Home hunting checklist

The Exterior of the Home

  • Driveway Type: Private or Shared
  • Number of Parking Spots
  • Style of Home: Bungalow Raised Bungalow 1 1/2 Storey 2 Storey 3 Storey Side Split Backsplit Front Split Other
  • The Exterior of the Home: Brick Vinyl Wood Aluminum Stone Stucco Combination
  • Garage: None 1 Car 2 Car 3 Car 4+ Car
  • Yard Size: Large backyard Small backyard No backyard
  • Homes Appearance from the Street:   Clean Looks Ok Needs extensive work
  • Backyard Fence: None - open space Chainlink Privacy fence
  • Is the backyard private?      Yes     No
  • Landscaping: Lots of trees, shrubs Overgrown with weeds Grass is patchy and needs replacement Lots of nice flowers Very well taken care of
  • Pool: None Above ground Below ground In good condtion In bad condition
  • Questions To Ask About the Pool: (if there is one)  
    • How old is the pool?
    • How old is the liner?
    • How old is the pump?
    • How old is the pool heater (if there is one)
    • What condition and age are the stairs in the pool?
    • What equipment comes with it, and what is the condition of the equipment?  

Worth Noting:

  • A new concrete pool deck can cost $10,000, repaired is $2500. You can also do a deck, patio stone, etc.
  • A new pool filter can cost $800+
  • A new pump can cost $400
  • A new water heater can cost $2000+
  • A new pool liner can cost $2000+
  • Old stairs begin to bubble and crack, and when that happens, either you patch it or replace ($2000+).

Roof: Roof type Condition and age

Questions To Ask About the roof:

If roof is new or if there was work done: Is there warranty? Is it transferable? How many years is the roof rated to last for? Was there shingles laid on shingles? Was the roof completely replaced, including the plywood?

Worth Noting:

A new roof on a typical 3 bedroom average size home can cost $7,000 more or less. If there are shingles laid on shingles, you can expect the life span of those shingles to be cut drastically. Shingles laid on shingles creates more heat which in turn ruins the shingles. If there are 3 layers of shingles, that is considered not up to code. This also poses a problem as the weight can create a sag on the roof and over time, can ruin the integrity.

Eaves troughs & Spouts:

What condition are the eaves troughs and down spouts in?

Are the eaves troughs clear of debris?YesNo

Do the down spouts go into the ground or away from the house?YesNo

Worth Noting:

Your home inspector will be able to tell you more about the condition of the eaves troughs and spouts, but in the initial visit, if you see that the eaves troughs are full of debris, there could be damage to the roof as the water doesnt have a route to escape and it could back up underneath the flashing and shingles. If the down spouts lead into the ground, you may want to look for moisture in the walls or foundation, as the water could leak into the house if it has no where to go.

The foundation:

Good condition Cracks in the exterior Crumbling exterior foundation

Windows:

Window Frame Type: Single Pane Double Pane Wood Vinyl Aluminum Fibreglass

Do they open and close easily?YesNo

The Caulking Around the Windows

The caulking is fresh and windows are well maintained.

The caulking is beginning to crack and has visible holes.

Worth Noting:

Windows can be costly to replace, so if you move into a home that has windows that are 20 years old, you can expect that you wont have low heating and cooling costs. For example, 10 average size windows that gets replaced by a reputable company can cost upwards of $6000+. The best windows available are Vinyl windows. Wood windows can deteriorate and rot if not properly looked after. visit Window Replacement for more information.

The Interior of the Home

Kitchen:

Eat in area Cooking food preparation island Pantry Sufficient cupboard space Single sink Double sink Sufficient counter top space

Counter type

Condition of appliances

Bedrooms(s):

Number of bedrooms

Are they a good size?YesNo

Are there lights in the ceilings, or do the lights turn on from an outlet?

Do they require painting or stripping of wallpaper?

