Concerns for the First Time Home Buyer

With the short supply of turn key "starter" two and three bedroom homes for sale in Eastern Massachusetts, first time home buyers are now faced with new pressure to quickly make an offer and get under contract as soon as possible.  It is understood that a first time buyer is eager to end the long and enduring search for a new home, however, failure to pay attention and overlook important pitfalls and traps may lead to long term issues.  

Inspections - We are hearing more and more often that buyers are willing to waive inspections and blindly accept the condition of the property being purchased "as is." Unless you are a third generation trades person or have substantial experience in inspecting and renovating residential homes, it is highly likely that you will be unable to identify some serious, and expensive, issues with the property.  Waiver of inspections solely benefits the Seller in the transaction and provides no benefit to the buyer.  If you do not have the property inspected by a certified and qualified home inspector, you could inherit serious issues such that affect the building structure, mechanical systems, or cause other problems such as pest infestation, mold, or others. 

Repair Credits - If you are waiving inspections, and are not asking for credits to allow for the improvement or repair of certain features and systems at the property, then you will essentially inherit a liability for those items after the completion of the sale. It is common for purchasers to request that the sellers provide a credit to repair or replace, for example, a leaking roof, faulty electrical panel, non-functioning oil / gas boiler, rotted eaves-flashing-siding issues, and the like.  If you are not taking a credit at closing for these repairs, then your cost of purchasing the home will increase by the cost of these repairs. 

Short Closing Window - Unless you are paying cash for your new Massachusetts real estate purchase, you should not agree to complete the sale in less than forty-five days. Your mortgage broker and/or lender will be hard pressed to complete and clear your loan to close on short notice.  Your real estate attorney, who will be abstracting and reviewing your title, will also have to place a rush order on all work, and may have difficulty obtaining all items necessary to close.  In other words, if you agree to a short deal time frame, it is entirely possible that you will have to request an extension from the Sellers. Your mortgage lender and closing attorney cannot control all contingencies that can potentially extend the deal time frame. There are limited circumstances and contingencies that allow extensions of the time for performance (deadline to close), and you may end up risking your deposit if you encounter sellers that are unforgiving and who will not agree to extension. 

These are some initial concerns for a first time home buyer of real estate in Massachusetts. Our firm represents buyers and sellers of real estate in Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties, including the cities and towns of Boston, Peabody, Danvers, Lynnfield, Wakefield, Woburn, Andover, Burlington, and others.  We will update this blog article shortly with additional concerns and recommendations for the first time home buyer.  If you are purchasing a new home, please feel free to consult with us anytime at 781-463-6063.