Almost all homebuyers (hopefully) hire an home inspector to examine the home they want to purchase. But unless you have a large amount of cash flow, it isn’t financially plausible to hire a home inspector to inspect every house you have an interest in. While viewing homes, you must train yourself to look for any red flags about the home. Here are some red flags that could spell home distress. Of course, all of these problems can be fixed but for a price.
1. Stains on the ceiling always indicate either a future or a past leak. Water travels, so you can almost always assume that the water is coming from the roof. Which, by the way, is not a good sign.
2. Watch out for any warped floor boards, as well as cracking floor tiles. Floor boards that are coming up from the ground always come from water damage. And we can assure you, you aren’t going to want to deal with what lies underneath them, because the problem is likely major. Usually, it has to do with an AC unit leaking underneath the whole flooring material.
3. Check for any mildew smells in the basement. Like #1, this is a sign that water frequents the area. Any stains on basement walls will also tell you right away that water damage either was or is present.
4. If the foundation or basement floor has cracks, you might have a structural issue on your hands. Tread lightly on this matter.
5. If you see any chipping paint around the windows, this may mean that the window sills are in bad shape and are going to need repairing or replacing.
6. Any flaking caulk around the edges of windows sometimes indicates either air or water leakage.
7. Be sure to closely examine the edges of the house.
8. If the ground surrounding the house doesn’t slope away from the house, it could be causing water to run down the foundation walls and into the basement.
9. Appliances that don’t work or that the seller tells you “Don’t turn that on.” The most obvious red flag: If the seller doesn’t want you to do something, or go somewhere in the house.
10. If the house has really old windows, the chances are pretty high that lots of air is leaking into the inside of the home.
11. Look for a wet drain in the basement. If the house sits on a sewer system, it’s possible that the roots of trees outside have started seeping into the sewer.
12. If you see that only one area in the basement has been re-painted, you should be careful. This clearly shows that there was some sort of damage in the basement. And that you have a lazy seller that didn’t even bother to conceal that fact by painting the rest of the walls.
13. If you see boxes placed conspicuously in one specific area, you may want to move them over and see what’s under them. The seller could be hiding scratched floors, walls, or something of the sort.