Watch for red flags

Big red flags to look for when buying a new home

As the prime house-hunting season nears, future homeowners should know the drawbacks that may arise from buying a home that is not carefully inspected prior to purchase.

Buying a home is a big, financial commitment and it's crucial to know everything before investing in what is likely your biggest asset.

Today, we are listing some of the most common red flags when buying a home.

  • Rotted Wood — Wood rots over time, especially when it’s exposed to moisture. Luckily, the Okanagan isn’t overly moist or humid, however there are many older homes that could easily have rot. Therefore, inspecting the wood in the kitchen, bathroom, joists and attic, etc. is definitely a must for every future homeowner.
  • Inadequate Ventilation — This is crucial, and can be the cause of issue No.1. You should make sure the attic, crawl space/basement and bathrooms are properly ventilated.
  • Maintenance Of Appliances — If appliances are included, a close inspection will help tell that tale of whether they will last for the long or short term.  Appliances can be a huge expense if buying new, so you want to know if you should include them in your budget or whether they will last for a while. 
  • Amateur Repairs — Sellers sometimes are inclined to hire their friends and amateur electricians and other repair people without extensive knowledge on the subject. This is why house repairs — from electrical to plumbing, should be properly inspected so that they don't cause more damage in the long-term. Beware homes with kitchen and bathroom renovations with no permits. They might look great, however if they are not finished properly and professionally, you could be in for a huge future expense. 
  • Inadequate Drainage — Water intrusion in the basement is often caused by poor drainage, which you should have on your inspection list. Simply extending downspouts and adding more drain rock may fix most drainage issues, however a thorough inspection is needed to ensure there aren’t further, more extensive issues that could cost a fortune. 
  • Heating And Cooling Systems — Simply because they are used seasonally, the heating and cooling systems can be subject to failure, and could be emitting carbon monoxide fumes that are harmful to you and your family.  Have them checked by a professional. 
  • Environmental Hazards — Hazards to the environment, such as the dreaded “M” word (i.e. mould).  Most moulds are harmless and can easily be removed with soap and water, however a few are extremely dangerous. If those are found, you will need to call the guys in the Hazmat suits.  

Remember, when buying a home, you are investing in your future and the future of your family, which is why you should always hire a professional, reputable home-inspection company to alert you of any major problems. 

Whether these problems are past, current or future, they can have major affects on your quality of life and your pocket book. 

Protect yourself, hire an inspector. 

For more information on hiring a home inspector or purchasing the home of your dream, please contact the Salt Fowler Team at RE/MAX Vernon and “Just Add Salt!”



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About the Author

Lisa Salt is a Vernon born Realtor® who, along with her husband Gord Fowler from Calgary, lead one of the most successful and dynamic real estate teams in the North Okanagan. 

An international clay target shooting champion, Lisa brought the attributes of hard work and diligent focus to the real estate industry to create the success she and her team have today. 

To experience the local knowledge and expertise that only someone born and raised in the Okanagan can offer, call Lisa today and 'Just Add Salt'.

Website link:   http://www.saltfowler.com

Contact e-mail address:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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