Friday, April 09, 2010

When Looking At Homes Watch For These Red Flags

Once you begin the househunting process in your search for a new home, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and overlook potential problems. It is of course vital to always have a professional home inspection before signing any contracts. However, it is important to be on the look out for some potential issues before you start the process of purchasing the home. Below are some red flags to look for when you begin searching for your home.

•Be on the lookout for strange odors. Pet smells, musty odors and even cigarette smells can be red flags as they can be hard to get rid of and may signal a deeper problem. Keep in mind if the home smells like heavy cleaning products the seller might be trying to hide a problem.
•Watch out for wiring issues. While an electrician is the only one to accurately diagnose wiring problems there are some things you can be on the look out for. Make sure all the switches and outlets in the house function properly. Any lights that flicker or don't work as well as hot outlets are all symptoms of wiring problems.
•Problems With Windows. You can tell a foggy window problem right away just by looking at them but also be sure to check out all the windows to make sure they are fully functional. Some older windows maybe warped or painted shut and if you do see foggy windows that is a sign that the seal is broken.
•Look up for ceiling stains. Some buyers don' think about looking up at the ceiling but if you see stains then its obvious..something’s leaking. It might be a simple repair or it might be quite costly. Most roof leaks result from neglected flashing that seals “valleys” in the roof or around a chimney or vents, roof leaks mean mean it’s time to replace shingles. If the leak is under a bathroom it might be shower or even the toilet that is causing problems.
•Look closely for insects and rodents. Keep a close eye out for signs of rodents and bugs. Be on the lookout for hidden mouse traps, rodent droppings, roach motels or other signs that there may be a problem. If you do locate a home that you are ready to purchase, absolutely get a termite inspection as they can only be detected by a professional inspection.

Of course these are just some things to look for and while they may not present a serious problem and may be a mior fix it is important to be aware of potential issues and headaches downt the road.