Avoiding Backyard Blunders: 5 Things to Know About A Property Before You Buy
When looking at homes as a buyer, don’t forget to check out the backyard landscape! A backyard can serve as your haven, or your headache, so evaluating it properly before you buy is essential. See here for 5 things to evaluate in your backyard to ensure your new home is exactly what you signed up for.
Purchasing a home can sometimes feel like an overwhelming process, especially if you are a first time home buyer. Evaluating your wants and needs to make your move in such a dynamic market can be a lot of work. This is why we encourage buyers to do their research well before the search for the perfect home ensues. With the changes we have seen over the last year in what buyers are looking for, it’s more relevant now than ever to pay good attention to the landscape. Backyards, acreage and gardens are a feature that has for many, moved from the want list, to the top of the need list. However, how can you know that your new backyard is up to snuff?
While accumulating a backyard or sizable land along with your house seems like a prize on its own, there are a few areas in which buyers should pay special attention to when inspecting the property. If left unchecked, some red flags may end up costing you a pretty penny and a headache down the road. Here are some things to consider in the backyard of a home before you buy.
Big trees can be lovely to have in a backyard; they add character, provide shade, and the foliage is something people really appreciate. Be careful if these trees are looming over your house in an awkward or potentially threatening manner though. Hiring an arborist to inspect the tree’s can help determine if they pose a danger to your home, and what it would cost to dig up the root system and remove the tree if needed. An arborist can also determine if there are any invasive or poisonous plants on the property. It is better to know sooner rather than later if something can be a danger or risk to you and your family, and finding out the hard way isn’t recommended.
Climbing plants, while whimsical, can cause damage to your home. Climbing plants can harm all types of homes, including brick, stucco, and wood shingle. The plants are often invasive, and move wherever they can latch on to. The problem is that under certain conditions, the plants can move up and under the wood and eventually damage the façade, obviously resulting in costly repairs.
Simply put, property lines define the boundaries of the property from where it begins to where it ends. It is imperative to have a good understanding of where the home’s property lines are for reasons such as building fences, pools, home additions, and for recreational activities. Having this information can help you to respect your neighbours, and avoid any unpleasantries during future developments.
While swimming pools feel like a luxury most would love when buying a home, especially with waiting times of up to a year to have new ones installed, they do come at a cost. Not only do they occupy ample yard space, they require ongoing upkeep during the season, and if the previous owners did not maintain it well, you could be putting in money right away just to make it usable. Because of this, it is good to understand if these costs will fall within your budget, or if the pool will end up being an eye-sore down the road.
If the land slopes inward toward the home’s foundation, you may worry that any heavy storms could cause water to leak into the house and potentially flood your basement. While your inspector is likely to point this out, it is something you will want to pay extra attention to. If there is anything alarming, you may want to hire an expert to find out where the water drains to, and if you can expect to run into any problems down the road.
Knowing the outside of your home is just as important as knowing the inside to prevent future mishaps, and enjoy your property to the fullest. If you have any questions about the property, discuss them with your inspector and your Royal LePage Team Realty REALTOR ® . With years of specialized knowledge and experience, we are confident that we can help you get the answers you are looking for when buying your new home.
Lisa Fitzpatrick ABR, SRS
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