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4 red flags to watch for when buying a house

Buying a home is a major step, both financially and emotionally. You may want a place where you and your family may live for a long time, or your are seeking an investment property. Either way, you must remember that unexpected obstacles may surface, despite all the research you have done.

Even though you have pursued a home purchase with the best of intentions, understand that certain obstacles along the way actually may be warnings. Remember, you do not want to be stuck with a property that may have significant problems.

Here are four warning signs that should make you hesitate about investing in a certain property:

  • An evasive and misleading seller: Perhaps the seller declines to answer questions about the house’s condition, as well as the terms of the sale. They may claim a lack of knowledge on the obvious problems of the home or ignorance of the details of the mortgage contract. A problematic home may prove to be a legal and financial drain. Perhaps the previous owner did not invest in the home, thereby filling it with safety, health, and environmental hazards;
  • Too many addendums or modifications to the contract: Addendums are necessary and include contingencies to protect the buyer. They may include terms of the agreement, sales price, and condition of the home. However, beware of agreements that are homemade, pulled off of the Internet, too simple, or include an abundant number of unnecessary additions to the mortgage contract. Make sure to read and understand the contract, and then consult with an attorney to understand all of the terms therein;
  • Ignoring condition precedents: Most sales agreements include a condition precedent that a home inspection should take place. This inspection is necessary to determine the condition and value of the home. Prospective buyers want to know about any problems that exist. If the seller ignores condition precedents, he or she is likely hiding something. They do not want the truth to surface (i.e. major issues with the foundation, furnace, electrical and plumbing aspects, etc.); and
  • Your instincts: Your gut feeling tells you that something is not right. Rely on your intuition as you want to feel comfortable with your decision, If you think something is wrong with the home’s condition, or the sale itself, this should give you pause, make you walk away, or lead you to seek the advice of an attorney. You may not always encounter fairness when searching for a home. Trust your gut.

It works in your favor to be finicky when buying a home because this likely will be the most expensive purchase you make in your life. What it often comes down to is that the seller has something to hide. You, as the prospective buyer, are in the driver’s seat.

You are in control

If certain aspects of the home-buying experience do not seem right, trust your instincts and walk away. In time, you will find the house that best suits you and your family. Contact OWM Law Offices to further discuss the real estate buying and selling process, as well as for all of your general legal needs.

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