There are many things to watch out for when buying a home in the winter – especially in places like Saskatchewan where the snow can hide a lot of details that would otherwise be visible to the eye. Here are the 3 biggest things to watch for. More information can be found on CREA’s website.
1. Don’t overlook the home’s exterior:
- The roof may be covered in snow. Thus making it hard to gauge whether the roof is graded properly and if the water is running away from the house. If all other the roofs of houses in the neighbourhood are covered in snow, but the one you’re looking at is not, this may indicate not enough insulation and that heat is escaping the house.
- Be sure to shovel the sidewalk/driveway to see the condition.
- Ask the listing agent/homeowner for pictures of the property in the summer.
2. Examine interior floors and ceilings for wintertime red flags:
- Look for drafts, fogging or condensation in the windows. This could indicate broken seals and cold air entering the home.
- Cold weather=drier conditions. Inspect hardwood floors as cold causes hardwood to shrink and will cause cracking/gaps in hardwood.
- Inspect doors and cupboards to make sure they close properly.
- Look for major temperature differences in rooms.
3. Inspect your home utility systems and out-of-season amenities
- Winter causes homeowners to shut down some seasonal amenities, so it is best practice to ask the homeowner/listing agent about the state of home systems such as the furnace, septic, pool parts, and other property features.
- Additions may be completed without a permit, therefore pipes may not be properly insulated properly and can lead to freezing. Be sure to run the taps to make sure no freezing is occurring.
- Get copies of maintenance reports/inspections on amenities such as hot tub and pool to make sure they are in good working order.
Would you like to discuss in person?
If you would like more information on the items discussed in this blog post we would be happy to chat with you to answer any of your questions.