3 Red Flags to Look for When You Shop for a Southern Maryland Home

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on May 14, 2018

You can call them “red flags,” “warning signs,” or even “whoa, don’t-buy-this-house” signs, but there are certain symptoms that sick homes have. Be aware of them before you fall in love with a sexy fireplace or a to-die-for backyard because once you’re smitten with a Southern Maryland home, it may be too late.

Now, don’t get me wrong: Most houses, even new ones, have something wrong. Even if it’s as simple as a drippy faucet, no home is perfect.

What we’ll look at today are the biggies – items that require emptying your bank account to repair. They don’t necessarily have to be deal breakers, but they should prompt you to have the home inspected by the right Southern Maryland professional.

Don’t be disappointed if you happen to find some of these in the home. The good news is that you found them now rather than later. Finding them now lets you demand the seller fix them or you can back out of the deal. If you were to learn of these problems later, after you’ve moved in, the onus would be on you and your bank account to fix them.

So, let’s take a look at a few of the big problems and some of the clues to look for.


Can you imagine taking a shower and being greeted by raw sewage bubbling up through the drain? It can—and does—happen. It’s caused by a clogged sewer or septic line.

Consider foul smells coming from the home’s drain a clue for further investigation. The same goes for finding these smells outdoors, near the home’s drain fields, if it is on a septic system. Then, test the drains. Turn on the taps and watch the water drain. If it drains slowly, or you hear gurgling sounds from the drain (or from the toilet), call in a plumber.

Sewer fixes aren’t cheap. Tree-root-damaged lines can cost $4,500 to $13,000 for a 100-foot sewer pipe, according to costhelper.com.

If it’s a septic system that has you concerned, it may need to be pumped. If, on the other hand, the system needs to be replaced, plan on spending from $2,720 to $7,934, according to homeadvisor.com.

“The basis or groundwork of anything” 

That’s the dictionary definition of “foundation.” For Southern Maryland real estate purposes, and to keep it simple, it can be defined as “the thing a house sits on.”

A home’s foundation has three functions:

  1. Support the weight of the entire building
  2. Help the home withstand natural disasters
  3. Keep ground moisture from seeping into the structure

“Most homeowners will pay around $4,004 to repair foundation issues. Major repairs involving hydraulic piers can cost $10,000 or more, and minor cracks cost as low as $500. The typical homeowner pays between $1,850 and $6,342,” say the pros at homeadvisor.com.

Look for sloping or sagging floors (especially in more recently-built homes); cracks in the foundation, walls, and floors; doors that don’t operate properly; and gaps around window frames or exterior doors.

The experts at hdfoundationrepairs.com go into greater detail about each of these symptoms on their website.

Check the plumbing

Low water pressure is a lot more than an annoyance when trying to rinse the soap off in the shower. It may be a symptom of major plumbing problems.

Don’t get freaked out. Most of the causes of low water pressure are easy fixes, including servicing the water softener, unclogging lines, removing mineral deposits in the faucet aerator or showerhead, or getting rid of sludge in the water heater.

Cracks or other damage to pipes, however, may result in a leak and that could also lower the water pressure. Look for evidence of leaks like damp spots on the floors and walls, signs of mold, or a hissing sound when the water is running.

Leak repair can be costly, especially if the leak is in a tough-to-reach spot.

If you suspect any problems in a Southern Maryland home that the home inspection didn’t turn up, we urge you to bring in a specialist. A structural engineer can put your mind at ease about cracks in the foundation and a plumbing contractor can give you an idea of the state of the home’s pipes.

Hughesville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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