5 Top Things to Look for in Buying a Calgary Home

For many people, buying your first Calgary home will be the biggest investment you will make. You want your home to be in the best possible shape before you spend all that hard-earned money. The house you buy should be in the best possible shape because you don't want to get stuck in a money pit.

You can eyeball the house the first time you inspect it and glean a lot of useful information in deciding whether you want to proceed further and hire a home inspector to make a more thorough examination.

Here are the top 5 things to look for when buying a home in Calgary.

Check the Roof and Eaves

Many different materials can be used in covering the roof. Most materials generally have a limited life span ranging from 10 – 25 years. The first thing you want to look for is to see whether there is any sag in the roof and whether the surface is uneven or wavy. Are there any missing shingles or excessive signs of aging or bleaching/fading of the materials that were used? You should also find out how old the house is and when the roof was last replaced. Does the chimney have the flashing it needs, and is the soffit in good shape?

Take a walk around the house and examine the eaves trough.

Look at the Exterior Walls

Materials that cover the walls need to be at least several six inches above the ground. If not, they could be exposed to moisture, insect infestation and mould that aren't readily visible. Check the exterior structure, regardless of the construction material used, and look for rot, bowing and uneven surfaces by looking down along the edge of the wall from corner to corner. If brick or stone is used, take a close look at the pointing (the mortar between the bricks) to ensure it looks good.

Windows and Doors

Look closely at the windows and the caulking around the edges. Do the windows look fairly new, and how are they constructed? You also want to be looking for signs of moisture and rot on both doors and windows, especially around the corners.

Examine the Exterior Foundation

You want to be making sure it looks in top condition and has no major or even minor cracks. Also, look for any repair work, such as patch jobs which could be very telling. Make sure the foundation looks straight and solid as well. Also, ask the owner whether they have experienced any problems with the foundation.

View the Basement Closely

Note the smell of the basement because you want to be cautious if it smells musty. Also, look for obvious cracks not just along the walls but also on the floor if it is an unfinished basement. If it is finished, you want to look for any visible signs of water stains and mould. If you see any indications of whitening, this might be suggestive of salt minerals which indicate leakage. A home inspector will use a moisture detector to make a more thorough examination.

If the home appears satisfactory and you intend to proceed with the purchase, always use the services of a licensed and experienced home inspector. It is also a good idea to attend the inspection with them to gain a better perspective of any potential problems.

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