The process of buying a home is often an incredibly tedious one. There are a lot of steps involved, a lot of planning required, and a lot of room for mistakes. One of the worst mistakes you can make is not keeping a keen eye for hidden problems in a home you’re considering. Sellers are required by law to disclose problems within their knowledge. However, there will always be sellers who pretend to be unaware of certain problems and choose not to disclose them with you.
For this reason, conducting a home inspection is crucial before making an offer on a home. However, you can tell for yourself if a property has hidden problems by looking for these signs.
Neighborhood kids, nearby traffic, the neighbors’ excitable dogs. The house you’re considering could experience a certain level of disruptive noise throughout the day, and homeowners are not required by law to mention this to you. While it’s not always possible to determine how much noise the neighbors make when you’re touring the home, you can get an idea of what to expect by asking how many neighbors have kids and loud pets.
Traffic is another thing that you have to consider. Unless the house is situated in a neighborhood that doesn’t get a lot of passing traffic, visit the house during peak hours to experience the noise level from passing cars (and planes, if the house is near an airport).
Leak and dampness issues
Leak and dampness problems are some of the most common issues that home sellers try to hide, usually by ‘forgetting’ to mention them or slathering on a fresh layer of paint on the walls. This is why you should be wary of houses that smell like fresh paint. While new paint doesn’t always indicate that a seller is hiding water stains, you can never be too sure.
Mold is an inevitable outcome of excessive dampness in the house, and many home sellers try to mask the smell by lighting a candle or spraying air freshener on the pretense of making the house smell more inviting. Again, be wary of houses that smell too good.
The best way to detect moisture issues is by having a home inspection done. It can be incredibly expensive to fix extensive leak and dampness in a house, so that home inspection will be worth every penny.
A dark past
Murder, suicides, robberies, and other violent crimes that occur on the property don’t have to be disclosed in most states since psychological damage does not affect the value of a property. Realtors are also less than willing to disclose a house’s dark past because it can easily make a sale fall through. Hence, it’s up to you to find out more about the house’s past. Ask the neighbors if any crime has occurred on the property. If you want to be a hundred percent sure, try inquiring with the local police station.
Most home inspectors are not qualified to detect problems with the pool. Even the home seller may not be aware of the issues in their pool since a pool expert is usually the only one who can spot problems in the complex system.
Pool problems are often expensive to fix. So if you don’t want to shell out even more money just to swim in your new pool, hire a professional pool expert to inspect it before making an offer on the home.
A home seller is legally required to provide full disclosure if they know that their house is located in a flood zone. Make sure to ask when looking at the home. If they say that they don’t know, it’s now your responsibility to see if the house is in a flood zone. Use maps on fema.gov to verify your potential home’s flood status.
If the house is located in a flood zone, negotiate the price of the home to take into account flood insurance costs.
Traffic congestion in the area is another thing that sellers don’t have to disclose with you. A great way to see the traffic situation in the area is to drive around during rush hours (both in the morning and in the evening) on a weekday and on a weekend.
There are a lot of things that sellers try to hide when selling a home, and these are just some of them. When buying a home, ensure that you look for signs of hidden problems not just on the property itself, but the surrounding area as well.