Advice On Buying A House?

Lounge By Texas_Rose Updated 19 Jan 2010 , 7:46pm by browniebatterer

Texas_Rose Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 8:04pm
post #1 of 52

Do you have any advice about buying a house? Anything you wish you'd known or that you learned during the process? I think we're going to do that instead of looking for another apartment...I bought a book about the home-buying process and my head is spinning from trying to cram all that info in and I'm not sure I'm understanding all of it.

Oh, something really weird...we had our credit run at a manufactured home dealership a few months back and they told us our score was really low...too low for a regular mortgage but they would be able to do in-house financing. Anyhow, our score is much higher than what they had told us there...I think they lied to make us think that's all we could afford. The manufactured home place had printouts showing the scores and all that. No way it could have improved so drastically in the last two months (we didn't exactly pay down our credit cards before Christmas icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif )

51 replies
ziggytarheel Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 8:15pm
post #2 of 52

My best advice is research, research, research! We bought our first house pre-internet days and I think I put in at least 40 hours trying to figure out what type of loan was the best fit for us. Back then, I was able to find a first time home buyer's loan at a local bank that we could qualify for that didn't have a lot of strings.

Watch out for "strings attached", you know? I have a friend who bought her first home a couple of years ago and was counting on refinancing this year. Oops. They didn't read the fine, or not so fine print. They have to live there for 5 years before they can refinance without a substantial penalty.

Look into loan types, interest rates, loan requirements, the neighborhood, how homes retain their value there verses other places, etc.

Make sure you will be comfortable living there and comfortable having your kids live there.

I think they are much more stringent about a lot of things now, including having some assets to help you pay the loan for a few months in case of job loss, etc.

Read, read, and don't just take one person's word for something!

sadsmile Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 8:25pm
post #3 of 52

The costs of Property taxes, Home Insurance, association fees and maintenance repair costs can really bog you down. UHG! You must have the Taxes and Insurance included in your monthly payment because coming up with it every year when things get tough is really hard. If you can't afford the payment with those included then you can't afford the house-period. Also FIXED-FIXED FIXED! No balloons or adjustable rates. You could lose your house and investment when the rates change. If you can't do the standard FIXED rate with the other stuff included in the payments then don't do it.

If it's too much then it's too much. Those sales persons are concerned with getting their commission-and not what your family can actually afford. Also if you are buying a manufactured home, sure it's nice to have it made for you with everything you want, but it's cheaper to find one already built and change some things later because they depreciate just like cars do the second you move in.

Are you buying the land or leasing? I would buy land and own it outright before mortgaging a manufactured home. They can screw you in the land costs.

Shop around and take your time knowing what you are choosing. We paid a $800.00 mortgage on a manufactured home not including the insurance for 6 years. and when it came time to sell and move because of job opportunities the home was worth much less then what we still owed on it.

IN house financing my foot=$$$ for them and they are greedy. Sharks are in the water and they can smell the money so be careful and make sure it is the right fit for your family. And then negotiate a little more to see what else you can get. Don't let them bully you into believing they are doing your family a huge favor by approving the sale.

ziggytarheel Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 8:36pm
post #4 of 52

Good point about property taxes, insurance and home owner association fees. And these things go up just about every year. You need to be able to add that all together with your house payment and make sure you can make that payment without too much sweat!

I really don't want to step on anyone's toes, but it is also a good point about manufactured homes being like cars...depreciation starts as soon as you buy it. I know that many people have seen their non-manufactured homes depreciate in the last couple of years, but at least there is hope that is going to change again. It doesn't change with a manufactured home, as far as I know. I would personally rather have a chance at appreciation then accepting certain depreciation, even if it meant less house or less land. That's just how I think.

Also, this is a lot harder to do these days due to privacy issues, but you need to have a good idea of utilities. If you are counting on them being about what you pay now and it turns out they are double, that could be a big problem! I did a lot of research before we bought our present home, but I didn't really count on how much more utilities cost in this neck of the woods than they do a mere 2 miles from here. Our water was 3 - 4 times what it is 2 miles away and electricity is almost double. You have to factor all that in. If it is an older house without good insulation, or if it uses a more expensive form of heating and cooling...all these things make a difference!

