09.01.2010 / Five Home Pitfalls to Avoid

So you have been house hunting and you think you have found your dream home. You are ready to make an offer and sign on the dotted line. But before you do, make sure you have checked your dream home thoroughly against these five potential pitfalls to avoid having your dream home turn into a nightmare.

"Make sure you have checked your house thoroughly against these five potential pitfalls to avoid having your dream home turn into a nightmare."

Poor Plumbing
Be sure to check all faucets for leaks by looking under all the cabinet doors and searching for signs of current or previous water damage such as fresh paint or mildew. Even run the faucets for a while to see if you see any drips. Stains on the ceiling may also indicate a plumbing problem or leaky shower so be sure to check all ceilings for stains. How is the water pressure? Test it by running water in a bathroom sink and then flush the toilet while the water is running. Does the water flow in the bathroom sink slow down? Another thing you can test is how long it takes for the water to turn hot. Poor results on either of these tests may indicate a plumbing problem that could costs thousands to correct.

Damaged Windows
Check the walls above and below each window for signs of cracks and leaks. Make sure all the seals are intact. Also open and close the windows. Are they easy to open? Are they updated thermal windows or older style windows that are less energy efficient? Replacing windows can cost several thousand dollars so make sure they meet your standards.

Faulty Doors
Open and close all the doors. Do they open and close easily? Do they swing open or not fully open? If only one door does this it may be an installation problem with that one door. If all of them do it, there may be a more serious issue such as a settled foundation or framing that is deteriorating. Thousands of dollars may be required to fix this issue.

Damaged Roof
Check for obvious signs of roof damage by going outside and examining the roof from many angles. Use binoculars to get a closer look. Are there any loose or curling shingles? Do you see any sagging, swollen or otherwise damaged spots? If so, you may have to replace the roof in the near future. If this is not a cost you are willing to incur, you may want to avoid the house.

Exterior Elements Sloping Towards the Home
It almost guarantees water in the basement if any of the outside elements slope toward the home such as grading, driveways, patios or porches. This can lead to water damage, mold, structural decay and a musty odor. If you notice any outside elements sloping toward the house be sure to check basements for an odor that may indicate water damage. Check the walls for light or dark stains that may indicate that water has leaked through the walls. Fixing this problem may be as simple as redirecting the elements to slope away from the house, or it could cost thousands of dollars depending on the extent of damage that you find.

If you’re house hunting, it’s probably a good idea to get a pre-approval to learn how much you are able to afford. It can give you an edge over other buyers, by demonstrating to the seller that you already have financing lined up. Contact a First National Bank Home Mortgage Specialist at 402.602.5300 to make an appointment today or go to to locate a specialist near you.

If you’d like to learn more about the Home Buying Process, visit to sign up for a First National Bank Home Buying Seminar.

Do you have any home pitfalls to avoid? We would love to hear your input by posting a comment here.

Information gathered from and

Posted at 10:58 AM | Permalink


The comments made here couldn't be more true replacing a roof can be a costly endeavor and having a secure roof is certainly essential. Sagging and swollen spots can often be repaired but some projects are of course beyond repair. Make sure an inspector takes a look at the roof before you sign anything!
Posted by Roof Contractors Houston TX at 05:29 PM, Aug 27, 2010
Its difficult to really find some answers so a detailed research needs to be done in order to help me on my roof replacement problems. This somehow gave me an idea on what i really want for myself
Posted by micheal verns at 09:58 PM, Aug 31, 2010
Post A Comment

The views expressed on this site may not reflect the views held by First National Bank of Omaha or any of its affiliates. The information provided through this website is not a substitute for any personal advice from a licensed professional. Use of any information or advice shall be solely at the user's own risk.

We welcome your comments. All comment submissions will be reviewed prior to being posted. If the comments are posted, they may be removed at any time. Comments will not be approved if they contain, include or involve any of the following: Obscenity; Crude, vulgar or offensive language and/or symbols; Gang signs or symbols; Derogatory characterizations of any ethnic, racial, sexual or religious groups, personal attacks of any kind towards others; Trespass or the violation of other people's rights or property; Illegal (e.g., discriminatory, harassing) or inappropriate activity, behavior or conduct (e.g., inflicting emotional distress); Any other content that is or could be considered inappropriate, unsuitable or offensive, or clearly "off-topic" as determined by First National Bank of Omaha. To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information such as Social Security Number, phone number or email address in the body of your comment.

For account related questions, please log in to First National Online at and use the secure email located in Contact Us.