One of the hardest things for buyers is to keep perspective when looking at homes. Buyers, beware do not fall in love with a home’s appearance, you need to learn to look beyond the outer layer and to focus on the home features that are important to you.  Read the tips below to help you look for hidden complications, which will hopefully aid you in choosing your dream home among the sea of homes.

General upkeep: When attending open houses, take the time to really examine the place. Assess how well the home has been maintained; is the home dirty? Is the home full of clutter? Does it have an odd smell? If there is a ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, this is a warning sign. If the owner failed to do the general upkeep of the home, it should get you thinking about all the other problems hiding below the surface.

Water leaks: One of the more serious problems a home can face is ‘water problems’. Minor leaks can cause havoc, you could be faced with foundation problems to serious mould a mildew. Bulges and cracks in the ceiling and walls, stains, and a congested odour are all signs that the home may have serious water damage issues.

Does it work: If you can test whether something works then test it; this rule applies to lights, faucets, toilets, the furnace, air conditioning and all the other major appliances. Where you see problems you can include it in your contingencies prior to buying the home.

Floors: Look for bumps. Floors should be smooth, and even, if this is not the case repairs may be needed

Doors and windows: When closed see if any air is getting in, this may be harder to notice during the summer months. Also check that the doors and windows are not loose and that they operate smoothly. Remember to also check for loose caulking. 

Exterior: Look especially for soggy areas near the foundation of the home, this is an indication of poor drainage. It is also important to look for cracks and loose mortar in the foundation.  Check other areas of the yard where water might collect.

Measuring tape: It is helpful to bring measuring tape to figure out if the larger items can fit in your new home.

It is important to check for the above listed things. However nothing can replace the examination of a qualified inspector. An inspector will thoroughly examine the heating and cooling systems, the electric and plumbing systems, along with the roof, walls, ceilings, windows, foundation, and basement. They will indicate where repairs are needed and how much it will cost you to fix and maintain the home. 

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