Home Search Red Flags

The search for a new home can be exciting! You are starting a new chapter; and you want to do everything in your power to make sure it is a good one. This is why it's important to keep an eye out for red flags when conducting your home search. Your real estate professional will be able to help with this, but here are some general things to keep an eye on: 

A Lack of Photos: Listing photos are all about showing off a property. Some listings will have thirty plus photos. Others? Not so much... A lack of photos can sometimes mean there is a lack of a good home to show off. They may show the outside only, or just the kitchen. It could be those were the only photos available, but usually it means the rest of the property doesn't show as well. It's always worth going in person if you like what you see, but this can be a red flag for what is to come. 

Neighbourhood Movement: HGTV notes, "don't let a home's curb appeal keep you from glancing down the street. Are there several other homes for sale? Are nearby businesses boarded up or vandalized? Get the scoop from the neighbors. If everyone else wants to leave the street, maybe you should, too. Just do it before you're stuck with a bad investment" (HGTV). Remember: the neighbourhood you live in is just as important as the property you live on.

Smells: When you first arrive at a home, take a deep breath. You're looking for two things: 1). A bad odour, which could indicate mould, a plumbing issue, or any other number of problems, and 2). A dousing of fragrance, which could be used to cover up a bad smell. Any strong smell can be an indication of a problem waiting to burst at the seams, or simply and ill-kept home. Remember: rarely are great home bones hiding under filth and stink. 

Locked Doors or Blockades: HGTV writes, "ask about any rooms that are 'off limits' during your home tour, and arrange to see them later if you're interested in the house" (HGTV). It could be that they are in the middle of a renovation and had to keep the area closed for safety reasons; or it could mean they are trying not to scare away visitors with a room in poor condition. Insist on seeing every space before you sign on the dotted line. 

Besides red flags, look for green flags too!

(Photo Created Via Canva)

Posted by Ken Richter on


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