Caveat Emptor Let the Buyer Beware
By Bernadette A. Moyer
We seem to be living in a time where there is no margin for error. Failure used to be the pathway to success; if you failed at least you were trying. Today we leave little or no room for error. We want guarantees that the purchase or the acquisition will be a good one and that it will be a success.
But the reality is that we never know what we have purchased or what we have gotten ourselves into until we are on the inside.
Years ago, when you purchased a home, it was “caveat emptor” let the buyer beware but today we want to hold the seller responsible for what they knew or what they should have known. I imagine when I purchase a honeydew melon or a cantaloupe that it will be good once I cut inside it. However, I am also aware that I won’t really know what is inside that melon until I actually do cut it open.
Buying a home can be risky business; you really don’t know what goes on in a house until you live in it. Even new home construction does not guarantee that the house will be problem free. You can purchase all the certificates and inspections money will buy and even that does not guarantee or keep you risk free.
Several years ago I purchased a new home and part of the inspection was a standard termite inspection. Inspection was completed and clean, came out with no problems. Imagine my upset when just before moving into this home, I had the carpeting taken up only to reveal that the hardwood floors had been eaten away by termites. There were 4-rows of hardwood flooring that were gone. Termite damage! When I called the inspection company, their response, “we only guarantee accessible areas.” The whole house had hardwood floors and 80% of it was carpeted. Therefore 80% was not “accessible.” What value or guarantee did that termite inspection certificate really hold?
Relationships can be the same way, you never really know what you are getting until you peel back the layers and can see inside. Recently I was chatting with two young girls who are just 20 years old. They went to school together from elementary school and forward, they vacationed together. Their families were close. They were really good girlfriends. Then they had a falling out when a third friend entered their circle. Later and for a short time all three girls lived together. During that time, it was discovered that the third friend was the catalyst between the first two friends and their many years of feuds.
It took getting them all together, in a living together environment, before they could uncover the root of the problem. Once discovered they sent the third girlfriend on her way. It turned out she was pitting both sides against one another for her own gain. The third friend had no boundaries and betrayed one of the friends before it all came out into the open.
Sometimes we think we have purchased one thing or acquired a new relationship only to uncover it wasn’t what we thought it would be. Let the buyer beware or “caveat emptor” is principle in commerce: without a warranty the buyer takes the risk.
Every day we make purchases or we go places and it is a leap of faith, we trust that what we have purchased or where we are scheduled to go will be a good thing. We do our best to pick that perfect melon. We want one that is ripe but not overly ripe. We want to know that it will taste good. The truth is we have no guarantee that it will be what we are looking for until we can open it up and get inside it.
The same can be said for raising our children, we invest heavily in them, and we hope and pray for the best results. But the bottom line is there is no guarantee, same for our friends and our spouses. We do our best to uncover what we are getting, is this good, is this right and we do our due diligence. In the end there is no real way to know.
So let the buyer beware, “caveat emptor” and uncover what you can, learn all that you can and in the end you have to lean on a certain amount of faith. Because no matter what knowledge you obtain, whatever you uncover, or didn’t uncover, it’s called life. And life doesn’t come with a guarantee, but it does comes with a certain amount of faith!