When buying an apartment, it’s common for a buyer to get overwhelmed with many different thoughts, emotions, and feelings. This could sometimes lead to the possibility of missing out on some crucial things when house hunting. There are some things that each buyer should look out for when viewing potential apartments. Items such as a water heater, furnace, and roof are just some of the things one should consider when buying an apartment.

Also, you should look for potential red flags in the apartment when viewing it. Some property buyers are usually scared away from the apartment very easily, but for others, it might take a lot to be scared away. Most of the top red flags that homebuyers should look out for are items that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If you find any of the red flags, it’s very important that these are addressed before you sign the contract. So, what red flags should you look out for when buying an apartment?

Below are the top 7 red flags to look out for when buying an apartment?

Structural/Foundational Problems

One of the most expensive repairs to an apartment is correcting the foundation problem. The foundation of an apartment is possibly the most crucial part of an apartment. An apartment with a faulty foundation might cost the owner thousands of pounds to correct the issue.

When looking at an apartment, it’s very important to consider the foundation. If the apartment doesn’t have a finished basement, it will be very easy to see whether there are cracks in the foundation. Minor cracks might only be an indication of settling in the apartment, although large cracks might be signs of structural issues with the foundation.

The best way to find out whether an apartment has structural or foundation problems is by seeking the services of a structural engineer to inspect the apartment.

Insect And/Or Pest Problems

Based on where you live, there are certain insects and pests that property buyers should look out for. A severe pest issue is a red flag. Many insects and pests, especially those that destroy wood can cause lots of damage to your home and can cost thousands of pounds to correct. Some of the most common pest issues that should definitely raise red flags include carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and termites.

Essentially, the cost of pest and insect inspection is not high. The cost of insect inspection is worth it because an insect or pest problem can ultimately cost lots of money to rectify.

Random Fresh Paint

Freshly painting is a great way to prepare an apartment on a budget. Painting a house is a relatively cost-effective way of making the room feel fresh and clean. It’s one of the biggest suggestions that Realtors will give to apartment owners before listing it for sale.

When looking for an apartment, a room with only a small part of the wall or ceiling is a red flag. You need to ask why the owner chose to only paint one part.

Amateur Repairs

Some apartment owners are capable of doing great work around their property. However, amateur repairs and workmanship is a red flag that you should look out for when viewing properties. It’s a very important thing to consider when purchasing a flipped property. It’s possible that the flipped apartment is completed by amateurs who aren’t qualified enough to complete such a project successfully, so it’s always essential to pay close attention to amateur repairs when viewing a flipped apartment.


It’s common for an apartment owner to ignore a foul odor. However, foul odors are one of the surest ways a seller can kill a property sale. When looking at apartments, foul odors and pleasant odors may be red flags.

A foul odor can scare away potential buyers in few minutes.

Poor Neighborhood Condition

It’s crucial for homebuyers to remember that when they are buying a property, they aren’t just buying the plot where it sits and the apartment itself. A neighborhood that has the poor condition is one of the red flags that you should be wary of when looking for an apartment.

Stains On Ceilings/Walls

If the apartment sell hasn’t tried to cover up the ceiling or wall with paint, this should also be seen as a red flag when buying an apartment. If there are stains on the ceiling or wall, you should try to determine what causes the stains.


Berry, K. (2021, April 28). Housing: ‘Trying to buy in this market is painful’. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56906524

YOUR HOME; Red flags in a Co-op’s statement (Published 1999). (1999, March 7). The New York Times – Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos. https://www.nytimes.com/1999/03/07/realestate/your-home-red-flags-in-a-co-op-s-statement.html

Woo, R., & Gao, L. (2020, August 14). For China’s landlords, rent-to-riches dreams fade in red flag for fragile economy. U.S. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-landlords-idUKKCN25A0WL



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