Finally! You’ve found the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. But beware, sometimes home sellers try and hide problems before you even show up to view the home. Here is a list of common problems the home seller may try and hide.
Most pest problems should be caught by the home inspector. But it is still up to you to look for termite damage, cockroaches, carpenter ants, rodents etc.
Leaks / Water Damage
Another issue that will not show itself on a sunny day is leaks and water damage. Homeowners may hide leaks with a fresh coat of paint.
Traffic / Traffic Noise
Take notice when you visit the home. Is there a school nearby? Are you under a flight path? A homeowner may invite you to view the home during a specific time to hide traffic and noise from traffic. Take a cruise by the home during morning commute hours, after school hours, and afternoon commute hours.
Visiting a home on a sunny day won’t reveal any type of drainage issues. Be sure to look for cracks in sidewalks, lifted foundation, and cracks in fencing.
Deck / Wood Damage
Take a close look at wood siding of the home and wooden decks. If there are any obvious fresh coats of paint in certain areas, the homeowner may be trying to hide something.
If the home your buying has a pool, don’t assume that the inspector is a professional at detecting leaks and equipment problems. Most inspection reports will include a disclaimer when it comes to pools. But before you take the plunge, consider getting the pool checked by a professional.
School Zoning Modifications
If you are buying a home in an area with a great school, be very clear on which school zone the home is in. Some zones have weird district lines and can be subject to zoning modifications that the seller may not disclose.
The House Is Haunted
In most states, it’s not required for the seller to disclose if there was a death or violent crime within the house. It is best to ask neighbors or the homeowner and sometimes they will come out with the information.
The seller must disclose whether the home is in a potential flood zone. But sometimes the seller is unaware of this fact. You can check flood zone maps at fema.gov.
Sellers have no reason to let you know about a cranky neighbor or even a shady one. Be sure to ask around the neighborhood or meet the neighbors beforehand.
It may not be in the sellers best interest to disclose the fact that in a few months, that “view” that was used to sell the home is going to be interrupted by plans to make a gas station or office building.
What’s working now, may not be working a few months down the road. Take a look at how old the HVAC and water heating systems are whether you think they might need upgraded in the near future.
Roof / Foundation Issues
Look for any jagged or zigzag cracks in the concrete. This could mean problems with the foundation and could cost an arm and a leg to repair.
These are all things that a home seller may try and hide from you when looking at their home. If you’re curious about what legitimate upgrades you can do to your home before you sell then read our post on 10 cheap and simple ways to increase your home’s value.