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Consumer Tips

Red flags when buying a home

Home buying is a big financial decision that requires the help of professionals. This article offers quick tips to detect red flags during the home-buying process.

Red flags when buying a home

Given that buying a home is a big financial decision, it’s best not to go into it blindly. 
Here are some quick and easy ways to tell if there might be an underlying issue with the home. Obviously, if you sense something might be wrong, you will need to pay an inspector (or a special service company) to investigate and confirm an issue.


  • Cracks in the driveway, foundation or sidewalks
  • Drainage systems not pointing away from the house
  • Yard sloping towards the house
  • Standing water near the foundation
  • Trees with roots close to the foundation
  • Cracks in the walls
  • Windows or wall corners not square
  • Gaps on top of interior doors when closed

Water or Mold:

  • Musty smell
  • Cracks around windows
  • Peeling paint
  • Leaking faucets, bathtubs or toilets
  • Water stains on the walls
  • No bathroom ventilation
  • Missing tile caulk


  • Ceiling stains
  • Missing, cracked, curled or warped shingles


  • Lights that flicker or short-out
  • Main panel condition (rusty or damaged in any way)
  • Exposed wires


  • Water stains in bathroom around plumbing
  • Low water pressure
  • Drains empty slowly
  • Noises when you turn on the water
  • Bad odor by the sink

With these tips, we hope you’ll be able to spot any big issues before your closing day. 
When you decide you’re ready to buy a home, check out the Union Plus Real Estate Rewards Program powered by SIRVA. You can earn $500 for every $100,000 in home value when you use one of their real estate agents to sell or buy a home.*

Real Estate Rewards

We make buying and selling a home easy!

Learn more

*To qualify for cash back reward (in cash back states), you must use a SIRVA-referred real estate agent. Program designed as a referral service to provide you the opportunity to select a real estate agent to meet your needs. You must evaluate the brokers, agents and their services and make selections and decisions based upon your best judgment, interest, priorities and concerns. Call 800-228-3097 or visit myrewards.sirvahomebenefits.com/UnionPlus for important program details and state restrictions.

SIRVA is an independent provider of services. Union Plus is not affiliated with SIRVA and does not manage SIRVA or its programs. SIRVA is paying Union Plus for advertising services including dissemination of information about SIRVA and its programs to participating unions and their members as well as participation in Union Plus events and programs. No referral, recommendation, service representation or exclusivity requirement is intended by the Union Plus’s mention or dissemination of the SIRVA name and delivery of this information to participating union members. It is important that you evaluate the information provided and make decisions based upon your own best interest, priorities, and concerns. Certain state restrictions apply to the real estate cash back program.