Red Flags to Look for While Home Shopping

It can be so easy to get caught up in things like curb appeal and low prices while searching for a new home. While these things are definitely enviable qualities for any new home, they also tend to distract potential home owners from other, more unworthy elements a house on the market might be hiding. Buyers should always be mindful of these red flags:

Neglected Septic Systems

A surprising number of homeowners will put their house on the market with a septic that hasn’t been serviced in years. As a general rule of thumb, buyers should always ask the seller for documentation showing the last time they got their septic serviced, inspected and pumped—which should be every three to five years.

Rotting Wood    

There are a handful of issues that buyers can work with after purchasing a home. Rotted wood isn’t one of them. Wood that has been subjected to vast amounts of moisture over extended periods of time isn’t just a pain to replace, it could also jeopardize your health (read: fungus exposure). Buyers should always carefully inspect the kitchen, bathroom, exterior, deck and trim for signs of rotted wood.

Faulty Repairs  

It might be hard to tell exactly what has been worked on over the years in a home that has recently placed on the market. Even still, buyers must keep an eye out for any incomplete or flawed repairs throughout the house they’re looking to purchase. Faulty plumbing, electric and even appliance repairs will cost buyers more time, effort and money in the long run after buying a house that has them.

Poor Drainage    

When a home has an improper drainage system, it opens a can of worms that not even the most optimistic Fixer-Upper lover will want to deal with. If a seller confides in a buyer that their house is subject to drainage issues, it usually means that there is poor drainage surrounding the home’s exterior. This will almost always lead to extra water leaking into spaces like the basement and garage—and will seriously affect the foundation of the home.  

Old Heating and Cooling Systems     

Heating and cooling systems are a pretty important element of any home, whether it’s in a residential development or a townhouse community. Aged heating and cooling systems are usually found in older homes on the market, and will leave buyers with a lot of pricey maintenance fees. It gets worse: Heating and cooling systems that are damaged and worn can also produce harmful carbon monoxide fumes. Buyers should either rule out these older heating and cooling systems, or make sure that the seller will fix any issues with it before making any final moves.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This post was written by Taylor Murphy. Taylor is a freelance writer and reporter who covers real estate, home decor, lifestyle, food and parenting. Her work has been published in national magazines, online publications and newspaper outlets. 

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