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Why You Shouldn't Work With Family When Buying a House

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Throughout Rookie Roosts Week, we'll be hearing from first-time homebuyers with tales both awesome and terrible (the terrible ones will compete in our horror stories contest for a chance to win a $2,500 home store gift card - standard contests rules apply). Got a first-time homebuying story? Hit us up at the tipline. Today's tale: don't work with family and remember to inspect your inspector.

Well, I originally started looking for a house as an investment opportunity with my brother. My realtor was showing us homes that were well out of our price range, but being first time homebuyers, we didn’t know that. After spending several months looking at overpriced homes, we got discouraged and took a break from the search.

When the housing market started to cool, the search was back on! Once I informed my realtor, she started sending me 20 listings a day 7 days a week. The houses she was sending were in crummy condition or were in a bad neighborhood. I ignored the ones in bad neighborhoods and focused on some “fixers”. I figured the pictures couldn’t tell the whole story. I was wrong, the pics were spot on. These houses were indeed crummy. After realizing that I was spending more and more of my time looking at bad houses, I decided to spend less and less time looking at her e-mails and started searching online on my own.

At one point I made a fair offer on a house and I didn’t get it. A couple months later, my realtor says to me “You know that house you put an offer on, if you had increased your offer by another $15K, you would have gotten it”. REALLY?? She wanted me to increase my offer for that house??

After a while, I realized that the home buying process sucks. I think most first time homebuyers come to that realization. Eventually, I got over it and found a house that I liked. Once my offer was accepted, the process moved along quickly. My realtor didn’t have a home inspector lined up, so we scrambled to find one. The guy she found was old and not very good at his job?.I’ll get back to this in a minute.

After my offer was accepted, the seller wanted to close in 30 days. If not, I would be charged $150 beyond the 30 days. My realtor said that isn’t a big deal, so I proceeded. After the process started, several people told me that most closings last 45 days. Well, if that was the case, I would be charged $2,250?money which I did not budget for. Eventually I closed in 30 days, but what a miserable 30 days it was.

Finally, after the long and arduous process, I moved in to the house. The first thing I needed to do was replace the fence. I knew it had to be replaced, so I budgeted for that.

While going through inspection, I noticed that anytime I turned on a faucet, the water started coming out brown. The inspector said it was normal and that would go away after a while?he was wrong. It turns out the pipes were galvanize steel and had rusted. I needed to replace the pipes in the whole house. That’s another $4,500 hundred I had not budgeted for. That $4,500 didn’t include replacing the tile that needed to be removed to get behind the wall. On top of that, the contactor found a leak behind the bathrooms sinks which required me to purchase a new vanity. He also discovered another leak behind the kitchen sink which required me replace the wood with dry wall. WHAT A MESS!!

Also during inspection, I noticed that one of the tubs seemed a little clogged. The inspector said it was a minor issue and any store bought drain cleaner would fix the problem?he was wrong. After bringing out a plumber, I was told that the trap needed to be replaced. Well, since my house is on a slab foundation, replacing the trap will require major work. Another $1500 to replace the trap and countless amounts of money to remodel everything that will get torn out. Since I don’t have the money to do a complete remodel, that bathtub is not being used.

Later I realized that I had a leaky roof. I had someone come out and he quickly realized that the new roof was layed on top of an old roof. What a mess. If this guy cant fix the issue, I would need a new roof. I defiantly didn’t plan for that.

I also knew I wanted to install sprinklers. After finding a guy to install the system for $1500, he later informed me that the price only included the front yard. I totally got ripped off.

Did I mention that I wanted to remodel the bathroom and kitchen?? Guess what, I cant now, because the money I had budgeted was spent on a bunch of unforeseen problems.

On top of that, I was paying property on a house that has gone down in value. I kept missing the deadline to get the house reassessed

In all the home buying process was horrible. Realtor + Inspector + Unforeseen problems = A Huge Mess

Here is the kicker. My Aunt was my realtor. So when it came time for my brother to buy his house, he used another realtor. My Aunt found out and is mad at my mom. Although they sit next to each other in church, they don’t talk much these days.

Moral of the story, don’t do business with family, and don’t by a house. Just kidding. Owning a house gives you a great sense of accomplishment. Just make sure you have a good realtor and home inspector. And don’t be ashamed from walking away from the house. If something doesn’t feel right, just walk away.
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