Open Houses - Finding Your Home
Posted February 23, 2014

You’ve found several neighborhoods that meet your standards. This is great because you can love a house, but you can’t pick it up and move it out of a not so good neighborhood. You’ve looked at houses on paper, on the internet and from the outsidHomee and finally made a list of the ones that merit “looking into”.

The houses you see will be dressed up, cleaned up, and staged just for you, but your goal is to look beyond that. You have your list of things you need and the things you want. (I would’ve added the things you don’t want, but you’ll recognize those when you see them.)  Now it’s time to open doors, flip switches and look into some closets.

Start outside and check the roof. With an older house, it’s easy to tell if the existing roof needs to be replaced. New houses may have loose shingles, and it’s better to have the seller replace them now than you pay for it later. Does the chimney and foundation look okay, or will either need maintenance in the near future. Has the house been treated for termites?  Is the area in a flood zone? You can ask your realtor to check. Look at the walkway, driveway and landscaping. Are they suitable for your taste? After you’ve signed the contract, they’re yours.

If the following aren’t already on your list, please consider:

  1. Square footage of each room (is it what you expected?)
  2. Look down (literally) and take note as to which rooms have carpet, hardwood or linoleum and are they suitable to your needs/wants? As you walk throughout the house, are there places on the floors that creak?
  3. Are closet spaces, kitchen cabinets, bathrooms and bedrooms spaces suitable for your needs?
  4. Turn the faucets on to check the homes water pressure. You may want to
  5.  Does it look like you’ll have enough outlets to satisfy your household needs?
  6. Fixtures-if current ones are not to your liking, can they be changed now with no cost to you?
  7. Look up at the ceiling for water spots or signs of leakage.
  8. Look under the kitchen and bathroom sinks for cleanliness.
  9. Any odd smells due to pets, smokers or mold?
  10. Find out if the house ever been treated for termites.
  11. Is it electric, gas? How many AC/Heating units? If an older house, how old are the units?
  12. Are the deck and patio in good condition?
  13. Can you tell if the insulation is sufficient on upper and lower floors to block most sounds?
  14. Are there HOA (Home Owner Association) fees and how much?

Please go over any unanswered questions with your realtor. Your time is valuable so schedule several home viewings per day.  Weekdays are said to be the best time to look at houses (not as many browsers). Before leaving, ask if there is anything else you need to know about the house so that you don’t run into any roadblocks if you decide to bid. Remember, the more questions you ask now, the less chance of being surprised later.



Posted By: Michelle Keaton-Barrow
February 23, 2014 10:37 PM

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