Sniffing out the Lemons: 5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Sniffing out the Lemons: 5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers  via

Buying your first home is among the most exciting experiences in your life. To protect your investment, it is important to make sure that you don't let emotions dictate which home that you ultimately buy. Otherwise, you may be spending money that you don't have on repairs that could have been avoided by knowing how to spot flaws in a property.

Is Wallpaper Up Where It Doesn't Need To Be?

If you see a room or portion of a room that has wallpaper when others don't, it may be a sign that the seller is trying to cover up mold or water damage. Ask if you can remove a section of the wallpaper during a showing or during the home inspection to make sure there is nothing being hidden from you.

The Seller Offers the Home As-Is

When a home is being offered for sale "as-is", it means that the house needs work. While there is nothing wrong with buying a fixer-upper, it is important to know just how much work it will take to make it viable to occupy. 

You See Streaks on the Walls

Spotting reddish streaks on the walls means that there is water coming into the home from outside. It is likely that the water is coming in from the roof or from the attic. Those are two areas of the house to keep a close eye on during an inspection if you choose to put an offer in anyway. 

The Foundation Is Cracked

A cracked foundation could mean thousands of dollars in repair costs. However, it may be possible to get the seller to cover that cost in an effort to close the deal. This may be possible if the property has been on the market for a while. 


Your Real Estate Agent Tells You Not to Buy the House

Working with a real estate agent like RE/MAX Realty One or a similar group you recognize from your area is extremely important, especially for first time home buyers. Your agent has lots of experience looking at good homes and less than good homes. If your real estate agent tells you to avoid a property, you should take that person's advice. Real estate agents know what to look for in quality homes, and it is their job to tell you when it's time to look at something else. 

Buying a house can allow you to put down roots in your community and build wealth at the same time. However, if you buy a home that has hidden flaws, it may be harder to build equity or sell it when you are ready to. This means that you need to make it a point to work with your real estate agent to get a good deal on a home in good condition.

Photo Credit: Adobe/bmak

Guest Author: Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family. 

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