Buying a home is an exciting time. The more informed you are before you buy, the better things will be in the long run. It is important that you see past the design and decor and learn to look at the “bones” of the home. Understanding how well a home was built and maintained, can really reduce expensive repairs in the future.

Red Flags When Buying a Home

If you are a first-time home buyer it is important for you to look for, and understand possible warning signs that there may be a structural problem with a home. A home inspector will also be able to help you determine possible problems and repair costs associated with them. 

The Foundation

  • cracks in the driveway, walls and sidewalks                                                                   cracked road
  • floors, windows and doorways that are crooked or not level                                               
  • large trees with roots near the foundation
  • inside doors that jam or have gaps on the top of them

The Electrical

  • any exposed wires
  • flickering lights
  • warm to the touch plugs or outlets
  • any visible signs of electrical tape
  • flash burns near socket covers

The Roof

  • missing or cracked shingles
  • significant wear and tear
  • mismatched materials
  • curled or warped shingles

The Plumbing

  • faucets leaking
  • water stains under sinks or around toilet or tub
  • poor drainage from sink or bathtub
  • foul odor
  • poor water pressure


  • water stains on walls
  • visible mould
  • musty smell
  • rotted wood around doors and windows    
  • peeling paint

Insects or Pests

  • check for signs of termites and carpenter ants
  • are there signs of visible entry ways for mice and other small rodents
  • does exposed interior wood look damaged

Poor Workmanship

  • repairs are not professional
  • renovations appear amateur
  • tasks aren’t completed


Contributed by: Deb Rhodes, Sales Representative, Royal Lepage Peifer Realty

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