If you’re like most people, you know that you should look out for obvious “red flags” when you’re searching for your dream home in Baltimore County or Howard County – but what are those red flags, and how serious are they? This guide explains.
5 Red Flags to Watch for When You Buy a Home in Baltimore County
Some homes look great on the surface. The yard is nicely maintained, the inside appears to be in good shape, and everything lines up… and in many cases, these homes are great buys. However, there are a few red flags to watch for so you don’t end up buying a lemon that you can’t wait to get rid of:
- Poor tiling in bathrooms or kitchens
- Aggressive scents
- Sticking doors and windows
- Leaky faucets, faded paint or long grass
- Black or gray spots in areas prone to dampness
Here’s a closer look at each.
Real Estate Red Flag #1: Poor Tiling in Bathrooms or Kitchens
Though poor tiling happens, it can be a sign that a DIY job has taken place – and while that may not always be a bad thing, it can be a sign that someone was cutting corners. Check to see if the house was flipped (purchased by an investor, fixed up and re-sold), or if the last owners bought it as a fixer-upper and made their own improvements without being in the remodeling business.
Related: Pros and cons of selling FSBO
Real Estate Red Flag #2: Aggressive Scents
Many homeowners will bake fresh cookies and leave them out or sizzle some cider on the stove just before a showing, and the pleasant aroma lingers – but if the scent is really aggressive, it may be a sign that the owners are trying to cover something up. When there’s too much fragrance in the home, such as candles, plug-ins and wax warmers, you should try to investigate what the scent is covering up.
Real Estate Red Flag #3: Sticking Doors and Windows
When windows and doors don’t open or close properly – especially when there’s a spot where they “stick,” it can indicate foundation problems with the home. If you notice windows or doors that aren’t easy to glide into place, look for cracks above window frames and uneven floors. (Pro tip: Put a marble on the floor and watch what it does.
Real Estate Red Flag #4: Leaky Faucets, Faded Paint or Long Grass
Leaky faucets, faded paint and long grass are all signs that the current owner has let home maintenance fall by the wayside. Though many owners take good care of their homes and the things you see during showings may just be anomalies, it’s definitely worth checking into a home’s maintenance history and finding out whether there are likely to be long-term problems from foregoing easy fixes early on.
Real Estate Red Flag #5: Black or Gray Spots in Areas Prone to Dampness
Open cabinets – particularly those beneath sinks – and check for signs of mold. Often, you’ll see spots of brown or black around water pipes and drains. You should also check the caulk around faucets and tubs, and check for patches on ceilings beneath bathrooms.
Are You Buying or Selling a Home in Baltimore County or Howard County?
If you’re ready to buy or sell a home in Baltimore County or Howard County, we can help. Check out these listings:
- Homes for sale in Baltimore County
- Homes for sale in Howard County
- Homes for sale in Ellicott City
- Homes for sale in Columbia
- Homes for sale in Catonsville
- Homes for sale in Owings Mills
- Homes for sale in Pikesville
If you’re thinking about selling your home, we can help you sell it quickly – and at the best possible price. You can:
- Find out how much your home is worth now
- Learn how we market your home to put it in front of all the right buyers
- Get a general overview of home-selling in Maryland
If you have specific questions, fill out the form below or call us at 443-955-1227 – we’re here to help you with any aspect of your real estate transaction.