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Red Flags for Home Buyers and Sellers


Posted: March 28, 2018 by Taryn Celia Opie

I’m Judy Jones and have been a REALTOR for 28 years.   My husband was the Home Inspector for a while, and from him I learned some of the red flags to look for while showing properties with my buyers and listing for my sellers.   Most red flags are part of the physical aspect of the home, however there can also be some as you are in the loan process.

I will list just a few for you, as I know long blogs are very boring. 

ODORS:   These are not always something in the garbage, or from a pet. Take time to look around and see if there has been moisture damage which can create mold and mildew.  They can be hard to find.  Make a special note of rooms you are not allowed to enter or filled with so much stuff you can not look around.   Be sure to ask to come back again when these places can be personally inspected.

PEELING PAINT:   Again, is it just old paint, perhaps lead based, or is there moisture creating the problem?  Is it from wood rot or broken seals around the windows?  

NEW CONSTRUCTION OR REMODEL:  Home has been remodeled or an addition added, was it finished by a contractor?  Was a permit obtained and code and building inspections completed?  Remodels can add value if completed properly and all systems are finished properly.  They can also be a major money pit if they are not.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

NEIGHBORS AND NEIGHBORHOOD:  This is very important, for everyone in your family.   A few things to take note are, unmaintained yards, debris scattered and left uncared for, a lot of in and out traffic at the neighbor’s house.  Be sure, once you have pick your special home or homes, you drive buy several different times of day and on the weekends, to see what is happening and visit with those that might be outside.  They may tell you that everyone is selling out because of some major issue no one else is aware of. 

GRADING:  Are there any low spots around the house where water can pool and go into the foundation?  Does the landscaping have a 5% drain away from the home?  Is there a negative driveway that will need to be turned away from the garage?

OTHER ITEMS AND QUESTIONS   I am sure you are bored already so I will just add a list for you and not go on and on.  

Patched walls or ceilings? Broken fixtures, cracked stucco, (potential mold problem), outdated electrical, drafts around doors and windows, sticky doors, rust around the top of the hot water heater, also does it make popping noises while heating the water?  Storm damage, Roof issues, (curling or missing shingles), proper rain gutters and do they leak?  Loose or missing hand rails, is the deck over 24” tall with no handrail? 

Like I said before, I can go on and on.  However, the most important things for you to remember is to work with a REALTOR who knows, and hire a LICENSED HOME INSPECTOR, and, be there when he or she goes through the home. Ask questions, even if you think they are nothing.  You certainly don’t want to have any of these headaches after the deal is done.

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