Be Sure To Ask These Questions Before Buying an Older Home in the Greater Toronto Area

Posted by C21 Atria on Monday, March 26th, 2018 at 12:09pm.

Buying an Older Toronto Home

Custom detailing, durable building materials, classic architecture, old-world charm, and historical relevance; all are reasons that many home buyers opt to invest in an old home. While there are many reasons to invest in an old Toronto home for sale, there are also many considerations not to be taken lightly.

Be sure to ask these questions before buying an older home in the Greater Toronto Area:

When was the last home inspection done?

When it comes to purchasing an older home, a home inspection is invaluable. An experienced home inspector will be able to spot many potential problems including lead pipes, unsafe electrical, a failing septic system, unsafe well water, mold, termite damage, and more. Any one of these could impact the sale price of the home or your willingness to invest in the property.

Even if sellers are able to provide a home inspection that was done within the past year, many home experts recommend having two inspections done. Even an experienced home inspector may miss something, so it’s critical that you are thorough. You don’t want to be surprised later down the line with a costly repair bill for something that needs to be addressed immediately.

Have you budgeted for any necessary restoration projects?

Like a classic car, an older home needs regular maintenance and care in order to be in tip-top shape. As the home ages, you may need to replace a leaky roof, outdated appliances, exterior siding, and other surfaces.

Some old Toronto homes for sale have been lovingly maintained by previous owners over the decades. Many have been fitted with modern appliances, updated finishes, more efficient heating systems, and contemporary plumbing already. However, some have not. Depending on what repairs or updates may need to take place and whether they are structural, functional, or aesthetic may make a difference on how much they cost and when they have to be completed.

For example, if the house needs a new septic system, you will need to solve the problem as soon as possible. This problem can cost a few thousand dollars to resolve. On the other hand, if you want to refinish the cabinets in the kitchen and install a new granite countertop, this renovation will also cost a few thousand dollars, but it isn’t time sensitive. While you may not like the older kitchen, you can still cook in it.

Where is the home located?

Depending on where the home is located, it can also be quite valuable. The majority of old Toronto real estate will be near the heart of the city where development first started when the city was young. Today, these houses are in a fantastic, central location. Some of them have been carefully cared for and thoroughly maintained over the years, but others could benefit from a bit of TLC. Those homes, in particular, can be a great investment for a homebuyer who has a bit of renovation savvy. Connect with your Toronto real estate expert to learn more about desirable neighbourhoods within the city.

Is there mold?

If a home has ever been the victim of a flood, has ever had a pipe burst, or has poor air circulation, it is at risk of having mold. Not every homeowner is sensitive to mold, but for some it can cause a lot of congestion, headaches, or respiratory problems. Especially if you are a person who is mold sensitive, you will want to ask your home inspector to check for problem areas.

Depending on the scale of the problem, mold remediation can be quite costly to resolve. In some cases, it might be as simple as removing water damaged flooring or moisture damaged wallpaper, but in other instances, the mold might be growing on an area of your home that can’t be so easily removed, and you may require the services of a professional mold removal team.

How old are the windows and doors?

Over the past few decades substantial advancements have been made in the insulation of windows. Many years ago, windows were as simple as a single sheet of glass neatly fit inside of the wall. Today, it’s possible to invest in double- or triple-paned windows that do a much better job of keeping heat in and cold out. Some of these are even filled with argon gas to offer even better thermal efficiency. In a place like Toronto where winter temperatures can drop to -20̊C or colder, it’s important to have a well-insulated home. Homes can lose 30% of their heating energy through a poorly insulated window.

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