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Buyers BEWARE

Hire an agent who is not scared to tell you the truth about what you should know when home-buying! Spooky situations can often be handled with professional negotiations! 

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5 Scary Things Seen In Homes

Debbie Kirkland

Debbie Kirkland started First Story Real Estate Company because she saw a need for radical changes in the real estate space...

Debbie Kirkland started First Story Real Estate Company because she saw a need for radical changes in the real estate space...

Oct 31 7 minutes read

Home sales (and values) have been on a strong uptick nationwide thanks to low interest rates, freer lending standards and a drop in the foreclosure rate. Sellers everywhere are breathing a giant, collective sigh of relief! But for all of the buyer activity, it seems like most houses sit on one end of two extremes: they either get snatched up the moment they hit the market (with multiple offers and an above-asking sale price) or seem to languish on the market without an offer in sight. If a home is languishing, it could be because of some scary things that buyers can't overcome.

Scary things seen or unseen in homes are pointed out during most home-inspections. Home inspections are most times required for insurance companies today. At minimum, 4-Point Inspections that cover Roof, Electrical, Plumbing, Heating and Air Systems. Unless you are buying a brand new home, be prepared to get a home inspection before you buy. Smart sellers will have a home inspection done before they sell if they are wise! 

All buyers want to believe they will breeze through home inspections, but that's not always the case. Here are five scary things seen in homes that don't have to be deal-breakers!

1. A leaky, old roof.

Homes with old roofs really scare home-buyers,... and insurance companies! Did you know you may not even e able to get home insurance if an asphalt shingle roof is over 10 years old - even more likely if it is 15 years old?  We really look at roofs as a BIG investment and one that most buyers are not willing to do on their own because they can't afford it. So, sellers be prepared to know how much a new roof will cost and whether or not your roof is going to hold up a sale. If your roof is curling, old, and leaking, let's figure out how to get a new on one right before or after closing...it can be done with Century 21 First Story agents working with lenders and insurance companies and facilitating negotiations for this most important item in a contract. Don't be scared of the magic remedy!


2. Squeaky, uneven, cracked up damaged floors.

Does this homes' floor lean just a little to the corner? Are the floorboards creaky, curly or musty smelling? Do you see cracks in the outside walls near window, doors or at fireplaces? How about cracks in drywall or plaster inside?  All these are signs of scary structural issues that may turn into much bigger than cosmetic problems! 

Off-grade homes are on some kind of piling, pier, or suspended foundation that you can crawl under or that is off the ground. That's a lot of weight on its' support system. Cracks in slab foundation can cause broken pipes, ground-water intrusion and shifting weight issues. Over time, or on bad soils like pipe clay, or artesian water flow and even sinkholes can cause movement and weight shifts causing cracks and even collapse. 

Just how scary is it? We don't know until a foundation specialist or engineer or both, examines the property. Making that inspection investment now, could save tens of thousands later! Knowledge will help you make decisions whether to continue with a purchase, negotiate for repairs or to run!


3. Hot and cold issues.

Really, While some paranormal activity is known to cause extreme drops in temperature, that's now really what I am talking about! Let's talk about heating and cooling systems. Again, age of systems is important to insurance companies, FHA and VA lenders! You just can't hardly buy a home with ancient systems (20 years or older these days).  

Budgeting for new HVAC systems before you purchase on in the purchase or preparing for replacement after a purchase, are decisions that have to be made based on new system quotes, seller motivation or buyer's ability to pay for repairs. One way or another, (Cash, credit or renovation loan), it has to be worked out! There's nothing scarier than waking up in a sweat in Florida summer from a failed AC system!


4. Drip, Drip, Drip.

Got leaks? A good home inspection may point out obvious leaks, former water damage or types of plumbing systems, pipes and water heaters in a home. Knowing about your pipes and fixtures is critical as again, some are uninsurable. That means, retro-fitting old systems with new systems. Cost and time to do this can be deal killers if you are not prepared ahead of time. Scary words like polybutylene pipes, lead, cast-iron, Orangeburg, could keep even the bravest buyer up at night!

Century 21 First Story Agents work with trusted, local , licensed vendors (plumbers and contractors), to get these items repaired or get quotes for repairs that you need for renovation loans or re-negotiations after home inspections.


5. Sizzling switches, flickering lights, dead GFCI's.

While we love to watch the scary flickers of light in a good horror movie, let's keep that on the screen, not in our homes. Not only are hot or sizzling switches scary, but they are also unsafe! Electricity is nothing to fool around with! Sparks, improper grounds, old wiring, bad switches are all things that can cause fires, electrical shocks, and even death. While we are mentioning it last, it is really one of the most important things to have evaluated in your home inspection. There's no magic cure for bad electrical items, just replacement and rewiring and reinspecting afterwards!  Don't fool around,... safety first!


So, 5 things to think about, 5 things that agents at Century 21 First Story Real Estate are extremely mindful of as we show homes, write offers and negotiate for home buyers. Conversely, 5 things we promote for savvy sellers who are prepared ahead of time for overcoming objections of home inspections by readying their homes for easy sales.

For consultations, please contact us, we want to solve any mystery about homes before you invest your time and money! To contact us, CLICK HERE.

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