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Six Sneaky (and Costly) Warning Signs to Watch for When House Hunting

While a professional home inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process, there are some warning signs you can spot even before that inspection. During your home tour, keep an eye out for these atypical "red flags." They could indicate underlying issues that might not be immediately evident. Here are seven of them:

Unusual Odors: Pay attention to any strange or persistent odors in the home. Unpleasant smells could be a sign of hidden problems such as mold, mildew, pest infestations, or issues with the plumbing or sewage system.

Patchy or Mismatched Repairs: Be cautious of walls or ceilings with uneven patches, inconsistent paint jobs, or areas that look recently repaired. These could indicate past damage or ongoing issues that haven't been properly addressed.

Overgrown Landscaping: A beautifully landscaped garden can be appealing, but overgrown or neglected landscaping might hide structural issues, drainage problems, or pest infestations. Look for signs of neglect in the yard.

Visible Cracks: Small cracks in walls and ceilings are common and often harmless. However, be cautious if you notice large or jagged cracks in the foundation, walls, or ceiling, as these may indicate structural issues.

Unusual Layouts or Room Shapes: If a house has an odd or unusual layout, it might be a sign of past DIY renovations or additions that were not done professionally. These could lead to problems with the home's structure or functionality.

Evidence of Water Stains: Water stains on ceilings or walls may suggest a history of leaks or water damage. Be sure to inquire about the cause of these stains and whether the issue has been properly resolved.

Remember that hiring a professional home inspector is crucial in uncovering these and other potential issues when purchasing a home. They can provide a comprehensive evaluation of the property and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the purchase.

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* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with your mortgage advisor for more information.