Warning Signs to Look for Before Buying a House

March 30, 2021

Buying a house is an expensive investment. When looking for a suitable house to buy, you will come across lots of options for your new home. Unfortunately, not all properties are a great investment because they could be harboring underlying issues that can come back to haunt you in the form of costly repairs or risks of fire due to outdated electrical installation. To ensure that you make the right purchase, here are some warning signs that you should look for before making an offer.

No Inspection

If the previous owner has not done an inspection, that is a huge red flag. However, if they do not allow you to do an inspection of your own, that should be an indication that something is going on in the house that they do not want you to know about. A good rule to follow is that you should never put down an offer, let alone purchase a house, without having a thorough inspection done. If you do not do this, you might purchase a home that becomes a money pit a few years down the road.

Neighborhood Sale

A lot of people do not check if other homes are being sold close to the one that they would like to purchase. If there are numerous “For Sale” signs close to the house you would like to buy, ask yourself why. A thorough investigation might reveal that the reason people are leaving is benign, or you may find out it is something a lot more serious, like the fact that a huge construction project is about to start close to the neighborhood, or the social or economic status of the neighborhood has deteriorated.

Newly Painted Walls

When a home experiences flooding or water damage caused by a leak, the previous homeowner might conceal the damage using paint. In addition to leading to structural weaknesses, the water trapped in the walls under the paint will likely lead to mold. Black mold is very dangerous and this is why it is so important to check for water damage and mold under the new paint before you put down an offer.

Apart from inside the walls, other areas to look for water damage and mold include under the drawers and sink as well as at the base of toilets and tubs. Also, if the wallpaper or sheetrock is warped, you know there are leaks or water damage under it.

When you do not find mold anywhere in the house but you do find signs of water damage, it is always a good idea to get a professional to do an air quality test. The air quality test will tell you if there are any fungi in the air and this is a sign that there is mold in the walls or somewhere else in the house. To get a thorough assessment, you will need professionals who have a broad understanding of indoor air quality testing.

When you are ready to initiate an air quality or mold testing, you can get in touch with the professionals at sussexenvironmental.com who have extensive experience in mold and air quality testing, especially in homes that have had water damage. Sussex Environmental Consultants can also advise you on what to do to reduce, eliminate and control mold in a home you are interested in. Their consultants carry out air quality and mold tests for both commercial and residential properties.

Water Shut Off During a Tour

When you visit a house you are interested in, you should be able to check the plumbing as well as the water pressure. You should be able to open all the taps to test the water pressure as well as flush the toilet a few times to see if the plumbing works.

If the water is shut off during a visit, that could be an indication that something is wrong with the water supply, plumbing system, or both. If the seller decides to let the water flow and if there are any leaks, that is not necessarily a disqualifying factor if the plumber can fix it and there are no other problems with the house.

Bouncy or Uneven Floors

Uneven or bouncy floors are not only an annoyance, they can also be costly to fix, especially in older homes where you have to remove the existing floor, correct any issues with the support columns or foundation, and then have a matching floor installed. For older homes, you want to find one where the previous owner has done some foundation work such as installing steel or concrete beams for support.

Purchasing a home should be done with a lot of consideration, patience, and vigilance. Be on the lookout for obvious signs that the home is not a good investment and watch out if the seller is trying to pressure you to forego inspections or purchase the house. It may have underlying issues and they want to get it off their hands as soon as possible.


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