TheCakerator Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 8:57pm
post #5 of 52

also find out how old the roof is, the septic/well is, how old the furnace, water heater, etc all are. Nothing like buying a house and finding out a month later you need a new well or septic put in. That can cost you $$$$! You should find all that info out during your home inspection, but if they don't tell you that stuff, MAKE SURE YOU ASK!

mightydragon663 Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 9:17pm
post #6 of 52

First and formost. Know what you can afford. Typically, I believe, the average person can afford a house that is three times their yearly salary. Don't let your relator show you houses outside that range. Once you find something you like, find out what restrictions are in place by the home owners association. Is participation voluntary? Are the restrictions something you can live with?
Finally, make sure you get the potential house inspected. If there are things that need to be repaired, say like it needs a new roof, you can use that in negotiations on the price.
Good luck! I hope you guys find the perfect house for you and your family. icon_smile.gif

sadsmile Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 9:41pm
post #7 of 52

3X's Sure if you don't have kids, your car won't need repairs and nothing ever comes up. That is a bit high. We wouldn't be able to pay the mortgage on a home 3X's our income. They figure your income on gross and you get net spendable. From the net comes everything and your mortgage should be 1/3 of your your monthly income if you have a family and normal expenses. One the one third budget you can actually save a little for harder times. And there will always be harder times.

The best thing you can do it TOTAL up your actual spending on groceries and gas and everything besides the rent and see what is left(that's your mortgage) and can you live like that every month? Make sure your mortgage fits your budget. Don't plan on having a vehicle payed of next year for extra income. More often then not something always comes up and kids get more expensive as they grow. Everything has gotten much more expensive in a much shorter time- economy still stinks. Don't plan on spending or doing with less especially because of price inflation. And as brought up before never ever count on re-financing. I wouldn't recommend it at all because they get you coming and going with that! Banks are in the business of making money, and as a mortgagee you will be in the business of paying it.

LaBellaFlor Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 11:10pm
post #8 of 52

Utilities is an excellent point. When I moved from an apartment to a 5 bedroom house, what a price difference. Running home cost are much higher then an a apartment.

artscallion Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 11:25pm
post #9 of 52

And consider that older homes may have lots of character and things like built in book cases and unusually shaped rooms and beautiful woodwork. They also mean maintenance.

My house is a beautiful two story, built in the 1920s. I couldn't love it more. But if I had it to do over, I'd buy something closer to new. Older houses, even ones in great shape, are a never-ending parade of things that need to be refurbished, updated, replaced, re-shingled, re-tiled, etc.

If you're up for it, older houses have their rewards. But they can be a lot of work.

Mrs-A Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 11:29pm
post #10 of 52

my advice is dont figure in future bonuses or salary increases into your mortgage plans - anything can happen and if possible, can you afford it on one income. a lady in my office lost everything when she got pregnant and they couldnt afford the lifestyle/house/cars ect without her income

for the acutal house - get it inspected and make sure the roof is checked out. hubby bought our house before we met but he found a kiddies pool in our roof which the old owners had up there because of a leak. i would also check out the grounds/water table/landscaping. hubby had to spend about $12K installing a ground reticulation thingy because our back yard turned into a swamp after heavy rains - but he bought the house in summer during a drought so hubby was clueless about the problem until after he bought it


Texas_Rose Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 12:46am
post #11 of 52

Thanks, this is all really helpful!

We're not planning to buy a manufactured home...DH was always talking about how he'd seen ads for them and they were nice and had big kitchens and all that, so we went to look one day. But the truth is, once you add in the land and the septic and the set up and all that, it gets a lot more expensive than the super-low prices they advertise. The house he was looking at there would have come out to $130,000 by the time it was all done and it was 1400 square feet, so not huge or anything.

I'm not sure how to find out how much more the utilites are. Right now I pay about $120 for electric in the winter and $220-$275 in the summers, and my water bill is about $45 a month. I know my parents' energy bill is lower than mine, probably because the air conditioner in my apartment is 40 years old and held together with prayers and duct tape, and they put a nice new air conditioner in their house about 6 years ago.

