As a potential home buyer, you need to know that sellers aren’t always 100% honest, especially if they need to move in a hurry. While it isn’t realistic to get a professional inspection done on every home you tour, there are some ways for you to protect yourself before you move into a real money pit. Look for these red flags when buying a home.
- Everyone is moving out of the neighborhood. If the house you look at seems great but the rest of the neighbors are moving out, what does that tell you? Check out the local news to see if the crime rates are high or if businesses are closing up.
- Poor maintenance. If the sellers have neglected the home, you may not want to buy it.
- Failing Foundation. Does the yard slope toward the house? If so, it could mean basement flooding after you move in.
- Weird smells. If something smells funky, ask about it. If the seller is covering it up with air freshener, beware.
- Bad wiring. Make sure all the outlets and switches work properly. Moving into a home with faulty wiring can be an expensive mistake.
- Fresh paint only on some walls. If only one wall is painted, it may mean water damage or mold.
- Off limits areas during the tour. The homeowners should not prevent potential buyers from seeing any part of the house.
- Bad Windows. Look for water between double-pained windows and make sure they all work.
- Floors and walls that have been moved. Hire a structural engineer if the owners have remodeled. You don’t want to move into a house that will fall apart.
- Look for bugs. Seeing roaches and other pests is never a good sign.