Charlotte House Hunting: Five Small Signs That Can Indicate Larger Problems

Real Estate Agent with | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

Charlotte House Hunting:  Five Small Signs That Can Indicate Larger Problems


Inspect, inspect, inspectIt’s not at all uncommon for homebuyers to recount horror stories about properties that appeared to be fine at first glance, but were actually hiding very expensive problems to which no one was remotely aware.  If you fail to do your Due Diligence, you may find your dream house turning into a nightmare.  The next time you walk through a house, pay attention for these five signs that the property might be hiding a foul secret or two.


Mold, Water Spots and Water Damage

Both older and newer homes alike may develop a leaky roof, pipe or other plumbing issue from time to time but, any type of water issue can result in mold growth inside the walls. Water spots and warped wood indicate that the property has had a water issue in the past, and this means that the property should be more thoroughly inspected for mold growth before you make a purchase. Also, be aware of fragrance devices that could be being used to cover the musty, mildew odor in a home.


Sticking Doors and Windows 

One of the most common signs of a foundation issue is doors and windows that stick or that are difficult to open and close.  As you walk through the home, open and close the doors at leisure to confirm if they are in the frame properly. The issue should be reviewed by a structural engineer, home inspector or foundation contractor.  Sticking windows could very well simply be a sign of being painted shut – examine that possibility as well.


Wall Cracks

Some cracks in both interior and exterior walls are considered normal foundation settling.  Larger, deeper cracks can indicate that the home’s foundation has shifted; significant issues may be indicated by molding or door frames that appear to have shifted after installation.  A structural engineer’s review may be warranted during the Due Diligence period.


Fresh Paint on a Small Area of the Wall or Ceiling

Many Charlotte home sellers will apply fresh paint to walls before listing their home, and this is not necessarily a sign of damage to the home.  However, when fresh paint is applied on one area of the wall or ceiling alone, this may be a sign that the homeowner is attempting to conceal water damage or other related issues with the property.  Further inspection of the property is in order.


Slanting Floors

A significant indicator that the foundation has shifted can be detected by floor slanting to a level that you feel as though you are walking up or down across the home.  Foundation issues result in the movement of the foundation that the entire home rests on, and this can result in an uneven feeling when you walk across the floor. If you notice that the floors in a property slant, you should schedule an inspection of the foundation as well.  It could very well be that your foundation merely needs pier installation (which is not an expensive remedy).  However, it is best to determine exactly what is needed to address the foundation issue as well as the cost, before the end of your Due Diligence period.


These small signs can be completely normal or they can be symptoms of larger problems.  If you notice any of these problems during your showing, ask your real estate professional for guidance.  The potential issues should be addressed/reviewed during your Due Diligence period.


© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | |  Charlotte House Hunting:  Five Small Signs That Can Indicate Larger Problems


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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

HI Debe

These are certainly some important things to be on the lookout for, and to follow-up on with a formal inspection. The costs for dealing with some issues that appear to be small, but really aren't, can be substantial! The other big items items I warn buyers to pay attention to include the roof, furnace and AC!


Dec 19, 2016 10:08 PM #1
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Debe excellent points and the only way to take something like this if there is a Price adjustment for it compared to the rest of the inventory, Endre

Dec 19, 2016 10:51 PM #2
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I love the post. I will bookmark it and share it with others.

Dec 20, 2016 04:12 AM #3
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Jeff Dowler - Yes!  Our Contracts are as-is and when you're just looking, you have to take into consideration the items that you can 'see' so that you can address them in the Offer, rather than waiting on the inspection. We never know if sellers are going to address issues once we present a repair request - they're not 'required' to do so.

Dec 20, 2016 04:50 AM #4
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Endre Barath, Jr. - BINGO - for those items, we want to be able to account for them in the pricing, for sure!

Dec 20, 2016 04:51 AM #5
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thank you Gita Bantwal!  Happy Tuesday!

Dec 20, 2016 04:52 AM #6
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker

Good morning Debe. Tip toe to solid ground, then run fast! Enjoy your day!

Dec 20, 2016 05:07 AM #7
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Good points to bear in mind for all house buyers when looking at homes.

Dec 20, 2016 06:27 AM #8
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Sellers do not realize that a quick fix is not as good as they think since it sticks out like black on white

Dec 20, 2016 07:19 AM #9
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Debe -- perception matters to buyers and sellers need to be aware that these red flags will not go unnoticed.  It's best to know and address any issues upfront whether that be in form of repair/replacement, offering a credit or pricing to reflect the situation.  Surprises are rarely "fun" in real estate.  Especially after a contract has been ratified.     

Dec 21, 2016 08:11 AM #10
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Debe Maxwell, CRS

Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods
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