Maybe you’ve found a house that you absolutely love . . . but is it really all that great? Its easy – far too easy – to overlook severe shortcomings in a house when there are other things about it that you love. And beyond that, first-time buyers often don’t know what to be on the lookout for with respect to the things that should make them have second thoughts. So you need to look at a house with a critical eye and ask yourself how you will feel about and like living there five or 10 years from now. To keep you from regretting a home purchase, then, here are 6 things in a house that should make you run the other way.
1. Bad Area
You’ve no doubt heard more times than you care to recall how important location is – and it is. So a bad neighborhood is certainly one of the things in a house that should make you run the other way.
Here are some examples of area warning signs from top real estate pros. “Your new house may seem like it’s practically on top of a neighbor’s house. Or perhaps you might have to back your car out of your driveway onto a busy road. Maybe your prospective home is next to a loud freeway. The noise may eventually grate on your nerves.”
Just make sure you don’t find out after the purchase that you don’t like your new home’s location. As the same pros point out, let your agent guide you here. “Part of being a good real estate agent is to notice these things and point them out to buyers before they put an offer on the home.” (To discover more about how an agent can help, just call 866-593-7012.)
2. Poor Landscaping
Seldom will the landscaping suit you exactly, but particularly poor landscaping is another of the things in a house that should make you run the other way. If, for example, trees are too close to the house, it won’t be too many years till branches are scraping against the house and roof, causing expensive damage in high winds. Poor drainage, evidenced by a perpetually soggy yard, is another landscaping issue to be on the lookout for.
Here’s an example of what can happen. A certain house where the yard always seemed to be wet was purchased by an unwary buyer. The trees had rotting roots, and it wasn’t long till trees in the yard began to fall. “The cost for tree removal was on ongoing major expense . . . Once, [the owner] even had a very large tree fall across the family van, crushing it.”
3. Second-Rate Cosmetic Fixes
There’s nothing wrong with cosmetic fixes if done properly and for the right reason. But if they seem to be shoddy bandaid jobs to cover up major problems, then that’s something in a house that should make you run the other way.
One thing to be on the lookout for in this area is signs of water damage that have been painted over. In fact, this can trap mold and mildew in walls and drywall and pose a health hazard. In addition, tell-tale foundation cracks can be covered over with new extended siding. Experts recommend that if you do see any signs of such cracks, you should ensure “the cracks aren’t much more than ¼ inch wide. If they are, you should get a structural engineer to inspect. A lot of sellers will attempt to mud over and paint the cracks, so look out for paint or surface mismatch as well.”
4. Few Electrical Outlets
Today, we all depend on our electronic gadgets. So there’s almost nothing as frustrating as finding out there’s no place to plug in your vacuum cleaner or phone charger where and when you need to. This isn’t usually a problem in newer houses, but in older houses it is definitely one of the things in a house that should make you run the other way – unless, of course, you will enjoy paying an electrician a bunch of money to add circuits and outlets. Adding electrical outlets isn’t usually as easy as it seems. You may have to add an additional breaker box, and the cost could run into thousands of dollars.
5. Little Storage Space
Limited closet and storage space can be highly frustrating. And it’s one of those drawbacks buyers can easily overlook when they are enamored with the rest of the house. “Don’t buy a house without enough closet space,” the experts aver. “You will immediately need more.”
But even if there seems to be adequate storage/closet space now, will there be enough for your future needs? Families grow, and we all accumulate a lot of stuff (stuff we keep even when we should get rid of it). A good way to proceed is to compare the storage with that in your former room. Did you have enough before? If you didn’t and the new house doesn’t have more, then maybe you should run.
6. Sketchy History
Now, this is important, and absolutely one of the things in a house that should make you run the other way. Some of the sketchy-history issues you should keep a wary eye out for include:
- Record of bad repairs
- Sparse details in the disclosure packet
- Crime in the area
- A long-time on the market
Finally, about the only sure-fire way to avoid falling victim to any of these things in a house that should make you run the other way is to hire a qualified local real estate agent. Your agent knows what to look for and can point out the warning signs. Let our agents help you.