BUYING YOUR HOME
If you are buying an older home, it is always a good idea to have a professional home inspection done before you make the purchase. A home inspection will give you a complete understanding of the condition of the home you are buying before you buy it.
To help you protect that investment and find a safe, comfortable place for your family to call home, Premiere Mortgage Centre offers the following list of things you should look at before you buy a home. This will ensure that you won’t end up having to pay for multiple expensive repairs:
What shape are the floors in? If the floors are hardwood, do they need to be sanded and refinished? Refinishing isn’t very expensive, but it is easier if done before you move in, while the rooms are still empty.
If you are looking at an older home that has single panes of glass in the windows, you may need to upgrade to a new set of windows before you move in.
The plumbing system should be copper pipes with copper soldering, or PVC piping. Lead pipes mean that the plumbing is old and will need to be upgraded in the future.
BRICKWORK AND CHIMNEY POINTING
Look at the brickwork on the outside of the chimney. If it is chipping, crumbling or turning to powder, or if the mortar is starting to fall apart, it could be very expensive to have repaired.
DECKS AND PORCHES
Look for signs of rotting wood, even under a fresh coat of paint. Soft spots or places where the wood is splintered could be a sign of more widespread damage.
Is the roof in good condition? A roof is usually good for 20 to 25 years. Some signs that you may need to replace or repair the roof include leaks or water stains near the chimney and on the ceiling of the top floor inside the home.
SEWAGE AND DRAINS
Hire a qualified inspector to find out if the sewer system and drains are working properly. You should also find out if the sewage service from the street has been upgraded recently.
If you are buying an older home, find out if the electrical panel has been upgraded. If the service says 200 amps, it is an upgrade. A 60 or 100 amp panel has probably not been upgraded, and may not be enough to meet the electricity needs of your family.
Find out where you can park and how many parking spaces come with the house. Many older houses in large cities, such as Montréal and Toronto, do not have a garage or driveway. If the house does not have a driveway, can you get a parking permit from the city to park on the street? If not, do municipal regulations allow you to build a driveway or parking spot?
Find out how old the furnace is, and what kind of energy is used to heat the home. Natural gas is generally the least expensive option, but it is not available everywhere. Oil and electricity are common sources of energy in Canada but are more expensive, especially for a house with baseboard heaters.
Insulation keeps your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If the house has older plaster walls, it probably has little or no insulation. Hiring an insulation contractor to blow extra insulation behind the walls can be expensive, but it will save you money on your heating bills in the long run.