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The Right Questions to Ask as a Homebuyer

Starfish The Gray Team Ucluelet Real Estate

If you’re thinking of buying a house, there’s bound to be a billion questions on your mind.

We have been through the home buying process more than a few times, and what we’ve learned is that if you aren’t asking the right questions, you may end up with a costly issue to fix that you weren’t quite prepared for.

To be well prepared for finding the perfect Ucluelet home for you and your family, and make a more informed choice, simply follow this homebuyer guide:

1) When will the windows need to be replaced?

When you think about the climate where you’re going to be living, the shape in which the home’s windows are in become a much bigger issue.

We here on the West Coast of Vancouver Island experience gale force winds and storms straight from the sea, so our windows need to be of highest quality. Even if you are elsewhere in Canada, the extreme temperature changes between summer and winter will certainly require good quality windows.

If the windows in a home are inefficient, the energy consumption in the home will be extremely poor, and you’ll be paying through the nose to heat or cool your home.

So no matter what, the condition of the windows is important because energy inefficiency can be costly, as can changing the windows on a home. New windows can cost well upwards of $10,000.

Are you sure that all the windows all close properly?

Are the windows drafty?

Is the paint around them chipped or old?

2) What is the position and health of the trees?

There are some mistakes that we can’t foresee, but we are wise to think about any possible scenarios that could arise when we are buying a Ucluelet home.

If a tree from your yard is close enough that it could fall on your new house, you will want to examine that tree thoroughly.

Does any of the tree or its branches look rotted?

Can you easily remove branches, or if need be, can you afford to have the tree removed if its health declines?

It may seem like a long shot, but the health of the trees around the house can have a major impact – no pun intended – on the home. Cutting down a tree is a rather arduous and expensive task, so foreseeing something like this can save you a big headache in the long run.

Also, do the trees block the sunlight or wind?

If you cut down a tree, will that expose more of your home to winds and storms?

The impact of not having a particular tree protecting your home can be a rise in energy costs and more wear and tear on the exterior of the home.

3) Are there sidewalks or trails nearby?

Some neighbourhoods have left out one very important feature, sidewalks!

If you have kids, or if you enjoy getting outside to explore and exercise, then you will want to keep an eye out for how easy it is to get around by foot in the area.

Is there a place for kids to safely ride their bikes?

Can you easily take your dog for a walk?

Can you go out for a jog and be safe from traffic?

Even something as simple as sidewalks can make a big difference when it comes to peace of mind for you and your family. If there are no sidewalks nearby, you may want to check with the local Municipality to see if any are scheduled to be put in, and if not, perhaps try to bring attention to the need for sidewalks to accompany your perfect home.

5) Is the house too outdated?

An older home may have caught your eye. If this is the case, there are a few extra things to keep an eye out for whenever buying a Ucluelet home.

You will want to take stock of how out-dated the energy systems, appliances, walls and floors are. Putting a little money into an ideal home is one thing, but if there are too many old things needing some TLC, you may end up resenting the fact that you can’t simply enjoy your new Ucluelet home until the work gets done.

How much work needs to be done for the home to feel ‘perfect’ to you?

Are you able to do the work yourself?

Do you have the time and energy to do the work?

Can you afford to pay someone else to do the work?

6) Which way does the ground slope?

This often over-looked feature is extremely important for the longevity of a home. Unless you’re a gardener or have dealt with the impact of moisture on a home’s foundation before, you might not even think to check how the rain will drain.

We often don’t get to see what happens during a downpour on any of our visits to a home, but we consider it wise to seriously consider the quality of drainage on the property.

Moisture is a silent, ticking time bomb when it comes to homes. It can cause mold, mildew, rotting wood, and most unfortunately, very expensive foundation issues.

What is the condition of the grading around the house?

Is there a history of flooding on the property or in the surrounding area?

Where is the nearest storm sewer?

7) What are the neighbours like?

This is another issue that we sometimes feel that we have no control over, however with just a little research you may be able to save yourself from issues arising from living next to someone you find unsavoury.

You want to know whether you can live next to the people around the house, not if you can be friends, so you don’t have to feel like you must go visit these people.

Just take a look around the adjacent properties for clues for possible irritations that you might not want to deal with for the foreseeable future.

Do they keep their property tidy? Garbage contained? Fences well-maintained?

Are the gardens tended to? Is the grass cut?

Do they have pets or children? These two creatures are known for making noise; some more than others. You can usually tell this by hints on the outside of the home such as toys, drinking bowls, or yelps, but sometimes this is not the case.

Visiting the area at different times of day and week will help you to decipher the neighbours’ pets and kids situation.

These are the questions we urge you to consider when you are considering buying a new Ucluelet home. But if you do have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


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