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Real Estate 101: What You Need to Know Before Closing

Apr 17, 2008
So, you have found the house of your dreams and you think you are ready to initiate the closing process. Before you give your Realtor the thumbs up for finalizing the deal, however, there are a few things you should do in order to protect yourself and make sure you are getting a home that will bring lasting memories rather than turn into a money pit. In fact, there are several different types of inspections that you might want to have completed before you sign any type of agreements. Some of these include:

- Termite inspections
- Dry rot inspections
- Asbestos testing
- Faulty structure inspections
- Roof condition inspections
- Septic tank and well testing

Although getting these various inspections completed can cost you a bit of extra cash, it will be well-worth it to know whether or not you are making a solid investment with the home you are purchasing. In addition, with the right Realtor on your side, you might be able to get the seller to pay all or a portion of all of these inspections as a part of your purchase agreement.

Termite and Dry Rot Inspections

One of the worse problems you can face with a home is a termite infestation or dry rot issues. With these problems, the structure of the home can be severely weakened and it can begin to fall apart. Similarly, getting the home fixed after the wood has been destroyed can be a costly endeavor. As your Realtor to insist that the seller complete a termite inspection and provide a guarantee of the soundness of the structure before you finalize the purchase.

Asbestos Testing

You won't find asbestos in homes that have been recently constructed, but older homes may still have lingering asbestos. You certainly don't want to purchase a home with asbestos, as it is very dangerous to your health. Similarly, getting asbestos removed can be quite costly. Therefore, it is important to have your Realtor address this issue, particularly if the home you are purchasing is older.

Faulty Structure Inspections

Just as dry rot and termites can wreak havoc upon your home, having a structure that is inherently flawed will cause a great deal of problems to arise in the future. Similarly, if you have problems with your foundation, the structure of your entire home can be at risk. By working with your Realtor and hiring a professional to inspect the craftsmanship of the structure and foundation, you can be rest assured that your future home will be in great shape for years to come.

Septic Tank and Well Testing

If you are moving into a home that does not have city water and sanitation, you will need to rely upon a septic tank for your waste and a well for your water. Ask your Realtor to have these two items inspected in order to make sure they are in good shape and meet current codes. Although you may have to replace your septic and have a new well dug in the future, you shouldn't have to do either of these two things too soon. Similarly, they should be space far enough apart from each other to prevent contamination. If not, have your Realtor work out the cost of remedying the problem so that the seller pays either all or part of the cost.
About the Author
Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Lake Travis Real Estate website, his downtown Austin lofts company's website, & his Austin real estate website.
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