5 Signs You’re Gazing Into A Money Pit, Not Buying A House

There are responsibilities that come with the joys of home ownership, like paying property taxes and repairing things that go wrong. Some houses are pits into which you can expect to throw all of your time and money for the foreseeable future. You can’t magically predict which houses these will be, but there are some warning signs that our domesticated cousins over at Consumer Reports rounded up.

  • Leaky roof. It’s not just the expense of a new roof: think of all of the terrible things water can do inside your house. Look for working gutters and missing or cracked shingles.
  • Foundation cracks. No house is crack-free, since foundations settle. However, if a regular old yellow wooden pencil can fit inside the cracks you find, run away.
  • Hazardous decks. Check railings for looseness and boards for softness: dangerous decks cause 45,000 injuries every year. Really!
  • Mold and mildew. These should be visible or smellable, but not always.
  • Pest infestations. Rodents, carpenter ants, and termites make terrible housemates. Piles of sawdust and shed termite wings are indications that they might be hanging around.
  • Five signs the house you want to buy is a money pit [Consumer Reports]