Michael Samuels provides legal services to FSBO and other real estate clients in Cincinnati and throughout Ohio.

Red flags to look for when buying a house

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Real Estate Law

Buying a house is a significant investment, and it’s crucial to ensure that you’re making a wise decision.

Recognizing red flags during the buying process can help you avoid potential pitfalls and ensure a smooth transaction. Here are some key red flags to watch out for.

Structural issues

When inspecting a house, pay close attention to its structural integrity. Look for cracks in the walls, foundation or ceilings, as these could indicate serious structural problems. Sloping floors, uneven door frames or windows that are difficult to open or close are also signs of potential issues.

Water damage

Water damage can lead to mold growth, rot and costly repairs. Check for water stains on ceilings and walls, musty odors or signs of recent water damage such as warped floors or peeling paint. Additionally, inspect the basement and attic for any signs of water infiltration.

Pest infestations

Pest infestations, such as termites or rodents, can cause extensive damage to a property. Look for signs of pests, such as droppings, chewed wood or nests. Pay special attention to dark, damp areas like basements and crawl spaces where pests are more likely to hide.

Incomplete or poor renovations

While renovations can enhance a home’s value, poorly executed or incomplete renovations can be a red flag. Look for signs of DIY workmanship, such as uneven tile or flooring, mismatched materials or electrical and plumbing issues. Ask for documentation of any recent renovations and verify that they were done professionally.

Being vigilant for red flags when buying a house can help you avoid making a costly mistake. If you notice issues before making an offer, it is possible to have the seller fix them. If you have already completed the purchase of a home with issues, you may have legal options to recover compensation.