What to Look for When Buying a Home in the Spring

As warm weather creeps into Alberta, people start to venture out of their current homes and look for something new. Everything looks fresh and exciting in the springtime but try to keep in mind that there could be a few unintentionally hidden issues that you need to keep an eye on. Before making an offer on a new home, consider these tips:

  • Check the roof! Snow and ice can do a lot of damage to shingle roofs. Take a look at the roof and ask questions, like when it was last redone. This can help you avoid any potential future leaks due to winter damages.
  • While you’re checking out the roof, look at the exterior walls. Look for any damage to the siding, paint chips or mould. Take special care in looking at the north side of the house, as it tends to be the coldest and most issues start here, spreading to the other walls.
  • Don’t forget about hard to reach places like the attic, crawlspaces and utility rooms. These places are out of sight but tend to be where moisture and mould hide inside the home. If you smell a musty, mouldy smell in these spaces, there might be moisture getting into the framing and insulation.
  • Look at the hot water tank and furnace. They have both been running heavily for months at this point and you want to make sure they’re not on their last legs. Look for signs of rust or corrosion and double check the last time they were serviced. Buying a home is expensive, and most people don’t budget a new furnace into their offer on a home.
  • Water damage is fairly easy to spot but is often overlooked. Look for yellow spots on the wall, signifying past water leaks. Large patches of yellow on the ceiling show signs of a leaky roof; if the yellow spot is next to an exterior wall, it could be a drain blocked by ice.
  • Everyone has been to hotels with bad water pressure. Check the plumbing to make sure you don’t have this problem. The best way to do this is to turn on the bathroom sink and then flush the toilet. If you notice a drop in water pressure or hear a gurgling sound, this is a sign of plumbing issues. Also, try running the water in each sink for a couple of minutes to see if the drainage can keep up with the flow of water.
  • Check for rotting and loose boards on the deck, as you’re going to want to spend more time out here as the weather gets nicer.

By keeping these tips in mind when visiting a potential new home, you will save yourself a lot of money and a big headache down the road. Happy house hunting!

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