Hugh J. M. Jones, III, P.C. Hugh J. M. Jones, III, P.C.

If you are purchasing real estate for your own residence or as an investment, you have many things to consider. Even if this is not your first time buying property here in Virginia, you certainly do not want to dive into purchasing the first house or building you see. You have questions to ask and factors to weigh. You want time to think it over before committing so much money.

Sometimes you may look at a property and get a good feeling for it. You may have a sense that it will be a good fit, a place where you can raise a family or comfortably do business. However, going by feelings and intuition is not always enough to protect your investment.

Watch for these signs

A house or building may check off every box on your wish list, but you may benefit from carefully examining the situation before making your final decision. Once you sign the papers, you may have a difficult time getting out of a bad deal, and you may end up stuck with a money pit you cannot unload. Some signs that you may be better walking away from a property include the following:

  • If the title has gaps in owners or other factors that seem unusual or confusing, you may have trouble obtaining title insurance.
  • If a building has been on the market too long, has obvious cosmetic fixes or has a very low listing price, it is a sign that it may need expensive repairs.
  • A house that has not sold in a long time may have other issues, such as zoning or HOA disputes, tax delinquencies or problems with the neighborhood.
  • When you receive limited information about permits for any renovations, additions or utility repair work on the building, you may question whether the work is up to code.
  • A seller or agent who seems unwilling to answer your specific questions about the property or urges you to forego an inspection before buying may be trying to hide defects in the house.

If you really like the property at first sight, the seller or agent may take advantage of this and push you to make a quick decision. This is especially true if it is a property the seller has been trying to move for many months.

You would be wise to seek as much advice as you can. Getting a home inspection is one important way to learn about the bones of a building, but you may also wish to involve your attorney in your decision. An attorney can advise you on ways to avoid liability and help you resolve any legal issues that may arise during your transaction.

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