What You should LOOK for when you see a home!

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When a seller has listed their home on the market, they will sometimes host an open house or an open inspection. This means that the home will be available to tour and inspect at a specific time. As a buyer, this gives you the opportunity to look at every facet of the home before making an offer.

While there will likely be other potential buyers touring the home as well, you should still take this opportunity to inspect the aspects of the property that mean the most to you. Here are some key things to look out for.

Noise and Traffic Levels
Make note of noises and traffic during the open house, but also try to visit the property on different days and at various times of the day. Drive by the property during evening rush hour or a weekend afternoon to see what it is like then. While traffic and noise levels could be low in the morning, they may be higher than you would like once the evening rolls around. Of course, you will want to listen to that noise from the outside AND the inside of the home!

Structural Issues
Significant structural issues can raise the costs of owning a home considerably, which is why these are among the most important issues you should look out for. To be clear here-these items below do NOT always indicate structural issues.  The only way to be certain if a home DOES have structural issues is by hiring a structural engineer to check the home. Some of the most common structural issues to search for include:

  • Bouncy or sloping floors
  • Cracks above windows or doors
  • Windows that don’t open easily
  • Cracked walls

Water Issues
Water issues can cause major damage fast. Take a peek at exposed piping in basements or laundry rooms, and under sinks. Check for rust, water stains, or leaking. Also, keep an eye out for:

  • Damp walls or water stains on the ceiling
  • Moldy walls and peeling paint
  • Bubbles or blisters on the paint
  • Musty odor (or excessive coverup odors)

Additional Areas of Focus

  • Condition of floors/carpets
  • Condition of appliances
  • Location and number of electrical outlets
  • Condition of landscaping
  • Structural Integrity of garages and sheds
  • Size and quality of windows
  • Amount of storage space

Keep in mind, a home inspector is likely to catch any major issues down the line, but scanning for warning signs early in the process can ensure you don’t waste your time. With this checklist in hand, you should know exactly what to look for when attending an open house. Of course, the best option would be to call your local Realtor® to attend with you!