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Red Flags When Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a home can present many issues that must be acknowledged beforehand in order to prevent future issues. While in the process of looking for a home to buy, there are a number of things to look out for financially, psychologically, and physically when viewing any potential home.

Red flags can give any homebuyer insight into whether the decision to purchase a specific home is worth it. Circumstances associated with both the selling party and the buying party can give some insight into the home itself.

Here are some red flags to look out for when purchasing a home:

Price Drops:

When the price on a home drops it means that the home isn’t selling for certain reasons or that issues associated with the homemade the seller feel as though the pricing needed to be dropped from its initial price. Price drops generally mean that there are some underlying issues and may mean that purchasing the home could cost more for the buyer in the future. 

Litigation Issues

Lawsuits on a property are a red flag. As a buyer, getting caught up in legal issues with a new property is the last thing you want. Checking for pending litigations when buying a house is always important and avoiding houses with these issues is a way to avoid potential problems and costs in the future.

Properties Offered As-Is

Properties offered “As Is” could be mean a number of things, and this offering is considered a red flag for homebuyers a majority of the time. It does not mean that all homes offered “As Is” are not worthy of buying, but that you’ll need to do further research into why a home is listed this way.

Negative Resale Value Characteristics

Certain characteristics of the home affect its resale value. Although you may hope to never have to resell a home that you are looking to purchase, it’s still important to keep these red flags in mind:

• Busy Streets

• Loud Neighborhoods

• Nearby Cemeteries

Stigmas Associated with the House or Neighborhood

Some stigmas associated with the house itself can be deterring for homebuyers. Death in a house or bad luck of a specific property can be considered a red flag under certain circumstances.

Stigmas associated with a neighborhood are often considered red flags to some homebuyers. If a neighborhood is seen in a negative light, this may deter homebuyers from looking for homes in that area.

 Crime Rates

 High crime rates in any neighborhood are a major red flag for home buyers. Buying a home in an area with a high crime rate can be dangerous and may cause issues far greater than financial costs.

School Rankings

 If an area has a low school ranking it may also be considered a red flag for families or future parents. If school rankings are low in a specific area, homebuyers can be deterred.

Mass Exodus From the Neighborhood

If many houses are for sale in a specific neighborhood and many people are moving away from that area, this could be a big red flag for a number of reasons. Why people move out of a specific neighborhood may vary from person to person or family to family, but ultimately if a large majority of people are moving away from a specific place, the most likely reasoning behind it.

It’s important for any homebuyer to research into why vas majorities of homes in a neighborhood are up for sale and why previous tenants moved away. Talking to other sellers can give you a better insight on the situation.

Mold or Fungus 

Mold or fungus is an obvious red flag in any home that you could be looking to buy. The cost of removing any mold or fungus may be large, and the health risks it presents are also an issue.

Foundation Failures

Foundation failures are also a big red flag for home buyers. Safety when purchasing a home is very important and if a home is having issues with its foundation, this is cause for concern.

Poor Previous Maintenance or Repairs

Poor previous maintenance means that buying that home may be costly in repairs. If previous repairs were poorly done, that also may cost significantly more money to fix.

Fresh Paint

 Fresh paint seems like a great feature in a new home; however, it could be a red flag while looking at homes for a number of reasons. The paint could be used to cover up issues with the home such as mold, water leakage, or discoloration from smoking in the home.

Be wary of fresh paint while looking for a new home.

Rotted Wood

Rotted wood is obviously an issue especially if the wood is used as any kind of support in a home.

Plumbing, Drainage, and Gutter Problems

Make sure that you get the house plumbing checked. Plumbing problems will be costly in the future and are a big red flag while in the process of looking for homes to buy.

Issues with water drainage and gutters are another red flag as fixing them could be costly in the future.

Roof Issues

Roofing issues are another big red flag for houses currently on the market. Getting a roof repaired can be extremely costly and something you may not want to worry about when moving into a new place

Each of these red flags should be considered when you are in the market for a new home. If you are currently in the market for a new home and maybe seeking legal advice while in the process, contact us today! Lowthorp Richards has specific expertise in areas associated with home buying.


NOTE: The information contained herein is not intended to be legal advice and the reader should know that no Attorney-Client relationship or privilege is formed by the posting or reading of this article which is also not intended to solicit business.

Cristian R. Arrieta, Lowthorp Richards McMillan Miller & Templeman, A Professional Corporation, 300 E. Esplanade Drive Suite 850, Oxnard, CA 93036