Top 10 Buyer Red Flags To Look For

Buying a residential home is a significant investment that requires careful consideration. There are a number of red flags to watch out for when purchasing a home, which can help you avoid making a costly mistake. Here are the TOP 10 Red Flags to look for and how to address them.

  1. Structural problems: Check for cracks in the foundation, walls, and ceilings. Addressing structural problems can be expensive, so if there is a concern get a foundation inspection with an estimate to fix any issues that are found.

  2. Water damage: Check for water stains on the ceiling and walls, as this could indicate previous leaks or other water damage but could indicate a current problem. Always have a professional inspector check the property out when you get into contract so that you know what you are getting yourself into when purchasing a home.

  3. Poor maintenance: Check the condition of the home's exterior and interior, including plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Hire a professional inspector to evaluate the home's overall condition.

  4. Termites and pests: Look for signs of termites and other pests, such as damaged wood and droppings. A Wood Destroying Insect inspection is not always included in the general inspection so be sure to inquire about the cost and consider having it performed.

  5. Poor drainage: Check for water accumulation around the home, as this can cause foundation problems and other issues. A general rule of thumb regarding landscaping around the foundation is there should be 4-6 inches of exposed foundation and you should see a slope away from the home.

  6. Neighborhood issues: Research the neighborhood for issues such as crime rates, noise pollution, and school quality. Most of these stats are available online but go ahead and take a drive around the community at different times of the day to see for yourself.

  7. Unusual smells: Be wary of unusual odors, such as mold, sewage, or smoke, which could indicate a problem with the home or previous damage of some kind.

  8. Age of the home: Consider the age of the home, as older homes may require more maintenance and repairs. Be sure to inquire with the listing agent about any previous upgrades to the plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof, or foundation.

  9. Structural additions or renovations: Be cautious of structural additions or renovations which could have been completed without proper permits and inspections. When the work is not permitted it is not checked by an inspector upon completion and then you never know what you're getting.

  10. Poor resale value: Consider the home's resale value and potential for appreciation. Research the housing market in the area and consult with a real estate agent to assess the home's value.

In conclusion, purchasing a residential home requires careful consideration and evaluation of potential red flags. Who you choose to support you in the acquisition of a property can drastically affect the outcome. Be sure to hire professional inspectors and contractors to assess any issues and address them before making a purchase.

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