Top 7 Deal Breakers for Home Purchases

deal breakers real estate

Before you make a bid on a home you’ve found, you should know some of the deal breakers you should double-check before submitting your offer. Inspecting the home is an absolute necessity and keep in mind that looks can be deceiving. There can be little flaws such as paint you don’t like or old appliances. However, there are big ones that should make you think twice before overlooking them. Don’t let your enthusiasm and love for the home blind you to the flaws that may become money pits.

Plumbing & Septic

One of the deal breakers you should consider is faulty plumbing. Without good plumbing bones there may be mildew, water stains and sagging floors. Worse problems might include sewer lines. Many parts of the country haven’t updated them in over 100 years. Older septic tanks need to be evaluated by an inspector. Remember that repairs to sewer lines or septic tanks might cost you from $25,000 to $50,000.


The roof of your new home must also be inspected for missing tiles and shingles that are in disrepair. Some roofs may last over 30 years, but if the installation or quality is poor, you could be looking at replacing it very soon.


An out-of-date or sloppily installed electrical system can be a fire hazard, and you don’t want to face the task of replacing it. Tube and knob and aluminum wiring are sometimes found in older homes and can haunt you if you overlook it.


If your dream home is in a flood zone, buyer beware. Even if you’re far away from the beach, lake or river, flooding can happen. If you buy in a high-risk flood zone, your insurance costs may be prohibitive and/or require special coverage from the federal government. You may have a difficult time selling the home in the future.

The Dog Solution


Your home may be in the exact location you want with the exact view you love, but you’ve determined that it needs a third bedroom or renovations to make the basement into a game room. The local jurisdiction may have restrictions that could affect the upgrades you want to make. You may also want to check with an architect to make sure the home structure is amenable to the renovations you want to make.


A low appraisal may affect financing or alert you that you’re paying too much for the home. It could also indicate that the home sales are booming in that area. The comparable prices for homes aren’t yet equal to what the home is worth.

Past, Present & Future

Know the history of your dream home before you buy. For example, find out if repairs or renovations were performed by a licensed contractor and the reason for the repairs. If the home or surrounding areas have been sites of crimes, you’re less likely to get a fair price for the home when you’re ready to sell. Finally, be sure you assess the neighborhood where your home is located. It could be a real deal breaker if the area is past its prime and has homes which are declining in value – or the neighborhood has become noisy and trashy.

You have to decide what the real deal breakers are for the home you’re buying. Be sure to consider the possible ramifications of purchasing a home that has one or more of the problems listed.

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