12 Red Flags For Homebuyers

12 Red Flags For Homebuyers

The decision to become a homeowner is arguably one of the most significant decisions of a homebuyers life. It is an incredibly joyful time for the homebuyer as their future home gets closer and closer. Purchasing a home is an important event with many factors to consider. There is a need to ensure the prospective home is everything you want it to be, and to do so; you need to check for common red flags.

Sometimes these red flags are prominent and very noticeable. However, sometimes red flags are hidden and require some expertise and knowledge to uncover. Whether you are purchasing a home in Daytona Beach Shores or Palm Coast, red flags can be hidden in even the most luxurious of homes. However, there are specific steps prospective homebuyers can take to check and avoid serious red flags.

It's imperative that the prospective home meets the homebuyer's needs and that the investment makes sense for the purchaser. It is a law that the seller must disclose issues with the property, but it is common that sellers try to disguise and hide issues. For more information surrounding home inspections, check out this article filled with details. Then, continue on reading to find out twelve red flags that homebuyers need to be aware of.

Foundation Cracks

Small cracks in the foundation are usually okay, but there are some things to note whether the crack is severe or not. Horizontal cracks in exterior walls made of brick or concrete slab walls could indicate a more serious structural problem. Vertical cracks are typically not a problem, but the size needs to be taken. Look for gaps, floor cracks, cracks in the chimney, and wall fissures. Many of these foundation cracks are simply cosmetic and don't make a difference to the structure. It's important to note the difference between serious and non-serious foundation cracks.

Foundation Cracks on Homes

Moldy Smell

A moldy smell in the property is a red flag. However, how serious the concern is takes some evaluation and expertise. If the home smells moldy, there is a reason. A few common reasons to look out for are leaky pipes, a damaged roof, and issues with moisture in the air conditioning unit. The severity of the damage ranges depending on the cause. Leaky pipes can be an easy fix, but a damaged roof might be something to make you reconsider the sale.

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Active Insect Infestations

While viewing a prospective home, always make sure you're checking for signs of infestation. Sometimes infestations can make a home entirely unlivable and require serious construction work to rectify the situation. Common signs of active insect infestations are finding eggshells, chew marks, fecal matter, and foul odors.

Water Stains

Water stains are typically a sign of water damage. Water damage can be severe and even lead to major health problems like asthma and other respiratory illnesses. To check for water stains, check for wet surfaces such as window sills, counters, etc. This can help to expose an issue with humidity. Also, look for warped floorboards, peeling paint, and listen for any strange sounds in the house. Water stains can be a major red flag that indicates further investigation is required of the home.

Water Stains on Ceiling

DIY Home Additions

Notice the quality of any home add-ons. Ensure that all the homes renovations meet code and are done properly.

Strong Scents

If, when you enter a potential home, you're greeted with strong scents, that might be a cause of concern. However, it could also just indicate some cleaning is necessary to freshen the environment. For example, strong, foul odors might come from a forgotten trash can, dirty appliances, lingering smoke, a clogged pipe, and more. Strong scents in a home can indicate some red flags. If you notice this, ensure you narrow down where the scent is coming from.

Standing Water In The Yard

Seeing standing water in the yard of a home you're interested in purchasing can be a red flag. Standing water can be a problem. It can mean that grass won't grow properly or that gardens won't be as healthy and luscious. In addition, too much water standing in the yard can lead to issues with the foundation in the home. Luckily, this is a relatively simple issue that can be fixed with some hard manual labor.

Standing Water in Yard

Inadequate Attic Ventilation

There are several signs of inadequate attic ventilation to be aware of. If you notice moisture build-up on the exterior of the home, shingles peeling away and falling off, deck softening, eaves falling off, or other structural issues, this indicates inadequate attic ventilation. This is a major red flag for home buyers.

Inadequate attic ventilation can cause major structural issues. Take note of the condition of the ' home's roof, window frames, and evidence of moisture build-up on the exterior of the home.

Shingle Problems

It's essential to take note of the condition of the roof. Replacing it can be very costly and something that a homebuyer would usually want to note. Look for discoloration in the shingles, peeling back on the corners, cracked or missing shingle pieces, and gaping holes in the roof. Ensure that the roof gets inspected to rule out major roof issues. If the shingle issues are not addressed, they can lead to structure and roof damage that needs a costly repair.

House Has Been On The Market For A Long Time

If you notice that the home has been on the market for a long time, that might indicate a bigger problem. It could be that the neighborhood is undesirable, the crime rate, the lack of amenities and resources, lack of public transportation, and more. So a house being on the market for a long time might be a red flag.

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Sloping Floors

Sloping floors can be a sign of structural issues, which can be a hefty bill for a new homeowner. Sloping floors can be a major red flag and one that should not be ignored. It can be a sign of beams that have collapsed, rotten wood, and more. Sloping floors can also increase the risk of slipping, falling, and tripping, hazards.

Aging HVAC System

As an HVAC system gets older, it often becomes less reliable. A good, trusted HVAC system is essential. It's what keeps the air of the home at a comfortable temperature. An HVAC system usually requires replacing every 10-20 years. With such an extensive time range, it's essential to watch for red flags. A few signs to watch for are foul smells, build-up of moisture, strange sounds, and poor air quality.

These are just a few of the critical red flags to be aware of when you're a potential homebuyer. A trusted real estate agent can help to identify these red flags, among others, and either find solutions to them or warn you to avoid the property all together.

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