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Red Flags To Look Out For Before Buying A Home

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

When buying a home, it is impartial that the home has to be in good condition. You wouldn’t want to live in a rundown unit so take the chance to look out for these red flags during a property viewing.

1. Overall Condition

If you’re looking at a flat or condo unit, it is important to assess the general condition of the entire building and its common facilities. Begin taking notes as soon as you step onto the property. Pay attention to the state of the lifts, the flooring and pathways, the drop-off and pick-up points, and other facilities, especially the ones you might use often. The general condition of the property might have an impact on the resale value of your unit when you want to leave in the future.

2. Built-In Appliances with Custom-Fit Carpentry

You may rejoice at the fact that some home appliances are included in the unit, but don’t be too happy about it just yet. You will want to make sure that the appliances are in working condition. Some homes may also have custom-fit carpentry for their appliances, and that might be a problem for you if the machine breaks down and you are not able to find a replacement for it. This will then result in extra costs to get rid of the carpentry in order to fit in a new machine.

3. Poor Plumbing System

A poor drainage system is something that will give you a headache in the long run. Water leakage can cause many problems in your home such as stained walls and ceilings, poor water quality, mold, and even flooding. Test water pressure in the kitchen and every bathroom in the unit. Keep an eye out for slow drainage, low water pressure, water leaks, moisture-stained walls and ceilings, and sewer odour.

4. Condition of Built-In Carpentry

If the built-in carpentry of the unit is in a bad state, you might want to take it off your list of potential homes unless you don’t mind incurring extra costs. Removing or replacing these carpentry usually requires a professional to hack away. If there is a lot of wood carpentry, check for termites. Possible termite infestation may also start from walls and ceilings, so don’t forget to check for holes in them as well.

5. Pest Infestation

Besides the aforementioned termites, rats and cockroaches are some of the other common types of pest infestations. You can look out for possible infestation by checking for small holes, droppings, muddy debris in door and window corners, and odour.

6. Complicated Ownership History

One of the signs of a problematic unit is the constant switching of hands it has gone through. If the owner of a unit often changes, it indicates that the residents are not content with the quality of life they get from staying there, whether it be the lack of accessible public transportation, high noise levels, and so on. The history of property ownership can be found through the Integrated Land Information Service (INLIS) by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

7. Unusually Low Selling Price

If a unit is selling for a very low price, it is usually too good to be true. Going for an undervalued home might just mean that you are in for an unwelcome surprise. Make sure to properly investigate the property before sealing the deal.


Don’t overlook these red flags when you’re looking to buy a property. It’s best to discern these potential deal breakers with the help of an experienced real estate agent as they know exactly what to look out for. Check out our article on the importance of engaging a real estate agent:

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