The Red Flags Your Home Search Can’t Afford to Miss
Most homebuyers understand that finding the right home requires a willingness to make some compromises. Minor problems can be fixed, and wishlist improvements can be planned for the future.
However, some issues may not be worth overlooking, even when the price, location or curb appeal seem perfect. Before you commit to a fixer-upper, or celebrate finding an incredible deal, watch out for these red flags to make sure you’re not stepping into a disaster.
Outside of buying a newly-constructed home, you’ll likely come across some needed repairs or improvements in any home you’re considering. While a professional inspection will uncover major issues, there are some red flags even a novice eye can spot. Unless you’re interested in embracing a substantial renovation, extensive repairs may warrant moving on despite the property’s positives.
Visible water damage may be an easy fix, or it could be the first sign of bigger problems. Addressing a particular leak could be a short term solution that only lasts until a new one appears. Similarly, an ongoing moisture problem might have led to a mold problem inside the home that isn’t as obvious.
Exposed wiring, light switches that don’t work, multiple breaker boxes in close proximity, or other evidence of DIY electrical projects could put your safety at risk. While a seller will likely need to address these issues for any buyer, there’s a good chance other unprofessional upgrades are hiding throughout the home.
While small cracks above windows or doors are usually signs of normal settling, jagged or diagonal cracks in other areas might be a warning you shouldn’t ignore. If you spot these in the home, take the time to give the exterior a thorough examination to look for significant cracks or shifting in the foundation before deciding to move forward.
The role of location in real estate is well established for a good reason. There’s little you can do about it after buying a home. Before committing to a home, consider the neighborhood and adjacent properties carefully. A house on a busy road or next to a commercial business may seem reasonable until you add a small child or unexpected sights and sounds to the equation. Driving an unfamiliar area in the evenings or on weekends, or during rush hour, could also reveal challenges you prefer to avoid.
Work with your realtor or use online listing history to discover if a property you’re interested in has a checkered past worthy of hesitation. A home that has been under contract but not failed to close one or more times may indicate a problem on the horizon. A property that has sold multiple times in a short period could require due diligence before you become the next owner looking to get out.
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