A house-hunting checklist will help you keep track of the advantages and drawbacks of each home. Ensure the checklist includes the basic information regarding location, asking price, annual property taxes, mortgage terms and any applicable zoning restrictions.
Jot down your impressions of the exterior of the home, note the lot size and shape as well as the position of the home on the lot (facing north, south, east or west). Note the condition of the landscaping and whether or not the yard is fenced.
Check the condition of the siding and note if the home has an attached or detached garage. Take a good look at the roof and note its general condition and age. It's also important to examine the foundation of the home for any visible cracks or holes.
Note if the home has a separate front hallway. Check windows to ensure they open and close easily and note the general condition of the doors. The kitchen is an important room in any home, so pay attention to its size, the condition of its appliances, sink, cupboard space, counter tops, flooring, lighting and electrical outlets. Be sure to ask if any or all of the appliances are included in the sale.
It may be that a separate dining room, a family room or a fireplace is important to you. Note also the size of the bedrooms and closet space and whether or not there are any window coverings or adjoining bathrooms. Also make note of the flooring and room colours.
Make notes on the number and sizes of bathrooms and the conditions of the fixtures. Check all faucets and flush toilets to make sure they are in good working order and to see if there is adequate water pressure.
Check to see if the basement is full or partial, finished or unfinished, and if there is adequate room for walking about. Check the utility area and find out if the washer and dryer are included in the sale. It is also important to ask about the type of heating, water service, plumbing (copper or other), electrical amperage and insulation.
Your REALTOR® will be able to help you with questions you are unsure of. It is also a good idea to have a professional building inspector examine any home that you are considering buying.