10 Red Flags When Buying a Home


It is very important to keep your eyes open, when buying a home. It can be so easy to be caught in the daze of finding your dream home. But it is important to be sure that there are no underlying issues that could really cost you, in the long run. Here are some red flags to be sure to look out for

1. Potential Foundation or Structural Problemscreen-shot-2017-02-10-at-1-15-41-pm

  • cracks in foundation
  • crooked door frames
  • hard to close doors

In order to truly know whether or not there is damage, it is best to hire a structural engineer. You don’t want to realize this type of issue after your all moved in and the deal is done.

2. Insect and/or Pest Problem

  •  termites
  •  powder post beetles
  •  carpenter ants

A pest inspector is inexpensive and well worth the investment. In the long run, a pest issue can cost a large amount to fix if not caught early on.

3. Random Fresh Paint

Typically, a fresh coat of paint can really freshen up a room. However, a small patch of fresh paint could point towards a trouble sign. It could be covering a water mark, or something more serious that the seller is trying to hide.

4. Amateur Workmanship & Repairs

All repairs to a home will not necessarily be completed by professionals. Therefore, be careful to double check your plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work specifically before sealing the deal.

5. Odors: Both Good & Bad

As bad as an unpleasant odor may seem, a good odor can also be a sign for concern. If it seems that a home owner is using excessive means to make the home smell nice, it may be worth investigating why that is.

6. Poor Overall Neighborhood Condition

 Although you may love a house, the neighborhood surrounding it is something very important to pay attention to. Red flags include boarded up or vacant properties. Any problems or crimes may not seem like huge issues currently but you don’t know how they influence the future, especially your homes long term value.

7. Stains on Walls and/or Ceilings

As we mentioned covered up stains before, it is important not to dismiss uncovered stains as well. Just because the seller doesn’t see the stain as an issue to hide, it is important to get to the root of the issue, and know what you’re getting into.

 8. Electrical System Issues

You may not feel like you are a valid tester of a home’s electric, but you would be surprised. There are a few simple things you can do to see how everything is running. You can switch the lights on and off, as well as test the outlets, to see if anything seems to not be working as it should.

9. Poor Drainage or Grading

Proper drainage may not always be an easy thing to spot. However, if you take note after it rains…are there pools of water in the grass? Overflowing gutters? Water stains in basement? Consider these warning signs.

10. Mold

Mold is never a positive aspect for a home to possess. Be sure to make sure that your not jumping into a new home, that also comes with new mold. It could be very harmful to you and your families health, and not the cheapest issue to fix if caught too late.

(Graphic credit: Phoenix Real Estate Guy)

Home Improvements with Payback

As homeowners, much of our time is consumed in work, family, friends etc.  Therefore, it is not ideal to be spending your free time on home improvements. However, it is important to remember that a home is an investment…and a little time here and there can be worth it. Take a look at how beneficial certain home improvements can be in the long run.

  1. Remodeling the Kitchen (60%- 120% ROI)screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-11-35-15-am

A great kitchen is something both home owner’s and home buyers adore, and although styles differ from person to person…upgraded appliances and up to date colors/ fixtures are sure to add to both your own happiness as an owner as well as the interest of potential buyers. As long as the kitchen fits in with the style and price point of the rest of the house, and does not go overboard, then it is sure to add positive return value on your home.

  1. Bathroom Addition (80% – 130% ROI)

Homes that only have one bathroom, are not always a let-down to home buyers, and for certain home owners it may be just enough. However, if given the opportunity to add another bathroom, it will definitely come with a price increase when you turn around and sell the home. In the eyes of the majority of buyers, adding another bathroom will add great value, whether a full or even just a half.

  1. Adding Square Footage (50% – 83% ROI)

Is your home tiny? Could it use that third bedroom or office? Consider the possibility of adding that extra square footage. It may seem to be a pricey endeavor at first, but overall it will increase the amount that home buyers are getting. It may also provide that extra bedroom or office that buyers desire.

  1. Deck Addition (65% – 90% ROI)

A deck can add immense value to your home. Potential buyers who step onto a deck leading out to a great backyard, will be able to picture themselves enjoying their space, without having to spend the time and money. It will be one less thing on their to-do list as buyers and will allow them to really picture themselves there.


(Graphic Credit: Trulia / Moneycrashers.com)