8 Red Flags When Purchasing A Home
Nobody would dispute that it is very easy to be drawn to a house because of upgrades. Granite counter tops, new floors and fresh paint always gives a great impression. However, these nice features can make you overlook some serious problems that might keep you from purchasing the home. Be sure to keep wary eye out for these red flags when purchasing a home!
Lots of For Sale Signs
When you first come to the house, make sure to look around the neighborhood. Are there a lot of for sale signs? Is it right by a busy street or thoroughfare? If there are a lot of signs on the same street for houses that are for sale, it might mean that not many people want to live on that street. Try to find out if there are a lot of rentals in the area. In some cases, renters aren’t a big deal. If the city you live in is very renter-friendly. Big cities like San Francisco and San Jose are examples. If you are in suburban or rural areas, homes that are renter occupied tend to not be well cared for. This can negatively affect property values and the neighborhood.
It’s not uncommon for people or children to leave toys or bikes outside every now and then. However, when you couple that with neighbors that have over grown lawns, or vehicles parked on the lawns, which is a sign that the neighborhood doesn’t partake in proper maintenance. Make sure there are no vehicles that are surrounded by cobwebs or debris. This could all be red flags when purchasing a home. It’s a good chance that the home isn’t the homey place you are looking for.
When you find a home that you are serious about, make sure to take note of all the storage spaces in the home. Be sure to open all of the closets and cupboards and see if your items will fit in there. If it looks like things are packed to the brim, or things fall out when you open the door that’s a sign that there isn’t enough storage space. It’s a good idea to compare the amount of storage you have in your current home and the one you’re purchasing.
Lots of Rugs
It’s always possible that the current owner enjoys rugs, or they might be hiding damaged floors. Be sure to lift up the rugs to take a look at what’s under them. There could be cracked tile, a huge stain or water damage. It’s true these aren’t deal breakers but it’s always good to know what you’re buying.
Repairs are a fact of life when you own a home. Some can be repaired easily by a homeowner, others require professionals. If the home needed repairs from a professional and the seller did it themselves, you might have repairs that weren’t done well. Amateurs can certainly repair holes in walls, or swap out a shower head. But if the seller did electrical work or plumbing work themselves and that’s not their area of expertise that might be some red flags when purchasing a home.
Missing or Damaged Gutters
When you are looking at the outside of the house look to see if it has rain gutters. If it does, follow them to see where they drain, and if there is sufficient drainage. If there isn’t, that could cause water problems to the home. Also check to make sure that there aren’t any plants growing out of the gutters. Some gutters are so neglected there is a whole ecosystem growing in them. Be sure that they are properly cleaned and lead water away from the home.
Really Good or Really Bad Smells
Some smells are instantly recognizable. Some examples are cigarettes and cat urine. However, there may be smells in homes that you can’t quite put your finger on. Try to find the source so you can see if it’s something that can be fixed. If you enter a home and all you smell are scented candles or odor eaters, these smells could be red flags when purchasing a property. Be aware this could mean they are trying to cover up smells that aren’t easily removed.
If you are buying a foreclosure home, be sure to check out our blog on the pros and cons to purchasing a foreclosure!
In Closing: Get a Home Inspection
Buying a home is a very expensive process. Choosing to get a home inspection will add to that cost. However, if you choose not to get one, that could cost you so much more down the line. The home inspector might not catch every single potential problem, but they are experts in their field and know what could put a deal together or tear it apart.
If you choose to have the inspection, you might find that your dream home needs plenty of work. If it does, talk to your realtor to see if it can work to your favor in negotiation. No home is perfect, but don’t let a pretty home distract you from possible red flags when purchasing a home. It might mean that you need to search a little longer, but in the end, you will find your dream home and be educated more when looking for a home!