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5 Red Flags You Cant Ignore When Buying a House

5 Red Flags You Can't Ignore When Buying a House

Posted 22 August 2016

5 red flags to look for when buying a house.

No matter how big of a budget you have, buying a home is a huge financial commitment, and you do not need any additional unforeseen expenses. So it is important that you know what you are getting for your money. The hunt for a new house can get pretty exhausting because it is hard to keep track of which house had a small backyard, and which one was too dark. While no house is perfect, bear in mind that some of these issues are easily fixed, and some may turn into a financial disaster. Unfortunate paint choices are hard to ignore but pretty harmless and easily fixed. On the other hand, mould is easily overlooked, and it indicates a more serious underlying problem. Here are a few red flags that you should not ignore when house hunting.

Several Homes for Sale in the Same Street

Your house viewing tour does not start at the doorstep. It should start as soon as you approach the area. As you are driving down the street pay attention to any signs of a declining neighbourhood. Are there any poorly maintained houses? Or overflowing trash on the sidewalks? Are the street lights broken? Before deciding to buy a home, do a few drive-bys of the neighbourhood at different times of the day to see if anything unusual or suspicious is going on. None of these issues might be present, but the neighbourhood might still be undesirable. If you see anyone in the street, ask them how they like living in the area. Another sure sign that residents are not happy with the community would be multiple houses for sale on one street. Remember, you can fix the installations and the leaking roof, but you cannot fix the safety problems in the neighbourhood, close a steel mill down the street, or make your noisy neighbours move out.

Recent Renovations

Some homeowners try to add value to their homes by masking certain problems with quick last minute fixes. If you notice still fresh plaster or paint, there might be a reason to be suspicious. The first problem with these kinds of renovations is that you can never know what they are trying to hide. But even if they were just done to make the home aesthetically more appealing, since done in haste and at the expense of quality, they probably won't hold very long and sooner or later you will have to deal with them.

Funky Odours

Some red flags are hard to see but can easily be smelled. If you notice too many air fresheners around the house, find a corner in the house, like a closet or basement, where there are no artificial scents in the air and where you can check if these are masking any musky odours. The smells might come from clogged sewerage or mould and mildew.

Propped Up Basement and Garages

This is one room where you should pay closer attention to the furnishings. If everything in the basements is propped up off the ground, and if it smells musty, this might be a sign that the basement has flood issues. Even if the house is not located close to a beach or river, the house may still be located in a flood zone. The flooding may occur due to heavy rains, as well. Just to be sure, check the flood zone maps to see if there is a risk of flooding in that area. While this fact can serve you to negotiate the price, think twice before the purchase. Buying a home in a high-risk flood zone will drastically increase your insurance costs.

Incredibly Low Price

There are a few reasons why a house is being offered at an incredibly low price. It may be your lucky day and the owner may be in a hurry to sell (because they are moving abroad in two weeks, or they need to pay off a debt). But most likely, there is something wrong with the house. Look for any of the above listed red flags, so you wouldn't make an incredibly huge mistake.


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Author's Bio: Lana Hawkins is a student of architecture and editor-in-chief on Smooth Decorator. She enjoys writing about interior decoration and interesting home improvement projects. Lana suggests consulting pre-purchase Brisbane home inspectors for getting professional advice.
General | Buying Tips