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Real Estate Red Flags To Watch Out For

Posted by Brian Tresidder on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 11:53am.

House hunting can be an absolute blast! From fantasizing about how you'll decorate your beachfront Siesta Key condo to dreaming of raising a family in your new Lakewood Ranch home, it can be one of the most fun things you'll ever do. As thrilling as searching for a new home can be, it can also come with huge responsibility and, sometimes, a great deal of stress. There are so many things to watch out for when searching for the next place you'll hang your hat. The following tips are simple and to follow and will have you feeling more confident in your decision. After all, it is one of the most important ones you'll ever make! Coming across one or two of the following conditions shouldn't completely steer you away fro


Look out for signs that the home is poorly insulated
m making a purchase, but proceed with caution and use your discretion! These simple tips will make house hunting a laid back, enjoyable experience.

Take a close look at the windows: if you see condensation between the sheets of glass in double-pained windows, there may be a leak on your hands which could eventually cause the wood in the walls of the home to rot away, not to mention problems with mold and mildew. Feel around for drafts coming from doors and windows. If you feel cold air coming from a closed window, you may want to reconsider the location. Electricity bills are expensive enough without compensating for poor insulation!

How does the roof look?

Inside and out, the state the roof is in is very important. If you see old, warped shingles or crooked layers, beware. A leaky roof is one of the biggest, most expensive hassles a homeowner can face; picking a home with a bad roof will end up costing you an arm and a leg in repairs!

If the home you're looking at has been vacant for a while

You may want to ask why. Who knows? You could be surprised at the response. Maybe the home is close to a high-crime area, or maybe the home was burgled before. Perhaps it's just not a good location. Vacancy is an important clue to look for.

Finding Dirt?

Do you notice a thick buildup of dirt in the registers and vents? If so, ask when the last time the heating and cooling methods were maintained. You may be surprised at the answer. While you're at it, make sure the fire alarm, fire extinguisher, and carbon monoxide detector are up to date and in good working order.

Flickering lights?

How about buzzing noises coming from light fixtures? This could point to electricity problems, or wiring issues. Faulty wiring is a leading cause of house fires, so beware! Also look to make sure there are no unfinished electrical outlets or phone jacks, and if there are, request that they be fixed before you make your purchase.

Sturdy Foundation

Go through the house and try opening all the doors and windows. If they open easily, you're standing on a sturdy foundation. If, however, you find that many of the doors and windows are hard to open, you're probably on a foundation that is slowly sinking.

Faux Stucco

This siding gives an exotic feel without breaking the bank, so you can't blame the previous owners for installing it, but truth be told the siding comes with many a downfall and should be avoided. Moisture can ferment in between the wall and stucco siding, causing a huge mold problem. It can easily crumble off, and termites simply love the stuff!

Drainage Issues

A sloping back yard may be a stellar place to go sledding, but it if the slope goes toward the house you may have a very big problem on your hands. If there's a storm, water rushes down the slope and toward your home. If the water gets into the basement or the foundation, you'll have a flood on your hands.

If the water slowly pours out of your faucets with no force behind it, you may want to raise questions about the pipes. Pipe work can be a true pain and cost a lot to repair. Also, check around showers, tubs, toilets, and sinks for water stains which would indicate leaky pipes or poor plumbing.

Foundation Cracks

Look for cracks in the foundation of the home. If you happen to find any that are bigger than an inch long, you should bring it up. Although it may be nothing, cracks can signify problems with the structure of the house which could potentially put you and your family in danger.

Sometimes the nose knows!

Take a whiff. What do you smell? Is it sewage? This could mean the sewage system is not in working order. Do you smell a very strong odor of incense, bleach, potpourri, or air freshener? The seller could be trying to keep a very stinky secret. A musty sell is a sign of a mold problem. Smells like pet messes and cigarette smoke are nearly impossible to get out of a house, so this is something to consider. Whatever you're sniffing, make sure it isn't a sign of a much bigger issue.

Just look for anything out of place and follow your gut. Does the whole thing seem 'fishy'? If the seller won't allow you in certain parts of the home or won't answer important questions, you may be in for it. If the seller is not confident, open, and honest, you'll be wise to turn and run as soon as possible.

Even if you're as careful as possible to follow these tips and be on the lookout for any red flags, the help of a professional is indispensable; they simply have the maximum amount of knowledge on the subject. Calling on a realtor for help now can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. A realtor working in partnership with a real-estate agent make the best team to help you find the place you'll find comfort in for the rest of your days: your home.

If you would like more information on any Sarasota homes for sale or any of our Siesta Key condos we'd love to show you. Please contact Key Solutions Real Estate Group, or call (941) 894-1255.

Brian Tresidder | Siesta Key Real Estate Broker

Key Solutions Real Estate


Brian is a licensed real estate broker serving Siesta Key, FL and beyond. From finding the perfect vacation home to helping investors reach their full potential, Brian takes a professional and personalized approach to every situation. 

Phone: (941) 894-1255
Email: brian@keysolutionsre.com

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