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BUYER BE AWARE! A hot housing market always includes many bad apples

Our law firm has been representing homebuyers in the Pacific Northwest for decades, so we have seen several building booms and busts over the years.  When the housing market is red-hot, many buyers feel compelled to act quickly, often too quickly, when buying a home or condominium unit.

For example, a buyer might waive the pre-purchase home inspection – which is always a bad idea,  unless perhaps the seller has provided a very recent inspection report from a qualified building inspector.  Or, the buyer may overlook serious issues pointed out by their own inspector, only to be later saddled with a huge repair expense.  Another common mistake is to sign a so-called “warranty” that in reality is mostly just a waiver of your rights against the seller.

Being diligent as a prospective homebuyer is all the more important during a real estate boom, because a hot market always attracts many unsavory characters looking to turn a quick profit.  This includes:

  • Inexperienced or unscrupulous “developers” who build new homes using every lowest-bid subcontractor available, and who cut every corner possible during construction;
  • Questionable new realtors concerned about nothing but closing the sale as fast as possible; and
  • House “flippers” who focus on cosmetic changes but fail to repair – or maybe even take steps to conceal – serious problems with the home ranging from poor drainage that causes seasonal flooding in a finished basement, to rotted siding that is caulked and painted over.

Don’t succumb to the urge to skip inspections, and don’t assume that just because a document says “Home Warranty” on it that it is, in fact something that provides you with more remedies rather than less or even none.

If you discover that your recently purchased home has serious problems that were never disclosed by the seller, or if you are considering a home and are wondering whether the “Warranty” being offered is a good thing or a bad thing, please feel free to contact us at 206-960-4603, or by email at, so that we can discuss your situation and see if we can help you.

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