10 Red Flags To Watch For When Buying A Home

Dated: 05/31/2018

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10 Red Flags To Watch For When Buying A Home

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Are you in the market for a new house? If so, you’ll want to take steps to protect yourself while you shop. Sometimes a home looks great at first glance but comes with problems that might not be apparent unless you know what to look for… or until you’ve already moved in.

We’re going familiarize you with some common red flags that can let you know a deal might not be as promising as it seems. Use these to avoid bad deals during your house hunt and increase your odds of eventually purchasing a home you’ll love.

10 Warning Signs for House Hunters

The following list covers everything from the foundation of your potential new home to the smells you might encounter inside. While some of these issues may seem negligible at first, remember that you’ll have to live with them if you buy the place. Take heed—and take pains to avoid homes that come with any of these problems:

1. Structural Problems

The foundation upon which your house rests must be strong and stable if you want to prevent costly structural problems from manifesting once you take ownership of the home. The best way to make sure the house you want is free from such problems is to hire a home inspector or structural engineer to conduct a thorough inspection of the property.

2. Insect or Pest Infestations

You probably don’t want to live with bugs, mice, or other animals besides your beloved pets. However, you might not think there’s a problem if you only see an insect or two during your walk-through. Be advised that infestations are not always obvious—and that for every single pest you see, there are probably tens or even hundreds that you don’t. A pest inspection is your best prevention against buying a home that comes with lots of awful creepy-crawlies.

3. Fresh Paint… in Random Spots

Fresh paint is good, isn’t it? Not when it’s only been applied to certain spots. This is usually the sign of someone trying to cover up damageor a blemish of some kind, and should always be taken as a sign that something is wrong.

4. Haphazard Repairs and Other Workmanship

People have a tendency to assume that recent work on a home is always positive, but remember: the current owners are trying to spend as little as possible in the course of selling the property. As such, they may have chosen a budget contractor who cuts corners in their work. If you see new repairs on a property you’re thinking about buying, have them inspected.

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5. Strong Smells (of Any Kind)

Unpleasant odors are an obvious red flag, but did you know that even nice smells can be cause for concern? Air fresheners can be used to cover up other smells that might not be so pleasant, instead of dealing with the problems that cause them in the first place. If the home smells too nice, watch out.

6. A Run-Down Neighbourhood

The value of any home you buy is going to hinge on much more than just the condition of the property itself. It will also be affected by the condition of the neighbourhood in which it is located. Research the area around any new home before you make any commitments—and take a look around to see what state the buildings near yours are in.

7. Stains

Stains are often much more than simple surface problems. They could indicate a plumbing leak or another more serious problem that might cost thousands to fix. If you see any stains during a walk-through, make sure you find out exactly what caused them. Don’t assume they’re just isolated issues.

8. Unreliable Electrical Systems

Test the electrical systems when you walk through a house. One faulty light bulb might not be cause for concern, but if multiple lights fail to operate properly there could be a deeper problem with the wiring in the home.

9. Bad Drainage

Pooling water, overflowing gutters and water stains on walls may indicate that a home has poor drainage. This can eventually weaken the foundation of a home, so make sure not to take this problem lightly.

10. Mold

Do we really need to explain this one? Mold is bad—end of story. It can cause health hazards, it often smells terrible, and it can cause damage that is extremely expensive to fix. Don’t buy a moldy house. Just don’t do it. Don’t.

Follow the steps above and you should be able to avoid buying a house that comes with trouble. Use this guide to steer clear of bad deals so that you can ultimately buy the home of your dreams.

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Irene Medina PA CRS GRI CDPE GREEN

IRENE MEDINA "Standing by YOU Every Step of the Way!" A Passion for Education and Sustainable Living Irene's passion for education and sustainable living are what make her stand out from the ....

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