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Jay Thomas

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Red Flags: STOP before you Buy!

June 21st, 2022



When youre considering purchasing a property, its important to be aware of any red flags that could indicate major problems. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

- Mold that has not been remediated. Rotten smells may indicate plumbing issues or dead animals in the walls. This could indicate a pest infestation or something, and you do NOT want that for your investment property! Imagine a tenant calling you for such a problem!

- Gas leaks can be very dangerous and should be investigated immediately. This could mean pipe leaks that can lead to dangerous situations for you and for your future tenant(s)

- Major cracks in the tile or flooring, gaps above the slab, water leaks, tilting or walls caving in are all signs of potential foundation issues.

- If possible, check the history of repairs to see if there are any red flags there. When investing in any kind of property, you might want to know about its surrounding area and former inhabitants. Several buyers are less likely to take the property if it was a site of an incident or a crime.

You should also check the market history of the propert`y. It can be a red flag if it has been sitting on the market for a long time. There’s a reason why it hasn’t been sold yet, and as an investor, you should know the real reason behind it before you finalize your decision.

In addition, don’t purchase a property with a history of numerous homeownership turnover. It is because there might be a problem with the property that its previous homeowners decided to sell it. 

- Inspectors, contractors, and electricians should be able to tell you if there is a problem with the electrical system. Plug in a good amount of appliances at the same time and see what happens.

- Even if its tough to identify an investment propertys structural problems, there are some things you can check for. Look for any cracks in the brickwork or plaster since they might indicate a more serious problem. For instance, cracks above the windows or doors might indicate failed lintels or some structural issues that could be expensive to repair in the future. Some signs of structural issues include uneven floors, leaning walls, and roof leaks.

-Shiny, glossy paint does not only appear to make a space seem more spacious; it also makes it look cleaner and brighter. However, they might be an indication that you wont be able to obtain what you paid for. A freshly painted wall, for example, may indicate that the preceding homeowners were concealing something. A freshly painted wall or ceiling might mean that there was water damage or mold problems.

-If you encounter a seller who seems fearful that you won’t make a good offer or you’ll back out of the sale, it’s an indication that you’re dealing with a serious problem. It goes double for anyone who is secretive about the parts of the property by covering up the walls with heavy curtains or refusing you access to particular areas. There might be damage from fire or water they’re trying to hide. The best thing you can do to examine the property thoroughly is to hire an inspector. They can help you negotiate the price down based on what you find out from the inspection results.

If you come across any red flags during your property search, be sure to get more information before making an offer. I always recommend partnering up with a Real Estate Agent that can assist you and help watch out for you when needed. Get a contractor or inspector to go around and check. Its better to be safe than sorry!


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Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®

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