It goes without saying that buying a new home is a big investment that requires careful consideration. Spring and summer are typically busy real estate months as they also tend to be the most agreeable months for making a big change. Spring and summer weather is certainly less daunting when it comes to moving, but the shining sun also puts us in a positive mood that likely facilitates housing sales. So, if you’re on the market at this time of year, it’s important to take a step back and consider these things to look for when buying a new home.
A Quality Roof
The winter months can wreak havoc on a roof (old or new), so you want to make sure any home you buy has a roof that reflects the selling price. In other words, a damaged roof should bring down the selling price of a home. Don’t be afraid to get up-close and personal with your roof, even if that means bringing a pair of binoculars for a closer view. Cracked, curled, or otherwise damaged shingles may be a sign of more significant damage and at the very least should be repaired before a sale is final.
A Sound Exterior
Get in for a closer look at the exterior walls of a home as well. Racks in the foundation, peeling paint, and mould can be signs of structural problems. You’re likely to observe these issues on the north side of the home in particular as it gets less sun exposure and is therefore the coldest side of the home.
The Nooks and Crannies
Always inspect the out-of-sight areas of a home. The attic, crawlspaces, furnace and utility rooms, and basement are not the usual places we’re looking at when we’re searching for our dream homes, but they can provide a lot of information about the structural quality of a home. Mould and moisture problems are most apparent in these areas, as are cracks and rot. Consider the smell of these parts of the home too! Odd or musty odours will likewise suggest moisture or mould problems.
Never ignore water damage of any kind. Wet spots on the ceiling are obvious concerns, but rust on roofing fixtures, drains, and gutters may be a warning sign. Also, if you live in an especially cold region, stains on exterior walls suggest problems with ice dams.
How do you like your showers? Weak and tepid or powerful and comfortably hot? Check all the faucets in the house for dripping or weak flow. If everything looks clear, take it one step further and turn on a bathroom faucet and flush the toilet. Strange sounds or dips in water pressure should be noted. Also, make sure the hot water reaches an adequate temperature.
Remember, buying a new home is an exciting process, but don’t get caught up in a fantasy. Carefully inspecting the home before you make an offer can save you unnecessary time, effort, and sometimes even money.