With the bad U.S. economy, more houses are now for sale. If shopping for a home, if it was pre-owned, inquire about the sewer, plumbing and if it has a septic tank. Have the seller get the septic tank pumped out before you purchase the property. Have an inspection done on the electrical, all the plumbing and on the home, in general (roof, siding, termite damage, mold, caulking around the windows, and seals around the doors, if it has an attic fan, attic insulation, etc.)
By Terri from NV
In Texas, professional inspection is a requirement if taking out a mortgage on any home, new or pre-owned. There is also a law that requires that sellers disclose any defect or anything wrong with the house, otherwise the buyer can win and get the money back plus damages.
On occasion there are contracts made between a homeowner and buyer without an agent, for cash, or exchange, or where the owner is financing the buyers in a lease-purchase, where all monies paid shall be applied to the purchase when the option to buy comes up at an agreed upon decision date.
A homeowner takes as much a risk as the buyer should the owner not disclose freely any defects in writing prior to the sale. However, many sales of this sort have slipped through and are time bombs waiting to go off.
If an agent is caught not getting a seller's disclosure filled out and signed prior to the sale, the agent not only will lose the license to sell, but can also be put in prison and/or fined.
These laws came about to prevent the very issues you describe and have brought about great improvements in negotiations and buyer satisfaction.
There remains dispute over whether or not there should be laws passed to require a seller to disclose whether someone has died in the home and of what caused the death, but i am unsure of the current outcome since i have not been licensed in several years.
God bless and help anyone selling/buying real estate in these days.
Boy do I wish I'd have done that before I bought my house!!! I have to replace the roof, I found out the cistern (not being used), is not filled in, tho my seller indicated it was fine, I have replaced the upstairs faucet, fixed the tub plumbing up there, (when the plumber got into the floor, he discovered someone had placed a pie tin under the leak to catch the water...the sellers told me there was nothing wrong with it...sigh), I replaced a pipe in the kitchen, and the faucet, and the toilet downstairs, and fixed the plumbing in the tub, (the overflow wasn't hooked to ANYTHING, so if the tub was full, it went directly into the basement. Nice, eh?). Granted this is an older house, but criminy, I would have put in a MUCH lower bid had I known I was going to have to do all this!! GOOD advice from you!!
We just bought a home and had the worst luck trying to get satellite/ cable service. We assumed it would be a snap as there was already a dish on the roof. Wrong! The trees had grown too high. So we had to have cable put in and even that was an adventure. We wanted cable upstairs and in the basement man cave and the computer in the office. You would have thought we had asked for the moon. Finally the second cable guy and my husband got things put where we wanted them put.
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