Spooky real estate: Beware of these four warning signs when buying a house

It’s spooky season once again here in Sarasota, and while there are no hauntings happening on my street, there’s always something to beware of when it comes to finding the right home. Sometimes sellers get overzealous, jump the gun and opt for the quick and easy route. I’ve listed four warning signs for you to look out for before buying a house, or else you’ll find yourself owning a house of (repair) horrors.

What lies beneath: Uneven or bouncy floors

Oftentimes when buying a “fixer-upper” home, the deeper you dig, the more problems arise. My pro tip for clients is to always bring a small piece of marble to an open house! If you place the marble around different areas of the floor of each room, you’ll be able to tell if the floors are uneven or warped. Unfortunately, the older the house, the more likely it is to aggressively settle and create a hump in the middle of the floors. Sometimes warped floors aren’t a big deal, and can even be considered more stable than newer homes that haven’t had the chance to settle, but it’s important to make sure your foundation is solid. 

Monster roof problems 

Sometimes roof problems are a matter of patching a simple leak, but other times, it can mean serious damage. Not only might you be looking at replacing the roof, but the beams, and rafters and coverings, which can be expensive to repair. Even small leaks can be costly. If you have a shingled roof, keep your eyes peeled for cracked, missing or ruffled shingles. Don’t forget to check the ceilings on the top floor for any signs of discoloration, bubbling paint, mold or other water damage. If you find them, buyer beware! 

Smell of terror

When it comes to identifying warning signs, you might just have to sniff them out. Literally. Does the house have an obvious smell? If you’re allergic to pets, this may be where you start to get stuffy. If you smell rotten eggs, there may be a natural gas leak. Also, check for water stains around baseboards and on the ceilings, which can be a sign of flooding, draining or roofing issues. Such water damage or dampness could be warning signs for mold and mildew growth. Yikes!

A nightmare on your street 

When water pools near the house, expect trouble. The ground around a house should slope away from it so that all water drains outward. You can check the slope yourself with a carpenter’s level, a tape measure, and a two-by-four at least 10 feet long. You want at least six inches of vertical rise for the surrounding 10 feet of ground around your house. Keep an eye on the gutters and downspouts, too, for excess clogging or poor drainage. 
If you’re looking for a house in Sarasota and want to partner with a trusted agent who knows the area and has an eye for identifying “spooky” warning signs, set up a time to chat with me! We can discuss potential opportunities, or I can answer any questions you may have. Call me at 941-225-1500 or email me at AmyChapman@michaelsaunders.com.

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