In today's still recovering economy, people are all for making most of their every penny. This is especially true among couples on a property hunt. So when a great bargain presents itself, it is going to be tough to resist.
But great bargains always have a catch, and as the old adage goes, "you get what you pay for." A Buffalo, New York couple learned that lesson the hard way when they moved into their cheap apartment along Seneca Street.
It was every new home owner or apartment renter's nightmare. The apartment, decrepit and devoid of utilities, electricity, gas and water, was impossible to live in.
Unfortunately, Matt Henry and Mariah Tyner, the couple who was promised a newly renovated apartment during their viewing tour, did not have a choice when they showed up at the property with their personal effects.
"It looked like it had already been slowly in the process of being renovated and fixed up, and what not. When we moved in on June 1, it was the exact same way as when we came in and viewed the property," Henry told WIVB News 4.
The bigger problem, however, is that the landlord is nowhere near and cannot be reached. Apparently, he lives in Kuwait.
Common Council member Richard Fontana said that he had already posted a notice in front of the house that it was not suitable for living. In fact, the structure is on the city's demolition list. Despite this, the apartment is still being marketed on Craigslist.
"This is a property that is derelict. It has been a problem for years. Somebody bought it, put a little lipstick on it, and tried to rent it out, and it is really just ripping people off," Fontana said.
According to Fontana, out-of-town investors are "turning into a big problem in Buffalo."
"There is no property registration for it, no landlord licensing for that property. So it is really not legal to be in that property, living in that property at this point," he told WIVB News 4.
Unfortunately, city officials have no power over these investors even if they try. "Fines and penalties often go uncollected," the report said.
Home owners and renters can prevent similar situations by taking extra precaution during their home or apartment search.
First, they can stop searching on unreliable web site, especially those known for shady transactions, and second, they should make sure that the agent they are dealing with is trustworthy enough and credible to fulfill their needs.
Buyers should make sure that the agent provides them with pictures of the property in its current state before they actually decide to view it.
Real estate agents that advertise on trusted online real estate platforms like Nestbuilder.com are the real deal. With just one look at an agent page or property listing on the site, customers will know that they have arrived at the right place to conduct their home search endeavor.
Nestbuilder.com is developed by disruptive technology provider RealBiz Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: RBIZ) and host listings that show virtual tours of properties. The portal is also home to thousands of agent profiles and branded pages that have social media integration features and a contact form where home buyers can leave agents a direct message.
Since being set up this year, the web site's roster of video listings has grown to 1.6 million. Over 350,000 agents have also signed up for an account on the site, reflecting its huge marketing potential for agents and brokers.