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Top 9 Real Estate Nightmares and How to Avoid Them
The ugly truth in real estate is that deals don't always go smoothly. Sometimes, buying and selling snags can even turn into true terrors, resulting in frustration-and possibly panic-for all involved. HGTV's FrontDoor.com has identified nine hair-raising real estate horror stories and offers tips on how to avoid such nightmares.
1. Spooky surprises at closing. When it comes down to the wire, sometimes interest rates, closing costs, and even mortgage payments turn out to be higher than expected. Consulting an agent or broker to review closing documents line-by-line can help figure out the problem.
2. Unwelcome guests. Homes vacated by foreclosure or uninhabited investment properties may just have uninvited guests, as "squatting" is on the rise around the country. A property management company can check on an empty house and take care of routine maintenance issues.
3. Scary short sale buying. Buying a short sale a property purchased for less than the owner owes-is anything but a short process. Even under ideal circumstances, short sales take a long time and are always uncertain. Make sure the participating agent has lots of patience and experience with the procedure.
4. Formidable financing issues. Everyone is jumping through more hoops to get a loan these days. It's a good idea to get more than one good faith estimate and stay on top of the mortgage application, working closely with the financing company to keep it on a timely track until completion.
5. Neighbor nuisances. Problem neighbors can quickly turn a dream home into a nightmare. Before buying, talk to neighboring residents to get a feel of who lives closeby. Be sure to be neighborly after the sale too, so any problems can be addressed quickly and courteously.
6. HOA horrors. Homeowners associations certainly have their perks, but sometimes the rules and restrictions can be a bit much. When considering the purchase of a home governed by association covenants, review them closely and shy away from anything that seems outlandish.
7. Showing shockers. Besides some bad taste in d cor, there might be even worse horrors inside today's homes for sale. With many distressed properties on the market, it's not surprising that some of them have not been properly prepped for the sale.
8. Frightening home flaws. Many people buy seemingly well-maintained homes only to uncover huge flaws later. Never purchase a house without first having an inspection (even for a new construction) and check things out just prior to closing to make sure the seller has taken care of the place since the contract was signed.
9. Ghastly pasts. A "stigmatized property" is a home with a shady past. Sometimes there are good deals to be found on this type of property, provided potential buyers can overlook a grisly background.
For more information, visit www.frontdoor.com.