If you are a homeowner, then there is no doubt that your Windsor Ontario real estate is a major investment. Chances are you worked long and hard to save for the down payment, successfully maintained good credit, and spent countless of hours looking for the right home for you and your family. No one buys a home if they think they will lose money on it. Buying real estate is an investment, but it can quickly go south if proper care is not taken.
So how do you protect your investment? Start at the beginning and make an educated decision before you sign the final papers. Remember, you want your money to go as far as it can and this won’t happen if you buy a money pit. If you are considering a home that has recently be renovated, you want to make sure it’s up to code. If you are buying an older home, you want to know if property contains lead paint, mold or asbestos. Buyers must be ready to purchase a home not on their emotion, but rather their brains.
1. Get the right home inspector:
Not only should every buyer have a home inspection, but they should hire the RIGHT home inspector. Get recommendations from your professional real estate agent, as they are more than likely only going to suggest those inspectors that are well-respected in the community and have an excellent reputation. After all, if agents recommend a lousy inspector, then their reputation is on the line as well. You want to make sure that the professional you hire has worked in the industry for some time and are well qualified to do the job right the first time. Don’t hire an inspector who works only occasionally and has mediocre recommendations. And don’t hire a friend or family member who is just starting in the business. It can cause for some unpleasant holidays if a major repair is missed.
2. Study disclosures:
Sellers are legally responsible for disclosing anything that is wrong with the property. If they are aware, for example, that the roof leaks, this information must be passed to the buyer. Also, if recent work has been done on the home, let the inspector know so he or she can pay special attention to the area and determine that the work was done correctly.
3. Attend home inspection:
Don’t leave it up to your real estate agent to handle the inspection. By showing up and walking around with the inspector, you can gather a wealth of information that you normally would not get otherwise. It’s also an excellent time to ask questions, get a cost estimate if a major repair is needed and also, learn the location of the fuse box, water shut off etc,.
4. Have a general understanding on codes:
You are expected to learn and memorize the millions of housing codes that are out there, however, it’s a good idea to generally understand what is acceptable and what is not. For example, one client was very concerned about the safety issues regarding a balcony railing on the upper floor of a home she were going to buy. She went online and discovered that the railings were indeed just 1/2 an inch off. She alerted the inspector to pay special attention to all the railings in the home. Needless to say, the sellers had to repair. If something doesn’t look right, then by all means, ask your inspector or your real estate agent so they may follow through!
5. Get a home warranty:
If a buyer is concerned that at some point in the next year major repairs will be needed, they can always get a home warranty. In fact, many buyers negotiate for the sellers to pay for it. More often than not, this works. One client was looking at an older home and was concerned about the condition of the water heater. The homeowner insisted it worked fine and did not want to purchase a new one. Therefore, we negotiated that the seller pay for a home warranty, which is cheaper than a water heater. The buyer was happy and the seller was thrilled!
6. Not every repair is created equal.
In other words, prioritize your repairs. Not everything needs to be done at once. Obviously, those repairs that are safety issues should be started right away, however, others can always wait depending on your time and budget. If you plan on staying in your home for several years, then you have time to update the bathroom if you want.
7. Contact Inspector if problems with report:
Once you are moved in and discover that there is an issue the inspector overlooked, contact the company immediately. While it may not be their fault, they can review it and give you advice on repairing the problem.