10 House Hunting Tips

10 House Hunting Tips

Buying a home is a life long goal of almost everyone in this country.  Whether it is your first home or your fifth, it’s always different and exciting!  However, throughout the exciting times, emotions often run high and it is important to know how to manage them.  Emotions are funny beasts…  They often run through our veins so quickly, that they allow us to miss important moments, or overlook aspects of our life.  Nevertheless, once you decide to make the leap and purchase a new home, you need to be able to manage these emotions so you can make the best decision for you and your family.  To help you accomplish this, we have created a list of things to look for in each and every property you walk through to give you the best chance of long-term success.  10 House Hunting Tips will help steer you away from problem properties and will help guide you towards a sound future.  Take this with you on your journey and  enjoy!


1. Neighbourhood

As you are driving to a property, be aware of the neighbourhood you are driving through to get there.  Before you even see the house, have an idea of whether or not the neighbourhood fits what you’re looking for.  You are going to live there for awhile, so make sure you will enjoy your surroundings!

To learn more about a Saskatoon neighbourhood, visit https://www.saskatoon.ca/community-culture-heritage/neighbourhoods-community-associations


2. Exterior

Once you get to the house, the exterior of the home will be the first thing you see; make sure it passes the eye test.  Look at the siding or stucco; the foundation, as well as the roof.  If any of these things look beaten or tattered, chances are they are going to need replaced or repaired.  Keep that in mind.


3. Roof Line

As you are looking at the exterior, pay attention to the roof lines.  Make sure they’re straight with no sags or slope to them.  A roof line that is not straight may have structural issues, which can start opening the cash register right away.


4. Grade

As you are walking around the home, pay attention to the slope of the landscaping on all four sides of the house.  Grading is the number one thing homeowners neglect.  As the ground around the house settles, it will begin to slope towards the home instead of away from it.  This can cause a number of issues ranging anywhere from small basement water leaks to major foundation issues.


5. Foundation

As you move into the house, take a look at the foundation from the inside.  If it is unfinished, look for cracks!  Vertical cracks are not an immediate concern, but horizontal cracks may be.  Your inspector will give you a better idea as to the severity, but if you know what to look for, it gives you the upper hand.  If the basement is finished, you will not be able see these cracks.  If this is the case, look at the window casings.  Make sure the wall is parallel with the entire height of the window.  If it’s not, that is an indication that the foundation has shifted.  Again, your inspector will be able to tell you for certain, but it’s good to know ahead of time.


6. Mechanical Room

While you are in the basement, move into the mechanical room to check things out.  Look at the date of the water heater, furnace, and the size of the electrical panel.  If you do not know where to look, have your Realtor help you.  If these items are old, your pocket book will notice it in the near future.  If any of these need replaced, make sure to take that into consideration in your offer to purchase.


7. Windows

These are another thing homeowners often neglect.  Why?  They are expensive! As you are looking through the house, take note.  Are these something you are going to have to replace soon?  Newer houses will not have an issue, but if you are looking at older homes, pay attention.


8. Ceilings

Picture2It is also important to pay attention to the ceilings throughout the house, both in the basement and the main floors.  Look for water staining, patches, cracks, and sagging.  All of these things may be a sign of current or past water leakage.  If you are looking at a home and see some of these things, make sure to ask the homeowner the history of the damage.


9. Smell

The house should also pass the smell test.  As you’re walking through the home (especially the basement), use the sniffer the good Lord gave you!  Smell for dampness and humidity.  This may not necessarily be a big concern, but is good to note.


10. Future Development

It also is not a bad idea to think about the possibility of future development in the area.  If the home is in an older area, the chances of future development are slim to none.  Take this into consideration.  Do you like the amenidies that are near by, or do you wish there was more?  And on the opposite side of the spectrum, if you are looking in a neighbourhood with empty land near by, ask your Realtor if there is any plan for future expansion.  If you are looking in Sasktoon, you can also visit https://www.saskatoon.ca/business-development to learn about any upcoming developments.  At the end of the day, you are going to be living there for awhile, so it is good to know what is projected for the neighbourhood in the future.


If you follow these guidelines, it will help take the emotion out of the buying decision and will ensure that you do not miss the obvious when choosing a home.  Remember, just because a house has one or all of these issues does not mean it is a bad buy; it just means the price needs to reflect the work that needs to be done.  Use these House Hinting Tips as a tool, not a rule.


It is also important to note that this list does not replace a home inspection.  We highly recommend getting a professional home inspection on any home you plan on buying, even if it is brand new!  You need to know exactly what you’re purchasing, and a home inspection does just that.


So take this guide, enjoy the buying process, and good luck finding the home of your dreams.  Remember, you don’t buy many of these in your lifetime, so make it count!

Brad Blair
Brad Blair

With his early exposure to the business world, his financial and business education, and desire for accomplishment, Blair’s Real Estate Solutions has been a perfect fit for Brad.