Before you bid on a home, check for potentially dicey, and pricey, problems.
- Foundation Problems
Next time you visit that potential new home, check the home for foundation issues. Though most homes will have its share of minor foundation problems, it’s the degree of severity of the problem that’s most important to analyze. Foundation repair is a massive bill that you DO NOT want to take on as a new homeowner. A minor crack here and there are rather normal, but a split wider than 1/10 of an inch is a cause for concern that may hinder you in the long run. Something of that magnitude may be a sign of major structural issues with the foundation, which are often expensive to fix. This is why it’s always in the buyers best interest to have a home inspection before moving forward with any purchase.
- The House Keeps Going on the Market
A house that just won’t sell is one that probably can’t sell. “Back on the Market” can mean a lot of things, and most honestly aren’t that bad. Treat this one as a yellow flag. Sometimes the buyers run into issues with their financing and sometimes it is an inspection issue. After all, if you are working with a good realtor, they aren’t going to let you close if the home has major inspection concerns.
- Prices That are Too to be True
A seller is usually looking to make money or at least breakeven when moving on from their home. So if a listing seems too good to be true, there’s probably a reason. When you find a home you like, research asking prices or sold prices of other homes in the neighborhood. If the price on your potential buy is far below the others, find out why. The reason may be something you can live with, or it may be more hassle than you’re willing to take on.
- Described as a great investment opportunity
Any home listed as a “investment opportunity” is most likely something that the average buyer doesn’t want to deal with. It may require repairs and time that only an investor would want to deal with. While this isn’t 100 percent a red flag, it could mean that the home is in rough shape.
- The House was recently renovated
When you’re buying a new home, you might be tempted to go for the one with all the bells and whistles, the one that’s move-in ready with a renovated kitchen and shiny, new bathroom tile. Be aware. Renovations that aren’t done properly or just thrown together for a “quick flip” can result in costly repairs down the road. They could also be safety hazards, particularly if the project involved electrical or plumbing components.
Buying a home is one of the most nerve wracking but important purchases that you’ll make in your life. Stay vigilant as you navigate these transactions, be patient, and stick to your instincts. When you take your time and hold out for the right deal, you will be far more likely to bypass some mistakes that’ll hurt you in the long run.
While none of these real estate red flags necessarily mean there are hidden problems with a home, staying aware of them will help you approach the homebuying process with eyes wide open. Happy house-hunting!