How to Avoid the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buying a New Home
Mistake No. 8 – Not Checking Varied Conditions:
Who Needs Surprises?
Once the new home search is narrowed down to the most desired properties
(e.g., less than three), it’s a common mistake not to check what they are really
like without “all the make-up”. During open houses people, real estate agents
and owners work hard to show properties in their best light. Techniques to dress
up homes include planting new flowers and shrubs, applying a fresh coat of
paint, piping in music and adding the smell of freshly baked cookies. I’ve even
seen properties dressed up with a quick layer of annual rye grass in winter that
will die early in the summer.
So, once you have ascertained a genuine interest in a property, it’s time to
look beyond the window dressing. What’s it like under the most challenging
conditions or even normal everyday conditions not obvious during prime time
visits (e.g., weekend days during good weather). The ‘Checking Varied Conditions
Table’ in this section provides general guidance on ‘real-life’ conditions to
check, if for no other reason, to avoid surprises after purchase. Be creative
during this process. For instance, if you cannot actually get to a property
during a special event held nearby or bad weather, you can get a lot of insight
by simply stopping and asking local neighbors on the street targeted questions.
Lastly, use your judgment to identify which conditions are most relevant to
properties under concern.