The Perfect Property

4 Red-Flags When Looking For A Home To Purchase

by Zachary Thompson

When looking at homes for sale, it is important to be diligent to ensure that you don't end up purchasing a house that will come with unexpected hidden costs. It is easy to fall in love with a house, but it can be hard to talk away. While you are house hunting, look out for these red flags that may be a sign that you should keep looking:

Condition of the Roof

A roof that is properly installed and cared for can last for decades, but if the home you are interested in has a very old roof, you will need to assess whether you want to assume the expense of having to replace it within a few years of moving in. There may also be the risk of leaking and needing emergency repairs when you buy a house with an old roof. Before making an offer, make sure you find out how old the roof is, what type of maintenance has been done, and when the roof was last inspected.

Location within a Flood Zone

A house doesn't need to be located right next to a body of water to be in a flood zone, and buying a home in a flood zone is a calculated risk. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding caused by flash floods or heavy rain, so you will have to purchase separate flood insurance, which can be very expensive. In addition, owning a home in a flood zone can make it much harder to sell in the future. Enter the home's address in a flood map website to see if it is located in a high-risk flood zone. 

Old Plumbing

If you're buying an older home that has never been updated, the condition of the plumbing could be a deal breaker. Redoing the plumbing in a home can be very costly, and old plumbing can be more prone to leaking or cracking, which can cause a lot of damage to the house and your belongings.

Outdated Electrical System

Like old plumbing, an outdated electrical system can be very expensive to update while also being a fire hazard. If possible, ask the sellers if you can hire an electrician to inspect an old electrical system prior to putting in an offer. If the sellers decline, you will still be able to back out of the deal without penalty during the inspection period if it is found that there are major problems with the home's electrical system.