The cold season can be the perfect opportunity to find the house of your dreams. In fact, it can actually be cheaper, easier and more convenient since most sellers are motivated to close the deal and because there is less competition. However, it is truly important to ask the good questions before. So here are the 5 questions you should always ask when buying a house in winter.
1. Will the Windows Need to Be Replaced
While you are visiting the property, make sure that the condition of doors and windows is good. You should always look for cracks or traces of mold in order to ensure their quality.
New windows are usually very expensive to purchase, so make sure that they close properly and that they do not need to be replaced. Also, make sure that the basement windows are not installed on the floor-level.
The humidity level of the house should be around 40% in winter in order to not have condensation on the window and promote health.
Winter is the best time to discover problems with your windows. It is the best time to identify problems with the existing windows. Check the caulking around the window and look for signs of worn weatherstripping.
2. Is the Roof in Good Condition?
One area of the house that gets hit hard during winter storms is definitely the roof. So take a look at it and make sure that there is not a lot of snow buildup.
Flat roofs tend to get more leaks due to the fact they get are particularly sensitive to that. Keep an eye out for icicles. If the roof is warm enough to melt the snow, but then cold outside to refreeze the snow, it might be a bad sign that it is losing heat.
3. Does the House Has Weird Smells?
Do you smell mold or humidity? Does the house smell like pets, cigarettes and other strong kind of odors. If so, think about if you could easily get rid of those odours and if they could be the sign that there is something wrong about that place. Maybe this could signify major problems in the property that could cost you a lot of money.
4. Ask for Pictures of the House in Different Seasons
It might be hard to truly know what the property looks like under the snow. You may also want to know how the yard is during summer. Are the trees healthy? Can they fall on the house and would need to be cut down? This will definitely help you to take your decision.
5. What Is the Heating and Cooling System?
There are many different types of heating systems: furnaces, hot water boilers, etc. Each one may require different upkeep and come with different expenses. Every system has its own lifespan and you want to make sure that it is not too old before buying your house.
Most of them last 10-15 and may cost thousands of dollars to replace. You may also want to make sure that the house has a cooling system for the summer time.
Finally, ask the seller what is the average heating and cooling monthly cost in order to give you a better an idea. Contact me here.