Putting an offer on a new home can force buyers into a very precarious situation. Often, they’re tasked with deciding on a home having spent very little time inside the house. Because your window to inspect the property is only open for a short time, knowing what red flags to avoid can make all the difference. Here are five things to watch out for when buying a home.
Some noise from outside is to be expected, especially if you move to a busy neighborhood. When you’re at a viewing or open house for the home, ask the realtor to lower the ambient noise as much as possible to get a more realistic idea of the noise pollution levels.
It’s important to inspect the roofing system for damage from the outside and inside. You’ll want to consider the age of the roof, check for missing or damaged shingles, and look for signs of structural damage on the supports. Buying a home and then discovering it needs a new roof is a financial hit many buyers can’t take.
Another inspection you want to make is for damage to the home’s foundation. There are several signs of serious foundation damage, including doors jamming or failing to latch, cracks in the walls or flooring tiles, and windows that won’t fully close or that are jammed shut. All of these point to more serious issues that may not be worth your time or money to fix.
Among the most insidious types of damage to look for is water damage. Things such as water stains, pools of standing water beneath drains, and a musty scent are all signs of water damage. It’s also important to recognize the signs of toxic mold, which is a much more serious problem that can threaten the structural integrity of the house.
Because there are some less-than-reputable sellers out there, you should also keep an eye out for “hidden” damage. Sellers often paint over water stains and even mold to try to sell their homes more quickly, so beware of uneven or discolored paint. New paneling could be hiding a bug or wildlife infestation. Some sellers will even install carpeting in an attempt to hide asbestos. It’s best to bring all your concerns to your hired home inspector before finalizing any deals. An inspector can be your best resource for the things to watch out for when buying a home.