Lynn's Blog

What Exactly Should You Look For When Viewing a Home?

When Viewing a Home in Nanaimo

If you are a buyer looking for a home in Nanaimo you are likely aware of the active sellers’ market that is going on right now, primarily in the single-family home market. We have little inventory for sale which is very tough on home buyers. Due to the shortage of inventory and the large pool of buyers in the marketplace, homes are often receiving multiple offers and are selling for well over their asking price.

In a competitive market like this, buyer’s usually only have once chance to view the house prior to deciding if they wish to write an offer. It is important to be organized in advance and do as much due diligence as possible prior to viewing the house. Additionally, it makes sense to have a list of things to look at/for while viewing the house.

1. The location and neighborhood  

Check out the neighbourhood. Is it where you want to live? How do the neighbour’s homes look? Try to view the neighbourhood during different times of the day. What is the neighbourhood like after work? Is there much street parking or does the area fill up with cars when people get home from work? How close is the home to amenities, schools, and shopping? If you see someone walking in the neighbourhood maybe you could ask them a few questions about the area.

2. Listing paperwork and utility bills

Ask your Realtor for any documents she/he can get on the property. Its also a good idea to ask for monthly gas, hydro, and city utility costs. This information will help you determine how expensive the house will be to maintain and live in.

3. Is the size of the house and the rooms as per the home buyer’s requirement

Many listing Realtors will draw up floor plans prior to listing the home. Ask your Realtor if you can get a copy of the floor plan before you visit the home. If there is not one available, then ask for the room measurements. This information will help you determine if the sq. footage will fit your needs.

Pour over the available pictures. Look for things that you will want to look more closely at when you visit the home.

4. Look at the roof!

When you are doing a drive by of the home prior to viewing the inside you might want to try and see details of the roof if its visible from the street. Roofs have a life expectancy of 15-20 years. See if you can find out when the roof was installed and ask if there is a warranty.

5. Dampness

Once you get into the home check for damp smells. View the crawlspace if you can get in. See if you can determine if its damp looking or smelling. Look under the sinks and around the toilets for signs of leaks. Check out the bathtub enclosures for dampness. Try the bathroom and kitchen fans to make sure they are working. Look at the ceiling of the top floor rooms for stains.

6. Look around the windows

Try opening and closing windows and doors. Check out the window frames and windowsills for signs of moisture or leaking.

7. Electrical wiring

Ask to see the electrical panel. You may want to go online prior to the viewing to search for things to look for on an electrical panel.

8. Plumbing

Try turning on the taps for water pressure and how long it takes to get hot water. Flush the toilets to make sure they flush properly.

9. Know what is included.

What comes with the house? If it is not included in the listing information sheet, then ask your Realtor to find out. It is important to know if the window coverings are staying and if the seller intends to take something that normally would stay with the house. Sometimes a seller will take their washer and dryer or a special light fixture.

In a competitive market like we are experiencing its important to do as much due diligence as possible in a short period of time so its crucial to be as organized as possible.

For additional information please contact me.

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