The Real Estate Encyclopedia
Top 10 Red Flags for Home Buyers
Category - Real Estate Glossary - Top 10 Lists
Donít let a homeís curb appeal keep you from glancing down the street. Are there several other homes for sale? Are nearby businesses boarded up or vandalized? Get the scoop from the neighbors. If everyone else wants to leave the street, maybe you should, too - before youíre stuck with a bad investment.
Three layers of roofing and gutters with plants growing in them are signs the owners arenít big on maintaining their home. What else did they neglect?
Check out the yard grading. If the yard slopes towards the house, it could cause water to run down the foundation walls or into the basement, which will be costly to repair. Scour the foundation for damage. Bulges or cracks bigger than 1/3 inch can mean the house has serious structural issues.
Take a big whiff of the air inside and outside the house. Do you smell anything funky? If you canít smell anything but the huge baskets of potpourri all over the house, this could be a red flag.
While youíre probably not an electrician, make sure all the switches and outlets in the house function properly. Flickering lights, circuits that donít work and warm or hot outlets or faceplates are all symptoms of wiring problems.
New paint can really spruce up drab walls, but it can also hide bigger problems, like water damage, mildew or mold. If the room smells strange or if you see stains or saggy walls or ceilings, have an inspector look for mold and leaks.
Ask about any rooms that are ďoff limitsĒ during your home tour, and arrange to see them later if youíre interested in the house.
Check for water in between double-paned windows and make sure all the windows are functional.
Sure you love the open floor plan, but was the house always open or did the homeowners renovate? If they removed a load-bearing wall without adjusting the framing, it can shift weight to other parts of the house. Hire a structural engineer if you think any renovations are questionable.

No one wants a house with a pest problem - be it roaches, mice or worst of all, termites. Be on the lookout for unwelcome creatures as you tour the house. Even if no foes pop out while youíre there, consider a separate termite inspection if youíre thinking of purchasing the property.


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Real Estate Glossary - Top 10 Lists
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