Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore When House Hunting
When it’s time to buy a new home, the process can be a considerable drain on your time and energy. However, with a little knowledge and an observant eye, you can spot issues that should be addressed before you commit to a home. Read on for six important things to look for when house hunting.
1. Water Damage
If you notice an odd stain on either the ceiling or the walls, this could be a sign of water damage. Water damage can range from a minor issue to a serious one, so any signs of this should be thoroughly inspected by a professional. Also, if you notice random areas of the home have been recently repainted, this could be an attempt to cover up water stains or other damage and justifies asking for more information.
2. Strange Odors
The nose knows best! If your first impression in a home is an odd smell, this may be a sign of mold, mildew, or other problematic issues. The opposite is also true: if you notice the house has an overpowering air freshener scent, the homeowner or agent may be masking another smell. Open windows and running ceiling fans can also signal an attempt to hide an offensive scent.
3. Multiple Homes on the Market Nearby
Take a drive around the neighboring streets and look for more “For Sale” signs. If you notice a lot of other homes on the market, this could signal a problem with the neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to politely ask other sellers why they are leaving the area or to ask residents about the neighborhood. You can also check local police reports which would show if criminal activity may be the cause.
4. Inaccessible Rooms
If a homeowner has a room locked or otherwise restricted from viewing, this is one of those major red flags when house-hunting that you shouldn’t ignore. Be sure to request a follow-up visit to see the off-limits area as you should never make an offer on a home that you haven’t seen every inch of beforehand.
5. Unwanted Guests
Keep your eyes peeled for bugs and other undesirable pests while walking through a home. This could indicate anything from a small problem requiring the need to hire pest control for a quick spray to a massive one like termite damage. If you do see pests or droppings, this certainly warrants further investigation.
6. General Maintenance Issues or Amateur Repairs
A home that has several problems with basic upkeep often signals that it hasn’t been properly cared for in other areas too. The same goes for simple repairs that look less than professional. Look for broken light switches, doors that don’t operate properly, exterior damage that has been neglected, or even things like fixtures that look improperly installed. A few minor fixes are to be expected when purchasing a home, but if they keep piling up or if you suspect a substantial amount of DIY remodeling, this should be addressed with the seller.
No home is perfect, however, paying attention to the issues outlined above while house hunting may save you time and money down the road. If you notice any of these signs, discuss them with your home inspector and seller.