Visiting open houses when planning to buy a home can take a lot of your time and energy, but it will also save you the trouble of making the wrong choice. Local real estate professionals can answer many questions, but you will have to see some features for yourself. Now, when you find yourself in a house that you might call home one day, you must pay attention to certain characteristics. Here are the 10 things to look for at an open house.
The entry door can tell a lot about the home you are entering. Pay attention to the material it is made of. Also, don’t be ashamed to try how they open and close – this is something that prospective homebuyers often forget to check since the entry door is usually open throughout the entire day of the open house. You should do the same with inner doors and pay special attention to their frames. Do they separate from the wall, or they still fit perfectly? Are there any signs of previous floods?
When it comes to windows, there are several things to check. Their size and height are the apparent features to pay attention to. How many panes do they have? Look for the signs of mold and moisture that tend to appear between the panes. If the windows have wooden frames, you should inspect the paint and the condition of the wood underneath. Bear in mind that changing windows is a costly investment and ask yourself whether it is worth it.
- Roof and Ceiling are essential things to look for at an open house
The roof and gutters should be on your priority list of inspections if you are considering buying that particular. Still, you should try to assess the condition of the roof even before entering the house. Are there any missing or misaligned roof tiles? What is the roof made of? Do the gutters seem clean and well-maintained?
Look up when you enter the house. Not only can the ceiling tell a lot about the condition of the roof above it, but about the foundation as well. Stains indicate that there is a leak, while cracks thicker than a hair reflect the foundation issues.
- Basement and foundation
Foundation is one of the things you won’t be able to assess if you rely on virtual tours only. Such presentations can be rather useful for shortlisting, but you should visit it in person if you are really interested in a property.
Even if you don’t see any issues with mold and mildew, you should check the basement. Wet or deformed baseboards are a sure sign of structural problems. Plus, you wouldn’t want to live in a home that smells musky, would you?
Also, not being able to use the basement as an extra living space or storage is a huge minus.
- Plumbing and electrical
The quality of pipelines and electrical wiring is not something you can inspect with the naked eye, but there are some things you can look out for. For instance, you can open the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink and look for moisture or mold. If the pipe is visible, look for corrosion or parts that seem outdated. Do the same check underneath the bathroom sink. The caulk around a bathtub, walk-in shower, and a kitchen sink should be free from black spots too.
You will not determine the state of electrical installations around the house just by looking around, but a flickering light, for instance, is a red flag. By all means, your house inspector should check that if you decide to make a purchase. Unfortunately, electricity is an aspect you cannot easily check when searching for the ideal home remotely. Virtual tours and RE agents can help to a certain extent, but this is one of the things you have to check for yourself or hire a professional to do it.
- Heating and AC
Keeping your home warm during winter or cool in summer is a must. If you go house-hunting in springtime, you might overlook this aspect. Ask whether the property has central heating and what type of fuel it uses. Has the furnace/AC been serviced recently? What are the expenses for electricity during the cold months or when the house needs cooling?
- Neighborhood and privacy
The choice of a neighborhood is sometimes even more important than the actual house. If you have a chance to talk to potential neighbors, you should definitely do so. Take a look at their homes, yards, and driveways – those can speak volumes about the people living inside.
Once you find yourself inside an open house, look through every window to assess the level of the privacy you would have if you moved in there.
There are some more points you should remember to check. Does a house have a proper driveway? How busy is the street? How accessible is the property? Where would your guests park when they come to visit? Would your moving crew be able to unload your furniture were you to move into that particular home?
Moving companies can give you more helpful tips. If you are still searching for a reliable company, check out amplemoving.com to get an estimate and ask for some more information on the entire moving process.
- Kitchen and bathroom layout
You can reorganize every bit of the house, but not all rooms are easy to rearrange. Turning a bedroom into a playroom for your kids can usually be done by just swapping the furniture and maybe adding a coat of paint. However, if you would like to change your bathroom or kitchen layout, you should be prepared to take a significant amount of money from your budget. So if you want customized solutions, new construction is the best choice for you. You should factor in any major renovations if you don’t like the current condition of the home you are considering and decide what the best option is for you.
- Sun orientation
The ideal orientation of your future home should be such that your main living areas face north. Some people don’t mind it being otherwise, but many insist on their home being on the sunny side. Unfortunately, that is something you cannot change, so the orientation should be one of the things to notice at an open house.
- Closet and storage space
People look for different things in a home. Every house should be adapted to suit the needs and the lifestyle of people living in it. For instance, a family of five will undoubtedly need larger closets and more storage room than a single person moving in. When attending an open house, you should try to assess whether you’ll be able to fit in all of your belongings or the house is too small for your needs.
Those were some of the things to look for at an open house. Add some that are important to you personally and you will not fail to choose the best place for you and your family.