Spotting Potential Problems With a Home Before You Buy


If you are in the market to buy a new home chances are you are extremely excited and ready to find the best for you and your family.  Be sure that you don’t let your excitement and enthusiasm get in the way of spotting potential problems each home may have.  Many times sellers will try their best to cover up any potential problems with a house because they obviously want their house to sell as quickly as possible.  Don’t fall victim to this however, do your part to find problems before you buy so that they can possibly be fixed and you can move into a home that is free of any issues.  Below is a list of some potential problems that any new or old house may have and how to find them.

  1. Water damage is one of the main trouble spots that someone who is trying to sell their home will try to cover up. A good way to spot water damage especially in a finished basement is to move the furniture out a few feet and shine a flashlight on the floor where the furniture has been sitting.  Another way that home owners will try to mask water damage is by adding a fresh coat of paint.  Be sure to ask when the last time the house was painted.  If it has been a year or more, there is a good chance that everything is alright.  Lastly be sure to talk with the homeowner if you smell any strange odors especially in a basement as this may be a sign of water damage as well.
  2. A good way to spot an issue with a home’s foundation is to look for cracks in the paint. If you notice any cracks around door frames or windows, chances are that there may be a foundation problem.  These types of issues typically happen if the home is old.  Another clue that the foundation may have issues is if the kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets don’t shut properly.  Keep an eye out for things such as this.
  3. Lastly, a home may not have any issues at all however the issues may lie with the neighbors. Listen for barking dogs, look for yards that are unkempt and perhaps even drive through the neighborhood late on a weekend night to see if there are lots of parties and such that go on.

These are a just a few things to look out for when looking to purchase a home for you and your family.  Hopefully they got you thinking and will help you to go in with your eyes wide open.


Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

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