Quick Property Evaluation Reference Tips for Home Buyers

Published April 5, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_95521865For most prospective home buyers, there will only be a few properties that match their most immediate buying prerogatives. For these folks and in this scenario, there’s going to be much more in the way of time and resources available for weighing each of the 1, 2, or maybe 3 homes that line up as a potentially good fit. They can go over each of them much more thoroughly than the buyer who has a good many home they need to make a decision on.

And quite often those decisions need to be made rather quickly, as quality real estate doesn’t last long on ANY market. We’re all well aware of that!

Here at Real Estate Leads, we’re all about providing ways realtors can get an advantage, but this week we’re going to spin it around somewhat and talk about advantages buyers can use as they work with the real estate agent towards purchasing the home that’s best for them.

So let’s get into our house hunting evaluation tips, with specific focus on the exterior, interior and basement for now:

  1. Exterior Considerations

Make a note of your impressions of the exterior of the home, with a particular note of the lot size and shape, position of the house on the lot (facing north or south, east or west), and whether it has a private or shared driveway. In addition, does it have a large front yard, side, and backyard? How is the landscaping, how well has it been maintained, and – perhaps most importantly – how much maintenance do you foresee it requiring to continue looking like you’d expect it too after you potentially buy the home. Trees? Hedges? Your opinions of them?

What type of siding does the home have, and in what condition is it currently in? Does it have an attached or detached garage and whether it can accommodate one or two cars.

Also note whether there is a porch or veranda, storage shed and is the yard is fenced (or perhaps it should be?). How much privacy does the layout of the grounds afford the home?

Take a critical look at the roof, and make detailed notes on its general condition and age. Check to see if any roof repairs were made recently, and make a point to check the eavestroughs and down spouts for signs of deterioration. Now move on to the foundation of the home. This is a big one! Are there any visible cracks or holes or signs of seepage?

This applies to all the points we’ll cover here, but it’s the ideal time to relay a very important piece of advice. You might consider hiring a certified house inspector for a thorough, professional survey — outside and inside — of any home you’re thinking to possibly buy.

  1. Interior Considerations

It’s hard to argue that’s there’s not 2 more important parts of a home than the kitchen and bedroom. We’ll start with the kitchen.

Take particular note of the general size and colour of the kitchen, as well as whether it has an eat-in area and what you’d consider to be sufficient cupboard space. Is there a pantry or food preparation island? Are the countertops and sink in good condition? Are the cupboards old or new? How is the floor holding up, and what is it made of? Is the existing lighting adequate and set up properly for carrying out kitchen tasks, as well as providing dining table light if the eating area is adjoining the kitchen.

Make a note of whether there are enough power outlets to run your appliances and have them spread out along the countertops and not bunched together out of necessity. Are the fridge, stove, and dishwasher included with the sale? Are they all operating, and more simply – do you like their looks? How many burners are on the stove top, and is the stove gas or electric. Is the oven self-cleaning?

Now were’ going to move to the dining room. Take first note of its size, whether it’s separate from the kitchen and the condition of the floors and walls. Is it big enough for the table you have, or will have in the near future based on your family size? Are there any built-in cupboards? Is there a chandelier, and is it being sold along with the house? Now have a look at the living room. Is there a fireplace? How many windows are there around the room, and what is your opinion on their layout and sizes? Are the window coverings staying, or leaving with the seller?

If the home has a family room, determine whether it’s closer or adjacent to the kitchen, does it feature outdoor access, and does it have a fireplace or wood stove. Is the stove CSA approved? Again, check the condition of the floor or carpet – and look for cracks and other potential problems.

Next up are the master and secondary bedrooms . Take note of their size and closet space and whether there are any window coverings or ensuite / adjoining bathrooms. Many people put some emphasis on the type of flooring in each bedroom and the colours given to each of the rooms.

How many bathrooms are there, and is that number in line with what the size of your family dictates as necessity? What are the condition of the bathroom fixtures, and do you think they’ll need replacing any time in the next 5 years? Check all faucets and flush toilets to make sure they are in good working order as well as determining if there is adequate water pressure. Look for signs of mould and deterioration as these are possible indications of inadequate ventilation.

  1. Basement Considerations

Now we head down to the basement. Your first assessment should be whether it is a full basement, or a partially finished one, or an unfinished one. Is that in line with your needs / wants? If not, are you willing to finish the basement yourself after purchase? Next, determine if there’s adequate headroom for moving about, remembering that we’re all of different heights. Is there a fireplace or wood-burning stove? Again, be on the lookout for signs of moisture – such as watermarks and peeling paint.

Note whether there is a utility area and – if the washer and dryer are set up in the basement – whether they are being sold with the house. Again, look for signs of water damage.

Last but not least – and this applies to any area we’ve discussed – find out if any recent renovations have been made to the home. It’s also very important to ask about the type of heating, water service, plumbing and the standard electrical amperage for the home. Is the hot water heater owned or rented? Is it gas or electric, and what is its storage / output capacity? What type of insulation is installed around the house?

This is of course is just a scratching of the surface as regards to what buyers should look at when making quick reference decisions about the suitability of a home. Your real estate professional will be able to add to this list extensively and judiciously, and we wish all 3 (or more) of you happy house hunting!