Although it’s so easy to get drawn into the sparkling granite, staged living room, green apples neatly placed in a bowl in the kitchen type of house for sale, it is so imperative to be aware of the more important things a home has to offer; it’s bones! Failure to pay attention to this could mean you end up with a good looking home that is about to fall down.
Here are a few things to be aware of while on the hunt for your new home, or to at least keep in mind when speaking with your real estate agent:
Top and Bottom: Make sure the roof and foundation of the home is in good shape. These two elements are likely the most expensive to fix so you want to make sure they are in fine form.
Structurally sound: If during your visit you notice any sloping, uneven flooring, or cracks in the walls or ceiling, be aware that this could be a sign that the structure of the home is offset, sinking, or failing.
Design and Layout: The flow of a home and how the rooms are laid out is important. Does the layout feel awkward? Are rooms in a strange order? If you’re dead set on having an open concept main floor and the home you are looking at has separate rooms, keep in mind that based on structural reasons, you may not be able to change this.
Rooms: The rooms in a home should be well proportioned in both shape and size. While it can be done, changing the size and shape of rooms isn’t always easy and can be quite expensive.
Let there be Light: Check out how much light is getting into different rooms in the house. Are the windows large enough?
How to be sure of what you’re getting?
If you are at all hesitant, or have some red flags popping up, my suggestion is to hire a Licensed Professional Engineer or a Registered Architect to do an inspection of the home before you purchase it, or put a condition in your offer that allows you do to this before you firm up the deal. They will be able to provide you with a full report on the structure of the home, which will allow you to make an educated decision. Everything is mendable, however you may want to take into account how much it will cost you to fix.
Can’t a traditional home inspector do this for me?
Actually no. While a traditional home inspection can dig up a bevy of issues with a home, they actually can’t report on what they can’t visually see. Traditional home inspections don’t detect what’s hiding behind the walls, or under the floor.
I have a list of fantastic home inspectors, engineers, as well as architects who I would be happy to refer to you.
Please contact me if you would like their information: rebecca@onthemoveTO.ca.