Real Estate March 14, 2023

Red Flags in Real Estate Investment: Watch Out For These

Buying a home is a major financial decision that requires careful consideration and research. It’s important to pay close attention to every detail of the home-buying process, especially when it comes to the condition of the property.

As a real estate agent, I’ve seen my fair share of properties that have red flags that should be taken into account before making a purchase. In this article, I’ll be sharing 10 real estate red flags to watch out for when buying a home.

10 Real Estate Red Flags to Watch Out for When Buying a Home

1. Poor Neighborhood

The first red flag in real estate to look out for is the neighborhood where the home is located. Even the most beautiful and well-maintained home can be devalued by its location in a poor or high-crime area. It’s important to research the area thoroughly and make sure it’s a place where you’ll feel safe and comfortable.

2. Structural Issues

Another major red flag in real estate to look out for is structural issues. If a home has cracks in the walls, uneven floors, or sagging ceilings, it could be a sign of serious structural problems that could be costly to repair. It’s important to hire a professional home inspector to thoroughly inspect the property before making a purchase.

3. Water Damage

Water damage is a common problem that can lead to serious issues if not addressed properly. Look out for signs of water damage such as mold, mildew, or stains on the walls or ceilings. Water damage can be costly to repair and can also indicate other underlying problems such as plumbing issues.

4. Electrical Problems

Electrical problems can be a major safety hazard and should not be ignored. Look out for outdated electrical systems, exposed wires, or circuit breakers that frequently trip. It’s important to have a licensed electrician inspect the property before making a purchase.

5. Pest Infestations

Pest infestations can be a major headache for homeowners and can also lead to serious health problems. Look out for warning signs when buying a home of pests such as droppings, chewed wood, or nests. It’s important to hire a pest control professional to inspect the property and treat any infestations before making a purchase.

6. Poor Maintenance

poor maintenance of house

A poorly maintained home can lead to a host of problems down the line. Look out for signs of neglect such as overgrown landscaping, peeling paint, or a dilapidated roof. It’s important to factor in the cost of repairs and maintenance when considering the purchase of a home.

7. Foundation Problems

The foundation of a home is one of its most important components. Look out for signs of foundation problems such as cracks in the walls or floors, uneven settling, or doors that don’t close properly. Foundation problems can be costly to repair and can also indicate other serious issues with the property, indicating a major real estate red flag.

8. Environmental Hazards

Environmental hazards such as asbestos, radon, or lead paint can pose serious health risks to homeowners. It’s important to have the property inspected for these hazards before making a purchase, especially if the home was built before the 1980s.

9. Overpriced Property

An overpriced property is another one of the major red flags when buying a house that should not be ignored. Before making an offer, research comparable properties in the area to ensure you’re paying a fair price for the home.

10. Unpermitted Additions or Renovations

Unpermitted additions or renovations can lead to serious legal and financial problems down the line. It’s important to ensure that all additions or renovations to the property have been properly permitted and approved by the local building department.

What Are Other Red Flags to Be Aware Of?

Besides these 10 common red flags, you should also be aware of funny smells or unusually fresh paint. If you walk into a house and the scent of a candle or air freshener is too powerful, it could indicate that the scents are being used to cover up an odor.

Some homes have a lingering smell of cigarettes, bad plumbing, or mold. It is essential to ensure the home does not smell before purchasing it. In addition, homes with unusually fresh paint could be a red flag.

The owner may be attempting to cover up an issue, especially if it is just one wall that is freshly painted or a specific spot. You should ask why the wall was recently painted, as the owner may be attempting to cover up water stains or smoke stains.


Buying a home is a major investment, and it’s important to take the time to carefully inspect the property for any red flags before making a purchase. 

By paying attention to these 10 real estate red flags, you can avoid costly repairs and ensure that you’re making a wise investment. I can help ensure the home you buy does not have any red flags. Contact me today to find the home of your dreams!