After house shopping for months, you finally find just the right property. You’re moving forward with the purchase, thrilled that you’ll be in the house before Christmas. What could make you walk away from the purchase of your dream home? Here are three reasons to make you reconsider.
1. Major surprises found during inspections. Buyers should always hire a reputable and licensed home inspector to thoroughly inspect the home and to also check for termites and other wood destroying insects. Inspections should be done on the septic system and on the well, if applicable. In my experience, the number one reason a buyer withdraws from a contract of sale is due to problems that are found during the home inspection phase. Inspections commonly reveal repairs needed to the roof, HVAC system, chimney and electrical repairs. Other common problems include the presence of mold, most often found in crawl spaces. Most of the time, however, these issues can be addressed satisfactorily and the sale of the home proceeds to settlement. Deal killers tend to be structural cracks or septic problems. Thankfully, even these issues can usually be resolved. If a home inspector cites a possible structural problem, then a licensed, structural engineer should be called in to do a more thorough inspection. The structural engineer then gives recommendations on how a seller can have a contractor make repairs. Once the area of concern is certified as structurally sound, the sale of the home usually proceeds.
2. Appraisals. The second most frequent cause of a buyer’s withdrawal from a purchase is when the house does not appraise for the contract price. Many contracts will include a financing contingency addendum that spells out a recourse if the appraisal comes back under value. Typically, a seller can either reduce the price to the appraised value and proceed with the sale, or they can refuse to reduce the price and the buyer can call the contract null and void and get their earnest money deposit back. It’s important to go over your contract with your realtor to understand your rights if the property does not appraise.
3. High Insurance cost. Owning a waterfront home is often a dream for many people. In Anne Arundel and Calvert County, it’s a dream that comes true for many buyers. But, the cost of flood insurance can make a buyer rethink whether they really can afford the cost of living on the water. You should start getting insurance quotes right away so that you’ll know how much it’s going to cost you. Flood insurance can vary, depending on elevation and other factors. There are often things that can be done, however, to lower the insurance costs. I recently worked with a waterfront buyer where the seller agreed to install automatic engineered flood vents that drastically reduced the cost of flood insurance on the property.