Buyer’s Tips – Things to Look Out For When Viewing Properties For Sale

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BY CLAIRE K. BAJO RS – I just showed a foreclosure property on the “green side” of Waimea, and I noticed a bunch of building “red flags” that made me question the integrity of the property for the price.



From the curb, I noticed that the garage was converted into a studio, which brings up my first question; does this property have all of its permits completed? I also checked the tax records to see if the square footage matched the square footage that is being offered for sale. The roof looked weathered and there were a few vinyl panels that were bent with growth coming out of them at the bottom of the chimney.

This property is currently priced at the bottom of the market, so I automatically looked at the property to see if it needed a professional home inspector to check out the physical detail of the structure. This one definitely looks like a home inspector would be optimum to disclose every possible thing you may not be able to see, and to make sure you are buying a property with minimal effort for a high return in value.


The landscape overgrowth on one side of the property showed me that this property would need a landscape clean-up job ordered. This buyer is an older lady who would not be able to tame the jungle next door by herself.

With the amount of rainfall in this area of Waimea, it’s best to hire a landscaper who has the right tools for the job, so they know how best to handle the clean up and hauling of green waste. Many of these foreclosures have neglected landscaping, so it’s best to calculate and project any improvement amounts when you are first looking at the home.


As we were walking through the house, another red flag was this false ceiling in the laundry room. Once I saw this, I knew there would be some permit issues. A county building inspector would probably have something to say about this, as they must sign off to close the permit.

This had me questioning every nook and cranny of the house after this as I walked out of this laundry room to see the back lawn…I was following my client.


On the green side of Waimea, make sure you have a lawn mower, or a sheep to keep the lawn down. My client was telling me that they used to pass a sheep around the neighborhood to eat the grass and keep the lawns trimmed, and I was telling her about the rent-a-cow that some people would borrow to assist with agricultural dedication and zoning.


Anyway, as we came back in, I got to take a better look at the potential un-permitted items that I saw, and I ended up seeing this unfinished outdoor electrical outlet. It looks like they extended and enclosed this area, but didn’t finish it. Because of items like these, a lender will probably not be able to lend, so anyone would have to buy this property in cash.


Claire K. Bajo, RS wrote this for