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‘Spent Over $4,000 in the First 3 Hours’: 8 New-Homeownership Horror Stories

‘$4,000 in the First 3 Hours’: 8 New House Horror Stories From Homeowners Who Really Went Through It

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Buying a new home is exciting—but also downright terrifying.

Imagine spending the better part of your life savings on a new property only to find out that homeownership isn’t as rosy as you thought it would be. Whether it’s having to shell out thousands of dollars to fix faulty plumbing or being awoken at night by an intruder, many new homeowners get a serious dose of reality upon closing on a property.

This week, hundreds of homeowners confessed their new-homeownership horror stories on the subreddit r/FirstTimeHomeBuyer, detailing costly and unsettling problems that occurred within the first month of moving into their new place.

“Trying to make myself feel better about replacing our entire electrical breaker box and about finding out that our house has copper piping and needs to be re-plumbed thanks to a sudden rainfall in our kitchen,” wrote the original poster, u/FormerEnglishMajor.

People wasted no time sharing their own tragic tales. Here are some of the most bone-chilling responses.

“I had a brand new build. My first night in the townhome the first floor flooded with sewage… [The builder] paid the $10k to clean, sanitize, and replace the hardwood, but it sucked my new house was tainted 12 hours in with other peoples s*%t.”

Maleficent-Bend-378

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“A week or two after I closed, my insurance company ended my coverage due to “lack of maintenance” (by the previous owners, obviously). It was so stressful to think I had bought an uninsurable house.”

mas5199

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“Bought a house as a solo woman. First month, I woke up in the middle of the night because I heard my bedroom door close. Then I saw flashlight beams in the gaps around my door. Hid in my closet and called the cops. They caught a homeless dude eating my leftover pizza in my garage with my credit cards and AirPods in his pocket. He broke in around 4:30am in the morning.”

TheOuts1der

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“My small, less-than-full-size sedan does not fit in my deeded garage space. Did not occur to me to check in advance. I was shown an empty multi-car garage and told, “This is your space.” Nothing I can do, all residents have same predicament. No street parking either. Can’t wait ’til winter!”

drmaddluv

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“Moved in 4th of July. Had to replace two water heaters and deal with a flooded bedroom. Spent over $4,000 in the first 3 hours. Home Inspector was not good.”

PorterPreston

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“Found out the entire back half of our house had no foundation. Turns out the addition that was built in the early 2000s was just some guy doing everything himself. He built an extra 1,000 square feet and a second story while only putting in support on the outsides. Our inspector must’ve been too big to crawl under there and he missed it. $7,000 later and we’re alright, but that was a big one to miss.”

IcyKangaroo1658

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“A burst irrigation pipe on the first week and we hadn’t moved in yet so we had no idea. $4K to fix and $3K in water bills. The city was nice enough to put us on an installment payment plan.”

hyemae

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“Day two of moving in the fridge breaks (after we fully stocked it). It was $400 to fix the fridge and I lost $300 in brand new groceries. The electricity in the garage stopped working and a fuse blew so I had to get an electrician out: $200. Two weeks later, three lights stop working in the kitchen so the electrician comes again: $300. Three days later the dishwasher breaks and floods the floor: $300 for plumber. It was a rough month.”

EarlyExample3481

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How to prevent first-month-of-homeownership disasters

While some household disasters are impossible to predict, it is possible for new homeowners to thwart a complete maintenance meltdown from happening right after they move in. Here are some valuable steps you should take.

Get a home inspection

The best way to confirm you aren’t buying a money pit is to get a home inspection from a licensed professional. A standard home inspector will check out your home’s structure (Is the house foundation solid? Are the sides straight? Are the window and door frames square?), bathrooms (Do the toilets flush? Do the drains drain? Are the showers spraying?), electrical system (Are the visible wiring and electrical panels in good shape? Do the light switches and HVAC work correctly?), and more.

Don’t be cheap when hiring an inspector

When you hire a home inspector, don’t just choose the cheapest bid. Some inspectors offer very low prices, which could indicate they’re new and inexperienced, or that they’re having trouble finding new clients.

Do your research, read online reviews, consult your real estate agent, and ask for a list of references before hiring an inspector.

Be present for the inspection—and ask questions

Did you know you’re allowed to stick around for the home inspection?

“Buyers are welcome for any and all of the inspection as a chance to take a closer look at parts of the home you typically wouldn’t,” says John Mease, a home inspector in Atlanta.

This is your opportunity to hear your inspector’s comments directly and ask any questions about the findings in your home. Involving yourself in the inspection process means you can nip a problem in the bud early instead of letting it fester and become a bigger headache in the future.

That being said, don’t encroach on the home inspection by getting in the inspector’s way. If distracted, the pro might miss something.

Know what your inspector will—and won’t—check

Most home inspectors conducting a basic search won’t check the ground beneath your home or do a thorough search of your well or septic system. They also won’t risk their own personal safety on your roof if it’s over three stories or too steep.

And they can miss things that aren’t visible and accessible like cracked drain pipes or corroded central air conditioning.

If you or your home inspector suspect there might be an issue with an internal system, call in an expert (like a plumber or HVAC specialist) to do a thorough investigation.

Do a final walk-through

The final walk-through is the time to make sure the home is in the condition agreed upon in the sales contract. Did your home inspection reveal any problems that the sellers had agreed to fix? Now’s the time to make sure those repairs were made. Buyers are allowed to do a walk-through within 24 hours before closing.

Budget for unexpected repairs and expenses

We get it: You just spent your life savings on a home, so how can you possibly have more money stashed away for a rainy day? But the reality is that homeownership comes with a lot of extra expenses—both predictable and unexpected. For flooding, blown fuses, and everything in between, experts recommend having 1% to 4% of the home’s purchase price in an emergency maintenance fund.

The post ‘Spent Over $4,000 in the First 3 Hours’: 8 New-Homeownership Horror Stories appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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