20 Major Red Flags Everyone Should Look Out For When Purchasing A Home Shared By Reddit Users

Published 4 years ago

So you’re finally on the market for a new home – congratulations! And while buying the first house you fall in love with might be tempting, there are a few things you should know before going out there and spending your hard earned cash.

Reddit users are sharing the red flags every potential homeowner should look out for when viewing houses, and they will not only help you save thousands of dollars in repair costs but could even prevent you from purchasing a total disaster. Check out all of the helpful tips in the gallery below!

More info: Reddit | Reddit

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If your realtor says “built to code”, that means they made the building as crappy as legally possible.

Image source: _PM_ME_YOUR_SMILE


Go to showings when it’s rainy as heck, then check out the basement.

This will expose any water issues with the foundation even a moron like me could see. One house I was shown had a cable run into the basement from outside at the dirt level and never sealed – so there was a stream of water pouring over the circuit breaker box onto the basement floor.

Passed on that house.

Image source: Yvgar


Pizza delivery no-go zones.

Image source: Spaghetti_Barbarian


If you are viewing houses in the winter and there are a lot of icicles on the roof it’s not properly insulated.

Image source: justifun


When you bang on the walls if you hear moving it’s probably squirrels. Source – bought house full of squirrels

Image source: FuckCheese84


Fresh paint, new carpet, but nothing else updated. It’s the realtor remodel special. Just there to make you feel good on your 15 min walk through. Look at the tiles, trim, foundation to see what you really need to know. And always drive the neighborhood at night if you do not know it.

Image source: onepurch


If you walk into a house and are hit by the smell of Febreeze or air fresheners…well, expect that it probably smells like dogs or smoke when that stuff wears off.

Bear in mind that a lot of agents like to burn pretty smelling candles or bake some cookies right before an open house, so it’s not a hard-and-fast rule. You mostly want to watch out for it if you’re seeing it by appointment…

Image source: ex Redditor


When I was young, my parents took me to an open house and they both loved everything about the property. Cut to us being in the half finished, half unfinished basement and my mom has gone into the unfinished part, which has insulation completely put up around what would be exposed foundation concrete bricks. She finds a seam in the insulation and, ’cause that’s who she is…pulls it back a little. My dad is in the middle of saying “dont do that, you’re being rediculouse” when she interrupts him to tell him to have a look. Huge crack in the foundation running from the floor, diagonally across the entire foundation and up to the ceiling.

Dad told the realtor, who was pissed. off. The owners never told her…which you are supposed to do.

TLDR: exposed insulation installed along unfinished foundational wall may = crack in the foundation. otherwise known as…never get upset at a nosey wife while looking at buying a house.

Image source: chefjenga


As a construction guy, please please PLEASE check the attic. People buy houses and never check the actual AC. If you go up there and smell a burnt smell, or see big silvery tubes that look crumpled, those are issues.

If there is any strong smell, don’t buy. No one spends $80 on Glade plugins unless they are trying to hide something.

Image source: Paretio


Night trains and flight paths

Image source: indubinfo


Is this property in a flood zone?

Just because it’s not on the water, doesn’t mean the property is flood free. Check with the county AND ask the neighbors.

Image source: Maxwyfe


Not a realtor, but viewed many homes before buying — couple things I ran into a lot.

1. Lots of incense/fresheners usually means they are trying to cover up something.

2. Inspect the paint, a ridiculous number of people throw on new paint prior to listing, but do a shit job and just paint over damage.

3. Houses built pre 1930 (In US/CA anyway) can be beautiful, but might as well say ‘here be dragons’ when trying to find problems.

4. If the place has renters/tenants that don’t want you to view — they may end up being a pain later, especially if you need to get rid of them.

5. Put a marble on the floor and see where/if it rolls.

Image source: MEPETAMINALS


When the sellers have stuff hung on the walls in places no one would EVER hang stuff, they may be covering up damage from a decade-long termite infestation.

Source: bought a house where the sellers had stuff hung on the walls in places no one would ever hang stuff, to cover up a decade-long termite infestation.

Image source: ex Redditor


For the love of god check your cell phone signal in the house. I just moved into a new house and I have one bar on the second floor if i stand on a chair.

Turns out there’s only one cell tower to serve the surrounding neighborhood of 200+ houses and since it’s next to a neighboorhood of million dollar homes they can’t get the approval to put in another one so I’m SOL.

Image source: Caliblair


Incense, essential oil diffusers, “put vanilla essence in the oven before the inspection” and other masking smells. Also known as “This house has a mould issue”.

Image source: RheaRainbow


Whether you get enough sunlight. Lived in an apartment that was shadowed by other apartments and trees on the other side. Barely got any sunlight. And it was always so cold.

Image source: Moleman767


If they don’t let you see a particular room / attic, basement etc for some excuse.

Image source: maskthestars


Speaking from personal experience – look out for a seller who likes to do DIY home improvements. Sure,those cabinets etc look OK but you are in for a lifetime of shitty problems! For example, the DIY kitchen cupboards all have awkward and poorly sealed gaps which became the scene of a mouse and cockroach infestation. Had to rip it all apart to figure that out. NEVER ever buying a home from a DIY dipshit again! almost 10 years later and we still regularly find a new catastrophe caused by his DIY projects !!

Image source: Sparkle_turd


When you see even the family of 10 rats moving out as well

Image source: Cust3rdCriam


My Grandfather sold Real Estate for decades. The 1st two things he looked for was the roof and the furnace. If either were too old or looked like a possible replacement was needed soon then it’s something to consider (most first time home buyers can’t afford to replace in first couple years, and many older homeowners would rather not either).

Image source: danny2787

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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buying a house, Homeowners, house buying advice, real estate red flags
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