FINDING THE RIGHT PLACE TO BUY
Searching for a House
When you begin your search, remember to compare each property according to your standards and your priorities as determined in your wish list. By investing time and thought in choosing your property,
you can find a home with the most functional fit for your lifestyle.
Your Realtor will give you a list of properties for sale that fit
your requirements and he or she will setup appointments
to view houses.
Assessing a House
While you are visiting various homes for sale it's a good idea
to make notes about each house you're seriously considering
so you can remember the details about a property.
When looking at a house you need to consider several factors:
Exterior Condition: Examine the condition of the siding, roof, gutters, paint, chimneys, windows, decks and patios.
Fixing up the exterior of a house, especially adding a new roof, can be expensive.
Interior: Is it large enough? What's the condition of the bathroom(s) and kitchen? What kind of flooring is under the carpet?
Do the rooms and hallways have sufficient lighting? Is there enough storage?
Structural Problems: Uneven floors and large cracks can indicate problems. Examine the outside of the house and see if there is any visible sinking.
Mechanical Systems: Find out the age of the heating, plumbing and electrical systems. Consider if you will have to update any of these systems.
Energy Efficiency: Check to see if the house is insulated and whether the windows are single or double paned.
Older houses with no insulation and single-pane windows have greater heating costs.
Basement / Drainage: Check for leaks, cracks, water stains and mold in the basement. They could indicate poor outside drainage. Make sure there is adequate drainage around the house.
Water Pressure: Turn on the taps or flush the toilet to make sure there is high water pressure.
Pests: Ask whether there have been problems with insects or rodents. Is there evidence of damage?
Neighbourhood: Look at the condition of the houses in the neighbourhood. Ask whether there are noise problems or unruly neighbours. How close is the property to schools, community centres, shopping and other amenities?
Zoning: Ask your Realtor about the zoning for the property? Are there any restrictive covenants or easements?
Finding a Sound and Solid Strata Property
There’s good news for consumers who have hesitated to
buy a condo because of uncertainty about water penetration problems. Over the past year, a tremendous amount of information has become available to help buyers find a sound, well constructed home.
"By working closely with a Realtor, buyers can make a thorough and educated investigation of a strata property
before purchasing," said Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president Dick Coates. "Realtors have access
to the resources and information they need to help their clients assess potential problems in strata buildings.
Before purchasing a strata property, here are some evaluation measures you can take with the assistance
of your Realtor.
Review Strata Council minutes:
Obtain copies of Strata Council minutes for the past year or more, along with by-laws, financial statements, Annual General Meeting minutes, and any engineering reports that may have been completed. Look for past problems, previous repairs, special assessments, and upcoming expenditures.
Ensure a maintenance program is in place:
Reading Strata Council minutes and speaking with the property manager will help you determine whether the building has a solid preventative maintenance program in place.
Check contingency fund:
By law, a portion of strata owners’ monthly maintenance fees must go into a "contingency fund" to pay for extraordinary repairs, such as a new roof or exterior painting. Find out whether the building has a substantial contingency fund to cover any upcoming expenses.
Review the Strata Property Condition Disclosure Statement:
Sellers are required to complete this form, which serves as a checklist for buyers to address concerns about the property's condition. It should be carefully reviewed for any defects or potential problems.
Investigate the warranty program and builder background:
Whether the condo is new or resale, your Realtor can find out what type of warranty the building carries, noting the limits and duration of coverage. He or she may also be able to help you obtain background information about the builder/developer of the project.
Consult with a professional home inspector:
You may consider hiring an accredited home inspection professional (one who carries Errors & Omissions insurance) to inspect the condition of the suite, common areas, and the overall building structure.
BUYING YOUR HOME GUIDE
HOME BUYING STEP BY STEP
Canada Mortgage and Home Corporation (CMHC) has a step by step guide to the home buying process.
Click the link below to read it