Crucial Things to Look for at an Open House
May 16, 2022
As a potential home buyer, you have to know what to look for at an open house. While these first encounters allow you to see if the house meets your primary criteria, they also let you spot any red flags. But what do you need to look for at an open house? Anne Townes explains a few things to look for outside, inside and a few insider items you need to bring. The next time you go to an open house, keep in mind the following things you need to look for while you are there.
Exterior Things to Look for at an Open House
You’re finally ready to buy your first house. You’ve been saving for a down payment, getting your credit score in order and researching the best neighborhoods. And now you’re ready to start attending open houses. First, take a look at the condition of the exterior.
You should pay attention to the neighborhood. How do the other homes in the area look? Are there schools, restaurants and shops within walking distance? Consider all the aspects you want about a neighborhood before coming and check out the area before visiting the home.
How Well The Home is Maintained
Are the gutters clean and in good repair? Is the paint fresh or peeling? These are signs of how well the home has been maintained and can give you an idea of what kind of work you might have to do down the road.
Roofs are vital pieces of homes, and they are not considered a cheap and easy renovation. Check the roof yourself and ask the real estate agent showing the home how long it’s been since the roof has been replaced.
Next, take a look at the landscaping. Is the lawn manicured or overgrown? Are the bushes trimmed or untamed? Again, this can indicate how much work you’ll need to do to maintain the property.
Don’t forget to check how the traffic is on the street. If it’s a busy street with lots of traffic and noise, is that something that would bother you? If so, you may need to reconsider the home.
Interior Things to Look for at an Open House
After you have taken a look at the outside of the home, it is imperative to pay just as close attention to its interior.
The Homes Layout
Once you’ve stepped inside the house, get a general feel for the layout. If you’re buying a home, you want to feel relaxed and comfortable with the flow and design of the house. Make sure the arrangement of the kitchen, living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms are intuitive and fit your needs.
Lighting and Windows
Natural light is often a make or break for new home buyers. Check out how much natural light is present in various parts of the house. At the same time, check on the windows to see what kind of shape they’re in.
As you walk through different parts of the home, be mindful of how much storage space is present. Look at the cabinetry and pantry in the kitchen and closets in the bedrooms and living room.
Often an overlooked feature of homes, the floor level is something you need to check on. Make sure the floor level is flat. If not, it may indicate a structural issue in the house.
Items to Bring to an Open House
Most people know that they should bring a realtor to an open house. But what about things like a tape measure or a camera? Here are a few items that can come in handy when checking out an open house.
List of Questions
When you’re visiting an open house, you should always come prepared with a list of questions to ask the showing agent. Questions can cover efficiency, recent repairs, HOA, HVAC, etc.
Notepad and Pen
It’s a great idea to have a notepad and pen to write notes about the house unless you want to use your smartphone’s notes. If you’re planning to visit several open houses, it’s easy to mix up features, flaws and attractions, so writing down these snippets can help you later.
Flashlights are handy when visiting houses that have poorly lit basements, sheds or attics. Using your flashlight can show the quality of the walls, wood and flooring in such spaces to know if they would require repairs.
Bringing a camera to an open house allows you to remember aspects of the home that you either liked or didn’t like. Pictures and notes will go a long way in determining if a home is right for you.
Having a tape measure in a walk-through is essential to know if your furniture will fit. As you measure room sizes, make sure to write them down so you don’t forget.
Work With A Professional Real Estate Agent
If you’re in the market for a new home, attend some open houses. It can be helpful to go with an experienced real estate agent who knows what to look for and can help you make the best decision for your family. The Anne Townes Real Estate team would be happy to show you around some of our favorite properties in the Chester County, PA area and answer any questions about the buying process. Contact us today to get started!