First Time Home Buyers; Are You Considering Buying “A Pig in a Poke”?

When a market is hot, First Time Home Buyers might be too eager to make a mistake

  • A “pig in a poke” means that something is sold or bought without the buyer knowing its true nature or value.

  • If a buyer is in a multiple-offer situation you should at least conduct an inspection prior to closing. Do not forgo an Inspection.

  • Check for permits and other issues using HomeDisclosure.com.

  • If you spot what may be a potential problem, do not self diagnose the problem; instead, point out potential red flags to your engineer.


An Unfortunate Case Study of a First Time Home Buyer

This is exactly what happened to the Millennial owner of a vacation house we recently rented. He had just closed on the property two months earlier, and we were his first guests. Although the house was his personal residence, he had decided to rent it out to capitalize on all the people in town for baseball spring training. When you walked into the house, it was beautiful — dark hardwood floors, brand-new IKEA kitchen, on-trend furnishings, two 70-inch televisions, new bathroom sinks and toilets, quality linens, comfortable beds and plenty of plush towels, mugs and wine glasses.


Troubles on the Horizon

The first thing I noticed as I walked into the back bedrooms was a very strong odor. The brand-new paint job didn’t disguise the distinct smell of mold. Given how dry Phoenix is, this was completely unexpected. Because the smell was limited to one part of the house, my guess was that the front bathroom was the source. That also means that there is probably mold in the air conditioning system, as well. As I showered the next morning, my initial suspicions were confirmed. I noticed there were black flakes falling into the tub. A few minutes later, a six-inch piece of the flagstone on the wall fell into the tub. As I looked more closely at the shower enclosure, it was obvious that other pieces had fallen off, too. I’ve never seen flagstone inside a shower before — it was lovely, but if it’s not sealed (as in this case), water can penetrate it and cause serious damage. Along with low water pressure, there was also a considerable buildup in the shower fixture. The floors that appeared to be hardwood were laminated. They were already pitted and scratched in multiple places. Unlike hardwood (which can be refinished), damaged laminated floors generally must be replaced. There was also an area directly above the kitchen sink where the tile-covered wall was bulging out — a red flag for a potential structural issue.


First Time Home Buyers; How to Keep From Making a Costly Mistake

Could this young homeowner have avoided these issues? A competent inspector would have certainly called out the odor and suggested a mold inspection. I would also expect that the inspector would have noted the low water pressure, the gunk build-up in the shower fixture, as well as the bow in the kitchen wall as issues that needed further evaluation.

First Time Home Buyers – Use a Good Buyer’s Agent on Order to Protect you from the Following;

1. Never waive the physical inspection no matter how many offers are in on a house.

2. Check for permits and other issues. A title report needs to be pulled and a new survey done after you go to contract even when paying in cash!