Trouble Spots to Look at When Buying a House

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It has been said that home ownership is a money pit. If you want to avoid the unexpected, here are 10 trouble spots to look at when buying a house.

Trouble Spots to Look at When Buying a House

Roof and Gutters

With roof replacement costs ranging from $7,500 to $15,000, you’ll want to make sure that the roof of your new home is in excellent condition. Make sure that the gutters are working properly as well. Insufficient gutters can cause leaking and foundational issues.

Odors Outside the Home

As you walk the perimeter of a prospective home, take note of any suspicious odors or unexplainable scents. These can be a tell-tale sign of a bigger problem. For example, a strong smell of sewage could mean the city sewer is backed up or a plumbing issue inside your home.

Odors Inside the Home

There’s nothing like the scent of a candle in a home. That is, unless it is being used to cover up a recurring odor. Be cognizant of overly strong scents within the home. Look for odors that the candle may be covering up. Musty smells, for example, indicate water damage.


Unless the windows have been replaced recently, they are not energy efficient. Look for signs of caulking and weather stripping. These precautions help improve the effectiveness of old windows. If the windows are foggy or show condensation, they are not working effectively.


Keep a careful eye on the condition of the flooring. If it is cracking, that could be indicative of foundation issues. It can also mean that it wasn’t laid by a professional.


Doors that get stuck or swing open too easily can be signs of foundation issues. It is possible that the doors were improperly hung but check out the foundation to be sure.

Foundation Issues

Foundation repair can cost as little as $250 or be as costly as $100,000! Look for cracks in the walls and foundation. You can use a pencil to check for foundation issues. Simply set the pencil on the floor in various places and look to see if it rolls in a particular direction. This can be a sign of uneven flooring caused by foundation issues.


Mold is very dangerous. It can make you and your family very sick. The first sign of a mold problem is a musty smell followed by signs of black spots on the walls.


If the house is near a body of water or below sea-level in a hurricane or flood-prone area, you’ll want to weigh heavily your decision to move into this home. Floods are responsible for billions of dollars in damage each year. If there is a high likelihood of flooding in the area surrounding your house, and you really want the house, be sure to get flood insurance.

HVAC System

To replace a HVAC system is not cheap. Although you can swing a lower price, the cost is typically $10,000 or more!


Look under cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens to make sure there are no obvious leaks. Observe whether the pipes look doctored. Look for water damage as well. Water damage is a sign of a greater problem. There’s a leak somewhere.


A house infested with termites can be very frustrating and costly. Is there is any wood damage outside the home? It is likely that there are either termites present or termites have been a problem in the past. If they are present, you’ll want to make sure the sellers take care of pest control prior to the sale of the home. If pests have been an issue in the past, they will be more likely to return. Make sure you have a recurring pest control service to help keep the pests away!

Unusual Cosmetic Enhancements

If you notice a room that has been more recently renovated than the rest, be on the lookout for causes of damage. A freshly painted wall may be covering up water damage.

Something feels wrong

When you are looking for your next home, be sure to look at it from every angle. Ask yourself: are there any signs of damage that could be a greater concern six months from now? Don’t ignore your gut. It’s easy to be caught up in the character of a home and gloss over major issues. However, those issues could cost you a great deal of money.

Finding a home that is not a money pit can seem like a pointless endeavor. Selling a home to Ben however is a happy ending. Ben Buys Indy Houses purchases homes in the Indianapolis area. Check out what one client had to say about his home selling experience and then contact us to sell your home today!


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