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Due to the fact that property values almost always increase in the long run, real estate investment is often considered one of the steadiest forms of investment. However, investments do now always guarantee huge profits. There are many red flags within the real estate market to be aware of and avoid at all costs. Of course, people can’t always get professional inspections on every property that they tour, however, choices can be narrowed down by understanding how to perform your own pre-inspection to spot potential problems.


Here are a few real estate red flags to avoid.


Foundational Failures


Check out the foundation for any damage. Look for bulges or cracks that are longer than one-third of an inch, which could point to structural issues. Don’t forget to check out the yard grading as well. If the yard slopes towards the house then water may run down the foundation walls or even into the basement, which is expensive to repair. Overall, be on the lookout for any mediocre maintenance. Layers of roofing or plants in the gutter are signs that the home maintenance has been poor at best.


Old or Faulty Wiring


Broken circuits, flickering lights, or hot outlets, or faceplates are all signs of wiring problems. Although you’re probably not an electrician, make sure all of the outlets and switches work properly and avoid buying a home with old wiring that needs to be replaced.


An Undesirable Neighborhood


It’s easy to see a home’s curb appeal, but how does the rest of the street look? Are there a lot of businesses closed down or for sale signs on lawns of other homes? Don’t be afraid to speak to people who already live in the neighborhood so that you don’t wind up stuck with a bad investment.


Removed Structural Floors or Walls


Did the homeowners renovate? If so, ensure that there were no load-bearing walls removed without the framing being adjusted. When that happens weight is shifted to other parts of the house and it is very problematic. If there are questionable renovations hire a structural engineer before you have to explore backout contingencies.


At the end of the day, if you find a house that you love make sure to get a professional inspection. Avoid the belief that skipping the inspection will help you cut home buying costs because you will end up paying more when problems inevitably arise.