What Could Go Wrong When Buying a House?

Buying a property can be one of the biggest purchases you make in your lifetime. Sure, a lot of the decision comes down to budget and whether you can afford it. But mostly people tend to go off how they feel when they walk through the door. Does it feel like you could live there? Do you sense a good atmosphere? But not so fast… have you thought about what could go wrong when buying a house?

Photo of several homes that look the same on a street
Any given home may look perfect from the outside but there could be dangers lying beneath. | Image by F. Muhammad

Once you’ve actually signed the contracts and received the keys it might be too late. So prepare yourself ahead of time to avoid the possible pitfalls involved with buying a bad house. 

Don’t forget to check the roof!

When we look at a property, we can just look at it from the front or the side and think all is good. But the place we tend to spend very little time checking over is the roof. However, this can be one of the biggest causes of problems within the home.

Even a slate becoming loose could cause damage when it drops. Potentially landing on someone and causing injury. Or a hole could develop leaving your internal home open to the elements. Water could then creep in and cause mold or dampness to the internal structure, or the ceilings. In the worst-case scenario that ceiling could become so heavy with water damage that it may cave in. The best advice when it comes to property ownership is to check that roof regularly. Especially after severe weather. 

What about the structure of the property?

The problem we have is that sometimes we can’t see the damage that may have been caused to the foundation or structure of the property. We would hope things like this would be presented before exchanging contracts. However, if you find yourself noticing cracks in the wall structure. Or problems with the levels of your home then seek some advice from a professional. You may be recommended to have foundation repair house specialists come in and make necessary repairs.

Are there any problems with dampness or mold?

Walls can be damaged internally. Often if your property has been covered in things like artex or wallpaper, damp can be left unnoticed. However, over time this could develop into a mold. Mold has been known to cause many allergies or health problems. If it’s something you see developing, make sure you get it resolved straight away. There are plenty of DIY methods you could use to combat mold in the home. 

Do the floors feel level?

An uneven floor may be the cause of subsidence or structural damage in the home. While it can be quite rare, it’s worth taking out your own tests to ensure all floors are level, and no damage has been caused. 

What about the general repair of the property?

Finally, many properties require a bit of general repair when you first move in. Often you don’t see some problems with mainstream things like fittings or fixtures. If you don’t have the confidence to take out those repairs a local handyman would be best to call upon. 

We hope this list of things that could go wrong has given you some items to evaluate. Having a quality home inspector go through the entire home inspection checklist before you sign on the dotted line is essential. Once each of these items is checked off as not needing work, then you won’t be asking yourself, “What could go wrong when buying a house?” Happy house hunting! 

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.