House Talk

What to Watch Out For When

Buying a Home


You canít be too careful when investing in something as important as a house.† Consider carefully when youíre buying a home any problems that could mean major expenses in the near future.† Small defects that are inexpensive to fix can be expected, but larger defects, which are not always obvious to the untrained eye, should be a red flag.


Throughout the years in real estate, there have been various areas that buyers need to watch out for.† One of those areas is excessive settlement of a home.† There are many clues to look for in determining whether a house is settling unevenly.† One way, is huge cracks in the walls or ceilings.


Other indications might be, sloping floors, shaky or unstable stairways, or uneven frames around doors that keep them from closing properly.† If you suspect that there may be a structural problem with the house, consider using a home inspector to determine if the problems are minor or major.


Another important area to watch for is termite damage.† Many areas require sellers to have a termite inspection, but if you suspect termites, it is a good idea to have a pest control person look at the property.†


It may turn out to be carpenter ants and not termites that are the problem, but either way itís best to know in advance.


Other areas that should be inspected carefully are heating systems, electrical wiring, and plumbing.† If you

feel a little nervous about your ability to detect problems in these areas, then you should protect yourself in other ways.


One way to protect yourself is to make sure you are being represented by a real estate agent.† A professional real estate agent can often detect problem situations more quickly than someone less trained.† Another way to protect yourself is through a thorough home inspection of the property before making a final purchase decision.Thereís no reason to be afraid to buy a home, as long as you take appropriate measures to protect yourself.


Real Estate Terminology


Occasionally real estate agents throw out terms that homeowners are not familiar with.† Here are a few real estate terms, along with their meanings in plain english to further your real estate knowledge.


Appraisal:† An estimate provided by a trained professional showing the value of real estate as of a given date.


Closing Costs:† Expenses that buyers and sellers normally incur in the transfer of a property.† These are expenses that must be paid on the closing date and are in addition to the price being paid for the property.


Closing Day:† The day that the real estate sale is concluded, when the final papers, such as the mortgage are signed, the closing costs are paid and the transfer of the property to the new owner is made complete.