7 Home Defects That Should Set Off Alarm Bells

A coat of paint and some landscaping are easily made cosmetic changes, affordable and straightforward. Then there are the home issues you should never ignore.

When viewing a home, there are countless structural and component issues you need to pay close attention to as you house hunt. Here are some of the things that should set the alarm bells ringing.

1.  Foundation problems

If you spot any signs of foundation and structural issues, these could lead to very large, very costly out-of-pocket expenses. And before you plan to remedy the problem, you have to consider the issue of resale value. If you ever plan to sell in the future, you’ll have to ask yourself if a home with past foundation and structural issues will put off new potential buyers.

2.  Problems with main sewage line if on a slab, may also need digging up parts of the house’s foundation.

3.  Mold or soot

Never ignore mold or soot.  For one thing, mold is an indicator of water damage but the other point is that mold is incredibly bad to live with and inhale. Serious mold can render a home toxic to live in.

The presence of soot anywhere in the home besides right above the fireplace indicates that at some point there has been a fire in the house.    

4.  Old-fashioned electrical wiring

Older homes would have been wired with knob-and-tube electrical wiring and may have never been upgraded. This is a fire hazard and generally means that the house has to be completely rewired.

This type of improvement is expensive but it’s necessary before you will get an insurer to issue a new policy on the home. Houses that have a fuse box – instead of an electric panel with circuit breakers – will also need to be updated.

5.  Structure and layout

The quality and integrity of a home’s structure is of paramount importance. Massive cracks on the walls or floors don’t always mean disaster but they are a flag that the buyer must investigate the property carefully during the inspection period. Should you want to move walls or do some major updates, you should calculate the costs before you commit yourself.

6.  Signs of water damage

Buying a home with water damage can be a gamble. While water damage may be old and able to be fixed fairly easily, the extent of the problem will only be visible when you open up the walls and check.

7.  Signs of a cover up

Don’t be fooled by a fresh coat of paint. Even if all is dry now, a few layers of paint can conceal some evidence of past trouble that was never addressed.

Paint is the best known trick commonly used to hide telltale issues and cover up home defects.

In one instance, there was an unbelievable deal on a remodeled cottage in a great little town. The property was absolutely perfect and such a low price. When the buyer’s agent did some scratching around, it turned out the cottage had been a meth lab and all they did was paint it!

Do your due diligence, keep an eye out for potential pitfalls and you can find that bargain deal that will turn out to be a real diamond in the rough.

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