Bathroom(s):

Number of bathrooms

Are they updated with new toilets, shower, vanity, etc?YesNo

Are there ensuites in any of the bedrooms?YesNo

Flooring:

Flooring type in Bedrooms

Flooring type in bathrooms

Flooring type in kitchen

Flooring type in Family

Flooring type in Dining

Flooring type in Basement

Flooring type in Other

Are the floors in good condition?YesNo

Basement:

Is the basement finished?YesNo

Adequate headroom?YesNo

Is there a walkoutYesNo

Is there storage?YesNo

Are there tenants?YesNo

Does it smell musty or does it feel cold and moist?YesNo

Signs of flooding?YesNo

Are there any major foundation cracks?YesNo

Worth Noting:

If a basement has been recently renovated, ask if it was done by a professional. Try to get receipts if possible to ensure that the necessary steps were taken to avoid future problems. If there was once foundation cracks, and it is obvious that it was fixed, ask for receipts to ensure that there is warranty in case of possible future issues. (In most cases, the cracks on the concrete floor are normal) If the home has sum pumps, make sure that it works and look around to see if there is any sign of flooding. Also check to see if there is a secondary sum pump in case of failure on the main pump. If there is hardwood on the floor in the basement, it may overtime warp from the temperature of the ground and possible moisture. If there is carpet, you could develop a mold problem underneath if it was not installed correctly. As a general rule of thumb, carpet and hard wood flooring should not be in the basement unless the proper steps were taken to avoid any future issues.

Electrical:

What are the amps coming into the home? (60,100,200,etc)

Is it enough for what you are looking to do? (welding, hot tubs, etc.)YesNo

Is the electrical panel up to date?YesNo

What kind of wiring is inside the home?Knob and tubeAluminum

Copper

Unknown

Worth Noting:

It is important that you know what the status is of the electrical. If it is knob and tube, some insurance companies will not insure the home unless it is up to code, which means the home has to get rewired and generally costs a lot of money. Ask the home inspector about the breaker panel and make sure that it is not overloaded, installed incorrectly, and overall is safe. If the home has Aluminum wiring, make sure that there is an up to date ESA certificate stating that the wiring is safe and will not cause issues.

Sewer of Septic:

Septic Sewer

Date the septic was pumped.

Age of septic

Company name that pumped it.

Worth Noting:

If you have sewer, then more than likely everything is ok. If you are on a septic system which is commonly found in rural properties, then it is important to make sure that the septic system is in good working order. Check to see when it was last pumped. Check to see who pumped it so you can call and ask if they noticed any issues, if any. Make sure that the septic system is far from the home, and that the weeping bed does not have heavy equipment or machinery parked on it, or a noticeable pathway that crosses over it. If so, the weeping bed could collapse and end up being extremely costly.

Municipal Water or Well:

Municipal water Well Water/p>

If it the water comes from the well, was there a water test done?YesNo

Is there a sufficient supply of water?YesNo

How old is the well?

Worth Noting:

If the water comes from the town, you can expect that the water should be safe and also expect a water bill as well. If the water comes from a well, there generally is not a water bill, but hefty fees could come if the well is either tainted, or if there is not a sufficient supply of water. In this case, expect to spend thousands of dollars if you have to dig deeper for the well. Visit for more information on wells and water.

Heating:

Heating Type:

Forced Air Radiant Geo-Thermal

Heat Source:OilGasGroundWaterElectricity

Worth Noting:

In Canada, heating is very important, and so is the amount it will cost to heat that home. If the home has a new furnace (92%+ efficiency) than it can be safe to say, that your heating bills will not be sky high. Unless of course your home has an active draft blowing through it. Some homes have very old furnaces or baseboard heating, and though the furnaces and baseboard heating may still work, they more than likely are heavy on the resources and your wallet. If a home required a new gas furnace, expect to pay $3500 for a new 95% or higher furnace.

Air Conditioner:

What is the age of the AC?

Worth Noting:

If the AC unit is older than the hills, I recommend replacing the AC right away. These days electricity does not come cheap, and the old AC units love sucking back the power. The new AC units are a little more energy conscious and it will show on your electricity bill.

The Home and the Community.

Close To:

Schools

Medical (doctor, hospital,etc.)

City Services (Fire, police, etc)

Parks

Shopping (grocery, clothes, etc)

Playground

 Daycare

 Recreation Centers

 Public Swimming Pool

Skating rinks

Tennis courts

Golf course

Theatres

Restaurants

Places of Worship

Public Library

Access to Major roads or highways

Public transportation

Possible Issues

RailroadsClose to heavy industrialTraffic congestion

Neighbourhood:

UrbanSuburbanRural

Quiet street

Visible telephone and power lines

Adequate street lights

Surrounding homes are looked after by their owners

Sidewalks in good shape

Sidewalk is on the side of the home

Space between homes - land size

Adequate street parking

Overnight parking restrictions

Good condition of the street

Age of the Home:

Approximate age of the home

The home hunting checklist of the century that you should have for any home that you are looking to purchase.