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Home Buying Tips

Home buying “tip of the day”:

As if home buyers don’t have enough to worry about with mortgages and financing, now there is another hurdle to watch for – sellers stretching the truth about their home in the hopes of making it more attractive to buyers. Whether exaggerating the size of the house or lot, minimizing the property taxes or utility bills or forgetting to disclose a pest problem, buyers need to be wary and do their homework.  

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 Promised facilities – check with neighbors about promised or proposed facilities. Check titles for specifics regarding parking spaces, storage units or other included facilities or amenities.

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While more than 30 states have disclosure laws that cover things like leaking roofs or other problems, there is a gray area when it comes to long-ago floods or hidden mold. Given the complexity of disclosure laws, potential buyers may not hear about all the problems of a house; sellers may not even know about some of them. Often the laws don’t apply to bank-owned homes transferred in foreclosures.

Buyers should hire an independent inspector or home –inspector engineer to check for some common white lies, among other things:

 Property size – sellers may exaggerate, and the true dimensions may not be learned until the lenders appraisal.

 Check inside the walls – check for signs of pests or faulty wiring, as these things may not be readily discernable from a visual inspection

 Flooding information – water and drainage problems are not always visible.

 Taxes and maintenance costs – ask to see recent bills, and check the tax assessor’s office for the most current information.

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