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Yup. On the house we just bought it was determined to be a beautifully maintained older home. They had a prior sale fall through after the home inspection.
When we stepped in after the other buyers backed out we bought in a second Home Inspector who was recommended to us by a friend. He proceeded to find that there was a crack in the heat exchanger in the furnace and that it was 37 years old and not 25 years old like the owners put on the disclosure (Missed in the prior home inspection and missed by the HVAC guy who serviced the furnace less than a year prior). He also found that the breaker box had a few more fuses in it than it was rated for and one of the wires in the electrical system was not the right gauge for the load it was expected to handle. (Missed in the prior home inspection and missed by the township zoning inspector who checked the wiring work and rated it all A-OK.) Even alot of credentialed professionals will cash your check and then miss stuff they are supposed to find all the time. We still bought the house because it was otherwise a good by, but because this guy found things that were previously missed we were able to get money back to handle things we otherwise wouldn't have even found until after we closed.
Otherwise, one other thing I have learned as a first time buyer is you have to look at every aspect of every deal. Don't get tunnel vision and just worry about the price of the house. Everything has its pros and cons. I know around us New construction is expected to be trouble free and not require any updates for years but the taxes are twice as much. It is harder to find an older home in good shape but if you do you get more for your money and the taxes are alot lower. Pay attention to location. Again, in my area it is common to find two very similar homes a mile apart but because one is 'Blue-Colllar-Township' and the next one over is 'Snob-Ville' the same thing costs 100K more and 2-3 times as much in taxes. The best way to learn is to jump in and start checking out houses. The more you look the more you get a feel for how your local market works.
The cost of fuel to operate a 6000 pound 400 horsepower half ton that does 0-60 in under 7 seconds is kind of like the price of oil changes for a Porche 911. If you have to ask you probably can't afford it.
Last edited by eharri3; 11-15-2012 at 05:05 PM.