Home Buying Tips: Red Flags to Watch Out For Before Buying Your First House
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted markets all over the world and left many wondering how they can handle basic tasks like getting work done. The housing market is no exception. Brokers are only responding to anxious sellers and making open houses by appointment. Others are taking virtual tours online. But despite the market disruption, home loan rates are at their lowest, and most sellers are anxious. Therefore, as a first-time homebuyer, you could find a silver lining.
Buying a home is an involving process that will challenge your patience, pull at your heartstrings, and impact your finances for years to come. Therefore, as a first-time homebuyer, you need to learn the process quickly, which starts by talking to a hero broker to get pre-approved. However, before you can purchase a house, there are some red flags that you should look for.
Potential Foundation/Structural Issues
One of the most expensive repairs in a home involves correcting foundation problems. The foundation is the most important part of any home, and when the foundation house has issues, you may end up paying thousands of dollars to correct the problem. To determine whether the foundation has a problem, you can check the basement. An unfinished basement will easily show whether there are any cracks in the foundation. The presence of large cracks means that there are structural problems with the foundation.
In case the house doesn’t have a basement, you can check the door frames. If you find that the door frames don’t look square or it’s difficult to close the doors, then most likely there is a problem with the structure. To determine whether a home has foundation problems, consider hiring a home inspector to inspect the home.
It’s not uncommon for a seller to prep their home to attract buyers. This may include painting the walls. However, if you find a random patch of paint outside or inside, it could be a red flag. The fresh paint could be an attempt to cover up damage, which could end up costing you more money to fix.
The best way to spot patches is by conducting an inspection when walking through the home. If you notice any inconsistency with the paint, ensure you alert your real estate agent. Your agent will ask the seller’s agent or note it down for inspection. Also, ensure that every room you inspect is well lit, or you can bring a flashlight.
It’s not unusual for homeowners to become immune to foul odor. However, while foul odor is a common red flag, pleasant odors can also be a red flag. If you find a home with air fresheners or a candlelit in every room, it could be possible that the seller is attempting to mask foul odor. Although this may not always be the case, it’s important that you be aware of it when inspecting homes. If you also find windows open during the winter season, it could also be a red flag. In case any of these scenarios arise, ensure that you find out more from the seller or talk to your realtor.
Signs of Poor Property Maintenance
When you walk through a home, always look for signs that the homeowner might have neglected routine maintenance. Some of the signs of deferred home maintenance are long grass, burned-out light bulbs, faded paint, and leaky faucets. A neglected home could cost you more down the road.
Any diligent homeowner will flush the water heater at least once every year, clean the chimney, change air filters, caulk the windows and doors, and have the roof inspected for leaks. A well-maintained home will have all systems working normally and in good condition. If you note that a home is poorly maintained by just looking at a glance, just think of what the home inspection will reveal.
The presence of mold in a house may signify a water problem. Mold causes serious health problems, especially for young children and people with weak immunity. Although the mold problem isn’t always easy to discover, if the home you’re looking at has a mold problem, you will have to determine whether it’s the right fit or not. In most cases, mold remediation can be completed, but it can be expensive. Just like other red flags, your home inspector will help you determine whether the house has a mold problem.
Bottom line: As a first-time homebuyer, it’s important that you look out for the above red flags. While most of them may not be too obvious, they may be found after a home inspection. Additionally, when buying your first home, it’s important that you know what to look for in order to purchase the best home for you and your loved ones.