Some buyers are so excited about buying a new home that is perfect for them, that they may disregard what they consider to be “small problems”. However, these “small problems” can be signs of more serious problems with the house and you should not let the excitement of finding the right home affect your judgement on the purchase.
So how do you know when a minor problem is actually a major problem?
The next time you walk through a house, pay attention for these five signs that the property might be hiding an unfortunate secret or two.
- Mold, Water Spots and Water Damage
Some signs that you have a moisture problem if you see things such as water stains and discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings and surface abnormalities like peeling, bubbling, and cracking of the paint or wallpaper, it is important to address them and ask if there has been any long term moisture problem in the house. It is inevitable the leaks will lead to mold beginning to grow. So if you know they have had some water problems in the home then it’s a pretty good sign that the house will have mold.
Many would warn against buying a home with mold issues as they are expensive to remedy as they have to be removed by companies specializing in mold or asbestos removal. Once mold is removed, the homeowner must show proof that the home is mold free. If you have a choice between two houses, you’re probably going to sway towards the one with no mold.
- Doors and Windows That Stick or Lifted Floors
If you are viewing a home that is still occupied by the homeowners, don’t be afraid to look under the rugs and furniture. It is easy to conceal flooring problems by covering them up with rugs and furniture. While it makes sense that these things would be in a home, especially if people are still living there, be wary if something seems out of place. By being attentive you may save thousands of dollars later.
Any time a floor slants to a level that you feel as though you are walking up or down across the home, this is a significant indicator that the foundation has shifted. Foundation issues result in the movement of the foundation that the entire home rests on, and this can result in an uneven feeling when you walk across the floor.
- The Home has Patches of Fresh Paint in Small Areas
Many property sellers will apply fresh paint to walls before listing a home for sale, and this is not necessarily a sign of damage to the home. While a fresh coat of paint is normal, small patches of fresh paint in random areas is more likely the cause of something being hidden It could be cracks or discolored spots that may be caused by water damage or foundation issues.
Be sure to look carefully and ask questions. The paint could be from where a picture was being hung and it was filled in and painted but it is better to be safe than sorry. If spots are found this would indicate that further inspection of the property is in order.
- Small Cracks in the Walls
When a home’s foundation shifts, it means that the foundation is no longer flat and level. Some cracks in both interior and exterior walls can indicate that the home’s foundation has shifted and is no longer flat and level. Foundation problems could mean expensive repairs. The price range will vary from bolting on steel braces that could run about $500 for every 6-9 feet to a whole new foundation, which can run up to $40,000. Be sure to check for foundation issues so small concerns do not become big headaches.
- You See Mud Tubes on Walls, Joists or Ceilings
Mud tubes in beam cracks, mud tubes on walls, pillars of termite mud tubes indicating termite activity. One sign of termites is mud tubes, which they build and then travel in. Termite mud tubes tell about the age, location, and extent of termite activity or wood destroying termite damage in or on a building or on other wood structures.
Termites can be costly, so you want to make sure your new home is termite-free. If you suspect termites – or even less threatening but equally annoying bugs like ants or spiders—you’ll want to call a pest control expert to make sure that the problem is taken care of properly.
Remember to check out even the smaller problems with a professional. And take caution at every small issue with the house so you can be sure that your new home is a dream home and that you are NOT stepping into a nightmare that could end of costing thousands of dollars in repairs and a lot of inconvenience.