DON’T Buy This Home – 15 Warning Signs When Buying Your First Property


First time property buyers already have a tough time to find what they’re looking for within their budget. If you find yourself falling in love with a property, you could feel the need to put down a deposit straight away. This could be a huge mistake! Looks can be deceiving. Check out our list of the most alarming warning signs to look out for when buying property.

Owner not willing to negotiate

Negotiation is a big part of the process. This could mean that the seller has priced the property at the market price, in which case your estate agent can confirm. Otherwise, a rigid price is a sign that something is fishy.

Structural problems that push your budget

Some problems aren’t too big to handle yourself, but get your architect in to assess what needs to be done.

A worried look on your architect’s face

Problems with the structure or permit violations will certainly get a reaction from your architect. If fixing up the property is going to cost more than you budgeted for, it’s time to move on and look elsewhere.

Trouble with the legal title

This kind of problem usually comes up after the Promise of Sale, when your notary looks into the history of the property. However, owners will sometimes be aware of such problems and should let you know. Discuss the issue with your notary to find out what you’re really getting into.

Warning signs from your notary

If your notary calls you unexpectedly, you can bet there’s a problem with the property.

An unbelievably low price, yet the property has been on the market for a long time

A property in this situation is still worth checking out, but it should seem strange to you that nobody before you has taken advantage of the great price.

Signs of mould

Mould shouldn’t stop you from considering a property. Today there are solutions such as specialised paint and treatments to stop or keep the mould under control. However, do keep an eye out for areas of mould growth as this is the kind of issue you’ll be dealing with for as long as you occupy the property. If you or your children suffer from respiratory issues, mould and humidity are a big no-no and may cause further health issues.

Structures present on the property but not included in the plans

Either you’ve been handed outdated property plans, or you’ve got some illegal structures onsite. Your architect can confirm or explain such instances.

Sellers who want to get rid of the property super fast for no apparent reason

Sure, some sellers need to transfer the property because they’re going abroad or for family reasons. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to rush the buyers into making a speedy decision.

Sellers who won’t listen to your conditions of purchase

As a buyer, you can list certain repairs that you would like done to the property as a condition of purchase. These are included in the Promise of Sale document, and must be completed by the seller. Don’t waste your time on a seller who refuses to look at your conditions of purchase.

A property that breaks too many of your requirements

Before beginning your property search, you should have set down your requirements. It’s great to be flexible, but you know there are things you can’t do without. If the property breaks too many of your requirements, say bye-bye.

Signs of damage from a poor quality roof

Watermarks from leaks, cracks in the ceiling in multiple rooms, or worse – a sagging crumbling ceiling. Roof repair can be costly, especially when a problem goes undetected. Be sure to have an expert take a look at any problem areas in the property that is being sold – especially the roof membrane.

“What’s an EPC?”

This one we can forgive. Sellers have to provide an EPC – Energy Performance Certificate to the buyer, detailing the energy rating and carbon emissions of the property. If your seller doesn’t know anything about the EPC, you can direct him or her to the official webpage.

Signs of flooding

Although the national flood relief project has had a positive effect, there is still the chance of flooding. In low-lying areas such as Msida, Birkirkara and other valleys, keep an eye out for signs of flooding.

Poor plumbing

Signs of poor plumbing include the smell of drainage (hard to miss) and weak water pressure when running taps and flushing. This kind of problem can have a huge impact, like tearing out the tiles to reach the drains and pushing back your move-in date.

Avoid making a huge mistake – get any issues inspected by a professional. Roof membrane specialists and plumbers will have a look at these issues and give you an idea of the viability and/or repair costs. Don’t rely on a seller’s word alone. Get it checked for your own peace of mind.

If there is a serious problem, it could be grounds for a price reduction, or could be included in the conditions of sale. Depending on the severity of the issue, you might need to think twice about purchasing the property.


Still looking for that special property that ticks all your boxes? Dhalia property consultants are here to help – you can give us a call on freephone 8007 4949, email us at, or send us a private message on Facebook.