Buyer Beware: Spot These Small Problems Before They Cost You Big Time

Posted On March 15, 2018

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Shopping for a home is an exciting experience.  When a home buyer finds a home they love, it can be easy to get attached or even emotional about the home.  However, what seems like a dream house can turn into a money pit without a thorough inspection.  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates a typical home inspection can cost anywhere between $300 to $500, depending on the region and condition of the home.  Before spending money on one or more home inspections, watch out for these simple clues that can be signs of costly damage beneath the surface. 

Doors that don’t close properly might mean the home has “settled” and has an uneven foundation.  An uneven foundation can lead to structural problems as well as water damage.  Repairing an uneven foundation can cost up to $20,000, or even more if pipes and plumbing are involved. 

Discoloration on walls and ceiling can be a sign of water damage.  Discolored spots where the wall meets the ceiling, or along the floor are signs of water leaks.  The smell of mold and mildew is also a dead giveaway for water damage. 

Bad water pressure could indicate that pipes need to be replaced.  Running the water on every fixture, including bathroom and kitchen sinks and showers and tubs can help you gauge the water pressure.

Uneven stairs may be a sign of other carpentry issues.  In a properly built flight of stairs, all riser heights and tread depths should be the same. 

Windows that don’t open are more than an inconvenience.  Replacement windows could cost up to $1000 – each! 

Dead trees in the spring, summer, and fall could be a sign of an insect infestation, and what starts in the yard can end up in the home.  Depending on the extent of the damage, the tree could also be a hazard if it were to fall over. 

It’s easy to get swept up in the home shopping experience.  A home is a special place for you and your family.  Avoid unexpected expenses by watching for these potential pitfalls on your next home tour. 


Sources: Chicago Tribune