Buying a home comes with so many things to think about—finances, moving, and the like—it’s almost unthinkable that a disaster could occur on top of everything else. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t care much about a pending home sale, and neither do old pipes and wiring. There are some things you can do to mitigate the situation, however.
David’s Home Loan offers these tips on how to figure out your next move if trouble arises before you can go through with the purchase of a home.
Get it inspected
Unfortunately, you may not always know when a disaster has occurred in the home you’ve got your eye on. Burst pipes can be fixed; hot water heaters can be replaced. One easy way to make sure there are no residual problems is to hire an inspector who can look for signs of mold or structural damage, pests, or roof damage and help you figure out a solution.
Missing shingles or leaks, signs of chewed or burrowed wood, or soft spots in drywall can add up to major costs for you if you go through with the purchase, so talk to your agent about whether it’s a good idea to move forward. Your home inspection report will be very telling too, as these professionals will suss out major issues that aren’t obvious. The inspection process is a significantly worthwhile investment if you have concerns about the home you’re looking at, and at an average of $358 per inspection, that’s money well spent.
Talk to the sellers
As HGTV explains, when the home inspection reveals trouble it opens the door to negotiations. In some cases, home sellers agree to work out a deal that allows for the sale to go through while ensuring you won’t be responsible for repairs on something that is already damaged. In other cases, homeowners will choose to sell the home as-is, leaving you on the hook for repairs and updates.
Whatever the case, a home warranty is one way to go, but you can also ask for a price reduction on the total cost of the home itself if the repair costs aren’t too outrageous. Make sure you get your agreement in writing and get cost estimates from contractors and the inspector before finalizing anything.
If things are really sticky, sometimes hiring a real estate lawyer is a must. To give you an idea of cost, most people pay between $150 and $350 an hour for a real estate attorney.
Keep safety in mind
Cost isn’t the only thing you need to consider when it comes to making or negotiating repairs; safety should always be your first priority. If there’s damage to the foundation of the house, to the electrical wiring, or to the structural integrity, there could be larger issues at play that will affect the safety of your family after you move in. An inspection should highlight these problems, but you’ll need to make sure they’re taken care of by the seller and that they understand their obligation before you sign any paperwork.
Find out whether it will happen again
If you do decide to go through with the purchase after repairs are made, it’s important to consider whether the problem will occur again and, if the likelihood is good, how you can prevent it. For instance, Compare explains that if storm damage took out part of the roof, you can make sure there are no old or dead trees close to the house that might cause problems down the road. If there are, simply turn to Angi tree removal, which allows you to check ratings and reviews and hire someone you can trust. If it’s determined that a pipe burst, make sure the repair truly fixed the issue rather than just slapping a bandage on it.
Buying a home is often a lengthy process, and it can be a frustrating one. Don’t feel as though you need to rush through the inspection and repair negotiations because you just want to get it done; rather, take your time and make sure the house is up to code before you move forward. This will prevent costly issues for you later on and will give you peace of mind as you finalize the sale.