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  • Writer's pictureOscar Romero

5 Red Flag to Watch For When Buying Real Estate

The home buying experience can be very exciting. While home buyers are often looking for characteristics and finishes of their dream home, they sometimes miss the red flags. The type of flags that should steer you away. Below are 5 red flags to watch for when buying real estate.

Too Good to Be True

I know that you’re probably thinking that “good prices” have not been around for a long time, but for the purpose of this post I have to mention that if the price seems too good to be true, then it most likely is. A few questions to ask about every property are: how long has it been on the market? Why are they selling? Are any major repairs needed? Make sure that your realtor can get you the answers before making one of the greatest decisions of your life.

Pest Problem

The last thing anyone wants is to buy their forever home and stumble in on a pest infestation. Check for door screens and make sure that the current owner has sealed any cracks. If pests are not kept under control, this could lead to bad odours and health Issues. These unwelcome guests can include mice, rats, bed bugs, carpenter ants (just to name a few). If not controlled they can cause damage to the property. Traces of feces, dead bugs, wood or infrastructure damages and stains are some of the signs that the property may have an infestation issue. If you have any doubts you can always get a pest control inspection.

Electric Systems

Many people in the real estate industry will tell you that buying a house with electrical issues should be your main red flag. The risks are huge. House fires and the potential of electrocuting yourself should have you paying close attention to the electrical systems. Some of the signs that you should look out for are flickering lights, loose/hot outlets, burning smells, messy wires and rodent nests as they often like to chew on the wires. If a certification sticker is missing from the electrical panel make sure that your home inspector takes extra time with the electrical system.


Poor drainage in houses for sale is a common issue but most of the time they can’t easily be detected. In fact, it can be something you live with for a long time without really noticing it. However, there are some signs that can tip you off. Make sure that the grading of the house slopes away from the home and not towards it. Look for Cracks/leaks in the foundation and exterior walls, standing water in the yard or around the home can also be a sign of poor drainage. Make sure that the gutters/eavestrough are functioning properly. Poor draining systems can affect your family’s health, comfort, cause mold, damage to flooring and carpets, and cost you lots of money.


Just like with a poor drainage system, this red flag can also be unnoticeable at first glance. Mold can be found around moisture, humid areas or areas where construction was once taking place. If there has been water damage in the home, there is likely mold growing. Look out for obvious signs of leaks, moisture, musty smells, dark stains or discolouration on walls, ceilings, carpets and flooring.

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