Recently, my husband and I were blessed in purchasing a larger home since our 11 month old needs a lot more space. We fell in love immediately with a lovely home that was decorated to the nines by the sellers. The sellers had impeccable taste and seemed very organized. Although my husband and I are both attorneys, we were so enamored by the home layout and the way the sellers had it decorated that we failed to notice the “minor” issues that turned out to create added stress that we should never have had to deal with in the first place. To help others avoid our mistakes, I listed some suggestions for you to consider before you purchase a home.
- If a seller states they will clean the home prior to you moving in, make sure you both have the same understanding of what clean is before accepting that they will “clean” the house. For example:
- As a buyer moving into your home, you should make sure that the seller cleans all drawers and cabinets by making sure they are vacuumed out and that all old contact paper will be removed.
- You should make sure that the seller will remove all dust from ceiling fans, window blinds, tops of doorways and from the walls.
- You should make sure that the sellers will remove all unwanted items from your property that they don’t intend to keep (i.e., old items in the attic).
- You should insist that all appliances will be cleaned thoroughly.
- When you inspect your home prior to closing, you should examine the following:
- All blinds are in working order and do not fall off the wall when you touch them.
- All lighting works properly and that there are no light bulbs out where you cannot check them properly at inspection (i.e., pool lights).
- Bring a hairdryer or similar device that you can plug into every outlet to make sure it works and that there are no issues. This may mean unplugging something they already have there.
- Look behind plants or large pieces of furniture to make sure that the sellers are not hiding holes in the walls or screens that you cannot see visually. We were shocked to find some areas in which the sellers seemed to do this in our home.
- Before you make an offer on a home, you should ask to look at the home at night to examine all lighting issues inside and outside. This is an expense you may not expect if the lighting is insufficient for your way of life and something you should consider when making the offer on the home.
We do not regret one second buying our home but we do wish we had the above list to help us with examining the home more effectively to avoid additional costs and time that we did not anticipate us having to spend.
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Mary Pool is a shareholder of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law. She has represented thousands of clients over her more than 11 years working in the bankruptcy field. Read her full bio here.