House Hunting: Watch for These Five Small Signs That Can Indicate Much Bigger Problems with a Home

It’s not uncommon for homebuyers to recount horror stories about properties that appeared to be fine at first glance, but were actually hiding very expensive problems. If you fail to do your due diligence, you might find your dream house turning into a nightmare. The next time you walk through a house, pay attention for these five signs that the property might be hiding a foul secret or two.

Mold, Water Spots and Water Damage

Older and newer homes alike may develop a leaky pipe or another similar plumbing issue from time to time, but any type of water issue can result in mold growth inside the walls. Water spots and warped wood indicate that the property has had a water issue in the past, and this means that the property should be more thoroughly inspected for mold growth before you make a purchase.

Doors and Windows That Stick

One of the most common signs of a foundation issue is doors and windows that stick or that are difficult to open and close. As you walk through the home, open and close the doors at leisure to identify if they are not in the frame properly. The issue should be reviewed by a structural home inspector or foundation contractor.

Small Cracks in the Walls

Some cracks in both interior and exterior walls can indicate that the home’s foundation has shifted and is no longer flat and level. Molding or doorframes that appear to have shifted after installation may indicate significant issues.

Fresh Paint on a Small Area of the Wall

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. However, when fresh paint is applied on one area of the wall alone, this may be a sign that the homeowner is attempting to conceal water damage or other related issues with the property. Further inspection of the property is in order.

Floors That Slant

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. If you notice that the floors in a property slant, you should schedule an inspection of the foundation.

These small signs are symptoms of large problems, and they should concern you. If you notice any of these problems on a walkthrough when your house hunting simply walk away from the home and contact a real estate professional for assistance.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “House Hunting: Watch for These Five Small Signs That Can Indicate Much Bigger Problems with a Home”

  1. We are looking for a new house and i’m scared to get one that has hidden problems. I really like your tip to keep an eye out for windows and doors that stick. I haven’t been checking the doors so I will make sure to start doing that. Should we have a structural home inspection done even if we don’t notice any issues? Thanks for these great tips!

    1. April, glad you liked our recent post on “House Hunting”. I always encourage home inspections when buying a home. In some cases your average home inspector will be able to spot any structural home issues, yet it’s not a bad idea to have a structural engineer review anything that may have you feeling that “gut feeling”. These inspections cost a bit of money but in the long run it is completely worth it. Always protect yourself. Happy house hunting!

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