It’s now the time of year when we can enjoy warm cozy fires while we escape the cooling outdoor temperatures on a brisk autumn evening. You know, one of those nights that you pour yourself a drink, sit back and watch a movie or the Leafs as the fire crackles.
Many of the homes in Toronto were built approximately 100 years ago and in some cases before that time. A large number of these older homes in Toronto include wood burning fireplaces, I see them on a daily basis while showing homes throughout the city to my buyer clients.
One important thing to consider when viewing homes which have wood burning fireplaces is whether or not the fireplace and chimney are in good working order and are safe to use. Many of the fireplaces that you see during showings look inviting and you likely take a moment during your showing to visualize yourself sitting back with your feet up enjoying a nice warm fire on a cold Toronto evening once you’ve moved in. However, the reality is that many of these charming old wood burning fireplaces are not in good working order and could pose a threat to the safety and health of you and your family. The last thing you want is to start your first fire in your new home to have a back draft of smoke blowing into your home or even worse, a chimney fire due to build up of creosote over the years.
When considering the purchase of a home with any type of fireplace, ask the sellers and their agent the following questions:
Is the fireplace and chimney functional and in good working order?
When was the fireplace and chimney last cleaned?
Are you able to provide a copy of the receipt for the most recent chimney cleaning?
When was the fireplace and chimney last inspected by a WETT certified inspector and do you have a copy of the inspection?
When possible, have a home inspection completed, including an inspection of the fireplace and interior and exterior of the chimney completed by a WETT certified inspector prior to submitting an offer. You may want to ask your agent about including a representation and warranty clause in your offer which essentially requires the seller to provide a declaration that the fireplace and chimney are in good working order. Including such a clause will support your cause at a later date should the seller provide a misrepresentation about the fireplace and chimney to you during the buying process and you then find out that the fireplace and chimney are not in good working order on closing.
By asking questions and having the proper inspections completed, you can avoid headaches and unwanted expensive repairs associated with fixing a fireplace and chimney that are not in good working order.
Are you thinking about making a move or do you have questions about the Toronto real estate market?
Contact me any time with any questions you may have. I am always here to help and to answer your questions.