Monday, August 30, 2010

Buying a rented home

Ellen James Martin, Universal Syndicate, says often these days those who do venture out to buy a house find it’s occupied by renters.

Upside: The seller wants out of this situation and will deal.

Downside: The renters may be a problem or others may consider a rented home…er…low-rent..

With people needing to move, yet wanting to see if their home values will come back, many homeowners rent while they hang onto the house.

But the landlord thing gets old.

If you know the house is rented, go when the renters aren’t there. Many renters aren’t too happy about the house being sold. They may make disparaging comments or try to throw off the sale.

Get a detailed home inspection—the renters may have messed things up.

Renters may not report a problem until it’s severe—for instance the dishwasher may have leaked a little, but was not reported—then the whole floor was rotted.

Renters also have rights, remember. Living in there until the lease is up is one of those. Discuss this in detail with your realtor.

Buying a place that has been rented may carry a stigma—forget that and see if it’s a smokin’ bargain.

A friend once bought a rented house with a closet full of chicken bones. Don’t even ask.

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