House hunting is an exciting time. Even if you’ve purchased half a dozen homes in your lifetime, the prospect of searching for and finding that perfect home never gets old. It’s easy for buyers to get caught up in all the excitement, focusing on things like the neighbourhood, the floor plan and the bedroom sizes. These are all important details in a home. But there are other somewhat more dull aspects of a home that you’ll need to take into consideration and that’s why it’s best to have a realtor on your side. These are the items that they are looking at with each and every home you view.

Wiring – Homes built up until the 1940’s were likely outfitted with knob and tube wiring. In the 60’s, aluminum wire became a popular choice. Both are considered a fire hazard and today many insurance companies will refuse to insure a home with one of these types of electrical wiring or will charge a higher premium. Your realtor will be able to tell if a home has knob and tube or aluminum wiring. Replacing the electrical wiring in an entire house can cost anywhere from $7,000 – $15,000.

HVAC system – It’s one of those household systems that you really don’t think about until there’s a problem. And so often when it comes to your furnace or air conditioning, it’s an expensive problem. Your realtor will be able to tell you the exact age of the furnace and air conditioner and may be able to tell you if these systems have been properly maintained.

Roof and foundation – While a home inspector is always recommended to have the final say on these two items, your realtor’s trained eye will be able to catch any major issues with the foundation or roof of a home, perhaps saving you the trouble of hiring a home inspector if the problem is too great.

Plumbing – Are you thinking about a rural home? In that case, you will need to start thinking about things like septic tanks and sump pumps. Your realtor will be able to explain these systems to you and help you decide if it’s something you are willing to deal with.

Windows – Having a huge impact on overall energy conservation in a home, your windows should be double paned, low E and argon filled. Your realtor will be able to recognize this type of window or can find out if needed.