Fab Real Estate Blog: Buy a Home and Something Will Break

Buy a Home and Something Will Break

I helped a wonderful couple buy their first home in New Fairfield, Connecticut.  We closed yesterday, and they immediately began moving in. 

At the closing, I warned them:  "Something will break shortly after you move in.  Don't worry.  It won't be the end of the world.  You will get through it." 

They laughed at me: "Yeah...yeah...yeah...  Whatever you say, Don." 

That was yesterday.  Tonight, they called.  "The toilet overflowed and there is water all over the bathroom.  Does this count as the thing that will break as soon as we move in?" 

Fortunately, they were laughing - or, at least they were trying to cover up the screams with laughter.  I assured them that, yes, this is their one major initial problem in the house. I also told them that something else will happen, but it will be minor and funny...like a doorknob coming off in their hands, or an electrical breaker will trip and they won't remember where the breaker box is.

It's just the way it is.  These things happen.  Welcome to home ownership!


Don Fabrizio-Garcia, REALTOR
Real Estate Sales and Appraisals

Comment balloon 13 commentsDon Fabrizio-Garcia • November 05 2008 06:59PM

Comments

Don, Oh my gosh. You are so right!  It seems I always get calls right after closing with something breaking...love those home warranties, don't you?

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) almost 10 years ago

Elizabeth - I always warn my clients about this at the closing.  They think I'm nuts, but then the phone call comes...

It turns what could be a stressful situation into something the new home owners can laugh about!

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Don,

Thanks for the post. That is so funny. I remember one of my customers calling me after she had moved in to say that the toilet had cracked in half. Fortunately, we had a home warranty in place and all was well. Must be something with those bathrooms!

Posted by William Collins, Director of Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) almost 10 years ago

That is so true.  I always encourage buyers and sellers to purchase a transferable homeowners warranty.  Good story!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 10 years ago

William - I never heard of a toilet cracking in half, but then again, there's always something new in real estate!

Laura - It never fails - there is always something.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Awww the old money pit!  That was great that you gave them heads...or in this case toilets....UP!  Many of the Realtor's I work with go back to visit with their clients after they move in to help with anything they can.  Keep up your great relationships with your clients.  They are sure to appreciate you!

Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) almost 10 years ago

Janice - not quite a money pit.  Just Murphy's Law that as soon as the new owners move in, something will break.  It's kind of like a test:  Are you really ready for homeownership?!?

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

You could have had a job with my home inspection company!

In many cases with vacant properties, the mere act of a home inspector testing something will cause it to break although the consequences of the break can't be detected at the time of the inspection. The O rings in faucets are a notorious offender. I have a blog entry about vacant properties that your readers might be interested in.

Quite often there are things that the sellers haven't used in 15 years but become a favorite of the new owners or are now used again because of necessity. Toilets, sinks, and bathtubs/showers in guest rooms are notorious offenders here. Or the last child left home four years ago and as soon as he graduated from college, the empty nesters downsize. That hall bathroom or the Jack & Jill bathroom that hasn't been used in four years is the culprit here.

Roofs can also be problematic here in San Diego and other desert climates because the sun destroys the flashing and mastic, and leaks obviously cannot be adequately detected if it's not raining, so someone can buy a home in March after the rainy season is over with and have that roof leak in December when the next rain comes.

It's a vicious industry that I'm in.

Posted by Not a real person almost 10 years ago

Russell - But it all makes it so much fun!

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

It's sort of amazing how these things always seem to happen!  But congratulations to them on their first home.

Posted by Sal Poliandro - NJ Bergen County Realtor, Short Sale Specialist - CDPE, SRES, SFR, IRES (RE/MAX Properties) almost 10 years ago

Sal - They seem quite happy in their new home.  At least they kept their sense of humor!

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Usually something breaks with sellers between the time they list and the day of settlement, too.

Posted by Rich Mielke, REALTOR, Frederick Maryland Real Estate (REMAX Results, Frederick MD) almost 10 years ago

Rich - Yes, something will often break for the sellers, too, but I find it much more stressful on the buyers:  "We just paid all this money for this house and it's falling apart!"

No, it's not falling apart. It's just helping to initiate you into home ownership...

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Participate