Biggest Red Flags in a House for Sale

Biggest Red Flags in a House for Sale

A house can look perfect and beautiful in every way when you view it from the outside. You might even fall in love with it once you see it inside. However, just because a house is everything you could want it to be, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. In fact, homes can have several red flags that aren’t immediately obvious but could cost you a fortune to rectify. If you’re on the hunt for your dream home, don’t ignore these red flags below. Identifying them might save you from making a colossal purchasing mistake. 

Brown Droppings On the Floor

If you were to see brown droppings on the floor of a house for sale, you might think that the homeowner just doesn’t value cleanliness as much as you. However, ask any building and pest inspections Gold Coast company, and they’ll tell you not to ignore those droppings.

Brown droppings near a wall might indicate the presence of live termites. Once you spot those droppings, knock on wood surfaces and see if you can notice any hollow sounds. There can also be other signs to look out for, like little insect wings, mud shelter tubes, and buckling or blistering in wood floors. 

Termite damage can be expensive to rectify, especially if it has been happening for a long time. If you purchase a property with termite damage, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars taking care of the damage. 

Foundation Cracks

Small hairline cracks are not uncommon in concrete foundations. Generally, they don’t often indicate a much larger problem. However, the same can’t be said for cracks wider than half an inch or those that form in a zig-zag pattern down brickwork. 

If you’re viewing a property with strange-looking cracks, don’t ignore them. Instead, enlist the services of a building inspector or foundation contractor. They can identify a possibly unstable foundation as the cause. In that case, the cracks are the least of your worries. They can sometimes indicate a much bigger and costlier problem. 

Water Stains

Water stains are rarely innocent. Leaks in plumbing, windows, and roofs can cause them. While the leaks might have been taken care of, there are no guarantees that the water hasn’t caused damage on its path down from those areas. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek further advice when you notice water stains in a property you’re considering buying. Owners might be upfront about leaks they’ve had repaired in the past. 

If you can’t get any information from a seller or need further advice, reach out to trained building inspectors or builders. Not only can they identify the cause of the water, but they can also use moisture tools to find out whether it’s still a problem or is now dry. 

However, water stains aren’t the only way to identify a possible leak. Pay attention to whether a ceiling looks freshly painted. Some homeowners try to hide the presence of a leak by painting over water stains. You might contact a building inspector or another construction expert if you suspect this to be the case. 

Mold or Mold Smells

Mold grows in houses where there’s lots of moisture. It particularly likes growing on fabric, carpet, drywall, and wallpaper. If you notice mold or a mold smell in your prospective new home, don’t be afraid to investigate it further. That mold might be due to a roof leak, a leaking pipe, flooding, or a leaking window. These can all be costly problems to rectify. 

Mold doesn’t have to be a reason you say no to buying a property, but it can certainly affect your decision. At a minimum, you might need to pay for mold remediation services after the source of the mold is rectified. Sometimes, this involves pulling out and replacing building materials like drywall. 

Improperly Closing Doors

Doors that don’t close properly may not seem like a big deal. In fact, you might just chalk it up to them not being installed properly. That might be true in some cases, but certainly not at all. 

Sometimes, improperly closing doors can indicate problems with the framing shifting. To patch the problem, some owners simply cut off a portion of the door to make it fit. However, this doesn’t fix the reason for the frame moving in the first place. It can often relate to how the house was built and possibly even foundation issues. While one or two doors having this problem doesn’t necessarily indicate a significant problem, it can be something you investigate further for peace of mind in your purchasing decision. 

Sloping Flooring

You shouldn’t feel like you’re off-balance or on a boat when you walk through a house. Ideally, flooring should be flat and easy to walk on. So, if you notice that flooring appears to be sloping or you’re off-balance for an unknown reason, this can be a red flag! 

Sloping floors might indicate a soil or foundation issue, rotten support beams, or support beams that have started to collapse. Bringing in construction experts to identify the cause of the sloping flooring can be important for knowing the costs you’d face to fix the problem if you buy the house. 

The Price Tag

The property market goes through cycles. In 2022, properties were selling for an average of $540,000 in the United States. If the price of a property seems too good to be true, you’re within your rights to question why that is. 

Some owners want to get rid of their properties quickly to buy another or move out of state. Others are selling deceased estates and don’t necessarily care about getting top-dollar. However, properties can also be priced at the lower end of the market because they have significant flaws. 

You might ultimately get a bargain property with few flaws, but that’s not everyone’s experience. It can often be in your best interest to hire building inspectors and make an offer subject to the outcome of that report. That way, you can walk away from a sale if you identify serious, expensive issues you would prefer not to deal with.   

There are plenty of amazing houses for sale, but that doesn’t mean all of them will be free of costly problems. If you notice any of these red flags above, don’t ignore them. Instead, enlist the services of trained experts who might end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars.


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