Money pits, houses that are so damaged they cost a fortune to fix, are a home buyer's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, they aren't so easy to spot. The house that looks perfect and in good condition could actually be hiding secrets that might cost you a lot of money down the road. That's why home inspections are so important. However, you don't want to pay for an inspection for every home you like. So you have to learn to spot some problems yourself. Following are three expensive deal breakers to watch out for when buying a home.
Old, Poorly Maintained Roof
Typically, a roof can last up to 30 years, depending on the materials used, which is good since replacing one isn't cheap. The average cost for replacing a shingled roof is a little over $6,000. However, it can get much more expensive. If you have a tile or slate roof, you could spend $20,000 or more.
To spot problems with a roof, look out for missing shingles, mangled flashing, sagging lines and crumbling soffits. Inside the home, look for evidence of recent leaks, including stains on the ceiling and walls. If you can't see much of the roof, be sure to have a roofer come out and inspect it.
Potentially Catastrophic Location
High-risk flood zones are everywhere, and they're not so easy to spot. Purchasing a home that's located in a flood zone puts you and your family at risk for a catastrophe. It also will increase your insurance costs and make it harder for you to sell your home in the future.
To see if a house is in a flood zone, enter the address of the property into FEMA's flood zone database. Since flood zones are constantly shifting, flood maps should not be your only resource. Be sure to talk to the neighbors in the area to see if they've been battling rising waters in recent years.
Old, Broken Down Plumbing
Problems with plumbing can cost you thousands, especially if the issues involve a sewer line or septic system. When inspecting a home, turn on the water in all the faucets and flush the toilets to make sure they all drain properly. Also, pay attention to smells. If you smell sewer, there could be a big problem lurking under the house.
There are many things that can go wrong in a house, so you may have to make some repairs when you move into your new home. However, big ticket items can devastate your entire savings. If you watch out for these items during the buying process, you will avoid a lot of heartache later on. Contact a real estate company, like The SRQ Duo, for more help.