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Buyer Beware: Common Home Defects

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When someone takes the time to recount a positive experience, it speaks volumes. Whether it’s a recommendation for a restaurant, a vacation spot or a doctor, I have always felt that the testimonial is a powerful indicator of excellence. I strive to provide such excellence with each and every transaction, and below you will find the experiences of some of my happy clients!


ReufAs a builder, I expect a high level of professionalism and knowledge of the market from my Realtor. Good properties do not last long and it was of utmost importance that my agent be on top of the market and proactive rather than reactive when good properties came available. Charlene far surpassed my expectations and was able to secure the perfect property for my next project within less than 24 hours of it coming on the market! She always came prepared with knowledge of the street and area and never wasted my time taking me to areas that were not worth while.

Charlene is confident and knowledgeable yet not afraid to admit when she does not have the answer.  She is honest, trustworthy and a fantastic communicator.  Her professionalism and happy demeanor made her an absolute pleasure to work with and I will continue to buy and sell with Charlene for many years to come.

-Reuf, Oakville


Charlene is a phenomenal Realtor!  When my fiance and I wanted to take the first step into condo living, Charlene very graciously accepted to help us find our dream "home".  Having moved to Toronto less than two years ago, Jeff and I were not sure about where to start the search.  Charlene was very knowledgeable about what each neighbourhood has to offer and quickly narrowed it down to what would best suite our must-haves, budget and most importantly, lifestyle.

Charlene constantly kept us in-the-loop of things.  With her high level of commitment and determination, Jeff and I felt very assured and at ease throughout the whole experience.

We would recommend Charlene's services to anyone looking for the "right" place in the GTA and wanting a professional realtor to help find it.  She will be the first person we contact when we decide to start looking for our forever home.

-Samantha and Jeff, Toronto


Lindsay & JakeThe first time we went house hunting with Charlene De Silva, we were terrified and apprehensive.  As first time home buyers, we were completely clueless about all things having to do with real estate. Charlene was able to put our mind at ease, and show us quality properties that each peaked our interest. She narrowed down the long list of properties we had viewed online and wanted to see, to a short list of quality properties that fit all our criteria.  A lot of time and frustration was saved, and we were able to find exactly what we wanted after only a half dozen outings.

Charlene’s know-how, expert advice and guidance made the process of buying a house comfortable, and exciting.  She is honest, patient and always willing to go above and beyond her call of duty as a Realtor.  What makes Charlene a great real estate agent is her ability to communicate effectively; she always kept us well informed and up to date through each step of buying a home.  Buying a home is a life changing experience, and words can not express how excited we are to have found our dream home. We are so thankful and grateful to Charlene for all she has done.  Charlene is a real estate agent you can trust to look out for your best interests, and find the home you’ve been searching for!

-Lindsay, Ryan and Zoe,  Milton


The service and personal attention we received from Charlene De Silva was exceptional. She is truly an outstanding Realtor. Her knowledge of the Mississauga condo market and her willingness to go above and beyond helped us in our search for the perfect condo. Charlene is a great listener and will only supply listings that exactly match your criteria and budget. After patiently going through many listings and touring many units, Charlene made sure we were able to get the place of our dreams!

Regardless of whether you are buying or renting, I would highly recommend Charlene to help you in this life changing move. We could not have asked for a better Realtor to guide us through the process.

- Madeleine and Raf, Mississauga


Christine MairianneWe are delighted to speak on our experience working with Charlene De Silva over the past 2 years. We were first referred to Charlene when we needed to rent out our house in Oakville while living overseas. We were concerned about having to work with someone from out of country, but during our first phone conversation we heard the professionalism and sincerity in her voice and were instantly put at ease.

Charlene went far beyond our expectations by helping us secure trustworthy renters within a month of posting. She also ensured the house was well looked after before the renters took possession including arranging for snow removal, professional cleaning, picking up our mail, etc. She even helped us once the new tenants were in by acting as a local liaise and fielding any questions or concerns and then relaying back to us. We were so fond of how Charlene took care of our rental that we spoke to her about selling our home earlier this year.

We no sooner asked Charlene about selling than received a call from her stating she had someone interested in purchasing our home. She literally sold our house within a week of discussing selling our house…is that even human? Charlene was able to negotiate a great price, and even better closing date to accommodate our needs.

If you want a real estate agent with a great sense of humour, keen insight into the housing market, extensive knowledge on home construction, extremely good negotiation skills, and just all around nice person, then call Charlene De Silva. If you don’t want any of these things, you shouldn’t be selling or buying, plain and simple.

