There are a number of home related blogs out there that really float my boat. Today a friend sent me a link to an Apartment Therapy blog post outlining the 10 Things You Should Check Before You Buy. This is timely, given my last 3 blog posts targeting buyers and sellers. The spring market is almost upon us (though looking out the window at the snow drifts this is hard to believe), and although there is a dearth of inventory on the Multiple Listing Service at present, we realtors can assure you that before you know it, we will see an array of desirable new listings to peruse.
Ok, so this adorable cottage isn't actually located in Northampton, but there are many wonderful homes here nonetheless. But, I digress...
I think the "10 Things to Check" list from the Apartment Therapy blog is interesting and informative. Of course it would be ideal to check the drains in a house you are buying to avoid having a burst pipe from a tree root which has broken through the line... But how realistic is it to run a load of wash in a house before you buy it? Build a fire in the fireplace? Again, maybe not so convenient for the sellers, the buyers and/or the home inspector. That said, a buyer should always have a 14 day home inspection period (that amount of time, or 10 business days, is standard in Hampshire County) - wherein s/he can inspect any element of the house (within reason) that he or she has questions about. Most buyers hire a home inspector to conduct a thorough home inspection, as well as a radon inspection, at the very least. Water testing and Title V inspection are standard on a property with well water and/or a septic system. If anything comes to light during that period that is off putting, or a deal breaker, the buyer has the right to withdraw his or her offer. They also have the right to renegotiate the terms of the purchase at that time. If a buyer has concerns about the chimney, the drains, the moisture level in the basement, etc -- any good buyer's agent can help direct them to a professional who can come take a look at that element of the house during the inspection period.
So, yes, it is important to do ones' due diligence when buying a home. You want to avoid any big surprises after you have made the purchase, to the extent that this is possible. That said, home ownership is a big responsibility. There will always be some degree of maintenance, repair, and updates that become necessary when you own a home. It's a good idea to be aware of this when deciding to buy a home.
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