3 Red Flags When Shopping for a House in Arkansas


There are certain symptoms of a distressed home that you need to be aware of before you fall in love with an amazing kitchen or a to-die-for backyard! Once you’re smitten, it may be too late. I hate to admit it, but I have seen it time and time again. Most houses, even new ones, have something wrong. Even if it’s a problem as easy to fix as a drippy faucet, no home is perfect

But what we’ll look at today are the biggies – those items that require emptying your bank account to repair. They don’t necessarily need to be considered deal breakers but should prompt you to have the home carefully inspected by the appropriate professional.

Don’t worry if you happen to find some of the issues that I discuss in a home, the good news is that you found them now, rather than later. You still can either demand the seller fix them or you can back out of the deal. If you were to learn of these later, after you’ve moved in, it would be on you and your bank account to fix them.

So, let’s look at a few of the big problems and some of the clues to look for.

Unpleasant Smells    Unpleasant Smells

Can you imagine taking a shower and being greeted by raw sewage bubbling up through the drain? Oh, yes, it can—and does—happen. It’s caused by a clogged sewer or septic line. Consider foul smells coming from the home’s drain a clue for further investigation.

Then, test the drains. Simply turn on the taps and watch the water drain. If it drains slowly, or you hear gurgling sounds from the drain (or from the toilet), call in a plumber.

Sewer fixes aren’t cheap. Tree-root-damaged lines can cost from $4,500 to $13,000 for a 100-foot sewer pipe, according to costhelper.com.

Faulty Foundation   A Faulty Foundation

A home’s foundation has three major functions: to support the weight of the entire building, help the home withstand natural disasters and to keep ground moisture from seeping into the structure.

“Most homeowners will pay around $4,004 to repair foundation issues. Major repairs involving hydraulic piers can cost $10,000 or more, and minor cracks cost as low as $500. The typical homeowner pays between $1,850 and $6,342,” according to the pros at homeadvisor.

It is important while you are home shopping to look for sloping or sagging floors. These are especially common in bathrooms and kitchens which could be a sign of previous water damage. You also want to lookout for cracks in the foundation, walls and floors, doors that don’t operate properly and gaps around window frames or exterior doors.

In Central Arkansas, it is very common for homes to experience settling. Although cracks in the walls or around windows may just be caused from the home settling with age, it is always smart to proceed with caution.

Poor Plumbing   Poor Plumbing

Low water pressure is a lot more than an annoyance when trying to rinse the soap of your body in the shower. It may be a symptom of major plumbing problems.

Now, don’t get freaked out. Most of the causes of low water pressure are easy fixes, such as the water softener requires service, or a clog someplace in the lines or mineral deposits in the faucet aerator or showerhead or even sludge in the water heater.

Cracks or other damage to pipes, however, may result in a leak and that too would lower the water pressure. Look for evidence of leaks such as damp spots on the floors and walls, signs of mold or a hissing sound when the water is running.

Leak repair can be costly, especially if the leak is in a tough-to-reach spot. If you suspect any problems in the home that the home inspection didn’t turn up, I urge you to bring in a specialist. A structural engineer can put your mind at ease about cracks in the foundation and a plumbing contractor can give you an idea of the state of the home’s pipes.

When low water pressure was an issue for a home buyer that I was working with, the sellers ended up putting in an entirely new water line in from the street to the house for my buyers! You can’t beat that!

With this article it is not my goal to scare you or make you believe that every home you see is going to fall apart. The potential issues I addressed are typical warning signs that I have seen in homes that have occasionally led to bigger problems after an inspection. It is important to remember that it is always in your best interests to have a home inspection completed on any house you are considering and that you can always back out of a deal if you do not like the findings.

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Nicole Nark Little Rock Real Estate AgentHi There! My name is Nicole Nark and I am a Real Estate Agent in Central Arkansas. I have personally wrote and researched the topics found in this blog so that I can provide quality and up-to-date content for you. Please share this article and leave me a comment if there is a topic you wish to learn more about!


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