Things to Look for When Buying a Vancouver Home
When you’re looking to buy a home, especially an older home in the Vancouver area, you need to look it over with a very critical eye. Even though you might not be especially savvy in spotting flaws, there are some specific areas of the home that should be carefully examined.
You will eventually use a home building inspector to exam a home in greater detail, but there are some spot checks you can do beforehand when you first visit a home. By being especially observant when you visit your next potential home, you can save yourself some wasted time and money.
Start with the Exterior
There are 3 main areas on the exterior of any home that you closely observe. This includes:
- The roof of the home
- The exterior foundation
When you are looking at the roof, you want to be looking for the following:
- Buckling, sagging or warping
- Examine the state of the shingles and look for missing shingles, torn or curled shingles and signs of repair. The colour of the shingles can also tell you something about the state of the roof.
- You also want to look for excessive weathering, moss/fungus build-up.
- You should look closely at the state of the gutters
- Always ask about the age of the roof as most roofs are only good for between a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 25 years
Take a close look at the windows. Some of the things to keep in mind are:
- Whether the windows are single or double pained.
- The type of frame and whether they are well maintained or showing signs of rot – especially if they are wood frames.
- Look at the caulking and see if it looks fresh or is cracked, withered or lacking.
Take a walk around the entire home and closely examine the foundation and look for the following:
- Any sign of buckling, bulging, and cracks. Also, carefully look around basement windows for cracks and whether there are any signs of patch jobs. Some patches may be merely cosmetic but should prompt you to enquire further.
- You also want to examine the state of the walls and the siding. This should include the pointing in brick or stone walls. Look down the side of each wall and look for any bulging or potential weaknesses.
Things to Look for in the Interior of the Home
Several key areas in the home that you want to examine include the following:
- The kitchen and bathroom
- The furnace, water heater, plumbing and electrical
- The basement walls
- The attic
The kitchen and bathroom areas are fairly self explanatory. You simply want to eyeball the age and state of each room as any upgrading or renovations you might have to undertake can be fairly costly. Cosmetic renovation may be less expensive depending on your requirements.
You will want to scrutinize the state and quality of both furnace and the water heater. Look for rusting, leaks, staining and the overall appearance of both.
You might want to also eyeball the age and condition of what you can visually observe about the quality and age of both plumbing and electrical systems in the home. Having to upgrade either system to bring them up to code can also be very expensive.
You also want to carefully look at the state of the basement walls to look for any possibility of leaks, wall buckling, cracks or signs of mould or discolouration. Note the smell of the basement for any indication of mildew or excessive dampness.
The final area you want o look at is the attic if it’s easily accessible. Here you can look for any signs of leakage such as staining or rot.
Buying a home is an expensive investment. You might fall in love with the place but you don’t want to be stuck with a bottomless money pit either.