What should you be looking for when viewing a home?

Dec 15, 2016 | News

Prospective house buyers should be on the look out for certain signs when they are viewing a house for the first time.  These are suggestions of what to keep in mind and why you should have a home inspector look at your potential new home.
Mike Baker

Serving Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, Royston, Merville, Black Creek, Union Bay, Fanny Bay, Campbell River, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Errington, and Coombs.

Electrical service size

If you’re considering buying a home with the plan to have a rental suite, it is wise to check the service size.  If you have 100 amps coming into the house, and you want a 1000 sq ft rental with washer, dryer, full range and everything else, it’s not going to happen.  Go to the breaker pannel, see how many amps the main breaker has.

Underground Oil Tanks

Things have changed over that last four years and insurance companies do not like buried oil tanks.  There have been incidents recently in Victoria where an undergound oil tank leaked and caused thousands of dollars worth of remediation.  Old property owners, neighbours and the oil company were all dragged into a lengthy legal process.  Because of this insurance companies do not want to see underground oil tanks.

Property Disclosure

Your realtor should go over all of this with you.  But if you’re planning on doing renovations and the owner has disclosed there is asbestos in the house, that can lead to a large remediation cost.

The disclosure statement puts the onice on the seller to disclose any know issues like leaks in the roof, asbestos, underground oil tanks ect.

Condition of the Roof

This is very important because the cost can by very high, $5,000 – $10,000, if you find you need to replace or repair the roof.

Heating system

Right now, most forms of heating are expensive.  Look for heat pumps, high efficentcy gas furnaces and try get away from electrical heat (baseboard heaters).

Cracks in the Foundation

There are varying implications for a cracked foundation.  If the home is on a flat, level lot and has a crawl space that’s rarely used, not such a big deal.  However, a house on a sloped lot with a high foundation wall could face exesive hydraulic pressure.  There are big considerations for what this means for your home.

The Grade of the lot

Perimeter drainage becomes a great concern if you have a highly sloped lot.  Also if your neighbour’s lot is at a higher elevation you need to be aware of how water is being drained and how the hydrolic pressure will affect your lot.


Read more about water management and drainage here.