Published on April 1, 2019

A lot of things can go wrong when you’re hunting for a new home—I should know. I’m currently in the thick of my NYC apartment search, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned along the way, it’s that appearances matter. After a slew of failed tours, I’m only comforted by the fact that I’m not alone in my frustration. As it turns out, there are plenty of others out there like me who share the same pain points.

A new report conducted by Porch dives deep into the difficulties of moving, exploring factors like average months spent searching for a new home and the top reasons for leaving. The study, which pulled survey data from over 1,000 American adults, also pinpoints all the turnoffs that can deter a potential home buyer from putting in an offer.

Glaring red flags like noise pollution (the number one turnoff), traffic, and high crime rate, unsurprisingly grace the top of the list. But there are also some not-so-obvious warning signs in the mix that a real estate broker might not feel inclined to point out. Here are a few other common turnoffs to watch out for.

An Unkempt Lawn

The grass is always greener on the other side—err, unless said grass hasn’t been mowed for over a decade. Nearly 80 percent of American home buyers agree that a well-manicured lawn is an important feature in a home. Millennials, in particular, prefer perfectly trimmed hedges over an updated kitchen. If you’re on the selling side of things, consider scrapping the lawn ornaments and giving the yard a polished once-over.

Too Many HOA Rules

If you’re a true type-A, having a strict set of rules and regulations in place can be a great thing. However, if you’re not keen on the idea of having your neighbors weigh in on what your fence looks like or how many pets you can have, it’s worth exploring options outside of traditional housing developments that aren’t run by Homeowners Associations. In any case, if you’ve fallen in love with a particular neighborhood with an HOA, ask other residents about their experience dealing with annual fees and potential fines.

Peeling Paint

Curb appeal isn’t just a bonus for potential home buyers—it’s often a make-or-break. The condition of the exterior of a home can tell you a lot about its history. If you spot peeling paint, don’t be afraid to ask your real estate agent tough questions like, has this home been sitting vacant? If so, for how long? Is there water damage? How much will it cost to repair any wood rot?

Of course, pet peeves are a personal matter. My biggest turnoff, for instance, is walking into an apartment with all the blinds drawn. Often times I discover it’s not out of lack of want for natural light but rather a clever way to hide a poor view or unsightly brick wall.

Do you have a house-hunting pet peeve? Share your story and drop us a line below.

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