If you're shopping for a new home, then of course you want to buy something that's been well maintained. After all, the last thing you want to deal with upon moving in is a hefty and unexpected repair bill. Having a home inspection done before buying a home is always a great idea, but there are also some common "red flags" you can be on the lookout for even as you're touring homes in the early stages of house-hunting.
Peeling or Bubbling Paint
As you tour a home, keep an eye on the paint job in each room. If you notice any peeling or bubbling paint, this could be the sign of a moisture problem. If paint is peeling on the ceiling, this could even be indicative of a roof leak that needs to be addressed. It is not uncommon to see peeling paint in bathrooms, especially when ventilation fans aren't doing their job and excess moisture has built up.
"Stair-Step" Cracks on Walls
While most small horizontal and vertical cracks along walls or ceilings aren't much to be worried about (they usually just indicate that a home is settling over time), "stair-step" cracks are another story. These are cracks that run in a stair-step-like pattern, rising upwards and then horizontally. These cracks along walls can be signs of foundation problems in the home, which is why it's important to have them checked out before you commit to buying,
Poor Water Pressure
When you tour a home, you have every right to test out faucets and shower heads, flush toilets, and even run the dish washer. Doing all of these things can help to give you a better idea of the home's plumbing system. Specifically, be on the lookout for a sluggish toilet or a lack of water pressure from shower heads and faucets. These could be signs of plumbing blockages or other issues.
Damp or Musty Smells
Finally, take notice of any damp or musty smells--particularly in basements and crawlspaces. These could be signs of moisture problems, such as foundation leaks. On the same note, be weary of homes where there are lots of candles lit or other obvious signs of odor masking. The sellers might just be trying to create a nice environment in the home for your showing, but there is also the possibility that they could be trying to hide an unfavorable scent or lingering odor.
For more information about homes for sale, contact a realtor.