Buying a home is a huge financial investment that should be made as an informed decision. In a perfect world, all sellers would openly disclose any issues with a property, neighborhood, or anything else that might affect a potential buyer’s future or well being. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and you should always be on the lookout for warning signs during the house hunting process. This is one reason why using an experienced real estate agent is key to your personal and financial success! Our agents have viewed hundreds of thousands of properties and are trained to have an eye for these warning signs and to not be fooled by a seller’s thin disguise of potentially catastrophic structural damage.
Depending on the type of foundation, fixing it could cost several thousand dollars. Not to mention, if the foundation does need major repairs, this could greatly affect other structural aspects of the home as well like the roofing and flooring. Knowing what kind of foundation, whether there are immediate issues or not, is also something to look out for as well. For instance, if you are looking to purchase an older home that is built on a slab foundation, one special inspection you will want to invest in is for the plumbing. Fixing major plumbing leaks on a slab foundation is incredibly difficult and often involved replacing the plumbing, foundation, and flooring all at once, which can end up being an unexpected financial burden.
Flood Zones and Water Damage
You should be aware of whether or not a property is in a flood zone, and if it is, when was the last time that neighborhood or property experience any level of flooding. Do your research to see what steps the city has taken to deter flooding, if any at all. If you do decide to move forward on a property in a flood zone, be sure to get a quote on insurance as this will likely be required for your mortgage and will be an added expense. Start your research by using the FEMA Flood Map Service to search an address for flood risk.
High Turnover Rate
Before you commit to owning a property, you will want to find out what the turnover rate has been for previous owners. Your real estate agent should have access to this information, or you can try searching yourself through websites like Zillow. If people have bought and sold a property every few years, you might want to do some digging as to why people have not been motivated to keep it. This might take a little bit of investigative work on your end, but it will be worth it. Reasons for high turnover could be because of local crime, too much road noise, high traffic, and more. Spending a little time in the area, during daytime and nighttime hours, could go a long way in informing you more about your potential investment.
Incentives to Waive Inspection
At the end of the day, it is your job to know what you are buying before making an offer. This is why you hire your own real estate agent, inspectors, and surveyor. Depending on the property and the word of the initial inspector, it might even be in your best interest to bring in a few specialized inspectors to double check specific aspects of the home like the plumbing. If a seller is trying to incentivise you to make an offer without an inspection, this should be a massive red flag. Inspection results can and should be used to negotiate your offer should you choose to make one, so if a seller is trying to side step the inspection all together, it is likely they have something to hide. When it comes to your future home and financial investment, you should have complete confidence that you are getting exactly what you are expecting, so keep your eye out for these red flags!