Here (Rochester NY), my lawyer charged a flat $400.00 to handle all my home
purchase paperwork. I don't know what others charge, here or elsewhere, but
it seems worthwhile. Are you considering making the purchase without legal
:> Apologies again for making this so long, but I've gotten some good:> advice here over the years and would appreciate "What's the Worst That:> Could Happen?" answers.
:I happened to read this post out of curiosity. Thought I'd chime in here
:with a ridiculously basic thought. I assume you don't know these people
:from Adam. Since from the way you've put it, there appear to be mildly
:"fishy" elements, do you know for a fact that the "elderly bachelor
:brothers" are who they say they are and that they own the house?
Having bought a fixerupper (that I'd rented for 17 years) I'll chime in.
At least when I bought (and I think this is standard), the purchase
involves an escrow officer and what's called "title insurance." You pay
for title insurance, which assures you (up to a cash limit, hopefully
approximating what you pay for the house) that the house is indeed owned
by the people who appear to be selling it to you and that you are the
title holder after the transaction. This process tends to eliminate the
danger of a bogus transaction.
just tell the owners that you love the house & want it. but just for piece
of mind & because of past problems want to have someone look over the stuff
you have little knowledge over. they should understand completely & if they
have nothing to hide wouldn't mind one bit.. you are paying for the
inspection not them. if they do have something to hide then you probably
don't want the house anyway.
"Increasingly crime-ridden." IOW -- bad as it is *now*, it's getting
Why would you want to live there? "
That was my thought too. Here you have a single woman in her 50's and
she's thinking of moving to this kind of area? If it was a poor area
on it's way back, then I'd consider buying it, maybe for a rental.
A lot of other things here are a little fishy too. Like the asking
price being real cheap. Why would someone with buyers allegedly
waiting in line want to sell it below fair value? And one thing is for
sure. I would walk on any property where I was not allowed to do an
inspection. Selling it "as is" is fine, but that has nothing to do
with allowing a professional inspection so you can find out what
condition it's really in. If she wants to go ahead with this, and is
worried about the sellers reaction if she says she wants an inspection,
I wouldn't mention an inspection to the sellers. Just draw up a
contract for sale with a good inspection clause in it and present it to
them. See what happens.
Wow, I'm impressed and persuaded by the articulate and thoughtful
responses I got from posters and want to thank you all again.
Something I learned this morning is the amount of "private eye" work
you can accomplish by doing a utilities-history check of the property
and going to the zoning or code enforcement office and asking if permit
applications by the home seller are public domain.
This morning, after making the post, I learned that the property (in an
area severely flooded thirty-five years ago) per the sanitation
authority, was considered a "double block!" It's a BUNGALOW, so I
started asking questions about whether what I thought was a bungalow
began its life as a double block but ended up as a one-story three-room
home because it was the only salvageable part of a formerly huge house.
While the municipal code inspector read me the reports of permit
applications over the years, he was of the opinion that all was not
right with any home sale that did not provide legal documentation of
having been subdivided, no matter whether the bungalow was the remnant
of an ancient flooded double-block or not.
So I identified (without the cost of an attorney, whose services will
be needless if I don't end up buying the home) two potentially
big-ticket issues, the lack of a subdivided lot, and the fact that this
home, no matter how often it has been painted, more than likely is
infected by thirty-five year-old mold because of having been in the
flood plain AND never having its interior cladding torn down.
I am very glad I made the post and grateful for the helpful people who
responded, particularly Doug Kanter and Doc Holliday.
The house we're in right now was bought contingent on an inspection
that turned up two cracks in the furnace heat exchanger. There was
haggling as a result, but we ended up seeing $1800 off the sale price.
Given the history of flood, I would not buy without an inspection. If
the seller balk, I would walk. There are always other homes in nice
neighborhoods, and it sounds like your chances of actually getting this
place are iffy.
Life. Nature\'s way of keeping meat fresh. -- Dr. Who
Most sellers who have sold a home utilizing the home inspection process are
somewhat cynical because most buyers expect the seller to correct everything
the inspector finds. They use the inspection report to renegotiate the
price. If on the other hand you explain to the sellers that you lender
requires or you need it for your piece of mind and you will use it only to
proceed or cancel the contract if more X amount of items or $ are discovered
they should be fine with that.
Your lender will require a full title report before proceeding. Any
research you do along those lines is a waste of your time unless you are
plopping down a large earnest money deposit. You are paying for the title
report and should receive a copy of it.
Your lender will also require an appraisal of the property. You are
entitled to a copy of that since you are paying for it.
The tax rolls will provide you with a sanity check about the value of
property in the area.
Only you can judge the area and the quality of life you might have there.
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