Buying your first home or any home for that matter is a pretty big deal. Your home is not just a place you live, it could also be your most valuable asset. As such, you should take extra caution when buying your first home.
When buying a home, you should keep a cool head throughout the entire process, especially if you’re buying your home as a prime asset. Otherwise, cumulative maintenance and repair issues could reduce the value of your asset and your bank account.
If you’re looking to buy a home, there are some home buying beware. No matter how new a house is, these signs will guarantee a lot of expensive repairs over the years.
In this piece, we’ll look at ten crucial red flags you should look out for when buying a home.
Home Buying Beware: Red Flags When Buying a Home
Before buying your home, try to put yourself on the seller’s shoe. It is the home seller’s goal to make the house look appealing without overspending. Unfortunately, this penny pinching might mean cutting a few corners.
However, it’s not very easy to pinpoint where the seller has cut corners, especially for first-time buyers. This is because it isn’t very expensive to cover up any flaws in a home.
Once you know a couple of these home sellers’ tricks, you’re good to acquire your home.
Also, you should consider hiring a professional home inspector if you’re not too confident about the home you’re about to purchase.
Here are ten telltale signs you should be wary of when buying a home
1. Bouncy or Uneven Flooring
The first thing you should look at when you enter the home should be the floor. The furnishings and décor can come after checking the floor.
This is because repairing even minor deflection may cost you from $300 to $10,000 depending on the size of the room and the floor type.
A sure way to find out if there are any deflections is the marble test. All you need to carry out this test is a tiny marble. Place the marble at random places on the floor.
If the marble keeps rolling, then the floor has deflections. The marble test is especially useful for older houses. House settlement may create a small depression in the middle of the floor.
Alternatively, you could use a spirit level to check for deflections, if you can get one.
You may have to remove the entire floor, to repair this deflection. In such cases, you may also have to adjust the columns. Let’s not even start on finding a new matching floor.
2. Check the History of Home Ownership
You don’t want a home with a lot of different owners in the past decade or so. Remember, there’s a reason why everyone keeps leaving the house after such a short time. Many owners over a short period is a sure red flag.
As a rule of thumb, the last two homeowners should have stayed at least three to four years each. In 2018, the median number of years homeowners stayed in a home was about 13 years. So anything below four years is a cause of alarm.
3. Fresheners in Every Room
There’s no bad thing about a nice-smelling home. However, when you’re choking because of the amount of air freshener in every room, then something’s up.
The seller might be trying to conceal something stinky. So try your best to pick up any foul smell during your home inspection. If you smell something off, then you might want to reconsider purchasing the home.
4. Don’t Ignore the Exterior
Cracks or tilts on the exterior is an overt warning sign. You don’t even need to keep your eyes peeled out for this one. Large cracks on the wall and exterior is a sure deal-breaker.
These cracks could spell out an underlying foundation issue that could cost you a fortune to address.
5. Water Damage Hidden By Paint
Ensure you check under the sink, drawers, bathtubs, and toilet for signs of water damage. Some sellers may conceal this water damage with paint. Look for any out-of-place paint patches.
Water damage concealed with paint may lead to the growth of black mold. Black mold is a serious health hazard to all home occupants.
6. Loud Music in All Rooms
The seller may try concealing some disturbing noise with music. It may be some rattling or a leaking faucet. This noise may certainly be evidence of bigger issues with the home.
Have the seller turn off the AC and any music for a while. Then you can listen for any weird noises. Any unfamiliar noises are home buying beware.
7. The Roof
A good roof could last more than 20 years. A badly installed roof lasting even five years is a long-shot. Check for the quality of shingles or tile. If you don’t, you may have to replace the roof sooner than you think.
The roof condition is among the things you have a right to know about from the home seller.
8. Seller Convincing You to Skip House Inspection
You should never under any circumstances, skip the house inspection. If the seller tries to convince you otherwise, then it’s a sure home buying beware.
The seller may be trying to hide something. When the seller convinces you to skip the inspection, get a professional home inspector to inspect the home for you.
9. The Flood Zone
Your beautiful house next to the river, lake or beach could be susceptible to flooding. You should especially be careful when you’re buying a home in flood-prone areas.
You can tell whether the house is in a flood zone by checking with FEMA. If you’re convinced, the seller isn’t telling the truth.
10. Whether It Can Be Upgraded
You might be planning to upgrade the home after a couple of years. However, this might not be possible for that particular house. You should also consider whether it is possible to upgrade the home in question.
Only a house inspector, engineer or any other structures professional can conclusively establish whether a house is upgradeable
Be Thorough With Your Inspection
When buying a home, looks can be deceiving. However, with these ten home buying beware signs, you can confidently purchase your new home.
When you’re in doubt, you can always get the services of a licensed home inspector and make a sure purchase. Contact us today to schedule a professional home inspection the next time you want to buy a house.