As a first-time home buyer in Ontario, it is normal that you might find yourself flooded with a lot of different emotions and thoughts throughout this process. This could cause you to overlook some important details while on your search in the vast space that is the Ontario real estate market. There are some things that every buyer should watch out for when looking at potential properties, even if this is not your first home purchase. Zoocasa is happy to help first-time buyers and first-time home sellers and investors along this process. This article will cover the top red flags to look for when purchasing a home.
Foundation or Structural Issues
Having foundation or structural problems with your home is one of the most costly repairs to have to pay for. The foundation of a home is one of the most important parts of it, and a home that has issues with its foundation can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars to fix. When you are looking at potential homes, take extra time to look at the foundation.
Pest or Insect Infestations
Buyers should be aware of specific areas of the home that are most likely to host an insect or pest infestation. With that being said, any severe pest problem should be a huge red flag. Most pests, especially those that destroy wood, can cause a lot of damage to a home. Some of the red flags to watch out for when purchasing a home are common pests like termites and carpenter ants.
Lots of Sales in the Area
If you start to notice that a lot of homes are up for sale in the neighborhood that you are looking in, this can be questionable. This is a common sign that a neighborhood is going on the decline. One perk is that you could negotiate a lower price with a seller.
On the other hand, it could be an indication that the crime rate is rising, amenities are shutting down or there will be the construction of a highway or landfill nearby. There is a reason that everyone is trying to leave the area, and it is one warning sign you should pay close attention to.
Sections of the House are Off-Limits
If you view a home that has limited access to certain rooms, especially if it’s an attic or a basement, this can be a serious red flag. One common excuse that sellers might tell you is that certain areas are untidy or need renovation.
As the potential buyer of the home, you should be able to take a look at every room and every corner of the home to your heart’s content. These off-limits areas are simply hidden costs that can cost you thousands of dollars to fix if you’re not careful.
After the foundation, the roof is the second most expensive home repair to fix. Be on the lookout for missing or damaged shingles, mold, rusty gutters, loose or missing flashing, or sagging ceilings. If possible, try visiting the potential property on a rainy day and see if the gutters looked blocked or if there is any water leaking in.
Not Allowing Inspections
While this is the last item on our list, it is by far one of the biggest red flags. If a property is being sold fairly and in good faith, there is no reason the seller should deny an inspection. Hiring a home inspector is one of the most important parts of the buying process that protects everyone’s interests.
A home inspection will be able to help uncover any issues with the property, including faulty electrical wiring and structural flaws. So if a seller is making you pass on the home inspection, this is a warning that you should pass on the property altogether.