Finding Your Way Home: Things to Look for When Buying a House in Vancouver

Vancouver Home Inspector

Buying a new house is an exciting prospect. However, it’s also a lifetime investment. For this reason, when searching, you need to do your due diligence. 

House value is driven by a number of different factors. If you don’t fully take these factors into account, you can end up getting burnt financially. 

The question is, what factors should you keep in mind when buying a house? What do you need to keep your eye on? We’re going to answer those very questions below. 

Here are the things to look for when buying a house in Vancouver.

These are the Things to Look for When Buying a House

When looking at a home, you must assess both its interior and exterior as well as the environment that surrounds it. During your assessment, make sure to focus in on the following. 

A Solid Foundation 

If there’s one thing you’re going to look at when assessing the quality of a home, it should be its foundation. If a home’s foundation is old and crumbling, the home should be avoided like the plague. 

Why? Because once a foundation goes, the rest of the home goes with it. What this means is that should the home’s foundation deteriorate early in your ownership of it, you’ll have to spend substantial amounts of money in order to fix it. 

While you might be capable of checking a foundation on your own, you’re advised to hire a professional inspector to do it for you. 

A Quality Location

Another important aspect of a home is the location in which it exists. Not only do you want the home to be in a safe area in terms of crime, but in terms of traffic and neighboring activity as well. 

For instance, if you have kids, you probably shouldn’t buy a house that’s located on a high-speed, four-lane road. At the same time, for your own sake, you don’t want to live in an area in which car break-ins are common. 

A Suitable Geography 

Arguably just as important as the location of a home is the physical geography of a home’s allotted property. The physical geography surrounding a home will directly affect its ability to thrive. 

For example, if a home is built on a hilly property, it will constantly be vulnerable to flooding. On the other hand, if a home is built on a flat property, it will be accompanied by exceptional drainage. In other words, flooding won’t be a concern at all. 

Potentially Troublesome Trees  

Another thing to look out for in the house’s allotted property is the plants which exist on the property. In particular, you have to keep a look out for potentially troublesome trees. 

As you well know, trees grow over time. If they’re in too close of contact with the house itself, their branches and roots could eventually make physical contact with the house’s foundation, siding, roof, and windows. 

A Well-Functioning HVAC System 

These days, heating and air conditioning are a given in most homes. When buying a home, you’re paying not only for it and the property that it sits on but the HVAC system which is connected to it as well. 

For this reason, you want to make sure that the home’s HVAC system is in good shape. Ask about its age, research its make and model, and ensure that it’s going to provide you with high-quality heat and air for the coming years. 

Proper Plumbing  

Along with the home’s HVAC system, you’ll also want to check its plumbing system. This includes everything from its sinks, to its toilets, to its water conditioners, to its pipes, and otherwise. 

A well-established plumbing system is important not only for financial purposes but for home protection purposes. For instance, if a toilet has a leak, it could cause the wall and ground in its proximity to experience oversaturation and decay. 

While you could check the plumbing on your own, it’s recommended for you to utilize professional inspection services.

Sufficient Electrical Work 

A home’s electrical work is hugely important to its overall operational capabilities. Shoddy electrical work is not only a functional problem, but it’s also a safety hazard as well.

For this reason, it’s vital that you assess your prospective home’s electrical system. In addition to checking outlets and lights, you’ll also want to make your way into the walls to assess the wiring. Odds are, you’ll need a professional electrician to help you with this inspection. 

High-quality Appliances 

When added up, home appliances are valued at thousands upon thousands of dollars. This is why, when buying a home, you want to make sure that it’s appliances are functionally sound. 

Not only should you ask about how old they are, but you should also test their functionality. Do this for the refrigerator, the dishwasher, the oven range, the washer and dryer, and any other appliance that you come across. 

Energy Efficient Windows 

Windows are expensive. A single window will usually set you back a few hundred dollars. The last thing you want to do after buying a new home is to install new windows. 

This is why, when inspecting a home, you want to pay close attention to its windows. Not only should you inquire about the year of their manufacture, but you should also stand next to them to ensure that they’re not drafty. 

Sufficient Insulation  

When you really stop and think about it, it costs a lot of money to insulate a home. Not only is insulation provided by interior insulation, but by siding and roofing materials as well. 

So, when looking over a house, it’s of utmost importance that you properly assess these entities. In addition to giving them the eye test, you should also ask about their age. 

