The hot housing market forces people to make decisions quickly.
With multiple offers, buyers wave inspections, and many homes are well above the asking price, but there may be a hidden price to rush to buy. Some Connecticut homeowners say they paid the price for not knowing more about their future home.
Ask the Favreaus of Bristol, who dreamed of retiring to Connecticut. But they say their new forever home quickly turned into a nightmare.
“We had family come in for the 4th of July and then the septic tank spat out in the basement,” Pat Favreau said.
Favreau and her husband Mike trusted what they said, which was that the house had a three-year-old septic tank and a disclosure that there was no septic tank problem.
“So we said, ‘Well, okay, he’s three years old,’ so we didn’t do the septic inspection and that’s where it all kind of went downhill,” Mike said. . “I guess we just believed they were telling us the truth.”
The septic tank failed a month after they moved in, and repairs began to the tune of $17,000, which they paid out of pocket.
“We had a Porta Potty set up in the driveway in the sun and it was our bathroom for about two weeks. It was a headache. It really was,” Mike said.
Tyler Pratt of West Hartford is looking to buy a new home right now. He learned a lot after rushing to close a house ten years ago.
“We ended up having quite a few headaches, like asbestos and things like that,” he said.
As people move quickly in this swirling buying market, Pratt plans to take the time to weigh his options this time around.
With two decades of home sales under her belt, real estate agent William Raveis Anna Sava Namnoum says you need to stop and think about your investment.
“Oh, yeah, I won. I have the house. You may not have won. You may be the biggest loser in the whole transaction,” Namnoum said.
She says to leave no stone unturned.
“Do you think 30 years from now, ‘Do I want to be able to sell my house for some profit?'”
Namnoum will not let its customers skip an inspection. Instead, she doubles down during this mayhem, calling in master plumbers, electricians, and other experts to investigate what lies behind the bones of a home.
“Do you want to send your children to college? Or do you want to take a vacation, or do you want to do things that you hadn’t planned, you know, re-insulate the whole attic because you didn’t even know there was something in there? »
Although Namnoum does not recommend it, if a buyer waives inspections and agrees to purchase a property “as is”, the buyer can still order inspections to understand any issues the home might have.
A colleague from NBC Connecticut just bought a house in Burlington. Yes, she bought the house as is, but she and her real estate agent still ordered all the inspections at her own expense. Not only was the chimney deteriorating, but it was dangerous and could have gone unnoticed without inspection.
“If you give it up [a chimney inspection], you could have a carbon monoxide leak that you are not even aware of. You could have bricks falling, off your roof, damaging your roof,” said Eric Beavin, a field technician with Spotless Chimney, who was called in to fix the issues.
Another problem that cannot be seen by the eyes of a buyer: radon gas.
“It’s somewhere around 30% of homes in Connecticut have high radon levels,” said Jordan Clark, owner of A&R Environmental.
The state has documented the counties most at risk for radon — a carcinogenic gas that can be found in air and water.
Fortunately, Burlington’s new owner requested a test because radon levels in her new home were high. She went back to the seller and got compensation for the chimney repairs and the radon cleanup.
“We’re seeing more and more people not being inspected, but a portion of them being tested after the fact,” Clark said.
Doug Clarke of Rocky Hill wished he had taken a radon test decades ago.
“It might have saved where we are, saved time, saved anger,” he said.
Experts from the American Lung Association link his diagnosis of small cell lung cancer to elevated radon levels found in his home.
“I don’t want anyone else to have to deal with what I’ve done with what my family has done. It’s just not fun,” Clarke said.
He hopes you will have your house levels checked.
Experts remind you that once you’ve signed on the dotted line, there really is no going back.
“It’s not like returning a product to the store and saying it’s defective. That doesn’t happen in real estate,” said Tim Goetz, a real estate attorney.
Which brings us back to the Favreaus, who consider themselves seasoned real estate buyers. But the one inspection they say they skipped on the advice of their real estate agent is the one that cost them dearly.
“Buyer beware,” said Pat Favreau.
She and her husband took their complaints to their real estate agent, who gave them a document indicating potential septic issues, but the seller’s disclosure was never updated to reflect this.
The Consumer Protection Department said it was investigating the Favreaus’ complaint.
“I would say absolutely, do an inspection and don’t believe anything you’re told,” Mike Favreau said.
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