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November 17, 2009


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I felt like that about a year and 1/2 ago and then.... when I least expected it on an outing again with the realtor - I found my 'new" (to me) home. It worked out well, and within five weeks I had purchased the place.

Very good notes - I'd also add - look at the window frames, if there appears to be water spots, etc., this could be sign of bad windows as they may pick up condensation. At least we do this here - we do not buy a house until the buyer hires a firm to do a home inspection. My inspector found a bad garage door, chimney needed cleaning, problem with the furnace, and a bunch of misc items. It was really good to have him do this. I learned alot - it's like a crash course on the new place!

Good luck on your search :)

I agree that your RE agent probably isn't going to help you find problems with your prospective home. They have a vested interest in getting you to buy the home. It's crucial to understand that your agent works for him/herself more than s/he works for you. In light of that, I'd recommend that you find your own home inspector, attorney, etc. instead of taking your agent’s referrals.

Back in 1977 we were ready to move up and have a larger home built in a more prestigious area about 7-8 miles away. I was all for it but my wife balked because it would mean that our three children would have to go to a different school district away from all of their friends. I tried hard to persuade her but in the end we compromised by deciding on a tract of fairly new custom homes less than a mile away. Homes seldom came on the market there so we engaged a nearby Century 21 realtor to watch the area for us.

We had one data point, we had looked at a home in that tract but it had a pool, was a corner lot, and had an asking price of $150K, but we particularly did not want a pool or a corner lot and there were other features about the house that we didn't like.

One day at work I received a call from my realtor telling me that she had just received a call from a couple in the tract that had an almighty row and had decided to sell their home right away and get a divorce. I called my wife and then told the realtor that we would be there in about 20 minutes.

The home was on the next street over from the one we had seen, exactly what I wanted, at the bottom of a quiet court, with a huge lot, including one area that would be perfect for my vegetable garden, and with an asking price of $107,000. My wife gave her OK as long as we changed some cosmetic things like landscaping, carpeting and draperies. We made a full price offer that was accepted and everyone signed on the dotted line.

The next day our realtor came under fire in her office for setting too low a price and other realtors came in with much higher offers but it was too late. The sellers were uncooperative, removed some items that should have stayed, and even after we closed escrow and received the keys it was another day before we could enter the home because of two very unfriendly German shepherd dogs in the back yard.

The lesson here is that if you are selling your home, don't do it on an impulse and be very wary of accepting the sales price recommended by your realtor because it is in their interest to set a low price, close the deal ASAP, and not share their commission with another realtor. Do your homework and get an appraisal before deciding upon your sale price.

Unless you are paying the real estate agent, the agent is working for the seller. The money has to come out of YOUR pocket, it can not be part of the commission from the sale (seller pays the commission). Never trust a real estate agent (unless you are the seller). Only trust the people that you hire, for example a home inspector.

also, don't buy the house if it is on fire. Thats a sure sign it is a bad deal.

Great information. I built my home last year (in FL) and am so glad because I was too nervous about purchasing another persons home. As a single mom of 3, I just knew I didn't need the headache. I have a friend purchasing a home right now though and she needs this. Thanks!

FMF - It might not be the seller's fault. Perhaps your budget is too low?

I've actually never had any of these problems with the homes I've searched. What is your range?

That's a nice, short list of deal-breakers there. I'll have to keep them in mind when I'm out looking around.

While these issues raise red flags, they may not be deal-breakers because they can be fixed. If you're buying a 100 year old home, there will likely be some settling, even if the foundation is great.


crap!! why didn't you tell me this before i bought my house? its too late now.

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