To help you protect that investment and find a safe, comfortable place for your family to call home, here is a list of some of the things you should look at before you buy a home, to make sure you won’t end up having to pay for a lot of expensive repairs:

Decks and porches—look for signs of rotting wood, even under a fresh coat of paint. Soft spots or places where the wood is splintered could be a sign of more widespread damage.

Electrical system—if you are buying an older home, find out if the electrical panel has been upgraded. If the service says 200 amps, it is an upgrade. A 60 or 100 amp panel has probably not been upgraded, and may not be enough to meet the electricity needs of your family.

Floors—what shape are the floors in? If the floors are hardwood, do they need to be sanded and refinished? Refinishing isn’t very expensive, but it is easier if done before you move in, while the rooms are still empty.

Heating—find out how old the furnace is, and what kind of energy is used to heat the home. Natural gas is generally the least expensive option, but it is not available everywhere. Oil and electricity are common sources of energy in Canada but are more expensive, especially for a house with baseboard heaters.

source: CMHC