Robert D. Paulbeck, Attorney at Law
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When is it better to walk away from an affordable house?

Looking for the right home is not easy. There are many factors to consider beyond your wish list. Among these is finding a great home at a price within your budget. It is not out of the question to find a really good deal on a house you love. However, it is prudent to be aware that a good deal may not be as good as it looks.

The selling price of a Michigan home determines its mortgage payments and influences the property taxes you will pay in the future. While it may be tempting to jump at the chance of buying a low-priced home that you love, you can save yourself long-term grief by looking for signs that it's too good to be true.

Red flags

Your most valuable house-hunting tool may be the research you do before signing any contracts. This includes digging up records of the history of the house, accessing information about crime and schools in the area, and even talking to neighbors. Sometimes a casual walk around the block can tell you a lot about a property, but some other signs that you might be better off walking away include the following:

  • The agent or seller pressures you into making a quick decision.
  • The seller encourages you to waive your right to hire a professional inspector.
  • The agent or seller avoids direct answers to your questions about the property.
  • The asking price is significantly lower than it should be, which may indicate issues with the foundation, structure or zoning.
  • The house has been on the market for an unreasonably long time or has had many owners in a short amount of time.
  • You notice cosmetic fixes, such as a newly painted ceiling, which may be covering water damage that could mean costly repairs for you.
  • You notice other properties in the neighborhood that seem abandoned or in disrepair, indicating the entire area may be in decline.

major purchase such as real estate involves signing contracts and exchanging large amounts of money. Making a mistake during this transaction may leave you with debilitating debt on a property you cannot resell or potentially even live in. Seeking advice along the way is one way to improve your chances of avoiding such mistakes. As emotional as it can be to purchase a new home, it is wise to have the support of a neutral party who can guide you through the legal process.

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