There are many risks when buying a home, and one such risk is unforeseen costly repairs. These can range from burst water pipes in winter, faulty appliances, and electrical wiring, and structural issues in general. Here are some ways you can protect yourself.
- House warranty
This is the most common form of protection. When you buy a house, it’s not uncommon for some or all repairs to be included in the price. When you make home warranty plans, you don’t have to worry about anything for a while. For example, appliances are often covered under an appliance warranty, while any structural problems which require major work may come with property insurance.
- Relationship with your realtor/agent
If there is anything that needs repair — no matter how small — let your agent know about it right away, so they can get in touch with you later. This way, if their negligence causes further issues (such as water damage), you’ll have proof that you informed them immediately after finding out there was a problem, and they did nothing about it.
- Conduct an inspection of every potential home purchase yourself
Since any mistakes or oversights are ultimately your responsibility, it is in your best interest to take the time to closely inspect every potential purchase yourself. This isn’t always possible if you’re actually living in the home, but if possible, it’s a good idea to do so.
- Get everything written down
When interviewing contractors and repair experts, make sure they give you quotes for their services (in writing) before anything gets done. Also, make sure to start documenting what was said (by whom) as soon as possible after each interview/meeting/conversation. If there’s ever a disagreement about what was agreed upon, you’ll be glad you wrote things down — especially because most people don’t bother doing this!
Why is protecting yourself important when it comes to these things?
When buying a home, it is the responsibility of the seller to make sure they disclose any repairs or issues that might be wrong with their property. They must tell you in writing if there are any problems. If not, then you have no obligation to inform them of what is wrong with their house, since they concealed this from you in the first place. Unfortunately, some sellers will do everything in their power to hastily rush through your closing documents, so you don’t catch on — and thus can’t protect yourself!
The best way to avoid this problem is by conducting an inspection before purchasing or at least finding someone who knows what they’re doing to look around for potential concerns. The point here isn’t just money; it’s making sure that if something bad has happened to the property, you’ve done everything possible to avoid it and not contribute to it.
No matter what, it is important to do your own research and learn as much as you can about the area you’re buying a home in. Pick your realtor/agent carefully and always follow up on any repairs that need to take place. Don’t rely on anyone else — not even the seller — to take care of this for you. Good luck!