If you’re buying a house, stay cool, don’t get excited, follow these five rules:
Research the neighborhood. Spend time in the neighborhood in the early morning to see what the morning commute might be like and on the weekend’s Friday and Saturday nights to see if there are wild parties or neighborhood drag racers. Talk to the neighbors. Find out if there is noise overhead. Find out about break-ins or grow-ops, parking or other issues.
Make your purchase conditional upon financing. Even if you are pre-approved for a mortgage of a certain value, always use the financing clause just in case your bank or other lender isn’t happy with the appraised value. In many cases, lenders will not release funds for private sales until a Realtor assesses the value.
Get a home inspection. With any home older that fifteen years, have the sale conditional upon a satisfactory home inspection. If a major fault is found you can negotiate a better price or just walk away from the deal.
Make the purchase conditional upon selling your own house. You don’t want to carry two mortgages. You won’t get bumped when another offer comes in; you will have 48 or 72 hours to decide to remove the condition or not.
Ask the sellers about the history of the house. What kind of problems did they have? What did they do to fix them? If the seller lies he can be sued. Protect yourself by getting it in writing.