How To Spot Warning Signs When You're House Hunting So You Can Avoid Costly Repairs

9 April 2019
 Categories: Real Estate, Blog

Older homes are not always in perfect condition when they're put on the market. You'll need to study the homes you look at and decide what repairs or upgrades you're willing to make and what imperfections you can live with. You'll have a home inspection before the close of the sale, but you should also look for certain signs of good care or neglect as you tour homes for sale so you can narrow down your options as you go. Here are some things you may want to check.

Overall Cleanliness

Keeping a home clean is one of the easiest parts of home maintenance, so if a home is dirty, more difficult and expensive maintenance chores may have been neglected for years. Be sure to look in hidden places like under beds and inside cabinets for clutter, dust, and dirt. Check the freshness of the paint. Applying new paint is a basic step before selling the home, and if the seller didn't do that, it could be a warning sign of a neglectful person or someone without finances to do simple upkeep. A dirty house isn't necessarily a deal breaker, but you should at least factor in the time and cost it will take to get the house in shape.

Signs Of Water Damage Or Dampness

Water damage and mold are often hidden, so the seller may not even know it's present. Note the odor of the home. If it smells musty, that could indicate wet wood or mildew growing somewhere. If the seller has fragrances in the outlet plugs or if you smell air freshener in the air, that could be a sign they're trying to cover up bad odors in the home. You can sometimes see signs of water damage in warped drywall or a stained ceiling. Paint might be peeling slightly, and wood might be soft or decaying in places.

If there is too much humidity or dampness in the house due to a water issue, metal appliances may have rust or the plumbing under the sinks may have corrosion. Also, look for signs of bug infestations such as bug parts, roaches hiding under things, or silverfish darting around when you move papers, as these bugs are drawn to wet areas. Signs of water damage are usually bad because water damage is expensive to repair.

Evidence Of Foundation Trouble

One thing you probably want to shy away from when looking at homes for sale is houses with foundation trouble. It's expensive to repair a foundation, and there's a risk the structure of the home is in danger. If you suspect foundation trouble, get advice from an expert before you buy the home, so you know what you're facing. Signs there could be foundation issues include door frames that aren't level, doors and windows that don't open and close freely, cracks in the foundation, floors that are uneven, and a wet basement.

For more information, contact a company like Andrew Thomas Real Estate.