7 Things to Look Out for When Buying a Used Home


You might face a dilemma if you plan to move out and into a new home. The first is to get a house constructed to accommodate your needs. However, the easier option is buying a used home. If you choose to buy a used home, the process can be a bit tricky, especially for newbies who have never participated in the time-consuming process of house construction.

On the other hand, resale properties are convenient. They are less time-consuming since they require no significant renovations. This is especially true if you’re in Pittsburgh, as through the years, the real estate market has grown quite a bit. It is also one of the best cities in the country for making money on real estate investments.

Since housing costs are quite reasonable here because homeowners usually sell their properties without maintaining them, which, for buyers, isn’t a good thing – they spend almost double the amount in repairing the place.

So if you’re out to buy a used home and don’t know what to look for, let us help you out. Read on to learn more.

1. Condition Of The Roof

Obviously, during an open house, you would naturally focus more on the interior, where the roof’s condition often goes unnoticed. When visiting, do not hesitate to ask questions to avoid any surprises later.

Even though Pittsburgh gets all four seasons, the increasing humidity and rainy season can negatively affect the house, especially the roof. This is where most homeowners try saving money by just having it painted instead of repaired.

The roof might look good, but you’ll need a professional to check it out to ensure it is structurally sound. We suggest you either get the entire roof replaced or repair it if you notice any leaks or cracks. To call in a professional, look up Pittsburgh Roof Replacement on any popular search engine for a detailed analysis.

2. Plumbing Issues – When Do You Need New Lines?

Of course, if it is your first time shifting houses, you might not be aware of things you need to consider. One of the many things that you need to look out for is the sewer and drainage lines.

Hiring a reliable and credible plumber to check the sewer lines is a great idea. Also, while at it, request them to check the bathroom for signs of mold and leakages. Check the faucets and fittings, and if you still think the place needs a once-over, get it checked by a professional.

3. Poor Tiling

Uneven tiling or gaps between the tiles is a major red flag. Why? Gaps and uneven tiling indicate that the previous house owners had issues and got them repaired cheaply.

If you’re buying a home on a budget, we suggest you get the tiles fixed properly. Now this could cost you $200-300, but it will be worth it down the line. Hire a contractor who can find good quality materials, get quotes from multiple sources, and fix those tiles.

4. Check For Molds

Molds are not that difficult to figure out. Most of the time, they are in plain sight. All you have to do is know where to look for them. Although mold patches are on the walls, you can conceal them with fresh paint.

Where to look for molds, then? The answer is simple! Look for any grey or black spots around the sink cabinets and tubs for hidden mold lurking around. Molds must be cleared out before you move into the place because no one wants to deal with skin infections and rashes.

Moreover, if you buy a well-ventilated home, mold is less likely to grow inside. Also, good ventilation reduces indoor odor and airborne contaminants.

5. Foundation Cracks And Structural Concerns

During a house viewing, you might come across hairline cracks, which cannot be ignored. Hairline cracks indicate the house is aging quite gracefully, to be honest. However, any significant gaps or cracks should immediately set off alarms. Major cracks or bowing walls are a big concern and a sign of a problem in the foundation.

Do not shy away from testing the doors and windows. If they jam too quickly, it is a structural concern that might cost an arm and a leg to repair!

6. Is Good Scent Merely A Distraction?

Most people immediately consider it a good sign when welcomed with a good scent. But we suggest you do some detective work when buying a second-hand house. Sometimes, too much scent indicates that the homeowner has tried to mask an odor they do not want you to notice. It could be mold, bad plumbing, water damage, or seepage- which can be costly to repair. Hence be aware and do not make hasty decisions!

7. Well Established Locality

A friendly neighborhood is the key to a great family and social life. Especially when you have kids, you want to ensure they are safe playing outside with other kids. Hence choosing a well-established locality is as vital as the foundation of your house.

Make sure both of these things are not a concern! Moreover, if you are on a tight budget, consider getting an apartment and moving into a house later. Settling into an apartment first will help you understand the market and give you more time to make an informed decision.


Buying a used house is hands down cost-efficient and less time-consuming to find. However, finding the right home can be a bit tricky. But the task becomes easier once you plan everything and keep a sharp eye on what to look for.

We suggest finding a good real estate agent to find a house within your budget and then hiring a professional to assess the house’s structure before signing the deed.

We hope you learned something from this article; if we missed anything, please tell us in the comments below.