7 Red Flags to Consider when Buying Your Next Home

We’ve all seen red flags that stick out like a sore thumb when visiting a particular home or neighborhood such as run down homes and un-kept lawns.  But what about some other major red flags that the average home buyer isn’t trained to notice?  We will discuss 7 red flags that you don’t want to ignore!  Keep in mind that these red flags don’t necessarily mean “don’t buy.”  They simply mean that you should pause to think, gather more information, and make an educated decision before you proceed.

red-flagRed Flag # 1:   Market Value

Is the value of the area you are considering increasing or decreasing?  Your real estate agent will be able to pull accurate information for you and help you in determining the answer to this question.  Of course, increasing values will be ideal.  So, carefully weigh all of the information before making an offer on a property in a neighborhood where the values are headed south.

red-flagRed Flag # 2:  School Ratings

It’s no secret that homes in neighborhoods with the best schools are the most valuable and desirable.  Even if you do not have children in the school system or you send your little students to the best private schools, you should strongly consider what buying into one of the lower rated districts might mean for you in the future when it comes to reselling.

red-flagRed Flag # 3:  New Subdivisions

Purchasing a newer home in a recently developed subdivision can be really exciting.  Before you take the plunge, though, you should consider looking at the overall plans for the community such as where cable/phone boxes will be placed and what types of homes will be built on the vacant lots around you.  If you decide to purchase a home in an area still doing construction, you may have some unwelcome surprises if you don’t do all of your homework ahead of time.

red-flagRed Flag # 4:  Conversions or Additions to a Home

Many subdivisions, especially older ones, allow room additions or conversions.  You will want to look closely at the work done and gather all of the information regarding the contractors who completed the work, especially when it comes to electrical and plumbing work.  Proceeding with caution in this particular area can save you a major headache in the long run!

red-flagRed Flag # 5:  Incomplete Construction or Remodeling Projects

An incomplete addition or remodel should also be looked at closely.  Have permits been pulled?  Who started the work? Can it be completed easily and professionally without having to backtrack and redo work already started?  These are all questions you will want to answer before moving forward.

red-flagRed Flag # 6:  The Floorplan

Any oddity in a floorplan that seems different or bizarre should cause you to pause a bit.  Sometimes “different” is a good thing, but at other times…..not so much!  A layout that seems choppy and doesn’t flow well could cause you problems when you’re ready to resell the home.  Also, if you are looking at a 2 bedroom in the midst of a neighborhood full of 3 and 4 bedrooms, this could drastically decrease your value and make reselling difficult as well.  Another red flag concerning the floorplan is the lack of a dining room.  Strangely, most buyers want a formal dining room.  Homes without them are a bit more difficult to sell.  Think twice before purchasing a home without a fancy feasting facility!

red-flagRed Flag # 7:  Over Improvement

Over Improvement is definitely not a deal breaker, but something you should be aware of.  An amazing home which has been greatly improved can be very appealing, but it could increase the value of the home far beyond the market value of the neighborhood it’s in.  When it comes time to resell, will you be able to get your money back on the property?  It may not be possible.  You have to decide if it’s worth it to you.

Again, these red flags do not mean you have to run the other way.  But before you jump in head first, be sure you learn everything you need to know in order to make the best decision for your future!  Buyer’s remorse is not fun!

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