You’ve successfully purchased your dream home, congratulations! The house has every feature you ever dreamed of, a lawn that would make most golf courses envious and a pool fit for a Michael Phelps –fast forward to move-in day– you get the keys and show up at the house to find a mess. There’s a jungle of a lawn with grass up to your knees, a pool full of green water and a sweltering hot and humid home with dings in the walls and scrapes on the floor.
Surprises like this are not uncommon but they are completely avoidable. Here are a couple of tips to ensure that the house you purchase is the house you get:
Include Clauses When Buying a House
While including clauses in your offer doesn’t mean the seller will abide by them, it may help in providing you with some degree of recourse if they don’t. Clauses to consider including in your offer would be those addressing the seller maintaining the property in a condition similar to that viewed at the time of purchase. Specify things such as maintaining temperatures and relative humidity levels inside the home –extreme temperature and humidity fluctuations will damage building materials such as hardwood floors and stairs. Specify that the lawn and gardens are to be maintained as well and that no garbage or personal belongings are to be left behind.
This one is crucial. We always include a minimum of two visits with offers. These visits can be used for a number of things, from showing off the property to the rest of the family to taking measurements for window coverings and having contractors provide estimates on renovations you’d like to do. Most importantly, these visits are your opportunity to walk through the house to ensure that it is in the same condition as it was when you purchased it. We always recommend completing one of the visits very close to the completion date and taking lots of photos during all visits to ensure you have a reference point if there’s ever a concern.
I recall one time when buyers revisited a house and found a minor leak that had just started. They brought it to our attention and we were able to get the water shut off and the problem remedied immediately. Had this of been left much longer, it would have been a much bigger issue. Also, if the property is vacant or you plan on having work done and want companies to provide quotes, it would be a good idea to try and negotiate more than two visits in the deal –you may want to ask your real estate agent about this clause and how including specific details about who is allowed to attend the appointments and for how long the visits can be very important. Some homeowners won’t want more than you and your real estate agent visiting and therefore specifying those details can prevent problems later on.
Keep all of this in mind when you buy your next house, especially vacant homes, where nobody is visiting on a regular basis. If you have questions about moving and want some advice, feel free to contact us with questions anytime.
Check out this clip on our IG about this topic: