Home Buying Guide: Search 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.

Click here to download a Home Requirements Checklist.


Searching for a House

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. Let your Realtor know about any properties you find in your search as he or she has access to the complete information and can provide greater detail on a property for sale.

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?