Dated: September 18 2020

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BUYERS: watch out for THESE 4 RED FLAGS 

When you visit a house that seems to check off all the boxes, you might be ready to jump right in with an offer — particularly with how quickly the housing markets are moving right now in some areas. Thankfully, you’re not wearing the same rose-colored glasses that many buyers develop when they fall in love with a property. This means that you can spot red flags that might point to big issues down the line.

Here are a few things to spot which property is truly your dream house, and which one is a nightmare in disguise.

Signs of a cheap flip 

 A home that’s been “flipped” has been purchased at a low price, remodeled and updated, and then sold for a profit. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and can result in an attractive property with new fixtures, appliances, and aesthetics. But if the flippers cut corners, this could lead to a property that has big problems underneath the fresh paint. Look out for poorly installed fixtures, floors, cabinets, and doors. Ask questions about the electrical wiring and plumbing, and keep an eye out for serious issues like signs of flooding, which might have been painted over or covered up if the home has been recently remodeled.

Trust your nose 

It’s common for seller’s agents to freshen up an open house or home showing with some scented candles or diffusers, but a strong scent could cause you to miss odors that are warning signs, like the smell of mold, sewage, or smoke. Look for signs of water damage, which could be a sign of a mold problem. If the home was owned by smokers, you may notice nicotine sweating through a new coat of paint, or you can get up close and personal to sniff furniture or curtains, which can hold onto the smell of cigarettes for a long time.

Uneven features

If the floors seem slanted, doors or windows stick when you try to open them, or there are visible cracks, the property could have problems with its foundation. Large trees with big roots too close to the house could also create foundation issues. While some foundation repairs may only cost a few hundred dollars, others could cost upwards of ten thousand dollars once the problem comes to light.

Staging tricks

Learn to see past clever staging and pay more attention to the structure of the house underneath the trendy furniture and attractive paint job. Fresh paint could hide signs of water stains, and a nice rug could conceal flaws in a hardwood floor. Staged rooms are often missing important furniture that you will want to have when you live there, so remind yourself  that even though rooms might look large and open now, they’ll feel different when they have dressers in the bedrooms, a television in the living room, etc.

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Janette Friend-Harrington

"Your Legacy Begins At Home" Janette and Doug and their Friend Team have more than a real estate practice; they have a mission called "Your Legacy Begins At Home". The mission combines years of real ....

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