Question of the day: What's your real estate beef?
Wonk reader SLL offered a warning for homebuyers yesterday that was based on hard experience:
"I was under contract to buy a foreclosure that had been winterized, and just as an FYI to anyone else thinking of buying a foreclosure -- it's a nightmare to get the house dewinterized for the (information purposes only) inspection," SLL wrote on this post about avoiding a pipe burst in a foreclosure near you.
"You just have to be a pain -- keep bugging the bank's real estate agents every day -- from the moment you have a verbal agreement until it's been confirmed that the house has been dewinterized. Also make sure it's in your contract, too (I think it's standard language in the standard MD State purchase contract) -- that all the utilities must be turned on in time for the inspection or else the contract can be voided b/c the seller didn't hold up its end of the deal. Most of the banks that own foreclosures hire a separate agency that handles the winterization, so it can be very difficult to get the house dewinterized in time for your inspection."
Realtor John K. offered an amen to that: "Often my buyers end up just paying for it themselves in order to get it done and move on. It can cost about $100-150 for the de-winterization. The worst part is that you then have to pay to RE-winterize it, and then pay AGAIN to de-winterize it once you settle."
So here's my question to you all: What argh-inducing issues have you run into as a buyer, seller or renter? What's your real estate beef?
The last question of the day -- "Will you move in 2011?" -- prompted a lot of responses. Chappy10 and spouse were just about to move, having snagged a single-family house with a total monthly payment that's $200 less than their rent on a much smaller townhouse.
"We were about to give up looking for the year (too many sellers unwilling to negotiate meaningful price reductions) and I think this seller realized they'd be unable to close out their parents' estate til next spring/summer and possibly get less money... so they were very very reasonable," Chappy10 wrote.
Frequent Little Italy Restaurant Visitor, meanwhile, was hoping to go the other direction -- sell a home in order to rent something cheaper nearby.
"We love living in Balt. City, but are sick of 1) the property taxes, 2)the property taxes, 3) all the work/costs/bad surprises associated with home ownership, and did I mention 4) the property taxes?" Frequent Little Italy Restaurant Visitor wrote.
And Chris reports that he and his wife would like to sell their home in Dundalk, but they bought it in late 2007 -- just before prices slumped -- and are now surrounded by value-sapping foreclosures.
"I hope that home prices will stabilize long enough for us to pay down our mortgage enough to catch up to the market, but that does not look like it will happen in 2011," Chris wrote. "[Here's] to hoping 2012 will be the magic year for us to sell our house!"