Looking to get into real estate? With price rises starting to pick up speed, the time to act is now.

Many do this by buying their first starter home, which tend to be old properties built in the 1970s or earlier.

However, they often don’t do proper due diligence by inspecting the integrity of the home – they just see dollar signs.

What they don’t realize is that these dollar signs will often flow away from them rather than towards them in equity, as they end up in a situation where they have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to being their new abode up to code.

Lloyd Claycomb know that these stories could easily be avoided if these home hunters knew which red flags to look for. As a builder and renovator of homes in the Denver area for about 30 years, he knows a solid home from one that is falling apart.

When he decides to get involved in a property, there is a long series of checks he does to be certain he isn’t being sold a lemon.

Ready to do your first home inspection? Bring an expert with you and keep your eyes out for the following warning signs when you are out inspecting properties.

1) Look water leaks

As innocent as it seems, one of the biggest issues with older homes are water leaks that often occur as times wears on. Keep an eye open for signs of water leaks that are ongoing or have happened in the past.

When scouring the walls and ceilings of candidate homes, keep your eyes peeled for brown splotches, as these are telltale signs of water that has leaked from a pipe or roof breach.

Depending on the amount that leaked, it could be a sign of structural damage located within the bones of the home.

Due to the seriousness of this damage, repair costs can often be through the roof. If you see signs of multiple leaks, move on to the next property on your list.

2) Keep your eyes open for mold

Water does more than weaken walls – it also creates the preconditions for the development of toxic mold.

With constant exposure to this pathogen, you can develop symptoms that include constant post-nasal drip, watery eyes, and itchy skin.

If it is confined to a small area, you may be able to take care of the matter on your own, but if it is widespread, you’ll likely need to call in an environmental remediation company, which may put a home out of reach for you financially.

3) Check the condition of the roof

Next, take a look at the integrity of the roof. See if the supports are still straight and assess the condition of its shingles, as they may have gotten to the point where they are warping or peeling.

If some of the beams are crooked or if shingles have started to shift out of place, water could get into the house, causing the problems mentioned above.

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