Shopping for a new home is an exciting process. When you do find the perfect home, you might be distracted by sparkling new counter tops or a beautiful backyard and be tempted to sign the dotted line before slowing down to ensure your dream home will stand the test of time.
Technically speaking, no house is perfect and all houses will obtain wear and tear over time. However, having the proper knowledge and patience can help prevent you from moving into a home that turns into a costly nightmare.
These are five things that could indicate a property might need some extra work—or might be best to avoid all together.
1. Mold, Mildew, and Water Stains
Flooding, leaky roofs, and even indoor plumbing issues can all lead to mold growth. Not only can indoor mold result in serious health issues, it can be a costly nightmare to fix. If there is mold growth in a home, you’ll need to remove the mold and then fix the underlying issue.
2. Roof Issues
Any house should provide a stable roof over your head. If you notice cracked or missing shingles, or sagging gutters, this could indicate that you’ll be looking at some costly roof repairs in the near future. Roofing issues aren’t typically a deal breaker, but you’ll want to use it as room for negotiation and be prepared to make the necessary repairs.
3. Foundation Flaws
If you notice cracks in the walls, swinging doors, or uneven floors, it may indicate that you need foundation repairs. Repairing a foundation is no minor thing, so if any signs point to foundation issues, be sure to speak to a seasoned professional first. The greatest danger in buying a home with foundation problems is finding that the foundation is constructed fine, but the ground beneath it is the underlying issue!
4.Termite or Pest Infestations
Be sure to keep an eye out for live or dead bugs, pest droppings, or even strange odors—these can all point to signs of pest infestation. Having an infestation can be a costly, and timely, nightmare! You’ll also want to check with the seller to get records of termite inspections from previous years to ensure you won’t find a hidden infestation further down the road.
5. Faulty Electrical Wiring
It’s not uncommon to find outdated electrical work in older homes, but it’s not something to ignore. Faulty wiring can become a serious fire hazard if overlooked. Check the main fuse box and make sure it’s up to code and in working order and keep an eye out for any exposed wiring.
When it comes to buying a home, it’s easy to focus on just the aesthetics. With careful review and planning with your real estate professional, you may find that if some repairs are needed, you'll gain some negotiation power if you plan to fix the repairs yourself. And if repairs are not something you want to deal with, a careful inspection and keen eye for detail may help you determine if a property is a lemon so you can avoid it altogether.