Home Buying Warning Signs
When faced with the hot Toronto real estate market, rising home costs, low inventory and the prevalence of all-cash offers, you may feel compelled to make an offer right away if you are lucky to find something appealing, in the area you want and in your general price range. Well take a breath because looks can be deceiving. When you are dealing with possible the biggest financial decision of your life, you need to make sure you have all the facts. The best way to accomplish this is by employing the services of a qualified home inspector, and here in Ontario, one that has been certified by the OAHI. Many homeowners will attempt to navigate this uncharted territory on their own, either through a misguided effort to save money (how much is that leaky basement or roof going to set you back vs. the cost of a home inspection!?) or simply because they do not have access to a qualified independent opinion.
Even as trained inspectors there are certain things that we look for generally above others. In effect this is a priority list of home buying warning signs when doing a thorough inspection of the components of a home: (for more info check out this article on Forbes)
- The Roof
- Basement waterproofing, flooding issues
- The Plumbing
- Zoning factors
- Electrical Systems
Some of these are self evident, for example the plumbing and electrical are the guts of the home and any overlooked issues there will end up being huge cost issues in the future. Some issues like zoning are not readily apparent, but will be a huge factor if you are buying primarily for the lot or location and have big plans for renovations in the future.
Ultimately it is the buyers responsibility to make sure they have all the facts BEFORE they make the offer. The best way to do that is to make sure that you have a qualified experienced home inspector as part of your real estate team.