Find Houses in Vancouver Now 

There they are, the things to look for when buying a house. If you keep these things in mind while searching, you should be able to find a great home at a reasonable price. 

Searching for homes in Vancouver? If so, Zooky can help you. Our website is filled with new and high quality real estate listings in Vancouver and across Canada.

Take a look at our Vancouver listings now! 

Avoiding the Pitfalls: The Top Tips for First Time Home Buyers

First Time Home Buyers

If you’re quickly reaching 36 years old, the average age to buy a home in Canada, you may be wondering if it’s time you leave apartment life in the dust. After all, owning a home has several perks, like the freedom to update how you’d like and the ability to get some money back when it’s time to move.

But buying a home can be nerve-wracking, whether it’s your first home or your fifth. Luckily, there are some tips for first time home buyers that can help make the process a lot easier.

Do you want to know what they are? Let’s dive in!

Start Saving Now

Your first home is likely the most expensive purchase you’ll make to date. While you’ll get a mortgage that allows you to pay it off over time, there are still a lot of expenses you’ll need to pay for up-front.

Your down payment is perhaps the biggest of these costs. A 20% down payment is common, but you may be able to put down less depending on your lender.

Unfortunately, even if you can score a 10% down payment, that’s still a huge chunk of change. After all, 10% on a $250,000 home is still $25,000.

So, if you’re just starting to think about buying a home, start saving for it now! Future you will be thankful.

Research Assistance Programs

Buying a home is no easy feat. The government knows this, so they’ve created all sorts of assistance programs that you may qualify for.

Make sure you do your research before you get too deep in the home buying process, so you know what to expect. Search at the federal, province, and even local level to see just how much help you can get as a first time home buyer.

Budget Wisely

Once you have a general idea of the assistance programs you qualify for and what kind of down payment you’ll need, it’s time to create your budget.

Many first time home buyers make the mistake of putting their entire budget into the down payment. However, you’ll also need to leave enough money to cover closing costs, moving costs, and any renovations that have to be done before you can move in.

Also, remember that you’re now responsible for anything that breaks in your new home. You’ll want to leave yourself some extra room in your budget in case your water heater breaks or one expense ends up costing more than you thought.

Get Pre-Approved For a Loan

You may have spent a lot of time thinking about how much your first home should cost. But you don’t want to start the home-buying process with just your idea in mind.

You should get pre-approved for a loan before you start viewing houses. Not only does this tell you for certain how much you can spend, but a lot of sellers won’t consider an offer unless the seller has proof they can pay. That means while you’re running around trying to get a loan, someone else (who already got pre-approved) can swoop in and buy your dream house.

Pick Your Ideal Neighborhood First

When you start the search process, you may become overwhelmed at just how many houses there are. You’ve probably heard that location is key when buying a house, so start by picking your ideal neighborhood first.

This will help you narrow down your search and ensure you get a home in a great area. What constitutes as an “ideal neighborhood” will vary, but this is likely somewhere close to work, a grocery store, and anywhere else you visit often. If you have kids or think kids are in your immediate future, you may also want a neighborhood with a park, lots of other children, and one that’s in a good school district.

Schedule an Inspection

So, you finally found the perfect home. Now, it’s time to double check that it really is perfect.

You should never buy a home without having it inspected first. Depending on where you live, the inspection may be done before you make an offer or after your offer is accepted. In the latter, a home inspection is considered a contract contingency, meaning you can back out of the purchase if you’re not happy with the inspection results.

While the seller doesn’t have to make repairs to problems flagged in the inspection, you may be able to negotiate with them. Many sellers would prefer to make the repairs rather than lose the sale, so make sure you talk to your agent about all your options.

Know When to Walk Away

If the inspection on your dream home yielded disappointing results, you may have to consider walking away.

It doesn’t matter how much you love the bay windows or the brand new kitchen. If the home has a serious problem, like water damage or a cracking foundation, it’s probably best to leave it behind before you end up in a money pit.

When buying your first home, it’s all too easy to follow your heart instead of your head. But you want to make sure you think through the decision logically. There will always be other homes, and you’ll have the ability to renovate any home over time to get those amazing features you love.

Best Tips for First Time Home Buyers

If you’re ready to buy your first home, you may not know where to start. Just follow these tips for first time home buyers to help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Are you looking for your dream home in Toronto? Then check out these listings today. Zooky is the top real estate marketplace in Canada, with real estate listings from Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and more!