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What should I ask when buying a home?

 
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 10:26 am
@DrewDad,
speaking of odd homes - we went to see one (this was prior to narrowing down which town we wanted).

Really nice neighbor - almost creepy nice - you know the one with all the lawns are nice and crap like that.

Any way - the realtor warned us - the couple likes to stay while we show their home and also warned us to be open minded as in you can change carpet/paint. So everything was pink shag-like carpet, the colors were horrible (like the carpet) and I cannot even describe the decorations and lighting fixtures - and their were the couple hanging out in the family room while we went thorough out their house discussing how I would rip out the entire bathroom, etc.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 10:29 am
@Butrflynet,
thanks - that is a great list - now after the weekend when I have answers I will need to post.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 10:29 am
@Linkat,
I actually love the bad picture taking from the buyer perspective. I helped a friend find a great house that way -- the pictures made it look bad but they were just bad pictures, the house itself was good!

That kind of happened with our house, too -- it used to be painted a really bright color, and evidently people hated it. It was on the market for a long time before I saw it. I noticed the color but a) didn't actually mind that much, b) it's the OUTSIDE of the house. Of all possible renovations/ fixes, that's a pretty easy one.

As it happened, the sellers were getting so much bad feedback about the color that they went ahead and had it repainted between our first and second viewing -- there was a big handwritten note at our first viewing saying "WE ARE PAINTING THE HOUSE" with swatches of the new colors.

Anyway, it knocked at least 10% off of the price I think, and in the end we didn't even have to do anything about it.

Colors of interior walls are a similar thing, not that hard to redo and makes such a difference. (Especially in terms of light.)
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 10:30 am
@DrewDad,
We've done it - so we do know what to expect. It is easier if you aren't there and prior to moving, but unless you have limitless money you sometimes cannot.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 10:33 am
@sozobe,
Yes that is actually what we are hoping for - butt ugly decorating - many people cannot see past that. The house I described seeing was like that - it seem a good solid house in a great neighborhood but because of the decorating and the quirky owners who wanted to watch you inspecting their house - they are having difficulty selling and the price is also lower than others in the neighborhood as a result.
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 10:52 am
are there any lunatic hispanics who like to shoot black kids in hoodies in the neighbourhood?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 11:26 am
@djjd62,
this ain't florida buddy
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 11:29 am
After you view a house you like, sneak back and interview a couple of neighbors. They'll know stuff about the house and neighborhood you'd never think to ask. They will probably be glad to meet someone that seems to want to fit in.
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CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 11:38 am
Your biggest issue really is asbestos in an old house - don't forget to ask about that.

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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 11:43 am
Check out the neighbourhood and house at different times of the day too. And I totally agree with Roger..
A friend of mine and her soon to be husband bought a house. Their dog wouldn't go past the front door and even that was a struggle. Soon after they'd crossed the tee and dotted the iiis, but before they moved in, they talked to a neighbour. He told them the house had been the home of a murderer and he had killed a woman in the home. The real estate agent didn't have to tell them. When the lawsuit was over, the law was changed. Not saying anything that dramatic will happen to you, but to be on the safe side..
About a year ago, I was talking to an elderly neighbour who grew up on the block. She told me that right behind my house there is an underground stream, goes by the name of Rat Creek. I don't have problems but two new houses have been built on that side of the alley do. Both have problems with water in the basement and both owners thought it might be a broken pipe...
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 01:28 pm
@Ceili,
Oh wow, in California they have to disclose if someone died in the house - it doesn't matter what the cause of death was, they have to disclose it.
You're right though, it's good to talk to the neighbors, and I always wanted to talk to the sellers too - although the agents don't like it that much. I usually asked the sellers why they want to sell and where they're going from there....

roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 02:28 pm
@CalamityJane,
You better believe they don't want buyers and sellers getting together! Not the least because someone just might be tempted to cut out the middleman.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 02:31 pm
@roger,
No, not really, roger. The agents protect themselves - the sellers usually have a contract with an agent and anyone who comes in and sees the property, either through the selling agent or another one, would be liable to the commission to the agent, payable by the seller. If you think they wouldn't find out, think again - they all work together: agents, escrow and title companies etc.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2012 03:12 pm
@Ceili,
We will make sure that the dog likes the place first!

But yeah talking with the neighbors make sense - and maybe helpful to avoiding crazy neighbors as well.
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