That gorgeous house on the corner lot may look great, but it could be hiding all sorts of expensive, annoying problems, from a leaky roof to faulty wiring to a mouldy basement.
Make sure your home is solid and secure inside and out before you buy it. A home inspector will determine structural and mechanical soundness, identify problem areas, provide cost estimates for any work required, and generate a report. It’s a great way to avoid headaches and costly problems that can turn a dream home into a money pit.
If you decide to go ahead and buy a home with issues that have been flagged by your inspector, you can base your offer on how much potential repairs and upgrades may cost.
Home inspection costs range according to size, age and location of the home. Your Royal LePage sales representative can recommend a reputable home inspection service or arrange for an inspector to visit your property.
These tips are for your own first (or second) look at a home. For true peace of mind, you should always hire a certified home inspector before you buy.
Things to look for when you buy:
When you fall in love with a home, the things you like about it can blind you to its problems. Next time you go to an open house or tour a property with an agent, keep your eyes open with these top tips:
Take a look at general upkeep. Is it clean? Are lawns left uncut? Do walls need paint? If the small stuff hasn’t been taken care of, there’s a good chance that bigger issues have been ignored as well.
- Test it. Try out lights, faucets, toilets, air conditioning and major appliances.
Check for water damage. Look at ceilings and drywall for stains and bulges. Water that works its way in through a leaky roof or a cracked foundation can rot wood, create mildew and destroy possessions.
- Watch for “spongy” floors. Take note of soft, springy sections, squeaky or uneven areas – these can be a sign that costly floor repairs are needed.
- Check doors and windows. Make sure they fit snugly in their jambs and operate smoothly. Feel for drafts. Look for flaked paint and loose caulking – if wood isn’t protected from moisture, it will rot.
- Look at the foundation. If you see deep cracks or loose mortar and bricks, there may be a significant structural problem. Soggy areas near the foundation are also a warning sign.
- Make sure there’s enough storage space. If you are moving from a home with large closets and a shed, make sure your new house is able to store an equivalent amount of belongings.
- Measure. Make sure your furniture will fit into your new house.