I can't ask my mom for advice about buying a house, because she says that since DH and I didn't finish college, we're not the kind of people who are supposed to own a house. (Unless it's one of the mini houses on the edge of her neighborhood, with the train tracks running through the back yard icon_biggrin.gif).

Mrs-A Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 12:56am
post #12 of 52
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

....I can't ask my mom for advice.......

oh, my other advise... dont buy a house next door to mum... only my hubby could be that stupid and his brothers (yes plural) werent much smarter and they also live in the same street icon_biggrin.gif

costumeczar Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 1:09am
post #13 of 52

Get a really good home inspector to do a thorough inspection. You'll be surprised how much someone can dig up if they spend any amount of time on it.

manahigh Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 1:10am
post #14 of 52

Good point about maintenance on an older home but please note that not all new homes are built that well and can cause maintenance headaches as well. When you are out looking at homes, ask for utility costs for that house. Look at the "bones" of the house. Don't get swept away by paint colors and the way the house is decorated. Don't allow your real estate agent to show you homes above what you can afford. Make sure the house has most of the things you want when it comes to things you cannot change, you can always update your home as you go. But be realistic about your DIY skills and what you can manage on your own. Let a bank pre-approve you for a 30 year fixed mortgage and go from there. Good luck and have fun!!

adonisthegreek1 Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 1:52am
post #15 of 52

I've bought three homes and the things that I've learned are:

The asking price is always negotiable.

If there are things that you want fixed or left in the house, get an agreement and have your realtor write in an addendum to the closing package.

Have a walk-through the day before closing so you know the condition of the house.

Get a professional inspection. Have a mold inspection (this may be separate). Make your offer to buy contingent upon a satisfactory inspection. That way if things turn up you can back out or negotiate to have them fixed.

I think the title company will do the title search to make sure the title is clear and their are no liens on the property. Make sure they do it.

If your basement is not finished and you plan to finish it, look for a house that has the furnace, hot water tank, etc. all in one area of the basement. It will allow more open space when you finish it.

Find out if there is a homeowners association. Whether the dues are monthly or annual, and what the dues covers. Also, find out all the by-laws of the association. If you want to raise an American flag, you don't want to find out later that the homeowners assoc. is against it.

Carefully scrutinize your mortgage company. Why some lock you into a higher rate, when you can go across the street and get a lower rate is beyond me. It must be a bigger commission for them.

Do not max yourself out at what the bank says you can afford. In addition to transportation, groceries and daily living will likely be paying higher utilities, property taxes, homeowners insurance, interior and exterior maintenance, etc.

Consider your location and what your needs are as far as shops, freeway access, school district, etc.

If you have children, look at the sex offender registry for your zip code. I found a house that I absolutely adored, jacuzzi, in-ground pool, game room, etc. I got home and looked it up and found out that a registered sex offender lived next door. I have two small kids, so that house was out of the question.

cakesbycathy Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 2:09am
post #16 of 52

Having owned and lived in 4 houses in 6 years, (yes, I am very good at packing and moving icon_biggrin.gif ) I will say that all the advice you have been given is very good.

The only other thing I could add (besides don't listen to your mother icon_eek.gif but that seems like it should be a whole post unto itself icon_rolleyes.gif ):

I firmly believe that if you find a house you fall in love with but it doesn't work out, then - for whatever reason - you are not meant to live in that house. Just keep looking and you will eventually find the house you are meant to live in.

Good luck!

blondie500 Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 2:39am
post #17 of 52

In regards to the utilities, when we sold our house several months ago, we had a paper we had to fill out that listed the average monthly utilities--water, electric, gas, etc. So you should be able to just ask for the information that you need.

Make sure you have a good realtor representing you. If you are buying a house, it doesn't cost you anything. If you randomly call a house you want to look at, that realtor will represent you, but their first priority is the seller. Our realtor is really into law, etc., so she reads all contracts with a fine tooth comb and is extremely trustworthy.

We went with new construction as we're in an area that we can build new for what some of the resales are going for. Interest rates are determined by your credit score. The better your score, the better your rate. If you have credit cards, mortgage companies don't like to see a balance more that 30% of your available limit. Don't go buying a car, switching jobs, etc. once you are approved for a mortgage. The mortgage company does a check a couple of days before settlement and they will question any loans, job changes and it could delay your settlement. Our buyer did this and never notified their mortgage company. Come settlement day and their company went to do a job confirmation and found out she didn't work there anymore. Even though it was a lateral transfer to a different company, it delayed our settlement by 3 days. I was a nervous wreck as we had already moved out and if it didn't go through, we were in deep doodoo.

