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“This Old Grouse” (7/18) takes me down memory lane to revisit my old house of issues. The article was quite interesting and educational. As a prior homeowner, I have learned an awful lot about what to look for during a house inspection. I’ve learned to look beyond the props of new amenities of meticulous landscaping, freshly painted rooms, and smiling faces. You have to be alert and sensible enough to look beyond the excitement of shopping when you intend to live in the house for most of your adult life. I recall growing up in a time when a saying directed us not to go borrowing any trouble. Today’s saying should be “Don’t go buying anyone else’s trouble.”

Unless you have saved thousands of dollars for a rainy day, have hit the lottery, or have some inheritance stashed away, don’t buy a house on the sole representations of a real-estate agent or a rushed inspection. Your decision must be based on what you can afford and fully disclosed information about the house. In the world of real estate, there exist all sorts of agents and inspectors—the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is important for potential homebuyers to use good common sense and judgment. Do a lot of research on your own, and beware of agents who come with their own inspectors or those who represent both you (the buyer) and the seller. Finding good agents and inspectors takes time. If in doubt, ask plenty of questions until you are clear about everything that is involved in homeownership and the inspection process.

The sad parts about “This Old Grouse” were the young woman who failed to get her house properly inspected before she bought it and the person who bought a house and ended up spending huge amounts of money on repairs. It is just too risky to invest in a house, or anything of value, without predetermining its real value and any issues that come with it—no one wants horrible surprises.

The home-buying process has a history of being targeted by scam artists. Homeowners have lost millions of dollars by being defrauded for any number of reasons, stemming from incomplete, misleading, or concealed information from shady home inspections, and inflated promises that are rarely kept. A new homeowner should never get stuck with a lemon house, but unfortunately some do, because they either do not know how to read between the lines or are so gullible they believe whatever they are told.

Southwest