Nina Asusa, Broker

Nina's journey in real estate began in the early 1990's where her passion for real-estate quickly grew from an investor and home renovator, to where she is today. In 2006*, Nina launched her full-time real estate career and quickly found herself helping her clients, who many became friends, achieve not just any lifestyle, but the lifestyle they wanted for themselves. Her model was and always will be ''Don't follow someone else's story; create your own story, create your own lifestyle, because 'home is where your story begins.'''  From a single realtor, to developing a strong team of realtors she personally mentored and later owning a real estate brokerage firm, Nina's focus remained the same. She continues to channel her high energy and extensive experience into understanding her client's needs and wants, and in helping them in their real estate journey. Nina's greatest honour is the trust others grant her when welcoming her in their life's journey.

Red Flags and Alarm Bells: What to Look Out for Searching Online and On Home Tours

By: Nina Asusa

Red Flags and Alarm Bells: What to Look Out for Searching Online and On Home Tours

Tags: Real Estate

Searching for a new home can be a very exciting process, but don’t let the excitement blind you to serious red flags. There are a number of issues to look out for that signal trouble ahead. If you’re serious about putting an offer on a certain home, be sure to get a professional inspection first. Inspections can be pricey, but skipping a home inspection isn’t a good way to cut costs. You’ll end up paying more in the end. Before you put in an offer, here are the red flags and alarm bells to look out for when searching online and on home tours. 

1. Foundation Issues
When you go to see a property, be sure to take a close look at the home’s foundation and the yard grading. If the yard slopes toward the house, it could result in water running down the foundation walls or into the basement, which could mean an expensive repair. Look for any bulges or cracks along the foundation that are bigger than one-third inch. This could mean the house has serious structural issues.

2. The Window Coverings Are All Closed
Most online real estate photos will show the curtains open to take advantage of the natural light. If you notice that a listing has photos with the curtains or window coverings closed, it could be a red flag. The window may not look out to a great view, or worse, it could look out to something unsightly. 

3. Bad Odours
Funky smells inside or outside the home may be signs of a bigger problem, especially if you smell sewage, mildew or mold. Sewage systems in older homes can get clogged or damaged by tree roots, so you may need to hire a plumbing company to determine whether there are any blockages or breaks. Inhaling any type of mold spores can contribute to respiratory problems, headaches and other illnesses, and mold removal can cost thousands of dollars, plus fixing whatever’s letting the moisture in. If you don’t smell anything, but it’s clear that the homeowners are trying to hide a scent with lots of strong candles or potpourri, this could be a sign of trouble as well. 

4. There Are Very Few Interior Photos (or None At All)
If an online listing is lacking in interior photos, it’s not a great sign. There may be a bunch of photos of the exterior of the home, neighbourhood, or views, but if there aren’t many photos- or no photos at all- of the interior itself, there’s a very good chance the home is not in the best condition. Take a closer look to see if the listing has already been live in the system for a long period of time. This could mean that it’s really awful inside or there’s something preventing photos from being taken, such as renovation work or difficult tenants. 

5. Water Stains and Saggy Ceilings
Since many online listing photos are taken by professional photographers, these red flags may be harder to see in pictures, but make sure to look out for water stained walls and saggy ceilings when you’re on a home showing. Water stains could be signs of a leaky roof or window that’s rotting away structural wood, or a plumbing problem on an upper floor. A saggy ceiling can be a sign of roof leaks, structural movement or an insect infestation. Don’t make an offer until you know where the problem is coming from, how much damage it's caused and how expensive it is to fix.