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Buying an Existing Home

A lot of homebuyers don't want a new-build home. They may be looking for a specific location, neigbourhoods or styles. They may not want to wait for their house to be built and then go through the time and expense of landscaping etc. Resale homes are attractive to the majority of homebuyers.
When buying a resale or existing home, the buyer obviously does not have the luxury of selecting cabinets, flooring, fixtures and upgrades. So to find a house that matches your taste may take a greater time investment than when buying from a builder. It's important to know what you and your family are looking for when you start your search.
Buying an existing property raises a whole mound of issues, totally different from buying a new build home. Not the least of which is the fact that there is no warranty. So remember, once you take possession, its yours, no going back.
If you are a first time buyer, it is recommended that you use an agent. If you are a seasoned buyer, you may want to do it on your own.
If you are serious about a property, hire a building inspector to check out the property. For a fee, a building inspector will go through the house and identify any aspect of the house that might be problematic or soon in need of repair. This can be part of the 'conditions' that you attach to an offer on the home.
There should four separate inspections on the home you want to purchase. The first should be your own inspection; the second should be a professional whole-house inspection by a reputable inspector. The third inspection should come at the time of the appraisal, which to some degree amounts to a "mini-inspection." Do not, however, rely on this appraisal as your only inspection of the property, they are appraising for the bank and may miss things your inspector will catch. The fourth and final inspection is your final walk through before you take possession.
Be sure to look beyond the decorating when you tour a home. While you can always make an offer and have a building inspector give you a report, many of the things that you can see will tell you whether the home is worth the investment of the inspector's fee.
Your Real Estate agent should be able to guide you on some of the property's deficiencies. However, never assume that the agent is an unbiased source of information. Since their commission depends on selling the property, they may gloss over items that are significant to you.
If you are fairly sure about a property find a building inspector. Make the inspection part of your conditions on your offer to buy the house. Given the amount of money that you will pay to own the house, the fee of the inspector is well worth the investment and it could keep you from making a bad purchase. A bad house purchase would cost you much more in the long run.

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