When you’re out looking for a new home, there are certain must-haves. But what you don’t hear too often are the things you don’t want when you purchase a new home. Here is a list of seven “Red Flags” you should avoid when buying a new home.
I know it sounds cliché, but the mantra must be chanted: Location, location, location. The reason this “Red Flag” is at the top of the list is not coincidental. If the neighborhood looks like a scene from a Mad Max movie, then you may want to think twice about settling on this location for a home. The equation is simple—if you don’t like the neighborhood, then you won’t like the house that’s in it.
When you pull up to the residence from the front, what do you see? Is it the style of home you like? Drive around and look at the back, the side, up the street and down the block. Does it still look like the home you want? Are the streets busy, are railroad tracks nearby or is there a stadium next door? “Red Flags” are everywhere and if they’re on your front porch, you may want to think twice about moving in.
The next “Red Flag” to check off the list is the foundation. If the homes foundation has problems, then other problems could easily have spread throughout the house. Framing, plumbing, drywall and flooring are the first items to be affected when foundation troubles exist. Do a visual inspection for cracks, gaps, sags and other “Red Flags” in the foundation before proceeding.
Are there signs the previous homeowner maintained the exterior? Is the exterior of the home clean and neat or is mold on the siding and paint chipping from the walls? Look around the soffit and fascia—is water damage under the soffit and are there pieces of fascia knocked loose? Is the roof full of leaves and have they caused any sags or dips? An improperly maintained home could spell trouble and is a good reason to put up the “Red Flag” when buying a home.
Doors and Windows
As you enter the home, the first thing you do is enter a door. Stop to take a look. Do the doors close properly and are the windows opening well? Faulty foundations can be the root cause of stuck doors and windows. Raise the “Red Flags” when multiple doors and windows don’t work like they are supposed to.
While we mainly use our eyes to visually inspect the property, we should also engage our sense of smell when buying a new home. Foul odors like rotten eggs or rotting garbage smells could be sewer gas escaping from bad plumbing. Ozone smells are signs of possible electrical problems. Even good smells can be a sign that someone’s trying to cover up bad smells—and that stinks. Keep your nose on the look out for potential “Red Flags” when sniffing out a new home.
Speaking of smells, new paint is unmistakable. And it might be the reason to raise the “Red Flag” in certain instances. New paint isn’t always a bad thing, but sometimes it can conceal problems the homeowner may not want you to see. Water damage, stains and mold are all good reasons to paint a wall. The question is, was work once done behind the wall and if so, was it done right?
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