How to avoid buying a lemon when house hunting

How to avoid buying a lemon when house hunting

A home purchase is largely emotional, but you’ve got to let your head rule this decision because of the financial implications. Even if a home looks great on the surface and seems to be “the one” because it ticks the boxes on your wish list, you’ve got to be on the lookout for potential problems. Problems with a home can end up costing you thousands of dollars and landing you in financial trouble.

Never Skip a Property Inspection

It might seem like a hassle to go through a property inspection, especially if the house is new or if you are competing with others to make an offer.

If you do nothing else before you purchase, have a thorough property inspection with a licensed professional. A property inspection lets you look “behind the walls”. He/she will check out your plumbing, home structure, roof, heating and cooling systems, electrical and more. You’ll be alerted to potential problems that you can either budget for or amend your offer. It may even help you dodge a financial bullet if you discover that there are multiple problems with the home and you can walk away.

Check out the neighbourhood

You know the saying “location, location, location” when it comes to real estate? That’s because the neighbourhood that you are in matters. Investigate the presence of landfills, zoning laws (which could prevent you from certain activities or even renovating/adding to your home) and flooding risk.

Test everything out

Make sure that doors and drawers open and close. Turn lights on and off to make sure that they work. If appliances are included with your purchase, make sure that they are functional. There is no sense in paying for something that doesn’t work.

Trust your senses

Is there a foul odour? Why? Do you see signs of peeling paint, bubbling drains and water marks? These could all be signs of poor drainage around the house, which can cause you trouble down the road.