The new paint smell is intoxicating and has made more than one buyer neglect to fully investigate whether a property is really worth the investment before laying out the down payment. As you embark on your home buying adventure, watch out for these red flags. Though buying a new home is exciting, winding up in a money pit is not.
Multiple houses for sale in the neighborhood
Keep in mind that when you're buying a new home, you're also buying the neighborhood. Multiple homes for sale in the same area could indicate a problem. Whether it be a high rate of crime, or dogs that bark throughout the day and night, you'll want to be aware of what you're getting yourself into prior to signing on the dotted line. Experts suggest that you tour the neighborhood at different times of the day and on different days of the week to really understand the environment you're considering. If you see anyone outside, ask them what they like or dislike about the community. Check out crime statistics and catch a glimpse at the surrounding yards. Simple investigation can reveal a lot.
Asbestos and mold
Although there are ways to remove both, it is important that you address any asbestos or mold immediately. Both are toxic and can cause health problems. Popcorn ceilings contain asbestos, and while they tend to be a thing of the past, they aren't completely gone. Check bathrooms and kitchens for mold, along with any moisture-trapping locations. It spreads quickly and is an indication that moisture is getting inside the walls.
All sorts of things can bring unpleasant smells to a home. Cigarette smoke, pets, unwanted pests and cooking can cause odors to linger and also be difficult to remove. As you tour the property, pay close attention to what you can smell. If it bothers you, be aware that getting rid of the stink may take more than a simple air deodorizer. Sometimes it requires replacing the flooring, repainting the walls, or even more drastic measures to revive the sense of freshness.
Wall and ceiling stains
Stains are often an indication of something costly to repair. Water stains in the bathroom may indicate improper ventilation, a leaking sink or faulty shower. These don't have cheap fixes. For example, tearing out tile to remove the shower pan is upwards of $1,500. A stain on the ceiling may be evidence of neglected flashings that seal chimneys and vents, with an attached price tag in the hundreds. Alternately, such stains could indicate that the shingles need replacement, a repair to the tune of several thousand dollars.
Doors that don't close
If multiple doors won't swing open or close smoothly, it could be an indication of a structural defect, such as deteriorating framing or a foundation that is settling.