Shopping for a home is an exciting time, but don't look at homes for sale with blinders on. You should be wary and ask a lot of questions about each home you look at. It may be your forever home, so it's important to look at everything. There are a number of things you should watch out for that could potentially be costly to you later down the road to either repair or replace. See below for a list of things that could be red flags.
1. Foundation Issues
Noticeable cracks or crumbling of the foundation is a big red flag. Repairing the foundation can be quite expensive, as it isn't exactly a DIY project. Even if you don't see cracks, other signs of foundation issues include sinking or unevenness of the foundation, uneven door frames, or hard-to-close doors. To be sure there is this type of issue, you can contact a structural engineer for an inspection.
2. Pest Or Insect Infestation
Pests or insects are not something you want to inherit with your new home. Look for signs of an infestation around the house such as droppings or holes, or have the home inspected by an insect or pest control expert. A home riddled with termites can cause quite a bit of damage, so it's best to find out before you purchase a home if there is this type of problem.
Any odor when buying a home can be a bad sign. If the house smells like sewage, it could be an issue with the septic system, or there could be a potential backup in the drains somewhere.
4. Fresh Paint Patches
It isn't uncommon for a homeowner to paint prior to selling their home, but if there are only small areas that have been freshly painted, it could be a sign that they are trying to cover something up—such as mold or mildew, as both can seep through paint. If the entire room was freshly painted, that isn't really too much cause for concern, but be watchful of small patches.
Stained carpeting can be replaced, although depending on the stain and what caused it, the sub-floor could also be damaged. Wall or ceiling stains can be a problem caused by water damage, which could also mean mold may be in the home.
Any mold present in the home could be hazardous to your health, especially those that have breathing problems already. Cleaning up mold is a big job and can be extremely costly. It needs to be done properly in order to prevent the mold from reappearing.
7. Yard Drainage Problems
Issues with poor grading or yard drainage issues can mean a problem with flooding of not just your yard, but also your basement or main floor. If the yard of the home you are looking at has a yard that seems a little too muddy, or has a pond a little too close to the house, it could be due to poor drainage.
Before buying a home, you should always have the house inspected by a professional home inspector. Ask your real estate agent to recommend one to you if need be. If you have any reservations or notice any of the problems above, it may be in your best interest to continue with your home search.