If you’ve ever hunted for the perfect house to buy, you know what the process is like. A lot of buyers find themselves viewing tons of places to make sure they’re investing in the right one, and not all of them say, “home sweet home.”
So when you do stumble across your ideal property, it can be difficult to see past all of the good and really address the bad. An experienced real estate agent will help with that, but we’ve got a few dead giveaways for you to keep your eye on while you search for your next home.
It may not seem like such a big deal at first when you happen to notice a crack in the siding or a minor imperfection on the front porch, but exterior damages like this can point to much larger issues that could affect you much sooner than you think. While you might expect for there to be some evidence of a bad storm or age on the outside of a home, there are a few warning signs to look out for when you’re looking with an eye to buy. Make sure that those cracks haven’t allowed for any decay or rot to ensue beneath the surface, or a build-up of mold. Some damages get worse over time and can eventually reach down until they become structural or foundational issues.
Recent paint jobs
A fresh coat of paint might seem like a simple attempt to spruce the place up for potential buyers. But sometimes, paint is just concealing things like water damage or otherwise faulty features. And in the case of water damage, paint just seals in the moisture and allows for the perfect place for mold to grow. We recommend a thorough look around each sink, under window sills, and inside drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms. If anything looks warped, or you find any soft sheetrock, you’ll know that buying that house means dealing with the aftermath that the previous homeowner tried to conceal in the interest of getting the sale.
With all the other aspects of a new home right in front of you, it’s unlikely that you’ll immediately look down at the floorboards. But while you’re getting excited about crown molding and the cozy placement of the fireplace, make sure you take a look under your feet. Uneven floors can indicate issues with the foundation, or the way in which the house settled with time and possibly created deflections underneath. A good rule of thumb is that the older the house, the more important it is to test out that floor before signing any paperwork.
If you arrive at a house that you’re considering, and find that the current owners have closed off rooms and made a request that you not take a look around there, that should raise a red flag. There are circumstances where this could be warranted – if the homeowner has pets, for example, and wants to be sure they aren’t accidentally let out – but it can also indicate issues that might be deal breakers for a buyer. If you notice a room is closed off during your showing, just be sure to clarify that point with your real estate agent at the earliest opportunity.
Some homeowners are incredibly handy, and can safely fix at least minor things by themselves so as to cut the cost of hiring a professional for the simple job. Others, however, seem to think that they’ve got the skills to handle the problem and wind up making things worse. While you view houses to buy, ask questions about past repairs and anything that catches your eye as a potential home improvement project.
Shopping for a new home doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds, especially when you have someone well-versed in the real estate game to make sure everything is as it should be. If you’re ready to get out there and start looking for your new home in the coastal North Carolina area, contact Intracoastal Realty!