Tips for the First-Time Home Buyer
I don't know what YOU'VE heard, but first-time home buying isn't fun. In fact, it can be a real hassle. Thankfully, I've survived the process and have even picked up a few useful tips along the way. Here are a few thing to keep in mind next time you're looking for a home in Washington, DC:
- If the listing says "AS-IS", don't expect walls, floors or ceilings. Also, don't ask why the basement smells of pit-bull urine. Those blood stains in the cement are here to stay. Don't think a no-pit-bull urine-smell contingency in the contract will get you any traction, just suck it up and start up your own pit-bull-fighting ring after closing.
- If the listing says "Partial Renovations" it means they've installed a lovely granite counter-top in the kitchen and ignored the gaping hole in the roof. You can live in luxury while breathing in all that hearty black mold. Expensive cheese has mold right? So what's the difference if it's growing up your walls? Avoid the top floor though, it's a little damp.
- No matter what they say, Trinidad is not gentrified.
- There is a Long & Foster Realtor out there who's about 5 feet tall, has wire-rimmed glasses and babbles like Heathcliff Huxtable. Avoid him at all costs. He will not let you leave. Don't tell him you work for a union because he will snort in disgust and incoherently discuss Marx. If you do in fact wander into one of his open houses, expect to stay there for at least an hour and a half. This is no joke. He will scare you.
- Some people like tile...so much so that they tile their living rooms, tile their kitchens, tile their bedrooms, tile their offices, and even tile their stairs. These people are fucking nuts and if they think they're going to sell their piece of shit house for 350 they're out of their fucking minds. I feel very strongly about this.
- Skip the house next to the Bail Bondsman and Liquor Store. You don't want to go in there. You also don't want to hang out there. You don't even want to get out of your car. Drive away and try not to think about it.
- "Spacious 1-Bedroom Condo in a Great Location!" means it's six miles from a metro and consists of a long hallway and an outhouse.
- When you walk into a three bedroom row-house and it has ceilings, buy it!