Red Flags to Look for When Buying a Home

Chattanooga Business Lawyer

Buying a home is often the largest investment of a person’s life. With mortgage rates relatively low and the housing market strong, you may soon find yourself looking for potential properties. But the house of your dreams could turn into a nightmare if you fail to consider defects that can’t easily or inexpensively be remediated. Here are some red flags to be aware of during your home search.

Foundation problems

If the foundation of the home is compromised, it can be very expensive to correct. Cracks in the foundation may indicate a structural problem with the house. Cracks may also appear in the basement and on the walls, windows or door frames.

Rotted wood

Another red flag is rotting wood, which is often a sign that the area has been exposed to moisture.  Certain areas where rotting wood caused by leaks is likely to occur include bathtubs, toilets, sinks and countertops.

Water stains

Dark stains on walls or ceilings are common indicators of water damage. The roof might be leaking, or there may be some other plumbing issue involved. Be sure that your home inspector checks the status of the roof and looks for possible leaks in both the attic and basement.

Electrical issues

If the house has an outdated electrical system, it can present a fire risk that compromises your family’s safety. In some cases, it may even require the home to be completely rewired, which is an expensive undertaking. Older homes may have inadequate electrical systems that are not equipped to deal with modern demands.  Knob and tube wiring, frayed wires, faulty electrical panels and a lack of ground-fault circuit interrupters are all red flags.

Amateur repairs

Unless you are buying a new home, it’s possible the current homeowner has made at least some plumbing or electrical repairs of his own that are not up to code and could cause you future problems. Check the home for faulty repairs and be sure that you consider this aspect when making an offer.

Neighborhood neglect

It is important when buying a home to consider more than just the physical structure of the home. A large part of the value of a home is based on its location. If the neighborhood is in poor condition, this can impact the home’s future value. A high number of vacancies may be indicative of problems. High crime statistics should also be investigated.

While sellers of real property in Tennessee must disclose certain known problems with the home, it’s always a good idea to hire an experienced and local real estate attorney who can ensure that your offer is conditioned on the home meeting your criteria. The Epstein Law Firm can help with all aspects of your homebuying process in Tennessee and Georgia. Call our Chattanooga office at 423-265-5100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.


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