7 Signs Your Dream Home Has Actually Been Poorly Renovated (and Isn’t Worth the Money)

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Many buyers are looking for a turnkey, newly renovated home. However, even if a home is newly renovated, that doesn’t necessarily mean the construction was done well. It’s important not to be distracted by a home’s new and shiny appearance. Instead, look a little closer for any telltale signs of serious structural or aesthetical issues that could be lurking.

Here are a few key signs that your dream home has been poorly renovated.

Poorly Hung Windows and Doors

Inspect the windows and doors before making an offer.

“Windows and doors should glide open and shut without squeaking or scraping against the frame,” said Cam Dowski, founder of We Buy Houses Chicago. “It may be a sign of poor installation or structural problems if you see windows that don’t close completely.”

Another sign of a poorly installed window is fog between window panes.

“Fog or condensation between window panes implies that the seal between panes has failed,” said David Ambrogio, founder of NOLA Wholesale Properties. “There’s no reason for this to be the case in new windows. Careless installation can cause the seal to break long before that should be a risk.”

Sloppy Paintwork

While sloppy paintwork is easy to fix, Dowski said it may be a sign of larger issues.

“Look for paint drips, uneven paint lines and paint spots that don’t blend in with the surroundings,” he said. “Poor paintwork may be a sign of hasty or sloppy construction.”

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Exposed Wiring

Exposed wiring can indicate larger issues with the electrical work in a home, Dowski said. You should also look out for switches that don’t work and lights that flicker.

Water Stains

If you spot a water stain, that’s usually the sign of a leak.

“Poorly done plumbing installations or repairs might result in lingering problems that might need pricey repairs,” Dowski said.

Uneven Flooring

Pay close attention to the floors in a renovated home for signs of trouble.

“Tile or other flooring can be extremely difficult to install correctly, and if it’s not level, you can count on the fact that it wasn’t done properly,” said Jonathan Faccone, founder of Halo Homebuyers. “Unlevel flooring is usually an indication of a lack of experience on the part of whoever installed it, and can create problems later down the line. Uneven floors create an unstable foundation and can lead to warped walls and ceilings over time.”

Cheap Materials

Check if the house flipper skimped on materials. It could mean that they skimped on other aspects of the renovation. Also keep in mind that cheaper materials will need to be replaced sooner than higher-quality ones.

“Flippers who cut corners often use cheap materials — for example, laminate flooring instead of hardwood or low-quality appliances — that may look good initially, but quickly deteriorate,” said Ben Gold, founder of Recommended Home Buyers.

Improperly Installed Cabinets and Drawers

Sellers know that buyers love a newly renovated kitchen, so it’s possible they did a rush job to give the home more appeal. Take the time to make sure the work was actually done well, particularly when it comes to the cabinets and drawers.

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“Many flippers focus more on the cosmetic appeal of a home instead of maximizing the functionality,” said Dino DiNenna, broker/realtor with Southern Lifestyle Properties. “You need to focus on how the cabinets and drawers open and shut, and what type of hardware has been used. Some common signs of poor work include uneven or misaligned doors, moldings and drawers.”

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