You hope to be a happy homeowner in Florida soon, and you feel ready to put in a bid. Have you looked for red flags that may point to a problem or two with a property?
Kiplinger explores common issues that hopeful homeowners should look out for. Learn how to protect your residential real estate investment before you make one.
Stains on the ceiling
Take careful note of the ceilings of all the properties you visit. The presence of ceiling stains under a bathroom may indicate a leak. Ask whether the seller knows about the issue and what kind of fix the problem requires. It could be as simple as a regrouting or recaulking, or it could be more complex (and expensive), such as a shower pan replacement.
Low water pressure
Test the faucets and toilets in the properties you consider buying. The home’s pipes may suffer from corrosion, an issue that you may inherit if you buy the house. While you may substitute a $2,000-$15,000 copper pipe replacement job with less-expensive polyethylene pipes, that option depends on local building codes.
Overtaxed electrical outlets
If you want to buy an older home, ask how the outlets handle modern electrical demands. Installing a new electrical panel may run you as much as $2,500. If you only need to install an outlet to the circuit, it may cost you anywhere between $100 and $250.
Test the doors while touring homes. If doors do not open all the way or do not close without difficulty, the property may have a settled foundation or worn-down framing. You may not have much to worry about if you only encounter one or two burdensome doors.
Scrutinize every aspect of a home you wish to buy. A careful eye can keep you from moving into a money pit.