It’s wonderful to own your own building and not share the yard and driveway with neighbors. You make all the decisions about any upgrades or improvements without the approval of neighbors or the condo association. 

Single family homes will have some larger unexpected expenses here and there. It’s something all home-owners have to budget for because they don’t have neighbors in the same building to share the costs with. That’s why some first-time buyers choose to buy a condo instead of a single family home. You also don’t have to pay condo fees when you own your single family home.

In a competitive market where multiple offers are common, some buyers waive the home inspection contingency to help their offers stand out. If your real estate agent is expecting multiple offers for a single family home you’re considering, you may want to consider doing a pre-offer inspection. Doing a pre-inspection helps you anticipate any upcoming expenses.

When you are bidding for a single family home, you are sometimes competing with buyers who aren’t first time buyers. Second-time home buyers tend to know what to expect from having owned their first home for several years. So for them it’s not as important to do the pre-inspection, especially if it’s logistically difficult to arrange on the weekends. Some of them have two kids or older kids.

The bigger expenses are roof, heating system, hot water system, boiler, sewer pipe replacement, ductless AC leaking etc. I share a list of the average costs for these items when I help my clients prepare to offer on a home.

It’s common for homes to have leaking in the basement. Ultimately, the proper way to deal with drainage problems is to work with a professional water proofing company, which can cost anywhere up to 10k or less if the problem is easy to fix. For some buyers at a higher price point, spending 10k is not a problem. They could easily bid 10k more on the purchase price. So it’s not something that would cause them to not buy the house, even if there are some uncertainties. That’s why a lot of second-time home buyers don’t do inspections and just waive the inspection contingency. 

Almost all property problems can be fixed, especially problems that don’t stand out during the showings. For first-time single family buyers I recommend pre-inspections so they can know these problems ahead of time, even if they are minor.  

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