16 June, 2023    

Red Flags to Look for When Considering a House with Frequent Ownership Changes

One of the most significant investments you will ever make in your life is buying a house. It is indeed a long-term commitment that requires you to search for a proper house and examine all the factors before making a deal.

The most crucial factor that can raise concerns is when a house has had frequent ownership changes. On the other hand, you also need to be aware if a house has not been sold for years. These two criteria can be your potential enemies during house hunting.

It is always better to go through the ins and outs of such property before closing the deal. In this blog, we will discuss the red flags to consider for potential home buyers.

Understanding Frequent Ownership Changes

Frequent ownership changes occur when a property has been purchased multiple times over a short period of time. Although the average duration of ownership has decreased over the last decade due to several job changes, frequent house sales are still a cause for worry.

House owners owning their own home typically stay for a period of 10 years which is considered as a standard period of stay. On the other hand, a property investor tends to sell the property when it is ready to move in or when the house is well appreciated.

When you see a house that has been owned by different people such as 2-3 owner changes in a span of 10 years, it could be a red flag for a potential buyer. The contributing factors include:

Neighbourhood and Community Problems

The first and foremost red flag to look for is community and neighbourhood issues. There might be quite significant ones or even trivial ones. Ensure that you examine them carefully and do not avoid them.

  • Ask your neighbours about any noise complaints and how they handle them. If there are serious noise disturbances from any of the religious places nearby or even due to some gatherings, make sure to check them out.
  • Ensure there is enough parking place at your house and if not, verify if the community has any glitches regarding parking problems.
  • Be aware of the street dog menace near the locality and look out for any potential pet problems.
  • The most crucial part is about the maintenance and cleanliness of the neighbourhood including drainage issues, undue dust, sewage and sanitation problems, rainwater clogging, availability of streetlights, and road seepage issues. Also be cautious of homes situated in low lying areas as it can be a serious concern during flooding.
  • Make sure to check the pollution rates due to nearby industries or factories.
  • Constant traffic jams during the day and huge inflow of traffic at night might take away your harmony and peace.
  • Contact the nearby police department to check if there were any significant crimes reported in the neighbourhood. If there have been any home invasions, break-ins, or thefts, or even a sign of rowdy neighbourhoods it might be best to move on.

These are some of the common countable problems in the neighbourhood every owner might turn their heads off. So, tick these boxes before selecting your property.

Structural Issues of the House

The place where you live must be safe, stable, and sound. If there are any construction problems, then it is a big red flag. Some of them include:

  • If the foundation is cracked or crumbling, it can lead to serious damage to the interior of your home. Not only will you have to repair the foundation damage, but also any other damage caused by water penetration through cracks in the foundation.
  • Other structural issues include broken windows and doors, which can lead to security problems or even structural damage due to shifting in heavy winds.
  • Look for signs of past damage such as cracks in walls or floors, uneven surfaces, sagging doors or ceiling panels.
  • A quick scanning of the HVAC can help you spot any obvious structural issues like ventilation problems, electrical wiring, plumbing issues, and paint peeling off in sheets.
  • Also, if there is any sign of water damage or mold around windows and doors, this is another indication that there may be some serious underlying problems within the structure of the property.
Legal Implications

If the previous owner did not pay off their debts, these will remain attached to the house until it is sold again which means that you may inherit these obligations if you purchase the home from them. Be aware of the issues such as income tax lien or mortgage debt.

Wrapping Up

While there is no way to accurately predict the future of a home, paying attention to some of these red flags can help you assess any given situation before committing to it. Of course, all houses will come with their own set of pros and cons, so take note of any red flags that stand out to you personally when visiting prospective homes in your area. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is proceed with caution and avoid spending money on properties that give you a bad feeling right from the start.

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