Whether it’s your first time buying a home or have had experience in purchasing properties, it’s very important to be reminded of what can be a problem after the sale has been made. After all, we want to minimize costs and get the best deals. How can this be done? Home inspections are crucial in the process of house hunting. Sure, the house is charming and homey, but there might be some cracks and rotting that are signs of major damage. Here are five of the biggest red flags to spot:
1. Any Foundation or Structural Issues
Cracking is one of the biggest signs to watch out for in terms of foundation problems. Cement settling, for example, may be indicated by small cracks in the basement. Larger cracks on the other hand, may be a symptom of structural integrity issues of the home. You may also take note of unfit doors. If you have a hard time closing and open doors in the house, this may mean a larger structural issue. Specifically, check if the door fits squarely in its doorframe.
2. Pest/Insect Problems
Aside from sending shivers down your spine, having pests in your home may also mean wood destruction. The most common pests you should look out for are termites, powder post beetles, and carpenter ants which may damage your home.
3. Random Freshly Painted Walls
Freshly painted rooms are normal because this makes the property feel clean and fresh. But if only one wall or area of a room looks freshly painted, this may be a sign of the seller trying to cover up a problem. This is automatically a cause of concern, and you should ask about it right away.
4. Amateur Workmanship or Repairs
The older the home, or the longer a family has stayed in it, the more repair work the previous homeowner or another amateur may have done. You will most commonly see this in areas of plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work. It is best to watch out for leaky faucets, toilets, missing trim work, and other potential do-it-yourself/handyman projects in doing home inspections.
Remember, in purchasing a home, you are not only going to live in the specific lot, you will also be living in the neighborhood. If a house seems perfect, and do not have the above red flags, make sure that it also has a neighborhood with an overall good condition. How do you know this? Take note if there are a lot of vacant lots in the area, and if the other houses are boarded up. If you can, also check the crime rate in that particular area—is it increasing or decreasing? This may not only affect your stay in the home, but also the property’s resale value in the future.