I am working with young buyers who are search for a detached home in the North Park/Normal Heights areas. They are pre-approved and hungry. Everything a Realtor wants!
My only problem is that I need to sleep at night and genuinely try to guide people, particularly first time buyers, to make good choices.
Last week, we found a detached home that I had to strongly persuade my clients NOT to buy!! A weird, thing for an agent to do, right?
I saw a number of red flags that I thought I might share with my readers.
- First, this home has been on the market for many months even though it’s not a short sale. Other comparable homes are selling almost immediately so one might wonder, ‘why is it still on the in the home. Although there was a documented engineer report on the fix, the floor was uneven throughout the house. In addition, the garage still had a cracked slab, and all the walkways and driveway had substantial cracks in them.
- Secondly, the windows are extremely old and outdated, with stains that indicated cracked seals. Windows are very expensive to replace.
- The kitchen was small and did not have adequate space for a dishwasher and a strange space for the refrigerator.
- This house has a flat roof, as so many older rooms do. I’ve never met a flat roof that did not have leaking problems. Additionally there were no rain gutters.
- The radiator grill was off the radiator exposing very sloppy workmanship, and causing question about the functioning of the heater.
- There was a pattern of staining on the hardwood floor on one side of the house.
- Last but not least, when I asked the agent for a list of repairs completed on the property he could not ‘access it.’
Do you get the picture?
One of the most common things first time buyers do is look at the aesthetic appeal and neglect structural issues. While I’m no expert, when you sell enough houses, you begin to pick up tidbits of useful information. A seasoned expert should be able to point out things that you don’t always see.