Looking for a Home: 5 Things to Watch for That Can Lead to Bigger Problems

I've heard many stories of homeowners that fell in love with the idea of owning a certain home and overlooked many signs of problems that appeared small at first glance. The truth is that the sellers were actually hiding much larger and more serious issues. That combined with the buyer looking at these issues through rose colored glasses can really turn buying your dream home into living with a ongoing nightmare. Next time you go house hunting, pay particular attention to these 5 things that can be hiding much bigger and more costly problems.

Mold, Water Spotting & Damage from Water

It's not uncommon for a homeowner to have a pipe leak or plumbing issue over time, but any type of plumbing issue or pipe leak can result in mold growth inside the walls. Water spotting and warped wood indicate that the property probably had a water issue in the past and would be grounds for a more careful inspection for mold growth prior to finalizing any purchase.

Sticking Doors and Windows

One very common sign that an issue exists with the foundation is doors and windows that stick or even impossible to open or close. If you are interested in the home, make a point to open and close doors to make sure that they move freely and without any effort. If you notice that they aren't properly sitting in the frame, there is a strong possibility that an issue with the foundation exists. This should be properly evaluated by a structural engineer or foundation contractor.

Cracks in Walls

Cracks in both interior and exterior walls can indicate that the home's foundation is no longer flat and level. As you walk from room to room, look at the door frames and moldings. Any issues with a homes foundation shifting usually shows up in these most obvious places. Once again, if there is any doubt as to the extent of the problem, call in a professional to examine the issue before it becomes your issue.

Freshly Painted Area of a Wall

It's not uncommon for a homeseller to paint walls and ceilings prior to listing their home for sale. Why not, they want to show their home in a way that will allow them to get top dollar. However, when fresh paint is applied to only one small area of a wall or ceiling, it's usually a sign that the homeowner had/has an issue in that location and they are attempting to conceal water damage or some related issue. If you are serious about the home, call in a professional for further evaluation.

Slanting Floors

While walking through a home, do you get the impression that you are walking up or down an incline? If so, it's a good indicator that the foundation has shifted. These issues are usually the direct result of movement of the foundation that the home rests on. This results in an uneven feeling as you walk across the floor. Any indication of this in a property that you have interest, call for further inspection of the home's foundation.

Remember, your home purchase should be both exciting and enjoyable. Don't let common sense be overrun by emotion. If any of these issues should present themselves to you while evaluating a home for purchase, call a professional for further assistance before you finalize the deal.