If someone is eager to sell their property, they may keep a few defects hidden. Although a professional inspector would pick up on any problem, it is expensive to hire one for each viewing. Therefore, here are some things that are obvious even to a novice which can tell you not to buy the home.
First, inspect the neighborhood. Are there many homes for sale and many boarded up shops? Talk to your potential new neighbors and ask what the area is like. Also check out the land. Foundations could be damaged by rain water if the yard slopes downwards to the property. Use your nose: bad smells in or out the property are a bad sign. Also look for bugs and insects. This is also something to ask others in the neighborhood about as they are likely to know all about past insect, rodent or other pests problems.
You should now look at the property itself and how it was treated. Signs of regular maintenance are hugely important. A home that is run down on the outside will probably be in a similar state on the inside. Check the wiring as well. Only a qualified electrician can identify real problems, but you can have a general look. For instance, flickering lights and hot or warm outlets are signs of a bigger problem. Owners may be trying to hide a problem if you notice that single walls have been painted very recently. Also inspect the windows. Windows that have mold or condensation or that open with difficulty may be signs of very expensive problems.Never even consider purchasing a property that you cannot see in full. If you notice that walls have been changed or other structural work has been completed, you must find out whether this was done by someone qualified to do that type of work.
In the end, it is only you who can decide whether or not you will buy a property. However, you should always exert due diligence. Do only purchase a property once you have had it inspected by a professional inspector. If any issues are found, it is up to you to decide whether you then want to step away from the property, or whether you want to use it as a bargaining tool to bring down the price. However, always be careful that you do not get tied into a money pit.