It’s finally to purchase a place you’ll call home. But, before firming up an offer to buy, it’s important to have the condition of the home thoroughly checked to avoid potential headaches down the road. A home is possibly the largest investment you will ever make. Being vigilant about possible problems can help you make an informed decision on your purchase and anticipate future expenses. To protect yourself down the road, you may opt to purchase homeowners insurance and speak to an insurance broker in Edmonton to understand your options.
When evaluating the inside of your potential new home, it is the unseen elements that can cost you the most. It is important to inquire if the electrical wiring, plumbing and windows are up to standards. When were the windows, roof and furnace changed? What work have professionals done in the home? It is recommended that you check all light switches, receptacles, fire places, ceiling fans and that you flushing all toilets and turning on all taps to ensure they are working and that there are no leaks.
Each room in the home requires attention. A working exhaust fan that vents to the exterior is required in the kitchen and bathrooms and a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI or GFI) protection for electrical outlets located near water access. Handrails and stairs need to be solid and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be in place where they are required by local ordinances.
Windows should be examined for excessive condensation, rotting sills, potential cracks, leakage and drafts. Poor quality windows can leak cold in the summer and heat in the winter, increasing your bills and double pane vinyl windows are best. If possible, inquire about the cost of the average winter and summer bills by asking to see a copy of the last year’s utility bills. Not only will this help calculate your monthly bills but it can also be an indicator of poor internal infrastructure that you will need to address.
Be sure to evaluate the appliances too; not just kitchen and laundry appliances, but also the furnace, water heater, pumps, and any backup generator. These can run into the thousands for a replacement so keep your eyes open for water stains, rust and ill repair. Look up their quality online and inquire about the date of last servicing. Servicing of appliances is often a reflection of the general care of the home.
There are some other items to take note of, such as stains on the ceiling, uneven, sloped or warped floors, stained carpeting and cracks in the walls or ceilings. Make inquiries if you see anything of concern.
Attic and Basement Evaluation
Be sure to check the attic and basement as these are indicators of the overall health of a home. In the attic you will want to ensure that there is no decay or damage from wildlife or leaks, and that the space is properly insulated. In the basement, you’ll want to ensure that moisture is not trapped. Look for cracks in the foundation where water might come in. If there are any exposed pipes, be sure that the placement is not in an area that is susceptible to freezing and bursting, such as in crawl spaces, garages, attics and even exterior walls exposed to wind.
It’s best to have the rooftop checked for its condition, age, and to ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris, as neglect of these areas can lead to significant expenditures. Caulking around the windows should be checked to ensure there are no gaps letting water in or heat in or out. Chimneys should be straight, properly flashed and in good condition. The home’s exterior surface condition should be examined and trees on the property should also be looked at. Trees are regularly an area of oversight for homebuyers and, while they add to the beauty to the property, can lead to unwanted damages if they are too close to the house or to power lines.
If there is a fence and/or deck, then you should look to see if it is sturdy and if it has been properly maintained. It is also important to check the edges of the foundation for signs of improper grading and water drainage. All areas should drain water away from the home, including downspouts, driveways, walkways, patios and entrance landings because water could otherwise seep down along the foundation and ultimately into the basement. If you are buying in the winter, be sure to inquire whether there were any past floods and if the lawn has a history of being soggy. If the property is lower than the neighbour’s, water runoff from surrounding properties needs to be diverted away from the home’s foundation.
While there are ways for an untrained individual to evaluate the condition of a house and predict what additional expenses could occur, a professional home inspector brings this to the next level by assessing what is difficult to see like mould, asbestos, lead, and other toxic building materials. The inspector will have a better idea about liability issues and if repairs have been done according to building codes. By having a certified home inspector examine the home before you commit to buy, you could save yourself much more than the cost of the inspection.
Obtaining Homeowners Insurance in Edmonton
Buying a home has many rewards, but it also comes with great responsibility. Taking care of your home by buying the right insurance can lead to many benefits, both for the potential resale value of the home and for your personal enjoyment. Home insurance is usually required by a lender in Edmonton to protect their investment. If the home is not financed, a good property insurance policy will still help to protect you and your investment from unforeseen costs, including from fire, theft, third party liability, and often from flooding.
Contact MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd.
At MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd, a home insurance broker in Edmonton can provide you with a free competitive quote that is tailored to your needs. We will ask you about the home specifications and look for the right homeowner’s insurance policy to suit your needs. Our Edmonton insurance brokers can fulfill all of your insurance needs. Call us at 780-436-7880 or request a free quote online.