5 Red Flags To Look For When Buying A Home

Dated: 11/10/2015

Views: 543


Are you in the market to buy a house? Do you feel overwhelmed, swamped with feelings and emotions, and plagued with second thoughts? Don’t fret! What you’re experiencing is perfectly normal, especially for the first time home buyer. The trick is to stop these feelings and moments of panic from masking a serious red flag with the property you’re looking to purchase.


As a homebuyer, you should be on the lookout for potential red flags while viewing homes. In fact, there are five red flags to look for when buying a home that you should always look for.


#1: Structural Issues


We’ve all heard the horror story about buying a home that turned into a money pit. Avoiding this disaster is extra important for a first time home buyer, who is often working with a limited budget and won’t be in a position to make major repairs for a few years. Potential foundation or structure problems are a nightmare and a top red flag to spot.


Arguably, a home’s foundation and its structure are the most important part of a home. Structural issues or a problematic foundation can lead to thousands of dollars in corrective repairs, and even then the problems may prove too dramatic to fix.


When viewing a home, always be aware of its foundation. Unfinished basements make it relatively easy to spot cracks, settling, and signs of structural problems. A finished basement makes it much harder. Always subject a property you would like to purchase to an in-depth home inspection for both visible and not so visible problems.


#2: Pest or Rodent Problems


A pest or rodent problem can be the byproduct of a home that’s been unlived in for a long time or the property’s location. Severe pest problems should always raise a red flag because even after extermination, the problem may resurge, costing thousands to remedy.


Termites, powder post beetles, and carpenter ants are three major pests that should send you packing for the next opportunity. No matter what property you are considering purchasing, invest in a pest inspection to avoid any unwanted bug or rodent residents.


#3: Random Fresh Paint


Everyone knows a fresh coat of paint is one of the most inexpensive and valuable upgrades anyone can make to a home. But when it comes to buying a home, random fresh paint should raise suspicion.


While painting a room can increase appeal, it’s also a way to hide problem areas. For example, a freshly painted ceiling could be hiding stains from a leaking roof. Rooms where one wall or a small portion of the wall is freshly painted could indicate an issue in these covered up areas. Ask yourself, why would a seller only paint a small portion of the ceiling or a single wall in a room?


#4: Odd Odors


It’s not uncommon for homeowners with pets to develop nose blindness. A foul smell is one of the quickest ways to kill a sale, and when looking to purchase a home, the presence of unpleasant or foul orders could be a red flag.


The question in need of asking is why is that odor (whatever it may be) present? Is it the funky combination of air fresheners trying to cover up an underlying stench? Does it indicate a carpet in dire need of replacement? Could it be the result of pet or weather damage in need of attention?


If you attend a viewing and the home’s windows are open, this should again raise a red flag. In most cases, opening the windows isn’t necessary unless the buyer wants to test them. Why were they opened before your arrival? Was it to air out an unpleasant smell?


#5: Poor Neighborhood Conditions


When buying a home, you are not simply purchasing the home and the lot it sits on; you are also buying the neighborhood. One of the major red flags to watch for is a neighborhood with overall poor conditions.


If the neighborhood is run down, lacking amenities, or has a high number of vacancies, you need to ask why. Choosing the right neighborhood is just as important as choosing the right home. Most buyers don’t stop to think about how the surrounding neighborhood will impact the property they are eyeing. You should be investing in a growing neighborhood, not one that is on the decline.


Buying a home is a major life event. It requires forethought, preparation, and smart decision making. As you look to buy your home, watch for these five red flags. They could be the difference between a great investment and the worst buying move you ever make.

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Mario Powell

As a licensed real estate agent in Virginia, Mario provides Strategic Marketing and Transaction Management services to his clients that is built on Dedication, Communication, Determination, & Trust.....

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