I have been working with a new home buyer for over half a year. He went through 3 contracts – 2 of them were canceled after the property inspection – before he finally found the perfect Columbus OH home for sale and closed a week ago.

When you are buying your first home you have to be persistent! You will encounter many hurdles along the way. You may feel that nothing goes your way. But let me assure you: as your Columbus real estate agent I will stand behind you and guide you through all the land mines until you own your new home.

The first home was a HUD home. It looked pretty decent when we wrote the offer, but the property inspection uncovered mold hidden in the basement. Bank financing became impossible, and he had to cancel the contract.

The second offer was with a private seller. This home certainly needed work, but my customer was okay with it. Again, we went through an inspection and appraisal. Then the bank called. They told us that they could not write an FHA loan – which was the only loan my buyer qualified for – because some commercial gas storage tanks nearby.

Now that’s a surprise!

We did not know about the tanks, nor were they visible from the house. But that was it – no financing- no purchase. He had to cancel the contract again. As you can imagine, my customer was very frustrated and ready to throw in the towel.

It is always hard to stay motivated after a couple of setbacks like these. However, something good happened in the meantime. My buyer’s income increased and he qualified for a higher mortgage amount.

We went back to house hunting. This time we found a nice, ready to move in bank owned property (REO). His offer was accepted and we proceeded with the inspection and appraisal.

This time the appraiser found an issue with the roof! There was no leak , but the roof was old and would not last more than a couple of years.

Once again the lender called with a set of stipulations. The house needs a new roof!

My buyer liked the house. He got it for a great price. So, he agreed to pay for the new roof. As he did not have enough cash the cost of the roof had to be covered by the loan. The cost was $6000 which requires a 203k FHA loan (that’s a rehab FHA loan.)

I figured it would not hurt to ask the seller (bank) to pay for the roof. The house was an REO and we signed the purchase agreement as/is. In the worst case they would say no.

Here’s what I did.

I called the selling realtor and requested a contract extension of 30 days. The reason: we had to switch to a 203k loan due to the bad roof. As an alternative, I offered that the seller could replace the roof and we would close as planned, i.e. 30 days earlier.

This did it! The bank wanted to sell NOW, instead of a month later. They replaced the roof and my buyer was able to close with a regular FHA loan at the end of August.

I saved my customer $6000, he moved into the house of his dreams 30 days early, and he got him a new roof over his head.


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Posted by: Susanne Novak, ABR, FIS, GRI
Columbus Real Estate Agent helping First Time Buyers.
(614) 975-9650