7 Red Flags Savvy Buyers Should Look Out For

7 Red Flags Savvy Buyers Should Look Out For

It’s easy for homebuyers to fall in love with a home. They’ve taken every precaution to avoid common homebuyer mistakes. They may have been looking for weeks or months without seeing a home that really caught their eye. Now they’ve finally found “the one,” and it’s easy to ignore warning signs. But you have to look out for red flags when buying a home. If you don’t, you may be left with a house with a ton of costly issues to fix. Here are some red flags that savvy buyers should look out for.

Red Flag #1: A Poorly Done Addition

Sometimes a family just wants to add a bit more space to their home. That’s fine and perfectly understandable. The problem is that while some people do it the right way, many people go a sketchier route. 

First, maybe they don’t even get permission to do the addition from the local government. 

Second, they may hire a company that isn’t qualified to do it… or try it themselves!

Third, shortcuts may be taken. 

If the home has an addition and anything seems off about it, be careful. 

Red Flag #2: Flooding

Homes on the waterfront are lovely, such as a lake or river. The problem is that they may also be prone to flooding. 

Before buying the home, make sure you look into the home’s flood history. You should also see what kind of flood risk to expect. You can look at a FEMA flood map to help, or your agent may be able to help you look into it as well. 

Red Flag #3: Cracks in the Foundation

The foundation of your home is pretty important. Everything is resting on it, so it’s bearing a ton of weight! 

Suppose you are walking around the home and see cracks in the foundation. In that case, it can indicate a significant problem and may be the most expensive type of home repair that people face. Fixing a foundation issue can cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

Red Flag #4: Water Damage or Mold

These go together because mold often accompanies water damage and it is one of the biggest red flags that savvy buyers should look out for.

Water damage can happen if there’s some kind of leak from a fixture like a toilet, tub, or sink. This leak can lead to water damaging the ceiling or wall. If not addressed, the wet area can start growing mold. 

Even though mold is common in homes, you don’t want to move into a moldy mess if you don’t have to. So keep an eye out for water damage as you tour a home, and watch for musty, mildewy smells. 

Red Flag #5: A Damaged Roof

The roof is the home’s primary shield against the elements. It stands up to rain in the spring, the hot sun in the summer, and snow in the winter. Thankfully, roofs tend to do their jobs well as long as they aren’t damaged or worn out. 

But if the roof doesn’t do its job for some reason, that’s terrible news. A damaged roof is probably letting in rain, which – as we just discussed – can do a lot of damage to your home. 

So buying a home with a damaged roof doesn’t just mean you have to repair the roof. It means you also have to look closely at other damage that may have occurred because of the leaky roof. 

Red Flag #6: Bug Infestations

While some parts of the country have to worry about this more than others, it’s still something to consider. If you move into a home with a bug infestation, you have to deal with both the infestation itself and the potential damage it causes. 

Some bugs are more destructive than others. For example, termites or carpenter bees can be bad news. In contrast, black sugar ants probably aren’t causing much damage to the home. 

Still, it’s something to watch out for and ask about. 

Red Flag #7: Sloping Floors

Even if you don’t notice any foundational issues, you may find some sloping floors. While that may be a cool feature for having an in-home bowling alley, it’s indicative of a potential problem! 


Don’t let these red flags scare you. A good inspector will look at these, along with a ton of other things. We just wanted to make sure you’re aware of some potential red flags that savvy buyers should look out for.. As they say, two heads are better than one. 

For the same reason, we always help our clients keep an eye out for these things. We want you to have the best home buying experience possible, meaning you are happy with the process and the home you end up with. So give us a call at (949)-271-7802 or send us an email – we look forward to hearing from you!