When buying a home, it’s wise to keep a clear head when viewing homes that you’re interested in purchasing. It’s easy to fall in love with a home, and it’s also easy to overlook issues that may be lurking there.

Feel rest assured that disclosure documents are required from sellers, disclosing any issues that exist in the home. However, white lies or misrepresentations are common and cause a number of real estate lawsuits.

To be on the safe side, here are some common issues to keep an eye out for when searching for a home:

Water damage – This is easy to hide with a fresh coat of paint or with furniture up against the walls in the basement. Feel free to move furniture a few inches and shine light on the area, or ask when the home was last painted. Take note of any odd odors or visibly cracked walls.

Contaminated backyard – Older homes were often run on oil, and this could contaminate the soil. Look to see if the yard contains a small fill pipe sticking up from the ground, as this is a sure sign that an oil tank is on the premise.

Shaky foundation – According to ABC Foundation, if you notice paint looking uneven around door frames or windows, look closely to see if it’s concealing cracks in the wall. You could also look for cabinets and doors that don’t close smoothly, or see if you feel like you’re walking slightly up or down at all inside the home.

Problem neighbors – Sellers should disclose if a neighbor has a barking dog, a teenager that blasts car music in the driveway late at night, or a couple that fights with the windows open. That doesn’t mean they will. Stroll around the neighborhood at different times of the day and night to get a true feel for it.

Temperature changes – Notice if any rooms in the house feel colder, warmer, dryer or more humid than other rooms in the house. This could be a sign of poor insulation, or of construction done without a permit. These observances could save you money, or could change your mind about buying.

As you can see, hidden issues like these are all reasons why it is so important to get a home inspection before buying a Houston home! You should never skip this step, as inspectors are professionally trained to notice these types of things. However, it doesn’t hurt for you to take note of them either, before you go through the process of making an offer.

Ready to buy a home in Houston? As your local real estate team, we can help you through the entire process! Contact us as soon as it is convenient for you.