You’re probably excited about shopping for a new home, but you can’t let your excitement blind you. As you begin your search, it’s important to internalize a few red flags to make sure you don’t get the wrong house. The following are some red flags you should lookout for so that you know when to skip a potential house.
1. Low Price Compared to Neighborhood Value
Pay attention to the potential neighborhood. See how much the houses in the area cost. Your home should be priced similarly to the rest of the homes.
A little discount is okay, but it shouldn’t be unusually low compared to the rest of the neighborhood. If the deal seems too good to be true, then there could be something wrong with the house. You don’t want to get stuck with a problem house.
2. Moldy Smells
Mold is not something you want to deal with. A house can develop mold smells for various reasons, and none of them are good for you. For example, a house with mold could be hiding water damage you can’t always see.
There could be a leaking water pipe in the house, and that’s going to be costly to not only find but repair. You don’t want to be stuck with that issue. If there’s mold and it hasn’t been properly addressed for a long time, then the water damage could be extensive. There could be rotten areas in the home, maybe even structural damage that could be costly to fix.
3. Insect Infestations
Look for bug wings, carcasses, and trails of bug waste in the house you’re considering. Look in areas where bugs usually are, those dark corners of the house, and maybe near the window. Bugs may be sneaky, and you may not see them when you tour the house, but traces of them can always be found if you pay attention.
Insect infestations are difficult to deal with. Not only will you have to call an exterminator to fix the issue, but bug infestations could also be pointing to other issues like cracks around a home, or there could be water damage somewhere.
4. Fresh Paint
The next red flag you don’t want to encounter is fresh paint. The reason you don’t want to see fresh paint is that this could mean the seller is trying to hide something. Paint is a quick way to hide issues and beautify a home that needs a little fixing.
Paint could be used to hide dents and defects in a house, so beware of fresh paint. Of course, you expect sellers to fix their home as much as possible to make sure the home sells, but most sellers focus on things like a new kitchen.
5. A Large Number of Houses for Sale
Another red flag you don’t want to see is a home in a neighborhood with a large number of houses for sale. In a good community, people are rarely moving out.
People fall in love with the neighbors, the schools, and the overall safety of the community. If you notice a neighborhood can’t retain homeowners, then there could be something wrong with the community. There could be a crime problem, so be sure to check on things like that before deciding on a neighborhood.
6. Puddles of Water in Yard
When you tour a potential house, you don’t want to see puddles of water in the yard. Walk around the yard and make sure it’s not too spongy or wet.
If it rained, you might see some water here and there. If it hasn’t rained in a while, then you should be suspect. Water in the yard could mean there’s a drainage problem that’s going to be costly to fix. The problem could also be your topsoil. Maybe it’s uneven, and if that’s the case, it needs to be evened out a bit.
7. “Sold As-Is”
A house that’s sold as-is may be cheap. You might think the price you see is a good deal and the house may have good bones, but it could become a nightmare. There’s a reason this house is being sold as-is. The owner just wants to get rid of the property and wants to do so in a hurry.
There could be foundation issues. There could be a major mold problem, or there could be a bad roof among other things. If you decide to take a chance on a home like this, be sure to get multiple inspections so that you know what you’re working with.
8. Sold by Owner
If a house is being sold by the owner, you should proceed with caution. The owner could be desperate to sell the house. A realtor knows what needs to get fixed and what you need as a buyer to be happy with your purchase.
If you’re only dealing with the owner, there could be issues he or she will not address. No one is telling the owner what to do. Sometimes, to save on money, the owners may skip the work, and you end up with a house that is less than perfect.
9. Sloping Floors / Structural Issues (Sinking Foundation)
One thing you can see in a home is sloping floors. This usually means there’s structural damage in your house. As you know, one reason this could happen deals with water damage, but that’s not the only reason.
The problem could also be deteriorating wood supports. This needs to be checked out quickly and addressed. The issue is only going to get worse. This isn’t your house, and this isn’t your problem. You can move on to your next choice.
10. No Interior Photos
Some homebuyers buy their homes online. That’s how things are nowadays. It does give you more opportunities since you have the world wide web at your fingertips, but there’s one thing you don’t want to see when shopping online: no interior photos.
A homeowner who knows their house is a good buy is going to take pictures and record videos of their home to make sure you can see everything. A house that’s being sold without interior pictures may be hiding structure damage or a caved-in roof, and that’s just some things that could be wrong with the house.
Now, you know what to avoid if you’re looking to buy a house. These red flags are obvious enough if you know to pay attention to them.