Jacksonville Legal Blog
One of the biggest fears of home buyers is going through the long and stressful process of purchasing a home only to find there are serious defects that need to be repaired. Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to minimize that risk. Here are 7 tips to avoid buying a defective home:
1. Look At Sale History
People are less likely to move out of a house that is well-constructed and free of defects. If a house has been sold frequently, that may be a sign that something is wrong. Find out why people have been moving out so often before you decide to move in.
2. Keep Your Eyes Open
Look at every nook and cranny of the house. Trust your instincts. If you notice something in the home that does not look right, ask questions until you get a satisfactory answer.
3. Hire A Trusted Home Inspector
Even if you are buying a newly constructed house, you should hire a trusted home inspector. Florida requires that inspectors be licensed, so check for that. Check to see if the inspector is a member of a professional association such as the National Association of Home Inspectors, the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Institute of Building Inspectors. Check reviews and references.
4. Do Not Hire The Inspector Recommended By The Realtor
The realtor’s goal is to sell the house. Any inspector recommended by the realtor may be biased in favor of the realtor. You want an unbiased inspector who is committed to making sure you are aware of any potential issues with the home.
5. Go Along On The Home Inspection
You have the right to attend the home inspection. Do so. Ask questions along the way. Even if no issues are found, you will likely learn much more about the home than you have from your realtor.
6. Do Not Let Emotions Get In The Way
It is easy to fall in love with a house. You find one in a great location. It looks nice and has everything you were hoping for. You think your search is over and you are ready to move in. When the inspector points out potential problems, you may think that you can overlook them. Be aware that if you do and those problems come back to haunt you, you will have little or no recourse but to pay for repairs.
7. Hire An Experienced Remodeling Contractor
This may seem like overkill if you are not interested in doing any remodeling, but it can be very helpful. Remodeling contractors are further distanced from the machinery of real estate transactions. They are skilled in spotting issues and assessing the cost to fix them.
If You Find A Defect After You Buy
You bought your home. You did everything you thought you could to ensure that any issues were brought to light. But now the basement has flooded, the ceiling is leaking, the electricity is messed up, the plumbing is causing problems or some other issue has arisen.
You may have any number of options for resolving the problem. You may have a construction defect claim. You may have a claim against the realtor or another party for failure to disclose a defect. An experienced construction and real estate law attorney can help you determine the best recourse and help you reach a resolution.
At Heekin, Malin & Wenzel in Jacksonville, we have decades of experience helping homeowners resolve construction law matters.