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Location, school district, number of bedrooms—with so many variables to keep up with, it’s no wonder home buyers sometimes feel overwhelmed by their search for a new home! But forgetting something important could be a costly mistake. If you’re searching for a new home, here are 3 red flags you should be on the lookout for.

1. Damage or signs of repairs

Whether it be structural damage or shoddy repairs, be cautious if the home is showing signs of wear and tear. For example, a section of new paint on the ceiling could be an indication that a leak was recently fixed (or simply patched without being repaired first!) A crack in the fireplace or in the brick outside the home could mean there are foundation issues. Be sure to inquire about any problems or “patches” you see.

2. Strange smells

If a home has an unpleasant odor, don’t ignore it. Water damage or mold could be to blame. You don’t want a home that is prone to flooding. And if past flooding has caused mold to grow, that can be dangerous until it is properly taken care of. Not only will you have to factor in the extra cost for repairs, but you have to take into account the fact that you may not be able to move in until the problem is resolved.

3. Signs of pests

Strange smells could be an indication of another red flag: pests! Rodents, termites, and carpenter ants are not only unsanitary but they can also cause costly damage to a home. Be on the lookout for:

  • small mounds of dirt (a potential sign of carpenter ants)
  • thin root-like tunnels of dust (signs of termites)
  • scuffling noises or signs of nesting (potential rodent problems)

Conclusion

While it may be unpleasant to think about red flags, you’ll be grateful you did once you find a safe home that you love and are able to enjoy stress-free! Of course, you don’t have to worry about catching all of the red flags yourself. Getting a professional inspection can put your mind at ease, uncover unseen issues, and save you a lot of hassle in the long run. You may even be able to get the seller to pay for some of the repairs, should you discover problems!

Wondering whether or not a red flag should have an impact on your decision to buy a certain home? Share any concerns with your realtor and they can help you determine whether or not the issue is a deal-breaker.

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