We finally got an offer on our first house accepted, but before we accepted the acceptance (weird, but that’s how it works in California), we decided to get a second opinion. My parents came down for the weekend and we went to the house for an hour and a half to check it out. It was the best thing we could have done to make sure it was the right house for us.

They Helped Us See Potential Issues with the House
My dad is analytical, so he pointed out potential flaws and checked things we hadn’t previously checked, like air-conditioning, water heater, etc. Since it’s a foreclosure property, it’s unoccupied and there’s no telling what surprises the house may hold. We didn’t see anything major, but having my parents there to check for flaws and give the benefit of their experience helped. For example, they pointed out that the refrigerator space is too small for a standard-sized refrigerator, but we were able to find an affordable solution to that problem while we were in the house.

They Helped Us See the Potential Advantages
There were a couple things we were concerned about. My mom has a designer’s eye, so she automatically saw affordable changes we could make and pointed out design issues and advantages that we hadn’t seen before.

They Were Unbiased
This is very important. Their primary concern is making sure we get a house we like and that won’t turn into a money pit. If it was a terrible house, they’d be more than willing to tell us because they’re not invested in the property.

We Had More Time to Consider
Most people spend about 15 minutes in a house before making an offer. We had about 30 minutes – long enough to know we liked it. But this is a major commitment. Now that we’ve spent more time at the house, I’m more confident in our decision. Some rooms were smaller than I remembered, but other rooms were bigger than I remembered.

If you’re thinking of buying a house, I highly recommend that you take someone to see the property before going into escrow. Preferably, this person should be an experienced homeowner who won’t be rooting for you one way or the other. You don’t want a cheerleader, you want someone who will scrutinize the property.

Comments

3 Responses to “Get a Second Opinion on Your First Home”

  1. Johanne on June 23rd, 2009 11:11 pm

    “You don’t want a cheerleader, you want someone who will scrutinize the property.”

    - Well said.

  2. Money Hacks Carnival #71 - Canada Day Edition | The Canadian Finance Blog on July 1st, 2009 12:09 am

    [...] presents Get a Second Opinion on Your First Home posted at Sound Money [...]

  3. Affine Financial Services » Blog Archive » Carnival time on July 6th, 2009 4:40 am

    [...] Money Matters has a post about getting a second opinion about your first home, and I think you should do this for not just your first home but for every home that you [...]

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