- Christine and Mairianne

I have the pleasure of working with a lot of buyers – many of them first time home owners, buy and I often sit back and watch how easily some can turn a blind eye to obvious defects in a home because of falling victim to their emotions! As a Realtor, viagra 40mg it is my duty to ensure that my clients see both the good AND the bad in a home. When visiting a house for the first time, it is so important to look past the fresh paint and home staging and dissect what is actually going on in the home.  Home inspectors are great at doing this, but some things can be detected before you get to that stage, which could save you time, money and heartbreak down the road. Here are some common home defects to pay attention for when touring the possible house of your dreams.

Lack of Maintenance to Appliances and HVAC

Many people forget that part of purchasing a home, is purchasing the items that come included with it. The kitchen Appliances, Laundry machines and even the Furnace and A/C unit are all items that can add value or possibly decrease the value of a home.  When was the last time you opened the dryer and looked at the lint trap or took a peek in the stove to see if it has ever been cleaned? More importantly – whenever your water heater or HVAC items are serviced there will always be a record of the service kept on them.  Would you not prefer to know there was servicing done last year vs. 12 years ago?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered individuals who didn’t even know that a Furnace had a filter that requires being changed. The Maintenance of the appliances in the home will help to maintain the life of them – what a shame it would be to move into your new home only to have out of warranty appliances to start failing months into your move.

DIY Repairs

It can be assumed that the longer a person has lived in their home, the higher the chances are that they have conducted some DIY repairs around the house.  Patching a wall or fixing a baseboard are not items that we need concern ourselves with – but often these repairs come in the form of Electrical and Plumbing and could cause some serious issues.  When these things are not performed by a professional, building codes are often not followed and could fail or cause further damage down the road.  Spotting these things as an untrained professional can be hard but if you question the exposed light in the new stand up shower or the live wiring peeking out in the cabinet – be sure to bring these things to the attention of your Real Estate Agent and in turn a Home Inspector should you get to that stage with this home.

Roof Problems & Poor Ventilation

Again, not something we can always see right away, but roof problems can be costly problems to fix.  You will always get a detailed roof and attic inspection done by a Home Inspector, however – there are some ways to know what is going on up there without physically getting on the roof.  Watch for;

Lifting Shingles:           Buckling Shingles:      Broken Shingles:        Missing Shingles:

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Flashing is also prone to damage just due to general expansion and contraction, watch for lifting or separating of the flashing especially around chimneys and skylights.  If you are viewing the home in the winter – snow can also tell you a lot about the roof and the insulation within it. A home with an even layer of snow on its roof is a sign that the home is properly insulated and the attic floor is reasonably air tight.  If you see areas with no snow, or the roof has no snow at all when the neighbors do – this is a huge red flag that there are some insulation issue that would no doubt be reflected in the homeowners heating and cooling bills.

Poor Drainage and Grading

No one likes to come home to an unexpected indoor pool in their basement. Though not as common around here, the storms of July 2013 taught the GTA that we are far from immune to natural disasters and flooding.  But we don’t need a big even to cause dampness or flooding in our basements, improper drainage and grading around the house all cause your basement to be more susceptible to these issues.  When walking around the house, watch for where the downspouts drain – are they pushed far enough away from the house? In addition to this, grading is super important, does the backyard slope down towards the house? The kids may enjoy sliding down this in the winter but how will you enjoy mopping up the basement in the spring?

efflorescence-thmAlways check a basement for signs of water damage or dampness regardless of the grading or drainage on the outside of the house. If a basement is unfinished, you may sometimes find a white powdery substance on the walls – this is called Efflorescence and is a common residue left from water evaporating from the concrete and is a sure sign there was water in the basement.

Power of Sales/Foreclosed Properties

Everyone is hunting for a deal and for a long time, people thought the best deals came from Power of Sales and Foreclosed properties.  These deals are becoming increasingly harder to find in the G.T.A but for those who find them, they can often come with their own source of problems. Due diligence in these properties are of utmost importance as 99.9% of them are sold ‘As Is’ without representations or warranties.  In addition to the above things to watch for, you want to be sure that you understand what you are buying up front.   If by chance on closing day the furnace doesn’t work, then oops, too bad.  Not always, but often, the previous owner knew that the foreclosure was only a matter of time – in these cases we see the house often becomes neglected and sometimes frustrations are taken out on the house itself.  The motivation to maintain the house is lost and the next owner can often pay the price for this later even though they seemingly got a good deal up front!

Next time you are looking for a home, don’t forget to put your home inspector hat on and get a better idea of what is really going on in that house. It is so easy to be distracted by the beautiful surface, but it’s everything below the surface that will cost you the big bucks to fix!

Happy house hunting!

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  • I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog
    like this one these days.

  • Charlene says:

    Thank you! I appreciate the compliment and thank you for taking the time to read my blog! The theme is a paid theme part of my website, but I just recently switched over to this so appreciate the great feedback!


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