House hunting can be an overwhelming process, with many issues to think about. Before you buy a home, it's important to look for these eight red flags that could signal costly problems with the home.
Whether a homeowner doesn't notice an odor because they've lived there so long, or are purposefully trying to mask it with air fresheners or candles, strange smells can big a big red flag in the home buying process. Odors in a home can be caused by issues such as mold, water damage and mildew, which are a headache to deal with.
Even if you tour a home and there aren't any roaches, mice, or other insects in sight, it's a good idea to book a separate inspection for termites if you're seriously considering the home. Pests and insects aren't something buyers will want to deal with, as they can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to a home.
Fresh paint can both update a room and hide problems such as mold, mildew, and water damage. If you notice that one wall or even part of a wall or ceiling is freshly painted, that can be a red flag because the sellers may be trying to mask a problem.
As one of the most important parts of a home, the foundation is something to be aware of when looking at homes. Because foundation repairs can be so costly, it's a good idea to check for large cracks in a home's basement walls, door frames that aren't square, doors and windows that have trouble opening and closing, and floors that are uneven.
While most homebuyers aren't electricians, doing simple things such as turning turning on lights, checking to make sure outlets work, feeling if faceplates are warm or hot, and checking for flickering lights can all detect possible wiring issues in a home, especially an older one.
If a home is near water, there's always a potential for flooding. Along with that, homes that have poor drainage or grading can be full of problems. If a home isn't properly graded, water can pool in places it shouldn't and lead to expensive repairs. If a home has overflowing gutters, water stains on basement walls, pooled water in the yard, or cracking in the foundation, it could be a red flag for a grading or drainage issue with the home.
Improper ventilation in a home can cause problems such as mold and increased allergies due to the fact that moisture can't escape. Red flags to look for with poor ventilation are peeling or bubbled paint around vents, windows, and doors, and condensation on windows.
Whether you've toured a home and haven't found a single red flag, or you found one and aren't quite sure it could be an issue, we highly recommend having a professional home inspection done before purchasing a home. It may be expensive, but it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
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