It cannot be denied that mortgage interest rates are very low at present. And yes, the prices of houses are still low enough to be very interesting. However, don't let this lead you into believing that any home purchase is a good one. The market currently favors the buyer. However, never buy a property without having researched it. There are various red flags that will tell you not to buy a property. Some problems can be fixed, of course, but sometimes you should just move on. There are two factors in particular to be aware of.
First of all, check the neighborhood. It cannot be underestimated how important it is to check on this. Look into whether the community is growing and thriving, or whether it is declining. If you notice many homes are being foreclosed and local businesses are closing, then the community is declining. Do also come back to the neighborhood on different days and at different times. In doing so, you will also become aware of traffic. Do also come at least once at night, so you can see whether the streets are safe and quiet at night or not. Also make sure that you get a local crime report from the police.
Then, you need to look into things that may have caused damage to the property that are very hard to fix. These things include water damage, pest damage, asbestos, mold and faulty wiring. But it often takes a professional eye to actually spot these problems. It is possible that the present owners do not even know that these issues are there. In the cases where they do know that these issues are present, they may take steps to hide them. In order to hide these types of issues, all that needs to be done is a bit of cleaning and reducing how much power is being used. In order to find out whether these issues are present, you will need a professional home inspection; but you can also speak to community members. They will quickly tell you whether any of these problems have occurred in the area in the past. Generally speaking, major problems like pests, water damage and mold will occur in more than one property.
At the end of the day, you should never purchase a property that you haven't had inspected professionally. However, the hints and tips above should tell you whether or not it is worth investing in an inspection at all. If you find that there are indeed serious problems with the property but you don't want to simply walk away, you could consider asking for a large discount so that you can pay for repairs. Also, always trust the advice of home inspectors. Their goal is to make sure you get a good deal on a property.