In this crazy real estate market, buyers are being overwhelmed by pricing. In speaking with a number of real estate agents, we’ve learned that buyers are considering fixer-uppers more now than in the past. So just how old is your home?
There are a few things to consider when making that purchasing decision. First, how are the “bones” of the house? This includes foundation, exterior bricks or vinyl, interior structures – walls and floors – as well as the roof.
These are the big-ticket items that generally need immediate care once you’ve decided to make the purchase.
Buying an older home can be exciting because of its character, but all homes need maintenance and upkeep.
We’ve created a bit of a checklist for ‘older home’ ownership, hoping to keep any surprises and your costs in check.
Conditions of Interior Walls and Floors
Understanding that you’ve purchased a fixer-upper – you’ll already know that renovations can take time. Some people think they are able to put on a fresh coat of paint and all will be well.
Take a close look and check what actually is there. Is there wallpaper under the paint? Is there a lot of patching to be done? Are the carpets able to be cleaned or will they need to be replaced? Do hardwood floors need refinishing?
Take time to make notes. Keep a booklet handy to track needs and approximate costs. This will come in very handy when you’re ready to make that offer.
Having good insulation is vital in Central Ontario. We have extreme climates here. Blistering heat and humidity in our summer months and frigid, snow-laden winters put even the best insulation to the test.
Check out the quantity, quality and cleanliness of the current insulation. It can really tell you a lot about your home. Everything from a telling rodent infestation to mould or mildew issues will make itself known.
Storm Windows and Screens
Many older homes really need window maintenance. Sometimes it’s as little as weather stripping; but sometimes more. Take a close look at your older home’s windows. However beautiful, they may need updating and their sizes may need to be customized.
The “M” Words
Both mould and mildew issues terrify homeowners. Even though technology has really advanced, the cost can be very expensive to remedy. Most important is finding out why it’s there in the first place. Finding this during a walkthrough or inspection can be quite frightening. Be prepared.
Rodent and Bat Infestations
Rodent and bat infestations can cause real money-sucking cleanup costs. Bats are an endangered species in Canada so removal must only happen when they are able to relocate and don’t have any young. Most rodent waste is toxic making the clean up a ‘hazmat’ situation. Again, very expensive!
Many older homes may have lead paint. Here in Canada, it was put into “restrictive” interior use in 1976. This is not a sale stopper by any means. You just need to be aware of it and the hazards of disturbing it.
It is possible to use an encapsulation technique which is a proven lead paint remedy.
Water Filtration Systems
Generally, our beautiful area has a well-planned infrastructure. You’re not likely to be concerned about well water unless you’ve chosen a more rural locale. If so – have your system checked thoroughly as this is a high-end replacement cost for new purchasers.
Has the House Sat Empty?
If a house has been sitting empty – ask how long it’s been in that state. The answer may lead to more careful checking for plumbing leaks or infestations of any sort. It may also answer any reasons for mildew odours.
Get Two Inspections
This may seem like overkill – but home inspectors are human too. A good inspector needs uninterrupted time to truly vet an older home. Spending another $600+ may seem counter-intuitive, but it could save thousands in the end!
Your Roof and the “M” Words
If you see signs of moisture or mould – RUN! Having a roof and attic inspection prior to purchasing can be the best bargaining tool if you’re up to the undertaking.
A really good roofing company is the best choice to do your inspection for you. Many questions you may have about your intended purchase can be answered by the pros. Everything from present insulation, infestations, eaves troughing, airflow and the costs of heating and A/C have a story to be read by a roofer.
This article has been sponsored by Jason of JN Roofing for our readers. JN Roofing is the standard for roofing solutions and services in the Barrie Area. Their reviews certainly tell their story. They don’t leave until your job is complete and your property has been cleaned of their debris.
JN Roofing means quality, honesty and a job well done!
Written By Jane Laker