If you are buying South Lake Tahoe real estate, chances are you have a list of things you are looking for in a home. But do you have a list of things you know you DON’T want in a property? There are some pretty important things to look out for that go beyond a brand new kitchen, top of the line flooring and luxury finishes. In fact, your South Lake Tahoe Realtor will be able to weigh in more on what to look out for and should point out red flags while you are touring. If you are spending the weekend touring opens without your South Lake Tahoe Realtor by your side, here is what to keep an eye out for.
Be on the lookout for improper ventilation. Condensation around windows, peeling paint or slight bubbling around windows, doors and vent can be an indication that there is moisture in the walls. Note that in a mountain town like Lake Tahoe, we do get a lot of snow, so your South Lake Tahoe Realtor will be able to tell if this is within the norm or if there is a bigger problem potentially lurking. Extra moisture can lead to mold over time, so keep an eye out for small black or gray spots too. While we are on the topic of all things water and moisture, don’t overlook water damage as you are touring homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe. Even if you don’t detect the musty odor that can indicate water damage, check walls and ceilings for water lines and exposed piping in basements or laundry rooms for rust, water stains, or leaking.
Most homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe have some hairline cracks which is completely normal and means the house is just settling into position. Large gaps signal a much bigger issue though and can be suggested by uneven floors, cracks above the window frame and sticking doors and windows. If you fear the property has major foundation issues, roll a marble from one side to the other as a test.
Most sellers try to make their South Lake Tahoe real estate smell nice for potential buyers. That is totally normal. But too much scent could suggest that they are trying to hide something. Pet accidents, mildew and smoke are hard to get rid of so you will likely smell it over the blend of baked cookies, candles, plug ins and air sprays. However, if things smell too good and you notice a lot of scents through out the house, try and find out if they are attempting at covering something up or if it is a personal preference.
Shotty craftsmanship can sometimes be hard to miss, but pay close attention to things like poor tiling, wonky windows, bad paint jobs or crooked fixtures. Some folks insist on saving money by going DIY for all things home, even if they really shouldn’t. Certain things like a bad paint job or poorly installed fixtures are an easy and affordable fix. However, poorly installed tile, flooring, cabinets, windows, etc. can add up to cost a lot. Be on the look out for things that seem off and don’t be afraid to ask who did some of the work on the house and ask for proof.
When touring homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe, check to see if the home has signs of maintenance that has gone to the wayside. Routine things like burnt out light bulbs, leaky faucets, unkept lawns, creaky doors and more suggest that if the homeowner let basic things go unfixed, there could be bigger issues you can’t see. Of course there are other factors at play here like inability to physically do these things, lack of funds, etc. But a homeowner who stays on top of the normal routine homeownership tasks likely has taken care of the property from big to small items which is reassuring for a buyer. Pride of ownership goes a long way.
Work closely with your South Lake Tahoe Realtor to identify whether or not the properties you are interested in have red flags or not. Have questions about buying? Feel free to reach out!