Purchasing a new home can be a tiresome process, a process that will normally involve several viewings before making an offer. If you are looking to screen out those properties that might be more trouble than they’re worth, the advice of a good realtor is essential. A good real estate brokerage will, or should, provide an experienced appraiser, with the expertise to identify all the small things that could indicate much larger problems waiting to surprise home buyers – and sometimes long after the sale. Salt Lake City-based real estate firm CityHome Collective says that the first step to avoiding a bad sale is to certainly make sure you have the professionals on your side.
Nevertheless, experience has to start somewhere, and there is no harm in wising up when it comes to identifying the most obvious warning signs that should turn you off. Remember, a house may be well staged (set up to look presentable and attractive for sale) but if certain elements of the house are not up to scratch, all that attractive presentation could end up amounting to much less than expected.
So while the first step to making sure you land the perfect home is to find a good brokerage advertising only reputable properties and giving all the essential information up front, there is nevertheless a handful of tell-tale warning signs that are easy to detect – when you know where to look.
Red Flags at the Property Viewing
Here follows then some of the most alarming red flags that could just indicate that a home is not worth the hassle of the buying process. Or indeed the additional costs that could make for an unpleasant surprise at some point down the line.
As the idiom has it, do not build your house on sand. The foundations of a property are undoubtedly one of the most important things to inspect before even considering buying a home. Problems in the foundations could suggest problems with the entire structural integrity of the property. And even if the problems don’t seem particularly dramatic, they could lead to big expenses down the line. For example, if a property has water damage in its foundations, you could be looking at a bad case of mold. Mold is a health hazard, which has to be dealt with. Remedying the issue could cost you up to $5,000. Foundation problems are key problem to look out for.
One of the most important aspects of a property’s so-called “curb appeal” is the condition of the roof. If a roof even so much as looks shabby, it will put off all but the most naïve of viewers – and for good reason. A roof is an investment and should protect a home for up to thirty years. If it is damaged though, the costs are proportionally high to repair it. You could be looking at around $25,000, in fact.
Faulty wiring is another huge structural problem that costs a lot to fix and will often affect the whole house. Naturally, this is an issue with older homes, with some of those having to be completely rewired in order to accommodate essential modern appliances. This is a problem which, again, involves a fair amount of time and cash to rectify. It is not something you want to be caught out by.
If you find yourself confronted by any of these red flags, it is time to dig a little deeper and enlist the help of a professional. And unfortunately, it might also be time to give up on that house.