Thursday, August 27, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Used Car and Used House....What is the difference?

If you read used car advertisements you might run across terms like "gently used," "well maintained," "no worries," or whatever.  The message from the seller is a simple me, this car is a diamond!

And while the car may be a real gem it is a rare buyer who does not look under the hood.  And if the buyer knows as little about cars as I then they may even have a qualified mechanic take a look.

The independent mechanic will have no emotional attachment to the car and will provide a real assessment.

Now shift gears (pun intended)....

Many sellers swear their house is in move in condition with no problems whatsoever.   And, in their eyes, that may be the case.

Some buyers will quickly fall in love with a house and fail to see any potential issues.

In Florida sellers and real estate agents are required to disclose anything that materially affects the value of a property and is not readily visible.  As a real estate agent working with buyers I may point out issues that could warrant additional investigation during the due diligence period.

I have worked with many prospective buyers who were quick to open up the AC or look at the plumbing or whatever.   Some may take a peek in the breaker box as well.   But most have little real knowledge of what they are looking at.   I have had buyers climb the attic stairs to take a look at the roof from the inside.   I actually had one buyer climb on the roof to "check for soft spots."   This is not inadvisable - ever!

While looking under the hood is something that needs to be done it should be done by a qualified home inspector who has no emotional attachment whatsoever to the house or the deal.

Property inspections are not expensive here in Florida (cost is usually in the $300-$500 range).    And even with an "as is" purchase contract it is wise to include an inspection addendum.  This inspection addendum is a buyer's get out of jail free card.

Trained inspectors will give a report on a property condition at the time of inspection.  The inspector will not be able to tell you if the AC will last a month or five years.   They will not tell you how much exact life is left on a roof system.   Just like the mechanic who can give you a report on a car's condition today the property inspector can only report on what they can see and test on the inspection day.

While a house is not a used car it warrants a look under the hood.   Here is some additioanl readuing about the home purchase and inspection process.
Ready to buy a home in Viera, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.