3 Warning Signs To Buying A “Lemon” Home In Boston

Warning Signs To Buying A -Lemon- Home In BostonYou’ve found what seems like the perfect home – either for investment purposes or to move in to. This is one time when your head should definitely rule your heart, when intellect should over-ride emotion. You need to take the time to make sure you aren’t buying a “lemon” home in Boston.

Sellers usually don’t disclose everything about a property they’re selling, instead they share only what they have to. It’s up to you, the buyer, to find out everything you can, thoroughly inspecting the entire house. Below are a few warning signs you should be on the lookout for.

1. Plumbing Problems

This is an important one because plumbing problems can go on for years undetected. Because these issues aren’t always immediately evident, they can cause some pretty severe and expensive-to-repair damage.

A tiny leak in a water-supply line inside a wall, for instance, can continue for a long time before the damage is visible. After months or years, that damage can include rotten, spongy flooring and subflooring, mold and mildew, damaged drywall, and termites. Be on the lookout for water stains, spongy or sagging spots in floors, and mildew – all signs of plumbing problems

Even worse, if you wind up buying a “lemon” home in Boston, are problems with sewer lines. All sinks and lavatories should drain well, and toilets should have a strong flush. If you find any problems here, that should be a strong warning sign especially because sewer lines might not have been updated for many decades in some areas. With septic tanks and sewer lines, major repairs can run as high as $25,000 to $50,000.

2. Faulty Roof (And Roof Clues)

Issues with the roof are often a sure sign of problems in other areas. If, for example, you see three layers of shingles and vegetation sprouting in the gutters, that’s a pretty good indication that the owners haven’t taken care of the home in other respects.

Also, look for broken or missing shingles or tiles, which could mean roof leaks. Keep mind that the water doesn’t just fall straight down into the house from its first point of access. Often, the water travels down the roof and sometimes to the side before finding a way into the house. It may even run down inside a wall and so remain undetected and cause unseen damage for a time.

Beware of sagging spots in a roof. For these signal damaged decking at best and damaged rafters or trusses at worst – and that’s about as “lemony” as you can get. A new roof, including tear-off and installation of new decking where needed, can run from nearly $10,000 up to $30,000.

3. Shoddy Renovations and Improvements

Another warning sign to buying a “lemon” home in Boston that you really need to heed is shoddy or slapdash renovations and improvements. If you see that just one wall has been painted (obviously hastily and not very tidily), that is likely an indication that the seller is covering up something the seller didn’t want you to see, water stains or mildew. In a case like this, you need to give it the smell test and look around for saggy ceilings and odd-looking areas in the drywall.

Poorly laid tiles in the bathroom might not be a huge problem – it would cost you only a few hundred to re-do – but a bad job of laying parquet flooring in a large area will cost you more. If a large deck or driveway has been done improperly, well, then you’re talking about thousands.

Buying a home always has an element of risk in it, but you can keep that risk to a minimum if you pay attention to these 3 warning signs to buying a “lemon” home in Boston.


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