Now is a good time to buy. Interest rates are low and you get the $8000 first time homebuyers' credit. Just make sure it fits in your budget and don't rush into anything. Take your time and really research homes, areas, school districts, etc.

Good luck!

saffronica Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 4:23am
post #18 of 52

The best thing we did when we bought our house was to find a really good real estate agent. He was very trustworthy and helped us through a lot.

Also, it's hard to do sometimes, but make sure you buy based on facts, not emotions. It's easy to fall in love with a house, but that doesn't always mean it's the best for you.

SS385Monte Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 2:01pm
post #19 of 52

Remember that you can fix ugly. icon_smile.gif When I bought my house I got a GREAT deal on it because the people had painted the master bedroom walls hot pink, the ceiling dark purple and the trim metallic gold - it was a little much. They had also abandoned their porn collection by the front door, dirty laundry and various other things. A couple of trips to the dump, 4 bags of clothes to Goodwill and a couple of gallons of white paint later it looks really nice, but it showed soooo badly that a lot of people couldn't see past the dirt and decoration (I use that term loosely icon_wink.gif ). As long as you're willing/able to put in some elbow grease you can save money that way....just make sure you don't get in over your head.

indydebi Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 2:57pm
post #20 of 52

When we moved to Indy 12 years ago, it was cheaper to build than to buy. If you go that route, look around you. That pretty view of the open field and group of trees from your front porch could turn into a couple of gas stations and a Village Pantry or 7-11. Think ahead of "what kind of development might spring up around me and will that be a good thing or a bad thing?"

New housing sub-divisions are tricky. We built in "an ok" neighborhood but the crime started moving closer and closer, which is one of the reasons we recently left. (Coincidentally, the crime started going up when the development moved in ..... walmart, check cashing places, dollar stores etc.)

Again, on new construction, your first year of house payments have an estmated property tax but be prepared for a big house pymt increased when actual property taxes are assessed. This is what caused a lot of our neighbors to lose their home within 2-3 years ..... they didn't figure the big increase that came along (our was something like $200-$300 a month).

All that said, we're going theother way ..... we just moved (like a month ago!) to an apartment, in preparation for our retirement. We've decided that we don't WANT to be homeowners anymore. 30+ years is long enough. I now have a smaller monthly payment and I get a pool, tennis courts, volleyball court, free workout room, I never have to mow a yard or shovel a walk again. If I get any UPS deliveries, the folks in the office will receive it for me and I don't have to worry about it being stolen from my front porch. In the house we just left, we paid $600 for a new water heater about a month before we moved out. In an apartment, I call them if the special light bulbs need changed in the bathroom! I dont' have a Homeowners Assoc telling me I can't endorse my political candidate and I can't keep my daughter's bike on my front porch (the same HOA that ALSO tells me I can't have a storage shed to keep the bike in EITHER!) we have a 1st floor apt with a private entrance ... it's just like living in a one-story house.

Yeah, I'm gonna LUV apartment living!

It may sound silly but start watching all the house shows on HGTV. Decorating shows, house buying shows, house selling shows fixer up shows, all of them. you'll be amazed how much you learn from these. The little things.

Even the house-for-sale staging shows will show you how they will TRICK you into thinking the room is bigger than it is. I asked a realtor once, "Are you kidding me that NO ONE walks into a bedroom with no dresser in there and doesn't ask, "Where will I put the dresser?" She said most people DON'T notice that ... they just end up surprised when they don't have room for their dresser on move in day.

(And does anyone else think it looks stupid to cover furniture in white sheets and try to call it a furniture cover? I'd ask the realtor "when are they planning on painting? " icon_lol.gif )

shannon100 Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 7:57pm
post #21 of 52

I've never bought a house, but I have a website to recommend. It may be the same type of stuff in that book you bought, but it's in smaller chunks. My sister sent it to me and it made me realize we are not ready yet to buy one.

