Finding the right home, whether it be an investment property or forever home, will likely be one of the biggest milestones in your life. Understanding what warning signs to look for will help you avoid any costly repairs following your purchase. Some of these issues should even be considered potential deal breakers when shopping for a home. This guide will serve as a great starting point, but consult a professional if you do find any of these red flags.
Moisture, mold and rot
There are a few ways to tell if moisture has affected a property. First, you may notice a musty smell coming from the carpet or certain rooms of the home. Second, there may be physical signs such as discoloration or spots. It is important to inspect bathrooms, under sinks, the basement, and other areas that are prone to moisture. Some moisture marks could be covered by paint but would still be moist to the touch or detected by a moisture sensor. If you do spot potential signs of mold, you may have the surface or air quality tested to confirm. Should you decide to move forward with a purchase, be sure to hire a professional mitigation company.
Cracks in the foundation
Your home is built on top of a foundation. If that foundation is cracked or damaged, it is important to evaluate the type and extent of that damage. Some cracks are minor and can be easily patched. Others may be more severe and costly to address. Unless you are a trained professional, you may not be able to tell the difference. Be sure to consult with a professional before deciding whether to move forward with your purchase.
Beyond the foundation, there are other structural elements of a home that are important. The structural integrity of a home can be affected in a myriad of ways. Moisture, natural disasters, poor build quality or home improvement projects gone wrong can all result in damages to framing and cross beams. A bowed roof or walls, gaps where walls and floors meet, dislodged nails and cracked windows can all be signs structural damage. Like the foundation, it is important to have a professional evaluate a property to identify any potential structural issues. This will allow you to make an informed decision on your purchase.
One thing you may forget to do when shopping for a home is to test the utilities. If the water pressure is low, there could be an issue with the plumbing system. Leaks, mold, burst pipes or the water source itself could be the cause. Many homes have pressure reducing faucets, so eliminate that as a cause first before assuming that it’s a more serious problem.
Summary of potential deal breakers when shopping for a home
Being aware of the aforementioned elements can help you avoid financial and emotional stress. Existence of the above issues are not automatically deal breakers. It really depends on the severity of the issue. Getting an accurate assessment from trained professionals will help you better understand the problem, negotiate repairs, understand your financial obligation for future repairs, or decide whether to move on to another property. Information is the key to making smart home buying decisions.