Buying a home, especially buying your first home, can be a nerve wracking experience. There are so many variables involved and so many players including the seller, the seller’s agent, your Etobicoke real estate agent, the city or town, the appraiser, lawyers, other potential buyers and, of course, you. With so many agendas in play it’s easy to lose track of things, including problems with the house itself. But you should never let yourself get distracted or approach a potential home purchase wearing rose coloured glasses. Instead you should be sure to have your radar up and your eyes open to potential problems that could turn your dream purchase into a nightmare.
Buying Tips from an Etobicoke Real Estate Agent
Your job as a buyer is to look beyond the fresh flowers and rented furniture used by the Etobicoke real estate agent to stage the home to the things that really affect value and which could come back to haunt you if you miss them. You don’t want your purchase to turn into a sea of litigation. So keep your eyes open for the following.
Over the hill appliances
Don’t let the lustrous granite on the kitchen island distract you from the fact that the stove is 40 years old and the rest of the appliances aren’t far behind. A lot of older appliances clean up nice but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to replace them shortly after you move in.
Leaks in the roof
Leaks in the roof aren’t always obvious. So when walking through the house remember to look up. If there are water stains on the ceiling or the upper part of the walls there’s a good chance the roof has leaks. If the walls have been freshly painted it might be a sign the seller is trying to hide water damage. When you’re outside try to get a good look at the shingles. If they’re buckled it’s a sign there’s moisture underneath them where it shouldn’t be.
When sizing up a potential home don’t forget the yard. The last thing you want is drainage issues. Look for standing water and low areas. If there is a lot of moss on the rocks or the foundation that’s a sign of poor drainage too. Take a look in the basement as well. Does it smell musty? Is there a sump pump? Is there mold in the basement? If you suspect drainage issues make sure you bring it up to the seller and their Etobicoke real estate agent.
As you stroll through the house flick switches. Does everything work? If not ask about it. Keep an eye out for power strips that could indicate the wiring is inadequate to accommodate all your newest technology. It doesn’t hurt to put your hand to a faceplate or two to feel the temperature. If it’s hot you’ve got wiring problems that will need to be addressed.
Moisture between the window panes
The house may have vinyl double pane windows but if there’s moisture trapped between the panes it’s a sign that all is not well in windowland. Also, ask if you can open windows to make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to. Windows can be a big expense. You don’t want to have to buy new ones as soon as you move in.
No go zones
If during your tour of the house you encounter locked doors or other barricades that indicate the seller doesn’t want anyone in a certain area ask about it. Why is the door locked? There’s really no good reason why access to any part of the house should be forbidden to prospective buyers. Even if the seller has a reasonable sounding explanation they should make provisions to let you in that area before you make any decisions. If they don’t, take a pass.
The last thing you want is to purchase a house with an infestation problem. Whether it’s cockroaches, mice, bed bugs or especially termites an infested house is one you’ll want to leave to someone else. If you see a roach scamper across the kitchen counter it should send you to the exit because where there’s one there’s more. Lots more.
One last thing
Any good Etobicoke real estate agent will tell you that when sizing up a house don’t forget to size up the neighbourhood too. If you spot a load of “for sale” signs it can’t be good. Also look for signs of vandalism as well as empty storefronts. If the prevailing mood in the neighbourhood is to get while the getting is good there’s a good chance your seller is also joining the exodus, regardless of what they may have told you. Your home is likely to be the largest single investment you ever make. You don’t want it to be a bad one.
“Leslie Brlec Real Estate Services” For the past 19 years, Leslie has been a full-time realtor that specializes in Etobicoke (Eringate/Centennial Park area), Toronto & surrounding areas. She has a deep passion for real estate a helping people as you can see by the many happy testimonials she has gathered over the years.