When buying a home, understanding every detail is a must. You may find a home that’s perfect from the outside, but has some insidious problems buried beneath the surface.

Before placing your down payment on your new home purchase, be sure that you keep an eye out for major deal-breakers. These aren’t mere minor flaws that can be easily brushed aside. These can be serious structural damages, unforeseen repair costs, poor electrical systems and other maintenance problems that just aren’t worth the hassle. In this article, we’ll be divulging the most common warning signs to look for when buying a home.

Keep an Eye Out for These 10 Red Flags When Buying a Home

Here are 10 red flags to take note of before making an offer.

  1. Foundation issues

This is a common problem that poses a major inconvenience for any homeowner. Before making a purchase, take the time to look for crooked doors, bulging window seals, bowing and leaning walls and uneven or cracked floors. If you’re not good at determining these damages, schedule a home inspector to complete a home inspection.

     2. Pests infestation

Nobody wants to deal with pests, most especially those that cause damage to your home or leave droppings that spread germs and diseases. The most common pests are termites. They can damage your home’s structural woods including walls, doors and windows. Rodents are also common and can severely damage a home’s interior structure. They usually chew on electrical wirings and can potentially put your household at risk if left unchecked.

     3. Random paint over

Have you ever noticed a small section of a room painted over? This is a red flag so make sure to let the seller explain why this was done. Non-disclosure of the reason for the random paint over is a cause of alarm.

     4. Incomplete maintenance and repairs

Problems with electrical systems, plumbing and carpentry are some indicators of amateur workmanship that you must watch out for before you buy a home. That’ll help make sure that you avoid additional expenses in the future.

     5. Foul smells

Whether good or bad, a distinct odour in a house is a bad sign. Make sure that the seller’s able to disclose the source of the foul odour. Common sources of foul odour include leaking pipes, mold or sewage.

    6. Neighbourhood issues

Keep an eye out for abandoned properties in the neighbourhood. This can be done by casually asking neighbours about the reasoning behind vacant properties. Before buying, be sure to spend time strolling around the neighbourhood. Be observant of your surroundings and be especially vigilant for any unusual activities in the area.

    7. Stained walls and ceilings

A valid cause of alarm is when any wall and ceiling stains aren’t covered up. If you’re still willing to buy that home, just make sure to ask the seller to explain what caused those stains. Stained walls and ceilings can mean costly repairs in the future.

    8. Electrical problems

A home buyer doesn’t have to be a professional electrician who’ll check on the electrical system of the home that you’re planning to buy. By turning the lights on and off in order to check whether there are any flickering bulbs, you’ll be able to validate that they’re working properly. As for major issues such as electrical wiring systems, unless you’re a professional, this needs to be checked by an electrician.

    9. Poor drainage and grading system

Water accumulation, overflowing gutters and water stains are signs of a poor drainage system. This is a huge red flag since this can lead to foundation and structural issues later on. Make sure to check how the property’s graded. A home that hasn’t been graded properly can be a cause of water flowing into your basement.

    10. Mold and moisture 

Scrutinize damp spots in the home such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements. This is where mold is most likely to grow. Too much exposure to mold can cause eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, as well as allergic reactions. Mold remediation can be extremely costly for a homeowner if left unchecked. 

Consult with an Expert

Whether you’re a first time home buyer or not, it’s crucial to inspect the property in detail, especially during the home buying process and not after. You don’t have to turn down a home deal because of problems that can be easily fixed. Before you make an offer, be sure to do your due diligence and consult with all of the necessary professionals. 

The path to home buying begins with obtaining a mortgage and Daisy Raouph, located just outside of Toronto, is a mortgage broker and financial security advisor with over 30 years of experience in mortgages and financial services. Consult Daisy today to get the best mortgage product for you.