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Six Home Buying Red Flags

10 October 2019

When shopping for a new home, it’s easy to get mesmerized by details such as countertops, appliances, and bathtubs.  However, these elements can easily be changed out to the new homeowner’s tastes and have zero impact on the home’s overall well-being.  Glossing over major details can leave homeowners full of regret.  If any of the below issues show up on the inspection report of the home you’re considering buying, proceed with extreme caution.

Foundation Issues: A foundation that’s cracking or crumbling can cost thousands of dollars to fix.  Cracks less than 1/8 inch are rarely cause for concern.  However, noticeable cracks in tandem with sloping floors or windows and doors that stick, frequently signal that there are serious issues that require expensive professional attention.

Evidence of Leaks: Sagging ceilings, bubbly walls, and interior paint discoloration are all confirmation that leaking has been a previous issue.  Not all leaks are detrimental. However, they can still signal that costly repairs such as covered gutter installation or a new roof may be needed in order to permanently remedy the situation. water stained ceiling

Amateur or Outdated Plumbing & Wiring: Floors and walls that require replacement after a burst pipe can come with a hefty price tag.  Shoddy or outdated electrical work can pose a fire hazard.  Beware of exposed wiring and non-grounded outlets.  Low water pressure and strong odors coming from drains also signal that expensive repairs are on the horizon.  It’s worth noting that galvanized plumbing has a shorter lifespan than copper.

Home Renovations Done Without a Permit: If this previous homeowner failed to have a permit pulled when one was needed, the ramifications can be steep.  First, it can be difficult to determine if the work was done up to code.  Even more alarming is that your homeowner’s insurance policy may not be required to cover work if a house fire or burst pipe happens as a result of it.

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Flooding Concerns: Homes near bodies of water or those with a yard lower than their neighbors’ have a higher likelihood of flooding during periods of heavy rain.  This can raise the amount your mortgage loan costs and land you a higher homeowner’s insurance bill.  Should you choose to move, this may be an obstacle in selling your home, as flood zones are easily reviewable online.

Black Mold: Toxic, odorous, and a direct health hazard to all that occupy the home, black mold should be taken seriously.  Homes prone to black mold growth have experienced substantial water damage through roof leaking or flooding.  Often growing on both the walls and floor, the moisture source must be identified, and mitigation needs to take place by a reputable professional.  This process can cause thousands of dollars.

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