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When you first decide to start looking for a new home, you’ll need to be willing to look at more than one house on the market. This will help you find a place you’ll love without forcing you to deal with renovations or repairs as soon as you move in. With so many Highlands homes for sale, finding properties to tour won’t be an issue. That said, you’ll want to keep a weathered eye out for any issues the house might have while you’re touring it for the first time. Some issues may be so severe that you’ll want to keep looking. Here’s what you’ll want to watch for.

1. Visible Cracks in the Exterior

Every home sits on a foundation. It’s what helps the walls stay strong and keeps the house level. Sometimes, that foundation can shift, putting the house at risk for serious structural damage. While it is possible to repair the damage, it’s incredibly expensive and it’s something most buyers just shouldn’t have to take on.

When you walk through your list of Highlands homes for sale, pay attention to the home’s exterior. Look for cracks along the base of the home. Check to see if the siding is cracked or warped. If the home has a basement, make sure the space is dry and doesn’t have cracks in the walls or sheetrock. If you do see any, it may be best to keep looking.

2. Missing Roof Shingles

The roof is a house’s first line of defense against rain, snow, heat, and changing weather conditions. When it’s in good shape, it works almost flawlessly and can even help you keep your energy bills low. But when it’s damaged, you’re opening yourself up to all sorts of ongoing repair issues. Leaks, mold, pest infestations, and even increased heating and cooling costs are all common concerns.

Take a walk around the exterior of the property and look at the roof from all sides of the house. Check for missing shingles or shingles that aren’t flush with the rest of the roof. Look on the ground for loose roofing nails and other debris that could indicate issues with the roof’s integrity. If you notice any, proceed with caution. A bad roof doesn’t necessarily mean you should rule out the house entirely. You just may want to negotiate the cost of a new roof or at least roof repairs with the seller if you decide to buy.

3. Bubbling or Stained Paint

Water damage is a serious issue, even in the dry climate of Colorado. We’re still at risk for mold and mildew growth if it’s not caught immediately. Luckily, water damage can be easy to spot if you know what to look for.

As you walk through each room of the house, look at the walls. If you see the paint starting to bubble up, warp, or look discolored, there’s a good chance that the house has some serious water damage. An inspection will be able to determine the extent of the damage and estimate the types of repairs you’ll need to do. If you’re looking for Highlands homes for sale that are move-in ready, you’ll want to keep looking.

4. Fun-House Floors

Houses settle over time, so floors shifting can be expected in older homes, but it can happen in newer construction. Think about how you feel when you’re walking through the room. Does the floor feel even and solid underfoot? If so, you’re in good shape.

But if you almost feel like you’re having a bout of vertigo, there could be underlying foundation issues that you’ll need to address. An easy way to check is to use a marble or the level app on your phone and set it on the floor. If the marble stays put or the bubble stays centered in the level, the floors are in good shape. If they move, the floors are uneven and you’ll need to fix the damage if you buy the house. This can get expensive, so make sure the asking price of the house is low enough to justify the repairs you’ll need to make.

5. Off-Limits Areas

When you’re looking for Highlands homes for sale, you need to be able to look at every room of the house. Otherwise, you might miss something that could tell you the house is the perfect fit or worth walking away from. If the seller’s real estate agent won’t let you see every room of the house or the seller says something is off-limits, keep looking. If they’re unwilling to show you something, it could be that they’re trying to hide damage or issues with the house.

6. Noises in the Walls

No, we’re not talking pest infestations, though you should certainly pay attention for signs of rodents in the house. We’re talking about plumbing issues. When a home’s plumbing is in good condition, it should work almost silently. You may hear slight sounds of water flowing through the pipes when you turn on the tap or flush a toilet, but otherwise, it should stay quiet.

When touring Highlands homes for sale, pay attention to the noises in the walls. If you hear clanking, banging, gurgling, or any other noise that sounds out of place or disconcerting, keep looking. There’s likely an extensive plumbing issue that you’ll have to deal with if you decide to buy the house.

7. New Owners All the Time

The average homeowner stays in their house for about 13 years. In the Denver area, people tend to move more frequently, but most homeowners tend to stay in their homes for at least a few years. If a house switches hands every year or so, proceed with caution.

Think about why those people might have moved out. Could the neighborhood be unsafe? Is there an underlying issue with the house that’s just not fixable? Every situation is different, but go with your gut and make sure the home is the right fit for your needs.

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