Here’s a cautionary tale for all you investors who have to move fast to get a house you really look forward to selling or using as a rental. A quick summary is: don’t move too fast.
We Found a House
As you know, we’ve been looking harder than usual in Milam County, because we think the area may start to do better economically soon. We found a house we really liked. You would have liked it, too. It was in pretty darned good shape, in a really interesting neighborhood that did NOT smell like meth (one of our criteria!), and had really great curb appeal (however, we are not showing a photo, for reasons that will become clear). And there was a bonus empty lot behind it.
We made an offer on the house for a bit under the asking price, knowing we could easily rent it out and it would cash flow nicely. Once it was accepted and we were in the option period, we immediately ordered an inspection.
That Was Smart
Now, sometimes, especially in houses you know are a big ole mess, you don’t bother with an inspection. But we had a couple of questions about this property, so we brought in our favorite local guy and he looked around. The house was, as we had thought, in pretty good shape, but…
We had made our offer based on the description of the house in the listing, so we expected to find all the things in the listing to be true. That’s part of the job of anyone with a real estate license, to verify that all the things in the listing are correct. Come to find out, though, the house did not have central air conditioning, though the listing said it did. And the house did not come with all the land depicted in the listing. Apparently, the house was an estate sale, and the sellers did not know the house didn’t have central air, and they forgot to mention that one of them wanted to keep the lot behind the house. And guess what? The water line hookup is in that lot.
Well, that is no way to sell a house. It’s a real good way to get into legal trouble, though.
We offered to simply back out, but did request our earnest money back, since the house was not what we originally made an offer on.
There are many good reasons why you do home inspections, carefully go over the listing to be sure it matches the actual house, and have a good real estate professional on your team. Not every seller is honest, and sometimes they make unintentional errors. It’s best to find them BEFORE committing to a purchase.Hermann says please like and share!