An Example of Why You Should Read the Fine Print

Some of us tend to be more detail oriented than others.  It’s just the way we’re wired, it seems.

Furthermore, sometimes we can be detailed with certain things, and not with others.  For me, it tends to be with things I really like, where I’m particularly detail oriented.  Or, with things that really matter or can be an all or nothing proposition where a mistake could really be costly.

I’m sure we have each made our own share of mistakes, I’m no different.  That being said, there are some mistakes that we just don’t want to make, for a variety of reasons.  A couple I know recently made such a mistake.

Now, first off, these are people I like and respect.  Nice people, and bright too.  You can’t help but like them, if you know them.

Those positive characteristics are what made it kind of hard to imagine that they found themselves in a position where they had to look for a home in short order.  Basically, they had previously sold a home and were living in a nice apartment for the short-term while looking for looking for a home to buy in the community they wanted to move to.  That’s not the issue, as that part of moving into the apartment was obviously planned.

What was not planned, it seemed, was the move out.  I didn’t get all the details from the her, but the wife of this couple told me that they were to be moving within a week (this was a few weeks back).  I was surprised, and asked something along the lines of why so soon.  It came out of nowhere, it seemed, though it had probably been a month or so since I last saw them.

Apparently, there was some sort of “mixup” with the apartment lease, where an extension wasn’t signed in time.  Lo and behold, the apartment’s management then leased out the space to an other tenant, to take residency before too long. 

You get the idea: they were soon to have no place to live!

Now, as I mentioned before, they were house hunting anyway while living in the apartment.  So it wasn’t like they were in dire straits in the big picture.  However, how can you buy a place and make a long-term commitment as a homeowner when you have to time to even make a purchase? It takes time to close on a home.

The next step for them was to scramble to find another place, which they did by finding a home to rent.  That of course means that they would have to move again when they find the home they want.  Those costs would have to add up, not to mention the inconvenience factor.

I feel for them, though I of course don’t know all the details of how this happened.  My real takeaway, however, is that this serves as another reminder that we should always pay attention to the details and read the fine print!


  1. says

    I totally agree with you. Reading the fine print on any pertinent document will save one a lot of problems and headaches in the future. So yes, one should take their time and comb through the details with a toothcomb before they append their signatures to anything.
    At the end of the day, you are better off safe than sorry.

  2. says

    That’s a very unfortunate experience for those two. Just scanning a contract or any piece of paper that you’ll be writing your name and signatures on wouldn’t really do the trick, reading it word by word would.

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