Potential Red Flags for First Time Home Buyers

Posted by Justin Havre on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 at 8:57am.

Red Flags for Home BuyersIt is all too easy to get wrapped up in the idea of buying an Upper Mount Royal home. Unfortunately, in the excitement buyers can ignore signs of one or more potential issues that may raise their heads down the road. This can be of particular importance to those new owners who may already be maxing out their budget with a purchase, and may not have the extra funds to address issues occurring right after becoming a homeowner. Use the following suggestions to know when to make an offer and when it is best to move on.

Too Good to Be True

A home that is listed below the average asking price when compared to recent comps may be a windfall or be cause for concern. Considering that a homeowner is not only buying a home but is generally going to reside in a community, issues aside from the home itself should be inquired into by a potential buyer. A home inspection is not going to reveal issues like high crime ratings, poor school ratings, the general economic health of an area and more. Driving through the surrounding neighborhood a few times may reveal pockets of homes in serious disrepair or numerous homes on the market. All of these concerns may negatively impact the ability to sell a home at a later date.

Wall Cracks and Foundation Damage

Home settlement can occur to new and older homes and is not an issue in and of itself. However, buyers who see large and multiple cracks above doors or windows may want to be concerned. Large zig-zag cracks can indicate foundation damage. Cracked and chipping foundation can affect the structural integrity of a home and may need special supports or be replaced altogether. As sellers often paint the walls before showing a home, it is important not to neglect checking the condition of the foundation.

Strong Fragrances and Odors

Going to an open house and having to smell the strong fragrance of candles or an air freshener may not only be irritating to those with a sensitive nose but also a concern. On one hand, it may only be masking some cooking smells or potential pet odors. On the other hand, such tactics can also be used to cover up more unusual smells that could indicate a pest or mold problem. Be on the lookout for strong, musky odors when walking through a home.

Poor Quality Upgrades

In the quest to save money, some owners may choose to do upgrades themselves or go with a contractor that does not get necessary permits. Shoddy workmanship may be an indication that a professional was not hired to perform the work. Home improvements that include changes to the square footage of a home or additional electrical and plumbing work often require permits and the use of professional contractors to ensure that the work is done to code. Sellers who have made improvements without required permits can unknowingly create safety hazards and can make it harder for future owners to sell a home. When upgrades and significant home improvements have been made, it is important to get all permits from the current owner.

Moving Too Fast in A Seller's Market

In a competitive market like Toronto, some buyers may choose to eliminate common contingencies from a contract. This may improve their chances of being selected by a seller. However, some contingencies, such as one involving the appraisal of a home, are very useful to a buyer and can help them avoid a money pit.

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