Home Buyer Red Flags

Are you looking to buy a house? Look out for these red flags during your home search.

1. Foundation Issues

It is normal to expect a home to have hairline cracks which indicate that the house is settling into position. Larger gaps and cracks signal a much bigger issue with the foundation. Things to be on the lookout for include visible cracks above window frames, sticking doors, and uneven flooring. There is nothing worse than a home purchase with foundation issues and often cannot be corrected without starting from scratch.

2. Strong Scents

Often agents will want to make a home have a pleasant scent for showings and open houses with the assistance of freshly baked cookies or candles. If the scent in the home is overpowering, this should set an alarm off in your mind as to what scent they may be trying to cover up such as offensive pet odours, smoking, or mildew.


3. Poor Tiling

Take a close look at the tiling job executed in the home. If there are gaps or the tiles are slightly uneven, this indicates that it was not installed by a professional. This may also indicate that multiple fixes have been attempted by a DIY job and could be pricey to have redone.


4. Unkept Property Maintenance

When you walk through the home, keep an eye out for neglected home maintenance. For example, long grass, burnt-out lightbulbs, leaky faucets, and old paint may be a sign that the seller did not care to upkeep the home. If this is how they care for their home, what else may be needing fixing that is not visible.


5. Mould and Improper Ventilation

As you walk through the home, take note of the ceilings and walls to check for any watermarks. This could be an indication that there may have been a leak or flooding at some point that may have caused internal damage. Look for mould indicators by checking if there is condensation on the windows or bubbling paint around windows, doors, or vents. This could signal moisture in the walls or ceiling drywall which creates mould and an increase in allergies.


Even though these are items that should be caught with your home inspector, checking for these red flags when first viewing a property can save you a lot of time and money.


MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.