Ready to buy a house in the Chicago area? In our latest post, we will discuss 7 red flags real estate buyers should watch out for in Chicago, who will ensure the house is move-in ready. If you go out on your own, make sure you utilize these 7 of our biggest red flags to watch out for when buying a home in Chicago.
# 1 – There Are Many Houses For Sale In The Neighborhood
Just like there are neighborhoods that are up and coming, there are also neighborhoods that are on a down-swing. Make sure there aren’t a ton of houses for sale in the area. If everyone is leaving town, there is bound to be a reason why. Overly inflated prices, loud traffic from the new freeway, or a change in zoning. There are all kinds of reasons why people might want to leave. If you find a deal that is too good to be true and find many people nearby are leaving too, you might want to reconsider making an offer until you can get more answers.
# 2 – Pests
See a roach in the house? Odds are it’s not the only one. And while roaches are typically unwelcomed house-guests, there are many other pests to look out for that can seriously damage your house. Termites and carpenter ants being two of the biggest culprits. In addition, you’ll want to make sure there are no places where larger pests can get in, or may have gotten in in the past. Damaged soffits can provide access for rats, snakes and other unwanted animals into the house. Make sure there are no pests, no signs of pests and ask the seller if they have a pest control service in place.
# 3 – A Solid Foundation
A house with a damaged foundation cannot stand. Having a strong foundation s the most important part of the property. A few easy ways to make sure you don’t have any sinking is to check the windows and doors. Does anything appear slanted? Not closing correctly? Cracks at the corners and windows? While some settling is normal, if your foundation is sinking, it can mean you are in for a whole other list of problems down the road.
# 4 – Amateur Repair Work
There are many homeowners out there who watch a little too much HGTV. Sure, some repairs and upgrades are great DIY projects, however other times, homeowners will not have the tools, knowledge or resources to do a proper job. Look for signs of removed walls, sloppily done additions and other signs of amateur work. While the homeowner may have had good intentions with their project, and problems with it down the road will be on you.
# 5 – Water Stains
Sometimes a small leak is nothing more that that. If caught right away, everything is easily cleaned up and repaired. However, water stains are typically signs or a much larger problem. A leak can be the result of a bigger problem or lead to bigger problems itself if it is leaking into the wall. You can experience electrical and structural damage if a leak goes undetected for too long. This can lead to mold and a whole other host of problems to deal with. One tale-tale sign of water damage is a fresh patch of paint, but only in one spot. What are the homeowners trying to cover up? And should you really purchase from someone who is obviously trying to hide some damage?
# 6 – Deferred Maintenance
Every house needs to be maintained. As people begin to lose interest or detach from the home they own, they might begin to stop taking care of it as they should. Minor repairs left undone can lead to much bigger problems. It’s just like a car, it the routine maintenance isn’t being done, the car will eventually break down!
# 7 – It Stinks
There are many reasons why a house might smell bad, and none of them are good! A bad smell is a sign of mold and decay which is a sign of many other major problems! It is one thing to have a candle lit, but if every room has one burning, or if all you smell is an air freshener, they might be trying to hide something much bigger!