Sadly, most problem homes do not have a big red flag flying in the front yard to tell you there is a problem. Here are some tips on what to look for…
Sadly, most problem homes do not have a big red flag flying in the front yard to tell you there is a problem. When buying a home, you should be realistic and expect to find some problems. But to avoid buying a money pit, there are some red flags you need to look for!
Here are a few things to pay attention to since they MIGHT indicate bigger problems.
There are 2 reasons to check out the windows and doors:
- Energy Efficiency
- Foundation Problems
You should expect to see some wear and tear on doors and windows. After all, the doors are used every day.
Sticking doors and windows aren’t a big deal in and of themselves. But sticking doors or windows can be a red flag for buyers. They can be a sign of foundation problems. If you find any sticking doors or windows, you need to look for cracks or dips in the floors and walls.
Pay attention to how the floors of the house feel when you walk. Look at the exterior of the home for cracks in the brick or any other signs of possible foundation problems.
Plumbing problems aren’t always to spot. But here are 2 quick things to check:
- Look for water stains on the ceiling under the bathrooms
- Look for soft floors around the tubs, showers and toilets
Spotting electrical problems can be difficult. I suggest looking at the electrical box and see if it is updated. How many amps is it rated for?
Another thing to look for are GFCI outlets and breakers. Are ALL of the outlets grounded? Just because the outlets are 3 prong does NOT mean they are properly grounded.
It’s impossible to look through the walls to find faulty or old wiring. The home inspector will be able to find most problems but don’t expect them to see what is hidden in the walls. Only Superman has X-ray vision!
If a home has issues with either the roof or the foundation, it is probably best for most buyers to walk away. Or run away…
Walk around the home at least 3 times. Check the foundation, then the roof, then everything else. I am not talking about an in depth 3 or 4 hour ordeal here. That is what you pay the home inspector for. However, just using your head to look for issues can save you time and money.
You would not want to pay the inspector to find something major that you should have noticed!
When looking at the roof, look for any dips or unusual areas. Be sure to check out the gutters also. Are the shingles old or are there any missing shingles? Is the trim in good shape? What about the soffits?
The Take Away
Remember, NOTHING takes the place of getting a professional home inspection. When you’re buying a house is NOT the time to cut corners.
Pay for a professional home inspection!
These tips are just meant to help you rule out homes with OBVIOUS defects. There is no reason why you should pay to get an inspection on a house that has serious issues you should be able to see.
Rely on the home inspector to find the less obvious issues. You may not like paying for an inspection but do it anyway!
It is one of the best things you can do when buying a house!