thing and pay a proffessional (if you aren't one or aren't equally knowledged) to do a proper and thorough inspection of the house.

Yes, Agree but one big thing that helped us when buying our home was the in fared camera (not sure of the spelling). Detected a leak that was not visible to the naked eye…but was there…after we moved in sure enough open ceiling and their it was…glad we got some money to fix it during escrow.
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:31 AM   #40
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Great advices!But everybody has own advice...
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:13 PM   #41
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After 25+ years as an appraiser that's pretty much seen it all, my $0.02 worth of advice would be to be very careful about allowing an agent working for a commission in the transaction, most particularly the listing/seller's agent, recommend or choose the home inspector for you. Hiring an inspector that's in an agent's back pocket is not in your best interest. Find your own completely independent third party inspector to represent YOUR best interests, not the interests of a commissioned real estate agent in order to gain future inspection business from them. Not meaning to disparage home inspectors in the least - I know numerous outstandingly ethical inspectors that would sell their mother before they'd lie or omit critical info from their report to gain more business, but it's just good common business sense to hire someone completely detached and totally independent from the transaction.

And speaking of unethical scumbags aplenty, don't even get me started on the appraisal and mortgage lending industries. Just suffice it to say that when the very crooks largely responsible for the mortgage meltdown, namely Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd, author the Dodd-Frank "financial reform" bill to protect you the consumer, believe me, you are NOT being protected. I'll stop here before I blow a vein.

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