Buying a new home is an exciting time for you and your family.  New memories, new beginnings and so much more. But, when you are on the hunt for a new home, it can feel like you have a lot on your to-do list and that list seems to grow by the minute. Meaning some important factors may go overlooked.


One of those things can often be potential red flags. Things that may not be obvious during a first walk-through or browsing online. It’s important as a buyer to remember to do your own due diligence and make sure you are on the lookout for all potential issues and problems. 


In this blog, we are going to take one thing off your to-do list and arm you with a checklist of potential issues you want to watch out for.

Here are 6 flags to look out for when buying a new home

Avoid listings that have fewer photos

When looking at listings you want to be sure you are looking at listings that have adequate photos of the house, not only inside but outside as well. Think about if you were selling your home — you’d want to make sure that it was as appealing on the market as possible and in many cases that involves lots of photos. You want to make sure that you have a clear picture of what you are going to see and ensure the homeowners are not hiding anything.

Prices are too good to be true 

You know the saying “if it’s good to be true, it probably is”?  That definitely applies in real estate as well. If you’re looking at homes and you see one that has a price dramatically different from other homes in the area, beware. The possibilities of potential issues here are vast. The buyers could be looking to sell quickly before word gets out that there is a fault within the house, the listing agents could be trying to cause a bidding war, and the list can go on and on. 


Protect yourself, your finances, and your sanity by steering clear of these.  


Smells a little….off? 

Walk into your dream home only to have a foul smell meet you at the door? 


Yes, this is a red flag. If you notice a musty smell in the air during a walkthrough, then there might be mold somewhere in the house. This can be especially worrying as prolonged mold exposures can cause an array of health problems, such as headaches, nausea, coughing, and other illnesses. This may have been caused by a prior or current issue within the house. 


On the opposite side of the musty smell, is walking into a home that has an overwhelming smell of air freshener. You may also see these plugged into multiple outlets, candles lit in every room or air fresheners hanging in multiple rooms. This too may be a red flag. This could indicate the homeowner is trying to cover up a foul odor. 


Always check the foundation 


Foundation repair is a bill you DO NOT want to take on, especially if you are a new homeowner. The repairs are expensive and the mess from the repairs is expansive — think diggers tearing up the property around your house!


Check around the home to ensure the structural integrity isn’t compromised and if you are unsure of whether you are able to determine this on your own, get a home inspector (we recommend always getting one). 



The last thing you want to deal with after you’ve purchased your home is an infestation of some type of pests.  Pests such as mice, rats, and cockroaches can carry health risks that can harm you and your family, other pests like carpenter ants, rodents, and wildlife can cause expensive damage to your home. It’s important to be on the lookout for a potential pest infestation. 


Some things you can watch out for:

- Mice or rat droppings 

- Check for signs of rodents in cabinets, on countertops and behind appliances

- Chewed wiring 

- Ant mounds outside 


It may also be worthwhile to consider getting a proper inspection done by a professional.  Taking the time now to have a proper inspection could save you money down the road. 

Stains on walls or ceilings

Seeing a lot of stains on walls or ceilings as you are doing a walkthrough of a potential home? This could be a cause for concern. 


Did the stains come from a leak in the roof? Was there an issue with the plumbing? Maybe, the stains were from a problem that has since been fixed.


Either way, it’s important to take note of these things and ensure you are asking questions to figure out the cause. 


While it may seem like an added expense that you aren’t sure you need, getting the proper inspections done by an expert can save you time, money, and headaches down the line. Purchasing a home is one of the most exciting times in your life and a purchase that will help you make memories for years to come. Take your time, enjoy the process and remember, you don’t have to buy the first home you see. When you find the right home, you will know. 


Looking for extra help in your search to ensure you find the right home for your family? 


Reach out to us at Comox Valley Real Estate and we will be happy to help you find your forever home.


Send us an email or call 250-702-6493