We’ve all lived in an oddball house or apartment. Something doesn’t rest as evenly as it should. Something else doesn’t close completely. Some quirks add character to a home, but as any experienced homeowner or inspector will tell you, some can be indicative of much more dastardly problems. To keep you safe from overlooking the wrong small issue, here are six problems in a home that can be symptomatic of expensive headaches in your future.
Doors don’t sit correctly
To be clear, it’s common to find at least one door that sits unevenly or doesn’t close completely, especially in older properties. However, if this is a persistent problem within a home, and many of the doors slant or don’t close flush, it could indicate a sinking foundation. As homes grow older, it is common for their foundations to crack and nestle into a sagging position. Repairs can be extremely costly, so have the foundation checked for damage if you notice problems with multiple doors.
This issue couples with uneven doors. If a floor is slanted in the main building of a property (this doesn’t necessarily apply to porches and new additions), it could be indicative of a settling or deteriorating foundation. Additionally, sagging floors are one sign of termite damage, which may be a deal breaker for prospective homeowners.
Yellowed or discolored walls
Discoloration on the walls of a property, especially under bathrooms or in basements, may indicate serious water damage. If water damage is present, mold and pests can infiltrate a home and bring a health hazard to those living inside. Further, water damage can rot beams and walls, corrupting the structural integrity of a home. Make sure to have an experienced inspector take a look at all discoloration before making a final purchase.
Low water pressure
Outdated plumbing systems with galvanized steel pipes will often exhibit low water pressure that can only be remedied through a costly overhaul of the entire plumbing system. While it may seem like a small issue, low water pressure throughout your home may cause problems with kitchen tasks, running a sprinkler, etc. While inspecting a house, be sure to run each faucet (if it’s possible, run many of them at once), and inquire about the most recent plumbing update.
Many people don’t think hard about the foliage outside of a home when buying. However, it can both cause problems, and serve as a red flag to other issues. If a tree or bush is dying in the yard, it may point to a bug problem, possibly ants or beetles, or to the poor health of a yard’s soil. Further, a dying tree is a problem in itself, as it may put you or your property in danger when falling, or when shedding branches. If a tree looks decrepit, and doesn’t regain leaves come springtime, consult an arborist about removal or other action.
Homes are finicky, complex systems. Sometimes, flaws are isolated, but often they point to more serious problems. Ensuring a thorough inspection is a good first step, but don’t be afraid to bring up the smallest of issues, as they may save you trouble and money down the line.