Hey everyone, my name is Laurel and in this video, I’m going to address real estate red flags, and what you should look out for when shopping for a new home. Buying a home is a huge investment, so it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. Before I dive in, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button for more educational real estate videos, just like this one. Let’s jump in!
The First red flag is, DAYS ON MARKET. Or sometimes referred to as D.O.M.
Many factors can affect the amount of time a house is on the market before it sells, however, talk to a real estate agent about the average time in your own market, but in general, beware of a house that’s been on the market for months. If it’s been sitting, it could very well be over priced, or have hidden problems that could be expensive to repair.
Next red flag, water stains. Look around the property, the ceilings, even the walls for yellow or brown stains – this may be evidence of a plumbing problem, or external leak from the roof. It is best to get as much information from the seller about where the leak is coming from and how much damage it’s caused, before making an offer. Sometimes the seller may have repaired the leak but left the visual damage.
On the topic of water damage, let’s address flooding. This can be a big issue in Rhode Island, so before you buy the house, try and drive by the house after it rains. If you find puddles of standing water, the yard may have a drainage problem. Puddles near the foundation are the most concerning, because water that drains along a foundation wall can leak into a basement through the smallest crack.
Ok next, Smells. Ew. When you walk into a property, and you are hit in the face with a strong scent of air freshener, this could indicate that the homeowner is trying to cover the smell of something else – I’ll let you use your imagination there. If you smell mold, check beneath sinks and in basements because if a leak has been left for a long time, construction materials, including wood, drywall, and carpets most likely need to be replaced.
Okay let’s move down to the basement and address a few things. If your property has an oil tank, Rainbow Marks Around Oil Tank is a red flag. This suggests the oil tank is old or has a leak. So make sure to consult with an inspector on how to address this.
Also, most utilities in the basement will have service tags. If these are missing or utilities have not been serviced in a while, this might indicate poor performance. It should be a non negotiable to have everything looked at and serviced by a professional.
Next, open up the home’s electrical panel and check the circuit. If it looks cramped and complicated – this might suggest the home is overloaded and could be a fire hazard. Also, it is not cheap to have your electrical panel upgraded.
Next, check for Cracks In The Foundation. Most poured concrete foundations will crack at one time or another, hairline cracks are not an indication of a problem. If a crack is wider than 1/2 inch, however, it’s a good idea to have an engineer examine the area. This also holds true for cracks that appear to have been recently patched. Large cracks can indicate an unstable foundation.
Okay, last suggestion is look for Fresh Paint. Sounds crazy right, but a fresh coat of paint doesn’t always mean an upgrade. You should question fresh paint, especially if it seems out of place – like when only one wall in a room has been painted. Spot painting could indicate that the seller is trying to cover up a defect on the wall, such as a water stain.
Okay, I hope these suggestions will help you when shopping for a new home. If you’re aware of these potential issues ahead of time, it can help you make a more informed decision or offer and protect your investment. Thanks for watching and happy house hunting!