Mike Holmes Offers Advice For Homebuyers

By: Daniel Rattanamahattana on November 14, 2012

Canadian homebuyers often focus on the wrong things, according to the country’s favourite handyman, Mike Holmes.  His advice for saving money on a home is to start repairs on the outside and work your way in.  Holmes believes that a home should first be considered an investment, and advises fellow Canadians to approach their real estate purchases with the same mindset.  While taking the handyman’s advice may cost an extra few thousand dollars upfront, it could also save buyers tens of thousands in home repairs over the long term.

Holmes says the primary focus for investing in a home should be the roof, the windows, and the foundation.  After all, any damages or flaws in these crucial areas could mean thousands of dollars in repairs.  Holmes says he was particularly focused on the roof and the attic of his own home, because water damage begins with a leaky roof.  He advises Canadians to check the shingles on the roof, along with the soffits in the attic, for signs of damage or poor construction. Of course, any indication of mould or rotted wood means the home has sustained water damage.

Holmes advises buyers to also check the windows before committing to a home purchase. Particularly with older houses, the caulking surrounding window frames can crack and rot, which can also lead to water damage.  Holmes says that if you buy a property where the windows themselves are in good condition, you can simply re-seal the frames to keep your costs down.  By replacing the caulking and filling in any small cracks in the frame, you can save the $10,000 to $20,000 it would cost to buy new windows.

Holmes also says it is crucial to check the home’s foundation, especially if you plan to renovate the basement.  A bad foundation can lead to flooding, water damage and even dangerous structural issues. Not only can a foundation problem result in damage to the interior of your home, it can also put the safety of the home’s occupants at risk.

 As a final recommendation, Holmes advises buyers to check drain pipes for any clogging or blockages, which can also lead to flooding and water damage.

After investing in the exterior and foundation of your home, you can then focus on the fun interior renovations. Holmes says Canadians often have a backward approach, putting emphasis on the interior first.  However if a home is seen as an investment, work must first be done to protect that investment.  Like Holmes says, start on the outside and work in.