Red Flags To Avoid When Buying a Home in Greater Phoenix
No home is perfect, so don’t let an unfortunate design choice, or a 42-page home inspection report send you running! It’s the inspector’s job to point out every little detail so you make decisions with your eyes open. Having said that, more serious flaws should make you consider walking away. This article will help you understand of the differences, so you know when to throw in the towel on your offer on a home.
Ultimately, you don’t want to let your excitement for a new home cause you to buy a home you’ll regret. Consider these factors before buying a home in Metro Phoenix:
Make sure transitional neighborhoods are up-and-coming, not declining.
An unstable neighborhood might be characterized by multiple “For Sale” signs, rentals, and foreclosures, indicating that people are seeking to leave the area while they still can. An excess of rentals and foreclosures could also indicate deteriorating maintenance and curb appeal for neighboring properties in the future.
However, you may get a great return on your money in a transitional neighborhood if there is major growth in the area. Check in with your real estate agent who can do a market analysis by evaluating the most recent sales nearby. Are prices going up or down? How long are homes on the market? Are homes selling for more than the asking price?
For immediate gratification and promising resale values down the road, look for vibrant areas with transportation options and nearby amenities like shops and restaurants, especially in more urban areas. When buying a home, the location is a critical factor to consider––it is the one aspect that you cannot change.
Hire a qualified home inspector to point out often missed structural and maintenance issues. Some potential problems are hidden and easy to overlook.
Your home inspector’s role is solely to observe and report their findings during the inspection; they won’t provide advise on whether to purchase the home or not. With your inspection report in hand, you’ll have to determine whether investing time and money into repairs is worthwhile or if it’s better to walk away and continue your home search.
Carefully consider moving forward with a home that has any of these items listed in your home inspection report:
Lack of maintenance should not be ignored. It’s a warning sign that this home hasn’t been sufficiently cared for in years. Major issues, such as water damage, could be lurking beneath the surface.
Questionable fixer-uppers. Certain issues are typical for homes based on their age and location, and they don’t necessarily indicate poor construction. A typical fixer-upper with “good bones” might be acceptable in specific neighborhoods. However, it’s important to avoid homes with excessive issues, especially if they aren’t that old. This is particularly crucial if the construction appears structurally unsound or the carpentry is unfinished.
Do-it-yourself additions. If the addition appears awkward and cheap it may not be up to code and it’s likely to be detrimental to the home’s resale value. Consider the costs and time involved in tearing it down and rebuilding properly. Be sure to inquire about the permits and approvals obtained from the permit or building office in the jurisdiction where the home is located.
Termite infestation can wreak havoc on a home. Determine the extent of the damage and cost to fix and prevent it in the future. You can easily do this by calling a termite company, which usually costs around $50. Addressing the issue before moving in is crucial to avoid costly repairs later.
Moisture in the basement can indicate two things: seepage issues due to grading problems and the potential for mold growth. A musty smell in the basement is often a sign of such problems. Additionally, you may notice brown, moldy-looking damage on wood, which indicates past water damage. Mold is a serious issue that can lead to health problems if left unchecked.
Water marks on the ceiling or walls may indicate a leaking roof, rusting gutters, or faulty plumbing, all of which can lead to wood rot and other potential damage. While these issues can be repaired, it’s important to assess the extent of the damage before proceeding.
Faulty and outdated wiring can pose a serious fire hazard. When considering a home, factor in the cost of fixing and updating the wiring. Inspectors should thoroughly check for overloaded circuits and ensure proper grounding. If you plan to do extensive renovations to an older home, ensure it has sufficient electrical amperage coming into the property.
Hidden Problems When Buying a Home in Metro Phoenix
- Freshly painted walls that may conceal mildew, mold, or water damage.
- An excessive use of air fresheners or scented candles to mask odors from pets, smoke, or mold.
- Oddly placed rugs or furniture that could be hiding damaged floors or carpeting.
- Windows and doors that don’t open or shut properly; test them to ensure they function correctly.
New Construction – Pros and Cons
The advantages of buying a brand-new house are pretty obvious—you’ll be the first to live there, everything is brand new, and it typically features the most modern finishes on the market. The list of pros could go on and on!
Be aware of red flags with new construction; new doesn’t always mean better. Even a home inspector may not find issues if no one has ever lived there, as it may take time for problems like hidden cracks to manifest. New homes can have more problems than used ones as kinks aren’t worked out yet. Consider being the second owner after issues are resolved.
These warning signs require careful consideration before proceeding with the purchase of your home in Greater Phoenix. While many issues can be fixed, it depends on your budget and available time. If you’d like help weighing your options or estimating cost, let me help you! Approach home buying with eyes wide open to avoid unexpected surprises.
I'm Kathleen and I love sharing the Arizona lifestyle by helping people who are relocating to, or from, Arizona with their real estate needs. Let's talk about how I can help you make your real estate goals happen from wherever you are!
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