Looking to buy a house? That’s great! But, there are some red flags you should look at for.
Whether this is your first home buy or thirtieth, there are a handful of important things to keep in mind when looking at the houses you’re thinking of purchasing. Here are a couple big no-no’s when it comes to home buying.
1. Indications of Structural Issues
One of the worst things that could happen after you buy a home is you get told there is a problem with the structure of the house. This would mean having to spend tens of thousands of dollars repairing it. Instead, before you buy it, check to see if there are big cracks in the driveway, or notice how easily the doors and windows in the basement open up. These can be big indicators of a weak structure.
2. When Was the House Built?
Don’t get us wrong, old houses are beautiful. However if a house you’re interested in was built in the late 60s or early 70s, ask the seller what the wiring is made out of. If they say aluminum, that can be a red flag because aluminum wiring is dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated that homes with aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to have a connection become a major fire hazard than homes with copper wiring, even though they are wired the same.
3. How Does the House Smell?
There’s always a scent that reminds you of home. However if you get to a house you want to buy and the outside smells a little weird, perhaps that’s a red flag. Or if you walk inside and are hit with a smell that is a little too natural, like mold, then that house is not for you.
4. How Well Maintained Is the House?
If the house has a lot of postponed maintenance, or the maintenance was done by someone watching a YouTube video, then perhaps that house has some problems you don’t want to deal with. This can be a sign of the home always needing something to be fixed, which can become very expensive very quickly.
5. The Roof
You might say, “of course the roof is a red flag when home buying”, but we still want to emphasize it. If a roof looks more worn down then those jeans you refuse to get rid of because they “add character to your outfit”, then there is a big red flag waving in front of you.
6. Fogged Windows
If the home you are looking into has a lot of fogged windows, then that is a sign of a broken seal on the window. Although this is not a big deal in it of itself, it could be a sign of other issues with the house that can not be seen as easily.
7. Poor Workmanship
Usually if someone remodels their home and then sells it, it is easy to see where the old home ends and the new one begins. Ask the seller to see the building permits for the remodel, or any work done on the house. If they can’t produce any, then that could be a red flag on the house. If they can, look into the company and see that they have a good record and are legitimate.
BONUS RED FLAG: Stained Ceilings
If you notice stains on the ceilings, be extremely wary of purchasing that home. Stained ceilings usually indicate potential leaks, which can be expensive to repair. Leaks like that are usually a sign of a bad roof, leaking pipes or in rare cases dead rodents in the attic.
Of course these are just a handful of things to keep front of mind when looking at potential homes to buy. Always ask for a Seller’s Property Disclosure, as this will tell you a lot that you need to know about the home. Also take a look at the number of homes for sale in a neighborhood. If there are a lot of homes for sale in a new area, then it’s possible you won’t have any neighbors for a while. If it’s an old neighborhood and a lot of homes are for sale, then it could be a sign of a mass exodus from there. Always remember to not rush the process and do thorough research as it will save you long-term.