When I work with buyers, many are wanting homes as close to downtown as possible (meaning they’ll probably end up with an older home), and one that is “move-in ready” (meaning it has been mostly-to-completely updated). Are you one of these? Well, let me share some information free-of-charge: beware!
It’s okay to like the updates, but don’t be so “wowed” with them that you overlook some important issues. A lot of buyers just want what’s new or pretty. There are some things you need to be looking for when you see updates. Use the following list as a jumping off place:
· Always check out the house in person, and look at the seller’s disclosure. They should be using either the 5-page or 8-page (in Austin, anyway). Sometimes the older, 3-page report is used if it’s been an investment property and the owner has never lived in it. I never trust a 3-page report if the owner has lived in the home for the last two years; There’s just not enough information being shared.
·Always have the home inspected by a licensed inspector. Your agent works with these people all the time and should have some names of people you could call, or you could always look online. Be sure to check with the BBB for any complaints.
·When did the property last change hands? If it was less than a year, then chances are the updates may not have had time to “season” (i.e., gutters may not have had a rain to check for accuracy in placement, or the new water heater has yet to be tested).
·Ask about permits if major work was done, such as load-bearing walls removed, room additions, and/or any plumbing or electricity was changed or updated. At the very least, ask if the work was done by licensed contractors, and if receipts can be provided.
·If siding was completely replaced, you might ask if any termite or wood-destroying ants were the cause.
·New floors/walls that have cracks in them might be hiding a larger issue. Ask about any possible foundation issues.
These are just a few of the things you could do to protect yourself when looking at remodeled homes. This is where an agent who knows her stuff comes into play. An agent who cares about you will be bringing up questions for you to ponder at the very least. And if you have an inexperienced agent, or one that is really just trying to get that paycheck, then you need to ask them about these things. We are here to represent you, and if you want to know these things, tell them so they can check for you. If you’d like to work with someone who’s desire is to educate and inform her clients, please text, call or email me today!