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Buying your first home is always a tricky experience. There is a steep learning curve that comes with making probably the largest financial decision of your life. While it’s always best to rely on an expert to help you navigate these new waters, there are some tell-tale signs to look for when you are shopping for your first home.

Foundation Issues
It’s important to look for any foundation issues when touring a home you’re interested in. While a hairline crack isn’t something to worry about, larger gaps and cracks on the walls could be a sign that the foundation is deteriorating which could cost quite a bit to fix. Also look out for uneven flooring, doors and windows that stick, and lopsided steps and porches.

Rundown Neighbouring Homes
While the home itself might look great, take a look at the homes next door. Do they look well maintained or are they falling apart? You are going to live in this neighbourhood, so you should feel completely comfortable in it. Look out for boarded-up windows, rundown properties and an abundance of For Sale signs.

Leak issues lead to mold, which is not only bad for your health but expensive to deal with. Look out for any potential issues with leaking around the areas where water can normally be found. It’s easy to spot chipping or bubbling paint and odd stains on the ceiling and walls, which could indicate an issue. Also look out for small areas that appear to have had work done, rather than the whole area, which could indicate a quick fix was done to cover up potential issues.

Poor Grading
Grading refers to the slope of the area surrounding the house, which is very important in Canada where you often deal with rainy weather and snow that melts all at once. Make sure the surrounding land doesn’t slope toward the home, and that water isn’t able to pool around the foundation, which could contribute to leaking and foundation issues.