There are several calculators on there, for buying vs renting, how much can you afford, etc.

If you have HGTV, they have a show called "Property Virgins". I LOVE that show! She walks people through their first home purchase, and she gives a ton of helpful hints throughout the show. They also have one called "My First Place" with the same kind of thing, but it is different real estate agents every time. (That one looks like it is on

Good luck!!! I can't wait to be in your shoes!! icon_smile.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 11:31pm
post #22 of 52
Originally Posted by indydebi

All that said, we're going theother way ..... we just moved (like a month ago!) to an apartment, in preparation for our retirement. We've decided that we don't WANT to be homeowners anymore. 30+ years is long enough. I now have a smaller monthly payment and I get a pool, tennis courts, volleyball court, free workout room, I never have to mow a yard or shovel a walk again. If I get any UPS deliveries, the folks in the office will receive it for me and I don't have to worry about it being stolen from my front porch. In the house we just left, we paid $600 for a new water heater about a month before we moved out. In an apartment, I call them if the special light bulbs need changed in the bathroom! I dont' have a Homeowners Assoc telling me I can't endorse my political candidate and I can't keep my daughter's bike on my front porch (the same HOA that ALSO tells me I can't have a storage shed to keep the bike in EITHER!) we have a 1st floor apt with a private entrance ... it's just like living in a one-story house.

The downside to apartments (not to discourage you at all!) is that a group of strangers have a key to your apartment and can come in at any time for any invented reason. We've had our belongings gone through and small things stolen at a couple of complexes, with no sign of forced entry so it must have been the apartment staff. They also have all of your information and may not keep it as secure as you would (my check was stolen from the leasing office and my husband's identity was stolen, but the office staff didn't even tell us the check had gone missing for a month). The apartment complex is responsible for repairs, but since it's not their home they don't feel the same urgency to make the repair as you would as a homeowner. Where I live, I have gone 6 months with a broken air conditioner, 3 months with a broken dishwasher, lived in buildings where sewage backed up into my bathtubs at least once every two weeks, etc...Right now I have a hole in my kitchen that leads to outdoors, and the wind blows through it. They've been telling me for a month that they're going to fix it next week. I have trash bags taped over it but my heater is having to run constantly whenever we have a cold day. The other problem with apartments is neighbors...the building next door to mine burned down last month because some 20 year old fell asleep smoking pot in bed. My neighbors in the other building drink on their balcony and yell at everyone who goes past (yell in a friendly way) and I couldn't figure out why my 4 year old was calling everyone a p---y until I realized you can hear the drunks through her window. And when we moved in, this was a nice complex, but it was sold a couple years later and started going downhill.

There are nicer complexes here but most of them are about $1000 a month or more and a house payment for the kind of house we're thinking about will be less than that.

I hope you have better luck with apartments than I have. I think maybe landlords have to behave better in other states. TX is kind of notorious for all the laws favoring the landlords and not the tenants.

indydebi Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 11:42pm
post #23 of 52

Texas, those are the apartment stories that we all dread. icon_eek.gif Hubby spent months researching various apts in town ... there is even a website where tenants can leave feedback on the apts after they move out. Some of the complexes here in town pretty much have a rating of 2! (on a 1-10 scale!)

The one we finally selected had great feedback and so far, we just love it!

sadsmile Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 11:51pm
post #24 of 52

Put on an extra deadbolt that only you have the key to. We are renting and only received one key to the whole house and that made us uncomfortable. I know there must be more keys then that. Shoot we had five keys to our old house. One for a trusted friend to keep, one for my mom, two for us and one in a hide-a key thing. Ok actually I buried it in an ant hill beneath a stepping stone, but the ant hill worked great as a hide-a key! icon_wink.gif

Any way we installed new deadbolts and will gladly turn over all the keys when we move out. Till that they are going to have to bust the locks if there is an emergency and we are not home. At least we will know about it- ya know.

Texas_Rose Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 1:02am
post #25 of 52
Originally Posted by indydebi

Hubby spent months researching various apts in town ... there is even a website where tenants can leave feedback on the apts after they move out. (on a 1-10 scale!)

The one we finally selected had great feedback and so far, we just love it!

