We have seen it time and time again: a client finds their dream home right away, the second or maybe even the very first time we go out looking at homes. They fear that it’s all happened too fast, so they think they should keep looking at other homes to find something even better, while keeping that first dream home on the back burner. What usually happens? Their ideal house sells quickly to someone else! Though they continue to see dozens of properties over the next weeks or even months, they never find a better house than that first one, and regret their overly conservative decision to hold off.
Although we will never, ever push you to purchase a certain property, our job is to advocate for you. Because we are listening to you throughout the process and getting to know your preferences with every property you see, we do have the ability to find your perfect home quickly. We’ve taken the time to sit down together and review all your plans and goals, and prepare you financially and emotionally, so that when your dream home comes along you’ll be ready to act confidently and without regret!
We aren’t advocates of impulse buying, either. One of the hardest things to do when looking for a home is to remain objective. It’s easy to fall in love with a home’s appearance, but it’s also really important to look beyond appearances, because they can be deceiving.
Here are some things to look for when viewing a home:
• General upkeep – is the home dirty or cluttered? Are the lawns uncut? If the owner hasn’t bothered to keep the house looking clean and attractive, what problems could be lurking below the surface?
• Water leaks – water rots wood, undermines foundations, and leads to mould and mildew. Re-shingling a house or repairing a cracked foundation to stop water leaks can be very expensive. Stains, bulges and other signs of damage on ceilings or walls, and loose crumbling grout around bathroom & kitchen tiles could mean leaking water. It takes an expert eye to find many water leaks, so please feel free to bring a professional with you on our showing, or I can also arrange to commission a home inspection if the Seller has not already provided one from a reputable company.
• Does it work? – where possible, test the lights, faucets, toilets, furnace, air conditioning, and all major appliances that will be included with the home. Make sure everything is working as it should.
• Floors – should be smooth, even, and solid, otherwise, repairs may be needed.
• Doors and windows – should fit snugly and operate smoothly. Look for flaked paint and loose caulking. Check for drafts.
• Outside – walk around the yard looking for areas where water might collect. Soggy areas near the foundation indicate poor drainage.
• Look for deep cracks in the foundations or loose mortar and bricks.
• Be sure to bring a measuring tape if you have big items such as a piano or a sectional that you want to keep.
Though I’ve personally toured and inspected thousands of homes over the last 25 years, and even though Sellers are contractually obligated to disclose and all problems in their homes that they know about, nothing can replace the expert opinion of a qualified home inspector.
Inspectors can spot problems that even I would never find and they can usually advise you on how much it will cost to make the repairs, which is great to know so you can plan your budget. A home inspection can help you determine whether or not to make an offer on a house, and if you decide to go ahead, just how much that offer is going to be.