1Deep cracks in the foundation or basement walls.They can be signs that the foundation was laid on a poorly compacted base or poorly graded soil.
2. Sagging floors or leaning walls. Foundation or structural problems with could be to blame.
3. Windows and doors that never sit well in frames or close properly. If the beams, studs, and joists weren't correctly sized or assembled, the whole house may not hang together well.
4. Cracks in interior walls. Wide cracks could signal a foundation problem( fine cracks are cosmetic, the result of normal aging)Wide cracks in Fireplace is also something to check out.
5. Water damage. Warning signs include mold, rot, and insect infestation(termites are drawn to the moisture in the wood) staining, swelling and discoloration , musty odors,. Possible causes: improperly installed roofing, no moisture barrier in a climate that requires it, lack of a drainage space behind brick or siding, poorly installed windows and doors, problems with pipes,( leaks or worse)holes in siding, and trapped water-vapor condensation from heating and air conditioning.
6. Flooding, sewer and drain backups, and switched hot and cold water. Flooding and backups may result from poorly graded land or faulty sewer and water-main connections. Switched spigots may signal improperly installed plumbing.
7. Excessive heating or cooling bills. Rooms that don't get warm or cool enough can be another signal that air ducts may be leaky or improperly connected.
8. Shorting or dead outlets. The electrical system may be installed incorrectly.
9. Lack of required permits! BEWARE! This indicates that building authorities have not performed the required inspections.This is a big issue as substandard building or additions that are not to code may not be safe. Remember, Building permits exist to protect the homeowner, they demand the minimum in building standards. No matter how annoying some "trades people find them.