When buying a home, it's important to do your homework. As this is likely the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime, it's essential to know what could make or break it. And since choosing the right area and property might seem like a daunting task, here is a list of red flags to watch out for when shopping for a home:

  • The location's all wrong: When buying a home, location is a primary concern. Buyers will want to thoroughly research areas in which interested in living - reviewing everything from housing trends to seeing how good the schools are in various locations. Finding out that home values are declining in a neighborhood might be enough to send you elsewhere for a purchase. Not to mention, even if you don't have children, selecting a home near quality schools could help preserve the value of a property, so it's important to factor these considerations into to a purchase, as well.
  • The home doesn't meet your specific needs: Even if you think you have found the home of your dreams, don't sacrifice on your primary needs. If you need four bedrooms, you need four bedrooms. If your home is not close to your work, it might be out of the question to make a long commute every day. Do you have any small children or elderly family members who will live in the home? Taking into account the mobility of an older parent is a critical aspect of buying a home.
  • Foundation issues: When buying a home, it's critical to conduct an inspection. And while a home inspection typically won't make or break a home purchase, a major issue with a foundation might be one red flag that will send a buyer heading for the hills. Significant repairs to a foundation could cost upwards of $20,000 and if they aren't fixed, could lead to a slew of other issues. A home inspection will inform you of any issues with a foundation and help you make a more informed home buying decision.
  • Flooding: When taking a tour of a home, watch for any signs that there might have been flooding in the past. Some issues can be overlooked - a pipe may have burst over the winter and left watermarks on the ceiling, for example. However, a basement that constantly floods could lead to other issues like mold and may influence a purchase.