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Performed by a licensed professional, home inspections provide an unbiased and informative analysis of a property’s structure and systems. In the case of rural properties in Ottawa, home inspections are a unique process, and it can be prudent to conduct several types of inspections, depending on the property you are purchasing. If you’re actively shopping for a new home outside of the city, here are a few things to know.
While this list covers a few common features among rural properties, keep in mind that each home is different. Ottawa’s vibrant rural communities can differ from one another, with notable diversities in infrastructure and properties. Before beginning the inspection process, ask your real estate agent about any special factors you should consider based on the area, the age of the property, and the mechanics of the home.
Rural Homes Have Different Water Supply
While homes in central Ottawa receive their water from the municipal supply system, things are a little different for rural properties; most rural homes receive their water from private wells.
The overall condition of a well will directly impact the volume and purity of the home’s water supply. Therefore, if you’re purchasing a property that has one, it’s important that this is included in the inspection process.
To ensure you have a strong flow of water into the home, the well inspector will verify that the well has an acceptable flow rate and usable volume. Most importantly, they’ll perform a potability test to confirm that the water is safe to drink and use. In addition to the well itself, the inspector will examine other pieces of equipment that impact water quality including water softeners, mineral filters, and UV filters.
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Septic & Sewage
Rather than using municipal sewage processing, some homes in rural Ottawa feature private septic systems or holding tanks. These are waste management systems that are independent of the home itself.
Similar to the wells, ensuring that a property’s septic system is in good shape is a crucial step in rural home inspections. Not only can repairs to septic systems or holding tanks be costly, but dealing with leaks, damage, or backup can be rather unpleasant. To avoid surprises down the line, your inspector will determine the current overall condition of the septic system, verifying its functionality and capacity.
Searching for the perfect rural home in Ottawa? Click here to explore our current listings and get a sense of what’s available on the market.
Factors for Homes Prone to Water Penetration
As Ottawa encompasses some of Ontario’s most beautiful lakes, rivers, and creeks, a fair number of rural properties are located on a waterfront. While waterfront homes are uniquely scenic and greatly desirable, they do come with some important considerations.
While flooding history is important to know for some waterfront homes, not all homes are at risk depending on where they fall in the flood plain. Many areas prone to flooding have building code requirements that help minimize risk in an average year, though these would not make the property immune during extreme flooding conditions.
Many areas in Rural Ottawa are known to have a high-water table, which will mean that effective measures should be in place to direct water away from the home during the thawing season, and during heavy rainfalls. Your inspector will inspect the natural grade around the property, the eavestroughs and downspouts, and if present, the sump pump which is designed to pump water away from the foundation. It is important that these systems and the grade around the building envelope are all working effectively to direct water away from the home’s foundation to minimize your risk.
In Ontario, water penetration is one of the most common natural causes of property damage. If a property has been flooded before, it’s important to be thorough in verifying the current state of its structures and systems. Not only may a property’s history offer key information about future risks, but it will also directly impact your home insurance rates.
In some cases, damage from water isn’t immediately obvious to the untrained eye. That’s where a professional inspector can protect you from potential risks. They’ll know what signs to look for to ensure you’re aware of any damages or concerns stemming from past floods and may also use tools to measure moisture in areas of concern.
Searching for more information about the different types of waterfront properties in Ottawa? Check out these blog posts.
Real Estate Agents With Rural Expertise
Beyond the scope of home inspections, rural properties in Ottawa are unique in many ways. If you’re looking to buy away from the city centre, you’ll want to work with a real estate agent that specializes in rural properties. In addition to helping you find your dream home, a rural real estate agent provides unique market insights to make sure you have a full picture of what homeownership in a particular community looks like.
For instance, if you’re interested in a property because of its seclusion or privacy, your agent can inform you of imminent developments in the area that may interfere with your vision of rural living. Or, if you’re looking for a large property with the intent of building a new home or additional structures, they’ll ensure you have the right connections to verify local bylaws and building regulations to be confident you can improve the property to suit your needs.
Looking for experienced rural real estate professionals? The Wright Team has served Manotick, Ottawa, and the surrouding rural areas for over 40 years. Send us an email or give us a call at 613-692-0606 to see how we can help you find the perfect home.