Shopping for your new home should be an exciting, enjoyable and relatively stress free experience. I have listed some tips on what to look for when you begin your search.
• Talk to your bank or mortgage broker before you begin so you can focus on what is a realistic option for you. Once your financial boundaries are established, it makes the search much easier.
• Always consider your proximity to work, restaurants, shopping, parks, hospitals or other recreation facilities.
• Accessibility to highways, major roads and public transportation is always an important consideration.
• Ask your realtor to describe how property values have been moving in the neighbourhood, as well as other neighbourhoods nearby.
• Also, ask your realtor to check and see what the neighbourhood is zoned for.
• Check out the public services such as garbage pick up, snow removal, postal delivery, etc...
Things to look for on the inside of the house:
• Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
• Room sizes and overall square footage
• Closet and storage space
• Entries, mud room, convenient basement or backyard access
• Energy efficiency. Heating and air conditioning systems, insulation, windows and any appliances included
• General condition of the floors, walls, plumbing and wiring. NOTE: houses outfitted with knob and tube wiring systems will have to be changed before the house can be insured
• The condition of the appliances included
• Are the light fixtures or window coverings included?
• Are there any special features such as fireplaces, sauna, air conditioner and security system? If so, what condition are they in?
• Basement condition. Check for signs of leakage or dampness due to wall cracks or foundation issues. Check for the presence of pests. NOTE: if there are any concerns about the foundation, enlist the services of a foundation expert. Home inspectors and real estate professionals are not qualified for such evaluations.
• Structural soundness. Check the walls, supports, beams and joists for damage or any significant alteration.
Things to look for on the outside of the house:
• Check the parking facilities. Is the driveway private or shared? Can you park on the street? If not, can you get parking passes?
• Check the garage, carport or shed for soundness.
• Have an inspector check the condition of the roof, chimney and eavestroughs
• Check the condition of the painted or stained wood, brickwork or siding
• What is the condition of the walkway, driveway, porch, deck or patio?
• Check the fencing and the landscaping. If there are any questions concerning the fence line, contact the municipal office for a survey of the property
• Examine the lot for privacy, sun and wind exposure
Thanks for reading. Please visit again soon for current and relevant information on the Burlington, Oakville and Toronto real estate markets. If there are any questions you may have regarding market conditions, mortgage rates, investing in real estate or how to sell your house for maximum profit, please don't hesitate to call or email me with whatever is on your mind.