Common Red Flags Home Buyers Should Watch Out For When Looking for a Home


Important Red Flags for BuyersAt the end of the day it is the buyer's decision to close on the home. Some issues may help buyers negotiate on the price and get concessions. However, some potential buyers would rather not deal with pre-existing problems in a home. What issues should be considered as potential red flags for buyers?

Use the following suggestions when getting ready to do a walk through and before closing on a home.

Check Out the Neighborhood

A home may be a great deal. However, one cannot separate the property from the community in which it sits in. A gorgeous home at a great price can be among other homes on the block that have been listed for sale or are in various states of disrepair. Investigate the economic health of the area and check out school ratings if looking into sending one or more children to that school district. Drive through the area at different times of the day to get a better idea or the area, the type of traffic to expect and potential issues. Speak with neighbors to find out more about a neighborhood, such as Kimball Junction, before investing in such a property.

Foundation Problems

Foundation issues can be an expensive repair. While some cracks are signs of normal settlement, other damage can require stabilization of the foundation or a new foundation altogether. Be on the lookout for cracks or bulges in the foundation that are larger than one-third of an inch. Anyone interested in buying a home should keep an eye out for cracks in the walls of a home and the state of the foundation itself before making an offer on a home.

Unusual Smells

Buyers should be able to walk through a home without encountering bad smells. Homeowners may try to mask smells with scented sprays or candles, but be aware that strong musky odors may be indicative of mold or pest problems. A home inspection often uncovers evidence of such issues, but homeowners should note any strong or unusual smells and keep an eye out for signs of mold or damage that may be related to the problem.

Amateur Additions and Renovations

It may have been a nice thought, but homeowners who have attempted to DIY may not have gone through the process of getting necessary permits and approvals for larger projects that may change the structure of a home or the wiring. This can be a problem for buyers. In many cases, such work needs to be performed to certain codes.

It can be expensive and time-consuming to retroactively get permits, and new owners may have to have the work removed from a property. Buyers should feel free to ask a seller whether or not any renovations or upgrades have been done on a home that may have required a permit. Some sellers may not be aware that a permit is necessary for certain types of renovations or additions.

Home Inspection

In some markets, potential buyers may want to forgo a home inspection. However, home inspections are generally strongly recommended. If issues arise, buyers have the ability to negotiate with sellers. The contingency of a satisfactory home inspection should be added to any offer on a home. An inspection should give a fair overview of issues in a home. Understand how much money can be set aside to fix necessary issues and the amount of time and effort that may be necessary to address larger problems. Those items that cannot be fixed easily may impact the resale value of a home.

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