Buying a car can be a lot like buying a home. When a car is to be sold, it is prepared for showing. The interior is detailed, the body is waxed and the tires and rims cleaned and shined. What often doesn't get done is any mechanical work. So what you have is a good looking ride that may not go anywhere. Homes are sometimes sold in the same way, especially homes that have been bought to be sold.
Not long a go I was asked to do a home inspection on a home here in Connecticut that was described as "gorgeous" by the prospective buyer. The information was it was being sold by the "guy who fixed it up".
My radar went up.
After asking some pointed question I was able to learn the home hasn't sold for quite sometime. Oh yeah, and it has already had three home inspections.
I was seeing red, as in flags.
When I arrived at the home it was indeed a pretty little house. The curb appeal was definitely there. The interior had been completely done over, new kitchen, brand new full bath and the original bath all new. Everything painted, refinished floors, all the eye candy was shiny. Sounds a lot like the car I was talking about at the beginning of this piece.
To me this is all for distraction, and the seller who was there, was working hard to distract.
After going through the house, some of what I found was;
- The attic insulation had not been replaced; it was very old and missing in some places.
- The water pressure was horrible, turn on two fixtures and the pressure dropped considerably.
- Hot water was a very inconstant temperature
- Issues with the new kitchen
- The boiler was as old as the house (over 60 years)
- Termite damage
- Electrical issues
- An under ground oil tank
After three previous inspections I would think some of this stuff might have gotten fixed. I mean, what no one else found these problems?
The lesson to be learned here is;
Don't be taken by a pretty face, the personality might be ugly.
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