Buying a house in an exciting time in your life. It can also be an incredibly scary time. There is so much to know and do. You are making the biggest investment you probably have made thus far and you may not know how you should prepare. In this article, we are going to share with you what you should be mindful of while at an open house.
An open house is a great way to get a good look at a home in which you are interested. The agent is there and can answer any questions you may have. This is also the time to really pay attention to what you see in the house. It can also help you refine the list of features you want your house to have. You may see things in a home that you never considered. Touring many house can give you a good idea of what may or may not work for you. You can also get a good look at the community in which you are considering. Believe it or not, that should also matter when buying a house.
What Really Matters At An Open House
Remember, the real estate agent makes sure that the house shines at an open house and highlights all the positives. It is easy to get caught up in the bright lights and clean smell. Keep in mind this may be a house you are seriously considering spending a lot of money on and you need to know everything, the good, the bad and the ugly, about it. So, let us really dig into what matters during an open house.
Damage or Neglect
Be realistic here and understand that all houses have wear and tear. The older the house, the more lived in it may be. However, there are items that go beyond normal use. You want to look for any signs or flooding, leaking, or pipes that burst. You can look for signs of water damage by checking the baseboards. If you see stains or if the baseboard seems warped, that is a good sign there was flooding. Be sure to check the ceiling for any signs of water damage. If you notice a musty or old smell, that could indicate there is mold.
Look at the walls under the sinks and make sure there are no black circles. Those circles indicate mold growth. Look for black circles on the caulk around the tubs. If there are any exposed pipes, check to see if there is rust on them.
If the home has wood flooring and they are covered with rugs, try to look under them to ensure there is no damage being covered.
Check for leaky windows that may have to be replaced soon. If there is condensation building up on them, or painting chipping around the window, those are signs they may need to be replaced. Feel around the windows and doors to see if you feel any drafts. Check all the windows and doors to make sure they are not difficult to open. This could be an indicator that there are problems with the foundation. If you see any of these signs, you may want to take pictures so you can remember what you are seeing.
Check Out The Neighborhood
You are making an investment in a home and you are getting so much more. The houses that surround the house in which you are interested should factor into your decision. The neighboring houses on either side of the house you are considering and all the houses that border it are important. How well they maintain their house may impact the value of your house. You want to pay attention to how well those houses are maintained. Are their yards well maintained? Do they have a lot of trash and debris in front of their houses?
Make sure you take a walk around the neighborhood and really see what is there. Be sure to do that at different times on different days. You are buying the neighborhood as well as the house. You do not want to find yourself in a neighborhood that is declining and you are stuck with a house you cannot sell. You also should find out as much about your neighbors as possible. You may not want to live next door to someone who has pool parties every weekend in the summer.
Before you decide to make an offer on a house, you should consider how much privacy you want. Pay attention to how close the houses are to each other. Look out all the windows and door and see if you can see into the neighbor’s house.
It is important that you have enough room for storage in your house. It may not seem like a big deal that your closet is not big enough until you are getting ready for work and running into another room to find your clothes. If you do not have enough space for storage, it may make your house look messy. It may also require you to purge some of your items with which you are not ready to part. Make sure you have enough room in your closets and pantry.
Other Signs To Which You Need To Pay Attention
Does it seem like the house smells a little too strongly of cleaning products or fragrances? Most listing agents like to have a candle burning to give the house a homey feel. When it smells like it is a little too much, they could be trying to hide something. The smell of air fresheners may be masking pet smells, smoke or mold.
Take a walk outside and pay attention to the landscaping. If there are a lot of weeds or grass is overgrown, that could be a sign of neglect. If there is neglect in the yard, there could be neglect in the house, too. When a home owner wants to sell his house, he makes sure everything looks perfect. If something seems off, it probably is. Be sure to ask questions about anything you see.
Renovations To The House
It is great when you walk into a house that has upgrades. This is work that you do not have to do yourself. However, you want to make sure that corners were not cut when the work was done. You also want to make sure the work was done by a reputable craftsman. Many homeowners take on projects that they should not. Make sure that the home inspector takes a good look at all of the upgrades.
Pay attention if you see leftover lumbar, dry wall, or other home renovation items in the garage or basement. This could mean that the homeowner was attempting to do it himself and messed up something along the way. It could mean that he ran out of money or time. It could also mean that whomever was supposed to do the work found problems with the structure of the house. Always ask questions about what you see and make sure you are satisfied with the answers. If your gut tells you something it off, it just might be.
Many Houses For Sale
When there are a lot of houses for sale in one neighborhood, it could mean several things. It may be as simple as the neighborhood is really well established and many of the home owners are older and ready to downsize. It could also mean that the neighborhood is becoming unsafe, or there are plans for construction nearby and the existing owners see the writing on the wall. Pay attention to everything you see.
Other Questions To Ask
If you have children and you are new to the area, you may want to ask about the schools for the neighborhood. If you plan to use the public school system, finding out about the school district may change your mind about the house.
Has the price changed on the house? If so, why? Sometimes the seller cannot accept the amount for which their house will sell and sets the price too high. After being on the market, the seller realizes they need to change the price. This is not always the case, so it is smart to ask about any price changes. It is important to know how long the house has been on the market. This could indicate that there are problems within the house. It can also tell you how much activity there is and if you are serious about the house, you may need to make an offer.
Are There Known Problems?
Always ask this upfront. You can also ask for the seller’s disclosure. This document tells you everything you should know about the house. The seller by law, in most states, is required to reveal what they know is wrong. However, the seller does not always know. Do not waive your right to an inspection. Be sure to have the house thoroughly inspected.
When it comes to buying a home, you do not want to guess about anything. You want to make sure you have all of your questions answered. It can be a stressful time. You do not have to go through it alone. The qualified agents at Capstone Realty Consultants are here to help you every step along the way. If you are in the Lexington, KY or surrounding area, Capstone Realty Consultants are the group for you. We can help you navigate this process and make sure all of your questions are answered. Contact us and schedule an appointment today. We will be glad to assist you.