Awhile back I was reading an article in the Washington Post. The story was about a woman who was complaining about how she got ripped off when she bought her house and then found out there was something like $100,000 in repairs needed. The story continued to tell how this woman decided not to get a home inspection when she purchased the property and how she’s obviously paying the price now.
When I read that, I couldn’t believe it. It still amazes me that people are too cheap to spend $300 on a home inspection when – like in this woman’s case – it could save you tens of thousands of dollars down the line.
You see, recently, a partner and I picked up a subject-to deal. We haven’t gone to closing yet, but just finished the inspection. The inspection showed a lot of the normal minor things (such as handrails that need to be tightened or loose carpet) but there was also a major repair. The property needs a completely new roof.
Of course, when this happened we went back and negotiated with the seller.
We told him that we were taking care of all the other repairs, however, the roof was way too much money and we would not be able to close the deal unless he put on a new roof. This seller was highly motivated and he’s agreed to put on a new roof.
But, this is where many new investors make a mistake. They simply just trust the seller to put on a new roof, and hire a quality company. But we know that’s not the way people work most of the time. If you don’t stay on top of them, they’ll use the cheapest material possible and our new roof might not last long at all.
That’s why we told the seller that we have to approve of the company, we have to see the proposal and that if he doesn’t do this and puts on a cheap roof that won’t long, we won’t end up going through with the deal.
Of course, we say it in a nice manor, but we make sure that he knows he can’t try and pull a fast one on us and that we may bring another inspector to come and check out the roof to make sure it was done right.
The point of all of this is, you should ALWAYS get a home inspection no matter what. And that when you do, if there are problems, don’t be afraid to go back to the seller and negotiate for them to cover some of the repairs. But if they do, let them know you’ll be “watching them” and you expect all repairs to be quality or you won’t close the deal.
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