4 Red Flags Buyers Need To Look For

When it comes to buying a new house, it’s crucial to stay vigilant. The allure of a new home can sometimes blind us to potential issues. If you’re not careful, you might overlook some major red flags. So, it’s important to keep your eyes open and think logically about the property you’re considering. Understand what you should be looking for and what questions you need to ask before making an offer.

These are red flags for which you need to be on the lookout.

Undisclosed Issues

When you view a house, there should be a contract that sellers sign, disclosing all known faults and defaults of a property to the best of their knowledge. However, some issues might be omitted unintentionally, while others could be intentionally hidden to deceive you. Both scenarios are red flags. It’s crucial to check this contract against any issues you come across to see if they’ve been disclosed or not. This step is vital to avoid potential risks.

Unclear Title

Buying a house with an unclear title can spell disaster for you in many different ways. Title searches are instrumental in ascertaining rightful ownership of a property, any liens against it and any other issues such as easements, zoning restrictions or rights of way. Going ahead with a purchase with some of these issues unresolved will spell trouble for you later down the line. Whether it’s getting those parties with a claim on the property to sign Quitclaim Deed Forms, having the current owner clear any liens or resolving boundary issues for example, you need to know and be proactive when it comes to an unclear title or simply walk away, just don’t accept it as is.

Mouldy Smell

If the house has a distinct musty smell, then it might be time to do a bit more digging as this can indicate major issues. Where is the smell coming from? What is the extent of the problem? Has it been declared or is the seller trying to cover it up? While most mold isn’t of the toxic variety, it can cause some breathing issues, especially for those who have pre-existing breathing conditions. Check sinks, roof spaces, crawl spaces, basements, toilets etc, and all known water sources to find the cause of the issue and see how extensive it could be.

DIY Additions

Any type of DIY project in a house should give you an immediate red flag. You need to uncover what work has been done and why to learn more about how safe the work is and if it will compromise your ability to live safely, be adequately insured, or obtain insurance in the cases of extensive DIY work. Suppose the homeowner has solely completed a home extension with no contractor input. In that case, you need to check their credentials and permits and ask for paperwork to check if everything has been finished to a legal standard. If not, you need complete inspections, which might not be worth your time.

There are many red flags to be aware of when looking at properties, which can be major ones to look out for regardless of how far along the buying process you are. If at any time you uncover a red flag, do more investigation and don’t move further until you’re satisfied everything is as it should be.


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