The spring season of Open Housing is well upon us. Here are 5 great questions to ask at an open house. You might find out some interesting info:
 
1. How old is the house? And age of high ticket items like windows,a roof (both shingles and plywood), furnace etc. This will give you a quick idea of immediate  areas of concern.

2. Why are the owners selling? Rarely asked by "open housers" but very valuable info in learning about the neighborhood and the motivation of the sellers. If you are new to the area, this will be a good opportunity to get any indication of major transitions that are coming up for the area. I.e. new highway going in behind the subdivision or the flight paths of the nearby airport have recently been rerouted right over the home!
 
3. Is the basement apartment licensed? If it is, 50% of the income that is generated by the rental can be counted towards your annual income in the eyes of many lenders. If it isn't, you may face problems with the local zoning department and bylaw officers. (I suspect that bylaw officers glean the current listings to find tip offs about illegal apartments in houses that are listed for sale.)
 
4. Has the house ever been used as a grow op? Sellers and their agents have the legal obligation to disclose this info as it can negatively impact the value of the home long into the future. Further, this obligation to disclose this fact survives any subsequent changes in ownership, and can never be withheld to potential buyers.
 
5. Has anyone passed away in the home? This may or may not be of significance to you, but if it is, the agent has a duty to disclose any knowledge of this fact to you.

Enjoy looking at Open Houses. When you are ready to "kick it up a notch", I welcome your call!