1. Are you low maintenance?
Take a general sweep of a house and its belongings. Are there perennials in the gardens? What is the height of the gorge? What is the assurance on the roof? The metal roof will last up to 50 years and every 10 or 20 years, in areas with heavy snowfall and rain, asphalt shingles must be replaced. Is the house built of a sturdy material such as Hardie Board? Insects, weather and strange woodpeckers can make a log or wood house work quickly and need constant maintenance.
2. Are you quiet?
Spend time on the house with quality and traffic at various times of the day. Have a barking dog in the area or young kids who enjoy their trampolines? Are you near a fire hall where sirens are going to be constant? Are trains in the vicinity? You’re on a big bus route? At a crossroads? Apart from an outdoor restaurant? Is a quarry in the vicinity? Get to know the area and everything about it.
3. Are you warm?
4. Are you flexible? Willing to grow?
5. Are you outdoorsy?
Is this house similar to paths? Parks for dogs? What is the house’s exposure? Windows to the north can present a challenge, but some plants can grow with some testing. Are you going to see the sun get up or set? Does the shed, the deck and/or the jet bath have enough storage space? Are the house’s trees safe around? Your woody courtyard will suddenly be a costly (and sparse) garden for removal in areas where the ash beetle is a concern.
6. Are you financially sound?
Is the house in the right place? A home in a gentrifying neighbourhood or group of bedrooms is likely to be of value but purchasing boats will affect resale value. Consider budgeting for expenses such as monthly condo dues, traffic, snow removal and grass cutting, septic pump outs or maintenance costs for outdated equipment.
7. Are you charming?
What’s the story behind the house? If it’s a heritage home, visit your local city hall to investigate the archives. Maybe your dream farmhouse is part of The Barn Quilt Trail—you might be the next stop! A growing interest in schoolhouse and church conversions has helped preserve history while providing a reliable rental income for the savvy entrepreneur.
8. Are you a people person?
9. Are you willing to change?
The basis is where it all started. Invest in a structural engineer to inspect your house if you consider an older house. Conscious of flooding and the lakefront’s high water levels. Check cellar and roof for signs of credibility (and bats!) leaks and mould and chimneys.
10. Are you stable?
Although a house appears to be 100% flawless after the first visit with a star’s eye, you will eventually have adjustments. Should they? Can they be? What sacrifice can you offer? What are your non-recommercial items? Are they cosmetic improvements (paints, lights) or renewals outside the budget?