***Collaborative post***

Searching for a new home is an exhilarating prospect, but often, it can be a roller coaster ride. While some people may stumble upon the home of their dreams shortly after starting their search, others find it hard to find a property that crosses all of the boxes. If you are in the process of trawling through listings and arranging viewings, here are some red flags to look out for. 

Signs of damp

Damp is one of the most common problems raised by home surveys. If you go into a property and you can smell a musty odor instantly, or there are discolored patches on the walls or ceilings, it is highly likely that the house will need treatment for damp. It is common to spot signs of damp in older houses, but it’s important to be aware of the issue before you proceed any further. If you want to buy a property that may need remedial treatment, it’s wise to get some quotes and ask a surveyor for more information so that you know how much it will cost to fix the issue and how urgently the work needs completing.

Pest infestation

Signs of a pest infestation would probably make most buyers think twice about putting in an offer or scheduling a second viewing. Pests can cause widespread damage to properties and harbor health risks. If you have found the perfect home, but you have noticed droppings or damage to wooden structures, or you could hear unusual noises while you were looking around, it’s crucial to gather more information. It may be that the vendor is already in the process of sorting the issue. If they are not, you can contact companies that specialize in pest control near you and get some quotes. You could then consider revising your offer or asking the vendor to pay. With any pest problem, it is beneficial to act swiftly and to ask experts for advice about preventing further issues. 


If you’re viewing houses or apartments in the middle of the city, you would expect it to be noisy, but if your goal is to escape the hustle and bustle and find a tranquil spot, it’s a good idea to think about noise levels. Many people would be put off buying if there was a lot of noise coming from neighboring houses, or the road outside was busy, for example. Arranging at least two viewings at different times of the day will give you an indication of what to expect in terms of noise levels.  

Roof issues

Roof issues vary in severity and the cost of fixing them can range from less than $100 to thousands of dollars. If you have concerns about the condition of the roof of an old property, or you see red flags, such as missing tiles or signs of storm damage, ask the agent for more information and check the details of the surveyor’s report carefully. If you would need to undertake extensive work to fix the damage, for example, replacing the roof, this is an expensive job, which takes time. It’s important to have the information you need to make a suitable offer and decide if you want to proceed with the acquisition. 

Old electrics

Modern houses are likely to have wiring systems that are in excellent condition, but if you are considering buying an older property, you may find that the electrics are dated. You may need to rewire the house or update the electrics to meet safety standards. If you are taking on a fixer-upper, this may be a job that you’re expecting to tackle, but it’s always beneficial to inspect the electrics and get as much information as you can before you agree to exchange contracts and buy the property. You should be aware of the work that needs doing and the cost before you sign on the dotted line. If you submit an offer on a house and the survey reveals problems with the electrics that you were not aware of when you viewed the property, you might want to think carefully about whether you go ahead if your offer was at the top of your budget and you don’t have funds available for repairs or remedial work. 

Searching for a new home is an exciting proposition, but it’s wise to be wary of potential red flags. Take your time to conduct a thorough inspection when you view houses and apartments and ask the agent for more information if you have queries or concerns. It’s important to understand what needs doing and how much it will cost before you sign a contract. 

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