7 Ways To Avoid A Property Lemon

Discovering structural flaws, electrical defects, or a damp basement in your dream home is a nightmare for any buyer, turning your investment into a money pit. However, these pitfalls are not the only concerns lurking in the realm of home buying. Safeguard your investment with these seven essential tips to avoid a property lemon:

1. Inspect The Structure

Protect yourself from investing in a property on the verge of collapse by scheduling a comprehensive home and pest inspection conducted by qualified professionals. Watch for signs like wall cracks, indicating subsidence – a costly issue to fix. Even new constructions aren't immune; shoddy foundations and inadequate soil testing can lead to cracks and structural failures.

2. Watch for Water Damage

Prolonged water exposure leads to severe structural damage. Look out for rust on the roof, sagging gutters, and bubbling wall paint – signs of a leaking roof. Damp patches, discoloration, and moldy smells are also red flags indicating water ingress.

3. Check HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing Systems

Test water pressure and pipes for rust, and inspect electrical systems for issues like flickering lights or blackened power points. Faulty HVAC systems are costly repairs; ensure they function correctly before purchasing.

4. Consider a Home Warranty

No home is flawless, including new constructions. Include a home warranty in your purchase contract to cover mechanical and electrical malfunctions, offering protection for your air conditioning, furnace, water heater, plumbing, electrical systems, and ductwork.

5. Evaluate the Neighbors

Even a well-maintained property can turn sour if you have problematic neighbors. Investigate the neighborhood at different times (especially at night), observing activities and listening for disturbances. Gather local insights from store owners, who often have valuable information about the area.

6. Consult the Municipality

Verify that the property’s improvements have valid permits, ensuring the work complies with local building codes. A lack of permits could indicate substandard work, potentially costing you later on.

7. Verify Your Assumptions

Don’t take neighborhood qualities for granted. Research peacefulness, school quality, tax rates, HOA, potential developments, and crime statistics independently to avoid unpleasant surprises, such as unexpected construction projects or higher-than-anticipated taxes.

Let Us Be Your Guide

Remember, while you can renovate a run-down property, you can’t change its location. Communicate your concerns to your agent, and rely on their expertise to investigate county records and community information thoroughly.

If you're considering a home purchase in Central Ohio, I specialize in helping a diverse range of buyers, from first-timers to downsizers. Reach out directly to me, Realtor Rita Boswell, at 614-830-9767. I'm here to assist you in finding your ideal home!

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