Looking to buy a home? Well, listen up, because I’m about to tell you what NOT to do. This is the WORST kind of house to buy as an investment.

If you think you have a great deal on a house to purchase, but the owners are not allowing you to do any due diligence, and you’re not able to see the bones and the structure of the house, never, ever touch it. Because let me tell you something, once you open the walls you may have much more work than you think.

So, don’t touch something unless you can really understand what you’re buying. Here are more red flags to consider, and possibly stay away from, when you’re looking to buy a home.

When it comes to maintenance, one of the most noticeable red flags is the property’s overall condition. Big things you should look out for, and giant warning signs, are peeling paint, a sagging roof, and overgrown landscaping. These are signs that the owner has not done a good job caring for, and maintaining, the house. These may lead to extensive repairs, and a ton of your money spent, down the line.

Water damage is another big one. Be on the lookout for water stains on ceilings and walls, musty odors, and visible mold. These are clear signs of water damage. You must investigate the source of the water issues and the level of damage because these could all lead to structural problems and even health hazards.

Be sure to check for foundation issues, like uneven floors, cracks in the walls, and doors that close properly. These could suggest underlying problems with the foundation. Foundation issues could be a huge financial problem down the line, so it’s critical to have a detailed inspection.

Here’s a gross one: pest infestations. Signs of pest infestations, such as termite damage or rodent droppings, should not be taken lightly. Not only are they undesirable, but these infestations can also damage the structural integrity of the home and require professional intervention.

Before finalizing the purchase, you need to verify that the property follows local zoning regulations and that there are no outstanding legal issues. Check for any liens, easements, or restrictions that may impact your ability to make changes to the property.

You should also research the neighborhood’s crime rates and safety statistics. Not only can high crime areas negatively impact your quality of life, but they can also severely compromise your property’s future resale value. One good way to check the neighborhood’s overall safety is to visit at different times of the day and different days of the week.

Regarding property value, be mindful of an inconsistent property appraisal. If the property appraisal comes in significantly lower than the agreed-upon purchase price, this could be a red flag. It could indicate that the property is overpriced or, worse, that there are hidden issues the owner is hiding.

Similarly, keep an eye on the local real estate market trends. If property values in the area are fluctuating rapidly, it may be a sign of an unstable market or potential issues with the neighborhood.

And then there are the sellers, specifically uncooperative ones. Sellers who aren’t willing to provide the necessary documentation, or seem hesitant to address your concerns, should sound alarm bells. Transparent and open communication is essential in a real estate transaction, and resistance from the seller could indicate hidden problems.

Finally, be aware of overly complex transactions. If the process becomes overly complex or if the seller pressures you to bypass certain steps, such as inspections or legal reviews, you should proceed very cautiously. A straightforward and transparent transaction is essential for a successful home purchase.

In conclusion, being aware of these red flags can make the difference between a good deal and a potentially terrible one. Make sure you conduct thorough inspections, research the neighborhood, and hire experienced professionals to ensure a successful real estate transaction.