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Red Flags - What to Look for When Buying a House

When buying a home, it is not uncommon that a buyer is overwhelmed with many different feelings, emotions, and thoughts. This can lead to the possibility of not seeing some very important things while house hunting. There are certain things that every buyer should be looking for when viewing potential properties. Items such as the ages of the roof, water heater, and furnace are just a few of the top things to look for when buying a home.

 1. Potential Foundation/Structural Problems 

One of the most expensive repairs to a house is correcting foundation problems. The foundation of a home is arguably the most important part of a home. There are two ways you can personally check the foundation of a possible new home. The first is checking the house’s unfinished basement (if there is one). Minor cracking in the foundation may be a sign of settling in the home. However, large cracks can be a sign of structural problems with the foundation.
If the home doesn’t have an unfinished basement, another way to tell if a home is possibly experiencing structural problems is by looking at the door frames throughout the home. If the door frames seem not to be square or the doors seem to have difficulty closing, it’s possible there could be some problems with the structure of the home.

2. Pest and Insect Problem 

Depending on the area of the home, there are certain pests and insects that buyers need to be on the lookout. A severe pest problem should raise a red flag. The most common pets that should raise red flags include termites, powder post beetles, and carpenter ants. In most cases, the cost of a pest inspection is fairly inexpensive and absolutely worth it since a pest or insect problem can cost a significant amount of money to correct. 

3. Random Areas of Fresh Paint

One of the best ways to prepare a home on the market for sale is freshly painting. It is also one of the biggest recommendations that Realtors will give to homeowners before listing their home for sale.
When looking at homes, a room with only one wall or small portions of the ceiling that has been freshly painted should be a red flag. Why would a seller only paint a small part of the ceiling? It’s possible the seller is trying to cover up a problem, which should be a cause for concern.

4. Amateur DIY Repairs

Some homeowners who are extremely capable of doing quality work around their home, which is usually not the case. However, it does not stop homeowners from attempting Do-It-Yourself projects around their homes. Amateur artistry is one red flag that buyers need to be on the lookout for when viewing properties.
Some of the most common amateur repairs include plumbing, carpentry, and electoral work. Keep an eye out for leaky faucets, toilets, missing trim work, and other DIY projects.

5. Odors/Mold

It’s not uncommon that a homeowner becomes immune to a foul odor. Foul odors are one of the easiest ways that a seller can kill a home sale and another red flag when looking at possible homes.

If you see a plugin air freshener in every outlet or a lit candle in every room, it may be possible the homeowner is attempting to cover up a foul odor. While this isn’t always the case, it is something that buyers should be aware of. Find out more from the homeowner or realtor!
Similar to foul odors, mold problems are red flags when buying a home. Mold can lead to major health problems, especially for young children. Although it can be costly, mold remediation should be completed on a home to determine whether a home has mold or not.
Look out for these red flags as they can make or break which home you decide to buy!

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