4 Red Flags to Look Out For When Viewing Your Next Home

4 Red Flags to Look Out For When Viewing Your Next Home

The following contribution is from another author.

Buying a new home is an exciting time, and whether you’re buying a single-family dwelling, a condo, or you’re moving out to a smallholding, the process of looking around and choosing your new property can be time-consuming and overwhelming.

The property market is moving fast; on average, properties are listed for around 30 days before being sold. This means you need to take charge, be clear on what you want, and know exactly what to look for and issues you should be keeping an eye out for. With house viewings typically being under the house and the majority of buyers deciding on their next home in less than 30 minutes, the power is in your hands to see everything you need to see to make your decision quickly.

These tips can help you to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting into before putting your offer down.

Signs of Damp

Telltale signs of dampness can include a musty or damp odor, peeling wallpaper, and chipped or bubbling paintwork. You might also be able to see viability, such as wet walls or freshly painted areas that look odd or furniture out of place that could be covering up issues. Don’t be afraid to investigate more if you feel dam might be present to get an idea of the scope of the problem.

Signs of Pests

When you buy a home, you want to be the only resident. Paying attention to signs of pest infestations is vital. Droppings on countertops, on work surfaces and inside cupboards, scratches on baseboards, markings in paintwork, holes in walls or flooring, or odd odors can all indicate signs of a pest infestation requiring pest control services to eradicate. This should be the current owner’s problem to solve, not something you want to tackle when you move in.

Signs Of Poor Craftsmanship

If the home has had some work done and it doesn’t quite look right, take a closer look. This could be poorly laid flooring, bad tiling jobs, exposed wiring, or just anything that doesn’t look quite right, especially if they’re selling the house based on these factors. While these issues might not appear to be too serious, it’s important to be cautious as it could be assumed that more remedial work has taken place and isn’t quite up to code, meaning you could be left out of pocket fixing a botched repair.

Signs of Foundation Issues

Hairline cracks are to be expected, especially with newer properties. Small cracks will appear as the building settles into the land, and typically, they’re nothing to worry about. However, keep your eye out for larger cracks, especially around corners or windows and even flooring, as this can indicate foundation issues. Foundation repairs can be costly and disruptive, and the last thing you want to do is find the foundation can’t sustain the house, and you then need to take a massive issue to make it safe rather than enjoy the settling-in period.

While the red flags mentioned are significant issues to watch out for, they’re not the only ones. It’s essential to listen to what the house is telling you, not just the words of the seller. Your observations during the viewing will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the house’s condition, empowering you to make a sound decision.


Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).


  • Thanks for sharing these insightful tips! Being vigilant during house viewings is crucial, especially with the fast-moving property market. Taking note of signs of damp, pests, poor craftsmanship, and foundation issues can save you from potential headaches down the road. It’s essential to trust your observations and thoroughly assess the property before making any decisions.

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