When You Should Pass On A Home


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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

Avoid these seven types of houses to save yourself time, money and headaches later.

It’s pretty common for homebuyers to get swept up in the excitement of finding a house they love, even if the home has shortcomings. In many cases, flaws can be fixed. However, there are some cases when passing on a home is the smarter move. Here are seven home conditions to avoid.

Major repairs needed

If the home inspection reveals one or more major problems buying the home means you are signing on to fix them.

Ask yourself: “Even if I can afford to address the problem, will it be worth the cost in money, time and hassle?”

Shoddy building

Poor quality work by a builder, remodeler or DIYer is an eyesore at best, more trouble down the road at worst. When you bring in a pro to repair a problem, you’ll pay extra as they’ll need extra time to troubleshoot before they can make the fix.

Some clues that reflect shoddy building are:

  • Multiple finishes where one would make more sense
  • Recent paint that attempts to cover up flaws
  • Sloppy paint, like overspray onto other surfaces
The neighbors

The perfect home with lousy neighbors will never be your perfect home. The state of the neighbors’ property could affect your quality of life, as well as the resale value of your home.

Take a good look around at neighboring homes. Visit the home on different days and times and take a good listen. Cars in states of disrepair, an unkempt yard, deteriorating house or excessive noise are valid reasons to pass on a house.

Environmental issues

When it comes to environmental issues, it’s wise to enlist a professional to help decide if a house is right for you. For example, radon can often be effectively mitigated with a ventilation system that costs around $1,000. However, completely removing lead from a home could cost $15,000 or more.

Other environmental issues that can be costly to fix are asbestos, a failing septic system or mold.

Less dangerous to one’s health are tobacco, marijuana and pet smells which may be difficult to eradicate.

A weird or awkward layout

There are many ways to build or modify a home but not all are desirable. Think: a long narrow living room that doesn’t allow comfortable seating. Or a badly planned kitchen where the fridge and dishwasher can’t be open at the same time because the doors hit each other. Or a bedroom that faces a noisy street. A house that doesn’t allow good flow of movement will be a frustration to everyone who lives there. Plus, it will bring down the home’s value at resale.

A weird layout might also mean there are structural concerns. Sure, it made sense to a prior owner to knock out a wall and make two rooms into one larger one. But did they pay attention to load bearing walls?

An HOA if you don’t want to be part of an HOA

Before you buy a house, you need to examine the pros and cons of HOAs. Every HOA has rules and homeowners are expected to follow them—even if they make no sense to you or seem unfair.

If you are firmly in the anti-HOA camp, do not buy a house that’s part of a homeowners association. You cannot opt out of an HOA. HOA dues are mandatory and not paying them could put your house at risk.

The house will cause you to become house poor

The right home is one you can afford, including the utilities, upkeep, taxes and insurance. “House poor” refers to spending too much of your total monthly income on homeownership expenses, making it difficult or impossible to achieve your other financial or personal goals. Read up on how much a home really costs so you can avoid being house poor.

When you find the right house to buy

Knowing about conditions that indicate it’s better to pass on a home can help you feel more confident when you’re shopping for a new home. Avoiding a problem house will save you time, money and headaches later.

When you find the house that’s right for you, talk to one of our Mortgage Loan Officers about a home loan—we have lots of flexible options at great rates.


Equal Housing Opportunity Logo with white background and black text and image. All loans subject to approval. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on credit worthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions.

Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

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