3 Red Flags to Avoid When Buying a House

When buying a used house, you shouldn’t only focus on checking out the layout of the rooms or the brands on kitchen installations. Some of these problems may not be visible at first glance and could cost you thousands in repair costs in the future.

There are many important things to put on your checklist. Here are three of the big ones:

Foundation issues

The foundation upon which your house rests should be stable and strong. It’s common for used houses to have small hairline cracks, however, larger gaps signal a bigger issue with the house’s foundation. Be on the lookout for sticking windows or doors, visible cracks above window frames, and uneven floors, as they could indicate a deteriorated foundation.

According to homeguide.com, it can cost between $2,300 and $6,750 to repair the foundation alone. Minor foundation crack repairs could start from $600 to fix, while big repairs that would need hydraulic piers can cost up to $15,000.

Repairing the foundation of your house is time-sensitive. If not addressed fast, it can lead to additional problems that are unrepairable, which can make the entire structure unsafe to live in.

Water damage

Musky odor can indicate water damage even if you don’t see standing water in and around the house. Look carefully at the underside of sinks and drawers in the kitchen. Inspect the base of the toilets and bathtubs. Check the exposed piping in laundry rooms or basements, and be on the lookout for water stains, rust, or leaks.

If not detected early on, water-related damage can lead to considerable structural faults and safety hazards. According to homeadvisor.com, an average homeowner can spend between $1,100 and $4,700 to repair water damage. Noting any signs of water damage early on is vital for diminishing its permanent effects.

Presence of mold and termites


Be advised that mold or termite infestations may not be always obvious.

Exposure to mold can lead to coughing, throat irritation, sinus congestion, and other respiratory problems like wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty in breathing.

Spot mold by discreetly opening bathroom and sink cabinets and inspecting water pipes and drains. Also, check the caulking around tubs and faucets for black spots. Remember that even the smallest black or grey spots can indicate there are more serious issues waiting to be uncovered. According to Home Advisor, the average cost for mold remediation is $2,200.

Termites, on the other hand, can cause significant damage to structural supports made of wood, especially where there is direct wood-to-ground contact. Try to knock on the wooden structural supports, and when it sounds hollow or papery, it could mean that the timber inside has been eaten away by termites.

Termite infestation can be difficult to see from the outside, so if you want to make sure the house is termite-free, have a termite inspector accompany you.

Here are just three red flags you should watch out for when house hunting. It can be easy to get swept up in a home’s bells and whistles, but be watchful of these warning signs, no matter how beautiful the house might seem.

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