The path to homeownership is fraught with challenges, not least of which is finding the right house. To help narrow down your search we met up with home designer and architect Barry Wood, who can be seen on HGTV’s "Hidden Potential." He gave us a list of home features that may appear to be amenities, but are actually red flags. Wood warns us of the hidden costs and headaches that may be associated with them.
1. Fireplaces They're appealing and cozy, but Wood warns, “Fireplaces are dirty and can have a lot of issues, especially if they're old. The chimney has all sorts of mortar joints that can crack, the flue can crack — that’s a huge fire code and safety issue.”
2. Oil Heat It may be the predominant type of heating this country has used for the past century, but according to Wood, it’s going to cost you. Check out the video to see how it compares to gas heating, as well as the other problems you may run into.
3. Built-In Mirrors A wall of mirrors may be a little '70s, but what's more, they're costly and difficult to remove, presenting safety issues for the average Do-it-Yourselfer.
4. South-Facing Windows, Doors and Skylights From the blazing midday sun driving up energy expenses to costly leaks, Wood lays out what to look for in the above video.
5. Wall-to-Wall Carpet Wood says when you see carpet throughout a home, you don’t know what’s underneath — and it's usually nothing. This means you may have to put in new floors, which comes with a hefty price tag that Wood puts at $6,000 to $15,000 for an average-sized home.