14 Tips for Buyers

Outlined below is a very simple but highly successful 14-step approach to getting you the home that you desire and not ending up with a lemon.

1. Pre-approve it, Have you Toronto real estate agent help you determine how much you can afford and assist you in attaining the pre-approval for your mortgage or the transfer of existing financing.

2. Educate yourself, About the home buying process and then you will be comfortable actually doing it. Ask lots of questions. A good Toronto real estate agent will assist you throughout the entire process answering all of your concerns.

3. Design it, Based on your desires, needs and capabilities we will decide on the best neighbourhoods to target for the home that you want.

4. Shop for it, Now that we know what your goal is you can start shopping. You will have to stay informed about all the real estate activity in your areas of choice. That includes having your agent send you daily listings through email and have them arrange to show you as many as you want.

5. Do not settle, For anything but the right home, for a price you can afford, in an area you desire.

6. Buy It, When we have decided on your dream home have your agent draw up a Custom Agreement of Purchase and Sale to fit your needs. And then have them present it to the owners and negotiate it on your behalf.

7. Close It, After the successfully purchase your home stay in regular contact with your agent to ensure all of the details are being addressed. Your agent should work with you right up to and beyond the closing date.

What warning signs should you look out for?

Home buyers often pride themselves on knowing how to spot a solid home or one that needs serious work. Aside from the obvious warning signs – such as damp spots on walls or missing roof shingles – many home-buyers may remain unaware of serious yet hard to spot problems such as foundation damage.

8. Water damage. Porous grout and cracks less than one sixteenth of an inch in a ceramic tiled shower can allow enough water through to do thousands of dollars of damage over time.

9. Improper wiring. This includes such situations as amateur (often dangerous) wiring, ungrounded receptacles, lack of ground fault circuit interruptors in wet locations, overloaded breakers, etc. The homebuyer will be informed of the presence of aluminum wiring which was common in houses built in the 1960s and 1970s. These installations could be problematic and should be fully evaluated before closing the sale.

10. Attic issues. Home buyers almost never look in attics but inspectors always do, paying special attention to signs of roof leaks, missing support trusses, pest infestation, illegal venting, illegal electrical wiring, inadequate insulation, etc.

11. Chugging drains. Drains that chug like an upturned soda bottle or toilets that do not flush correctly could be signs that the plumbing system is not adequately vented. Make sure your dream home is free of costly repair problems before signing a contract.

12. Roof damage. Eighty percent of new construction litigation is said to involve the roof. If the roof is bad, the rest of the house is in danger of damage too.

13. Heating and cooling systems danger. Gas-fired furnaces have the potential to introduce deadly carbon monoxide gas into the living area. If the gas company decides your furnace is unsafe prior to your move-in, they may lock it out and require replacement before turning on the gas to your new home.

14. Foundation problems. Flower beds planted too close to exterior walls could draw too much water to the foundation of the home, causing damage. A damp basement might also be an indication that the foundation needs work which is one of the most expensive home repairs around. Before you buy, be sure that you are not going to be in the market for expensive home repairs down the road.

The best way to be safe is to get a complete home inspection from a reputable and established Home Inspection company. And include some of the mentioned items as conditions in your offer, just to be doubly sure that the seller is telling the whole truth about the condition of the property.