What to Look For When Buying a Home

You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, have identified a few different locations you’d like to live in and decided on the right size of home for you. Now all that’s left is choosing one to live in! 

Making a prioritized list of the most critical features, both practical and personal, can help with such an important decision. Elegant hardwood floors or a shiny new kitchen can cause the average homebuyer to diminish major flaws, and the list can keep you focused on what matters most. 

When you’re ready to make an offer, consider using an online real estate lawyer that offers flat fee legal services for busy real estate buyers. You get the legal help you need to draft an offer that protects you while on your schedule and from the comfort of your home.

The tips below are for initial viewings; always have a certified professional inspect a home before making a legally-binding commitment to it. 

Yard and Exterior

When looking at a home’s yard, things to keep in mind are lot size, how far back from the street the home sits, and how much (or how little) lawn maintenance, landscaping, and gardening will be required. Also, having easily accessible views of both the front and backyard is critical if you have children.  

The exterior of the home is crucial to its interior health. Look for curled or missing roof shingles, cracks in the foundation and leaks or rotting frames around windows. 

Entrance/Foyer

Your first impression when entering a home will likely have a lasting impression and factor into your decision. As well it should. You want to feel excited when walking into your new home, and you also want your home to make a good first impression on your guests. 

The colours of the walls are not that important but take note of the following when you first enter a home:

  • The floor plan
  • Uneven floors or landings
  • The amount of natural light

Kitchen

If you do a lot of cooking or entertaining, you might have a separate wish list for your kitchen alone. Regardless, always check the appliances to make sure they work properly and keep an eye out for scratched countertops, especially in premium materials like granite. Kitchen floors also need to be in good condition to handle all the foot traffic. Finally, make sure there are plenty of outlets for toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, blenders, etc. 

Bathrooms

Having enough bathrooms to accommodate morning routines and guests is essential. But so is checking the plumbing and electrical by running the faucets, flushing the toilets, running the fans and turning on the showers. Also be sure to look around the sinks and toilets for signs of leaks, water damage and mould.

Bedrooms

Depending on how long you plan on living in your next home, you may want to have more bedrooms than you currently need in case your family grows. When looking at bedrooms, note the sources of natural and artificial light, check the closets and the number and location of electrical outlets in case you plan on using one as a home office or if the room doesn’t get enough light and you need to use lamps in it.

Basement

Basements are notorious for mould and mildew, which can be signs of water damage and/or condensation. Not only does mould produce unhealthy bacteria that can lead to illnesses, but repairs for mould removal and water damage can get costly. Be on high alert for foul smells or the use of air fresheners that can mask those odours.  

HVAC

While you’re not going to be able to tell what shape the heating and cooling system is in just by looking at it, you’ll notice right away if a home is too hot or cold. This could indicate a problem with the HVAC system and potentially high energy bills. Have all the major systems checked by a professional before you buy. 

Khuwalid Khalid
Contact at Khuwalid.khalid@gmail.com

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