11 Types of Homes You Should Never Buy

INSURANCE - HOME INSURANCE
Before you start shopping for a new home, you should quickly weed out these types of houses.
Updated April 3, 2023
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couple moving in new house

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As housing prices start to cool down, you may be thinking about taking another look at the housing market to find a new place.

But it may be a good idea to narrow your focus before you start looking at properties to avoid throwing away your money

Perhaps a home may have issues with its location or how it’s laid out. There’s nothing wrong with setting those types of houses aside to focus on places that can work best for you.

As you take a look at listings, here are some types of homes that you probably don’t want to consider.

Too small

Warakorn/Adobe businessman hold big and small houses on hand

Before you start shopping, make a list of some of the things you may need in a home such as the number of bedrooms or a finished basement. You may want to factor in whether you plan to expand your family or if you need space to work from home.

It may be cheaper to get a smaller house, but you could still pay later on when you have to make renovations to expand your space or move again to find a place better suited to your needs.

Structural issues

F/Adobe inspector checking the building structure

It’s a good idea to have your home inspected by a professional before you close on the purchase. They may find little issues that have to be addressed or things you should talk to the current owners about before you move in.

But structural issues are not going to be easy to change. It’s a good idea to reconsider your purchase or your purchase price if an inspection reveals major problems that will have to be addressed as soon as possible.

Fixer-upper

amedeoemaja/Adobe plumber at work in a bathroom

A few cosmetic issues may not be a big deal, and a bit of new paint or some changes to a bathroom are easy fixes. But you may want to walk away if you see major changes that have to be made around every corner.

Sure, some buyers may like the challenge of a fixer-upper, but don’t feel discouraged if taking on several major projects is not for you.

The cost of a fixer-upper could be more affordable than a move-in ready home. But any savings you keep by agreeing to a lower closing price could disappear when you sink that money into your new home.

Weird layout

Dariusz Jarzabek/Adobe open floor apartment idea

Perhaps you found a home that just needs a little bit of give and take to make it a great place for you to live. It may be easy to take out a wall here or add some space there.

But weird layouts may not be so easy to make right, particularly if you have load-bearing walls, staircases, or other major issues that aren’t easy to change.

Instead, see if you can find a home that flows well before you put in an offer on a weird layout.

Busy street

deberarr/Adobe  street scene in New York City with groups of people

You may not think a busy street is a big issue, but it could be a problem for you once you move in. You may have issues with street parking, moving in, or workers you may need to maintain your house.

And remember that it may cost you less to buy a home on a busy street compared to a home in a more residential area. But it also will be harder to sell and may not increase in price as much as a quieter house.

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Flood zone

burnstuff2003/Adobe flooded houses and streets

One of the biggest worries of homeowners is what to do if their home sustains major water damage from flooding.

You may have to rip out drywall or have issues with mold because of extended exposure to water. You could also lose some of your possessions that will have to be replaced by insurance.

It may also be a good idea to check on potential home insurance policies to see if you will have to be charged extra for living in a flood zone. Some companies may also require you to carry extra insurance due to the risk of flooding.

Highest priced

PhotoSerg/Adobe custom built luxury house in the suburbs of Toronto Canada

It may be the star of the neighborhood, which is why you might want to steer clear. Owning the most expensive house in the neighborhood could lead to costly issues down the line.

Your expensive home may be larger than others in the area, which means higher property taxes and utility bills. It also could make it harder to compare it to other houses in the area, making it harder for you to sell when it’s time to move.

Pro tip: If you're looking to save on homeowners insurance, check out our list of the best home insurance companies.

Foreclosure

Andy Dean/Adobe foreclosure for sale real estate sign and house

Buying a foreclosed is often a bargain, but there may also be issues that you might not expect. Foreclosed homes are usually sold as-is, which means you’ll be responsible for any maintenance issues or fixes that were neglected by the bank before the home was sold.

And remember that you might not be able to see the home before you buy it, so set aside some extra cash for any major or minor issues that need to be addressed after you move in.

No garage

zhukovvvlad/Adobe cars parked in the parking lot

You may not need a four-car garage, but it would be a good idea to stick with homes that at least have a place for you to park your vehicles to keep them protected.

On-street parking could be a hassle, particularly if there are specific rules like when you can park where and if you need to pay for a permit.

You also want to have some space for things like lawnmowers, snowblowers, or just additional storage.

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Bad lot

Wollwerth Imagery/Adobe aerial view of expensive waterfront home on wooded lot

Remember that you’re not just buying the house. You’re also buying the property that the house is on.

You may not have space for the patio you always dreamed of if the backyard is one big slope directly down from the back door. You also may want to consider unusual foot traffic that could lead to people walking on your property.

And remember to take into account whether your home backs up to a school or business that could contribute to noise and disruption if you live there.

Can’t inspect

Pormezz/Adobe two engineers consulting and checking material

One of the most common things a home sale depends on is an inspection — and it was one of the most common things overzealous buyers waived when the housing market was red hot.

But you should be apprehensive about buying a home in which the owner is pressuring you to waive an inspection or won’t agree to one. That may be a sign that there is a major issue an inspector will find that could cause you to rescind your offer.

Bottom line

GutesaMilos/Adobe  couple buying new home

A home is a major purchase, and what you buy can affect what you have to deal with as the new owner of the property. It also may cause issues with what you can sell it for when you’re ready to move.

It’s a good idea to create a budget before you start looking, and think about what specific things you want in a home to help you avoid money stress and find the right place.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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