I use that website too icon_biggrin.gif

I'm glad you found a good place to live.

I've done the deadbolt thing before but where I live now they said they would charge a couple hundred dollars if they had to break the door to get in, so I haven't done it here. I did tell them that my husband is home all day sleeping and if they come in when he's asleep, he's likely to wake up, see a stranger in the place, and get his gun...which is the truth.

TheCakerator Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 3:00pm
post #26 of 52

texas, I am sorry you are having such a hard time where you live. But keep in mind (and I'm not saying you aren't) that even if you live in a house, you can still go months with a broken dishwasher or bad air conditioner because at that point, those expenses come out of YOUR pocket book, there really isn't anyone you can blame the wait on other then yourselves for not planning on something breaking. I know this from personal experience icon_biggrin.gif When you think everything is going good, and then something as stupid as an earwig (a bug up here in MI) getting into your air conditioner and blowing the electrical fuse connector and not being able to come up with the $500.00 to get it repaired. Then you kick yourself.

sadsmile Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 3:10pm
post #27 of 52

Yup We had our roof leak three times(though it was under warranty thank goodness!), our AC blow in a power surge during a lightning storm, our hot water heater's elements break, the garage door opener strip it's gears, a broken window courtesy of our son and issues with the sprinklers as well as doors getting wonky and needing repair. It can really bog you down. Any time anything happens it is at the very least $100 to fix it.

CakeMommyTX Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 5:39am
post #28 of 52
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

TX is kind of notorious for all the laws favoring the landlords and not the tenants.

Yep....8mths pregnant and I get a knock at the door, it's a scruffy looking guy in dirty clothes carrying a man purse, he tells me my landlord (didnt use his name just called him "landlord) says he can come in and look at the place, he wants to rent it when we move out.
I say no, I was home with just the kids and I didnt feel comfortable letting a random stranger in my home.
I go to shut the door he puts his arm up to stop it, I force it shut and call the cops.
We have 2 deputies that patrol the neighborhood so I called them.
Before they can show up my landlord calls me, yelling that I have just violated my lease agreement and have forfeited my deposit.
Turns out this guy did get permission from my landlord, but my landlord failed to notify me.

Well I read the lease and the only thing I was responsible for was a trip charge of 75$.
Wrote him a check that day.
Well 30 days goes by after we move out and I get a invoice for 3000$ not including our deposit, which he kept.
He claims we left the house and I quote "filthy and unlivable"
Um no, we painted, installed new blinds, had the carpet cleaned, and even replaced every single light bulb in that place, even the expensive round ones in the bathroom.
We have receipts and pictures to prove it.
He was just ticked that I didnt let a stranger view the property.
Upon further investigation turns out this is the 5th "real-estate" biz this man has started in the past 3 yrs, he just screws people over and starts a new biz with a clean slate.
It would have cost more then our deposit to take him to court, that and I am a strong believer in karma, shes a bitch and she will get him one of these days.
So yep we are buying.

Texas_Rose Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 6:18am
post #29 of 52

CakeMommy, that's really scary! I wouldn't let some random person in my place either. I have a really bad habit of answering my door open just far enough to see who is there, with my gun in the hand behind the door. Then if it's someone okay, I tell them to wait a second and I close the door and put the gun away, then open the door and let them in. There are too many home invasions around here and I'm not taking a chance.

Anyhow, I've been looking into different options and if you buy a HUD home they've got a $100 down program if you're doing a FHA loan, and HUD will pay 3% closing costs, so we may go that route, so that we don't have to sink all our cash into the down payment and closing costs. Here's the HUD listings for TX 00:15:00.049 if you're interested, CakeMommy icon_biggrin.gif

-Tubbs Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 3:16pm
post #30 of 52

Inspect the house at least twice, at different times of the day. We bought an older house, and visited twice. Both times were in the morning on nice days, so we didn't question why the patio doors were wide open.

By the time we moved in it was months later (British system = takes FOREVER icon_rolleyes.gif ), and when we walked in the first thing we realised was that the house stank of incontinent dog. It wasn't the end of the world; we had to replace the flooring; but it would have been nice to know beforehand... also if you know this kind of thing - not just actual structural defects - it gives you some more bargaining power when you're making your offer.

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