Warning Signs to Look for When House Hunting

Posted by Lee and Katherine Keadle on Monday, January 11th, 2016 at 1:18pm.

warning signs when buying a home

When you're house hunting, there are a few warning signs that you need to be on the lookout for. Sellers don’t always disclose the whole truth to potential buyers, and it’s impossible to have a professional inspector inspect every house that you tour.

What warning signs should you be aware of when you are looking for Charleston Real Estate?

  1. The Neighborhood Is Ripe With Sales

Are there a lot of homes in the neighborhood for sale? Maybe you noticed graffiti or vandalism on some of the buildings, but the home that you’re looking at is spectacular. It’s easy to find a beautiful home in every neighborhood, but curb appeal shouldn't be the only thing you’re looking at.

If you notice that a lot of people are leaving the neighborhood, there is likely something amiss. Perhaps the neighborhood has now gone downhill, or there's a lot of crime causing families to leave. Some neighborhoods in Charleston are seeing mass exits due to Interstate 526 extension plans.

  1. Maintenance Blunders

You want to move into a home that has been properly maintained. If you notice that the gutters have plants growing out of them or that there are three layers of shingles, this may be a sign that the current owners are neglecting their maintenance duties.

If these small areas are not being maintained, you can be sure that other areas of the home have also been neglected.

  1. Foundation Issues

Foundation repairs are extremely costly, and unless a house is priced significantly lower than its valuation, you never want to buy a home that has foundation issues. Always take a look at the foundation to find bulges or cracks that are bigger than one third of an inch. If there are any cracks over this size, there might be structural issues.

Also, pay close attention to the slope of the yard. If the yard slopes towards the house, this can cause water to run to the foundation and potentially under the home.

  1. Locked Doors or Blockades

It goes without saying that when you buy a home, you need to have full access to the property at all times. If you are viewing a home and the homeowner has locked doors or has placed blockades in certain areas of the home, this should be a sign that something is amiss.

Another sign is when one wall is freshly painted while all the others remain the same. The owners may be covering up stains, mold, or water damage. If you notice that one of the walls has been painted over while the others have not been, have an inspector check the home for mold or leaks. In the case of mold, it might or might not be able to be remedied, depending on the severity of the issue.

  1. Wall Removals

Structural modifications of the home sometimes require an engineer to inspect the framing of the home. If a load-bearing wall was removed without the frame being adjusted, this can shift the weight of the house dramatically and cause stability issues in the future.

A structural engineer (or sometimes simply a trustworthy inspector or contractor) can help you determine if a homeowner renovation has caused any structural concerns for the home you’re about to purchase.

Before you purchase any home, make sure that you personally inspect the home early and then have a professional inspect the home for any problems that have now been covered up by the current owners. It is better to pay a professional inspector to get the job done right and know what you’re getting into when you buy the home.

Charleston Real Estate Experts

Buying a home can be a exciting, yet stressful time in your life. Let The Keadle Group guide you to the perfect home. Check out our Charleston Real Estate MLS, which can help you locate a home right for you. Search by many different factors, including price, type and neighborhood, such as James Island Real Estate!

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