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'I Remember Asking, "What Is Different Here?"'

It's Rookie Roosts Week 2012, and we're rolling out stories from first-time buyers whose housing hunts didn't go quite as they expected. At 1:30 p.m. the polls will open, and you'll get to vote for the story that's most horrific. That story will go on to compete on Curbed National with other regional winners for a chance to win a $2,500 home store gift cardstandard contests rules apply). More than anything, though, let these stories be a lesson to you would-be first-time buyers out there. Our first entry from a Hub resident who first bought one state over

A couple years ago I was looking for my first home in Providence, R.I. I looked at dozens and dozens of properties. I focused on multifamilies. I figured that this would be an excellent way to help cover my bills on the property and then invest in my future.

I finally found one a two-family for $160,000. After weeks and weeks of negotiations with the lender (it was a short sale) my offer was finally accepted. I did all my homework and this seemed to be a good buy (all the comps were higher, I had three different people go through to inspect it, lawyer did all her due diligence). Then came the day of the closing. The property had been on lockbox throughout this whole process so I would randomly walk through it. I said to myself "I don't need to do another walk-through because I have been through the home multiple times already. It is fine."

So the morning of the closing I did not do a final walk-through and instead went to my attorney's office to sign all the paperwork. Afterward, I headed down to Providence to check out my first home. Later that day I walked down to the basement. I realized that something did not look right. I remember asking, "what is different here?" Then I realized that someone had broken in through the wooden bulkhead and stolen all the copper (this was in thanks to record copper prices). I immediately called my lawyer... no response. "How am I going to get out of this?" I figured I would be stuck with this. I called Gem plumbing and heating. They came over and also informed me that the thieves had also destroyed the furnace, the lining in the chimney, the chimney itself, hot water tanks, among other small things. I remember feeling like I was going to faint. With everything he said it would be north of $10,000.

Here is what saved me... I FINALLY got in touch with my attorney later that day. Her response, "The Registry of Deeds closed early today and I could not make it in time to file your Deed." SAVED! Luckily, the Registry closed early and I was able to back out. I informed the listing agent what happened, got my deposit back, and moved on. It put such a bad taste in my mouth that I still have not bought my first place (maybe it was better off because of what the markets have done since then).

Here is my advice to first-timers... Take your final walk-through seriously! Anything can happen, anything.

· Rookie Roosts Week 2012 [Curbed Boston]