Potential Red Flags When Buying a New Home

buying, Wheaton real estate lawyersBuying a new home can be a very exciting undertaking. However, there are also many potential pitfalls, and it is important to not take the process lightly. If you are in the market for a new home, it is a good idea to take your time and make sure that you are making the best possible decision for your situation. You should also enlist the help of a qualified residential real estate lawyer to assist you along the way. As you begin your home search, be on the lookout for red flags that might be indicators that the house you are thinking about buying would be a big mistake.

Difficulties With Inspections

A home inspection is an essential part of the home-buying process. The point of the inspection is to make sure that a prospective buyer is fully aware of any problems that exist with the home. Roof issues, water damage, outdated electrical wiring, plumbing concerns, and a variety of other problems are not always immediately noticeable without an inspection by a fully qualified inspector.

Unfortunately, not all homeowners are cooperative with the inspection process. An owner might try to influence the inspector or dissuade you from using your own inspector. If the current owner of the home you are considering is standing in the way of a comprehensive inspection, it could be a sign that the owner is attempting to conceal serious problems.

Missing Work Permits

If the home you are considering has had major work done on it—including additions or renovations—you and your lawyer should request a copy of the Report of Residential Building Record. Also called the 3R report, this report includes all of the municipally-issued permits for work done on the home since it was first built. If there was substantial work done without the appropriate permits, it could be an indicator that the work was not completed to code by a professional. As a result, the work may have been done poorly, leading to possible safety concerns.

Sounds and Smells

When you walked through the home for the first time, did it smell clean and fresh, or were there overpowering scents being created by potpourri or candles? If it was the latter, the owner or the listing agent could be trying to cover up permanent bad odors. Such odors could be caused by mold, pets, or a number of other sources.

Likewise, if there louder-than-expected music or any type of white noise, the seller could be trying to conceal noise—either from the neighborhood or the home itself. Before you make a decision to buy, ask the seller to turn off fans, air conditioners, and music so that you can hear what the home and neighborhood actually sounds like.

Contact a DuPage County Real Estate Lawyer

A new home will probably be one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Therefore, you need to take the process of buying a home very seriously. For guidance, contact an experienced Wheaton residential real estate attorney at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation today.





Thinking of Buying a Business? Watch Out for These Warning Signs

buying a business, Wheaton business lawyersAre you considering buying a business? Being a business owner is a challenging and rewarding career, but it can also be a risky endeavor. Many entrepreneurs purchase a standalone company or a franchise location with the best intentions, but then later realize that they have gotten into something they wish they could get out of. While you are on the hunt for your new business venture, make sure to be on the lookout for the following telltale signs that a particular business purchase is not in your best interest.

The Franchisor Seems Focused Only on Upfront Fees

Many potential business owners choose to invest in a franchise location of an existing company because it is often less risky than investing in a standalone company. When you buy a franchise, you already have an established brand and business model. Furthermore, you will likely receive guidance, supplies, and training from the corporate team. However, an unprofessional or incompetent franchisor can nearly ruin your chances of success. If the franchisor you are considering purchasing from offers to decrease future royalties in exchange for increased upfront fees, this could be a red flag that the company is desperate for funds.

The Deal Feels Too Good to Be True

In business, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Make sure to do your due diligence and research any potential businesses thoroughly. Check that the information provided by the current owner matches financial documentation and records. If you can, look at the last five years of the company’s federal and state tax returns. When a deal seems impossibly good, this is usually an indication that you are missing part of the puzzle.

The Current Business Owner Lies or Withholds Information

Anyone selling a business should expect to provide potential buyers with ample information about the business. If a business owner is not interested in providing you the information you need to make an informed decision, he or she may be hiding something. Business owners who are worried about sharing sensitive financial data or other company information should utilize a nondisclosure contract to protect themselves. Concerns over confidentiality is not a valid excuse for withholding critical information from potential buyers. The owner should also be able to tell you why he or she is selling. An owner who cannot answer this question may be selling because the business is already failing.

Contact a DuPage County Business Lawyer

For help with buying a business or for other business law concerns, speak with an experienced Wheaton business law attorney from Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call 630-665-2500 today to schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable team of business law professionals.