Here are some quick tips for when you are viewing a Property for Sale. Your Real Estate Professional will also be helping you identify these amenities and possible red flags.
1) Look for signs of water damage, water, mould and/ or signs of bugs or mice. This could manifest as buckled floors, water stains, and spongy walls. Open all the cupboard, and look for mice or insect droppings. Also be wary of any off putting odours, including over use of odour covering sprays or scented candles. The overuse of these products may be to hide something foul.
2) What is the neighbourhood like? Remember, you aren't just buying a house, your are buying into a neighbourhood. If you have school age children you should look and see how close the nearest school is, and check out the community Center for children's activities. How far will you, and your spouse, have to commute? How far is the nearest grocery store? Check with the school board if your children are able to attend the schools. Being near a school doesn't necessarily mean your kids can attend.
3) What are the neighbours like? Are other houses on the street tidy and well maintained? What sort of demographic is the neighbourhood? A family with small children is more likely to want a quiet neighbourhood with other young families, where as a young couple may want something more urban, with better night life.
4) Is the property private? You don't want to buy a house, only to realize your neighbours window looks right into your bathroom!
5) Check the layout, and make sure it is right for your family. A family with small kids is more likely to want all bedrooms on same floor. However, if you have teenagers, or are planning on using a bedroom as a home office, you will likely want those rooms on a different floor.
6) Check out the exterior too! Real estate photos don't often show the entire property, so you want to take a walk around the houses exterior. Check for any signs of trouble, such as cracks in the foundation, water damage or sunken sections of ground.
7) Is the house light and airy? You want a house with nice "flow", an open feeling layout which doesn't feel cramped. Natural light is also a huge bonus! Not only will you feel better, but you will save on electricity by not needing to turn on so many lights.
8) Closets and storage are very important! Most people have at least a few items that need to be stored (holiday decorations, winter coats, etc.) Make sure the house matches your storage needs, and that the closets are large enough. This is especially true for children's rooms, as closets often do double duty as toy chests.
9) Always Check around in the utility room. Marijuana Grow Operations are common in Calgary and many have not ever been identified. Check around the main power panel for signs of power lines being tampered with. Check the water main feed before the meter to see if any changes have been done. Look at the exhaust vents on the furnace and hot water tank to see if they have been altered with. These things may not indicate a former grow operation, but will let you know if the home requires further inspection.