Open House Checklist for Buyers
There are many factors to consider when buying a house. After all, a home is the largest purchase you’ll likely make in your lifetime.
It’s easy to get distracted when touring a home. Homebuyers often get caught up with certain aspects while overlooking some items that may prove to be far more critical.
Use this open house checklist for buyers to help you know what to look for when touring a home.
Be sure to look around at the surrounding area when on the way to tour a home. Look for possible concerns. For example, is it close to a school? That might be a huge plus if you have or intend to have school-aged children. However, if that’s not your circumstance, you may not want to deal with the potential noise or traffic that may come with that proximity.
Also, be sure to check out the condition of the homes that surround the one you’re touring. If they are rundown or unkempt, or there are cars on blocks, this may give you an indication of future issues with your neighbors.
Check the Roof
Upon arrival at the home, take a look at the roof. This is a costly item to repair, and if it’s in disrepair, this could indicate other issues like water damage and termite infestation.
Look around at the exterior in both the front and back yards. How close are the neighbors? How high are the walls or fences? Also, what’s the condition of the fencing? These factors could weigh heavily on your privacy and comfort in your home.
Take a look at the perspective of the neighboring homes from the interior of the house. Are you looking into their yards, or are they looking into yours? Either could cause long-term problems if you aren’t prepared.
Kitchens and bathrooms:
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most costly remodel rooms of the house. Rather than focusing on the cosmetics, instead, pay attention to the layouts and space. Is there room to create the kitchen of your dreams? If so, the way it currently looks shouldn’t be an issue.
You may walk into a home covered in carpet. This is especially common in older homes. Be sure to ask what’s under the carpet. Many older homes have hardwood floors beneath the carpet.
That could end up being a huge bonus that you didn’t see coming. Also, make sure the floors are even and flat. Uneven or buckling floors are signs of issues that could be foundational or cosmetic, but you’ll want to know before purchasing this home.
Signs of damage are among the most important things to look for when touring a home. Be sure to check under the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom to smell for mold or signs of water leaks. Check the walls for large cracks, the ceilings for water damage, and the house’s overall wear and tear.
Size and layout
Take a close look at the size and layout of the home. Be sure you’re comfortable with how the rooms are placed and are confident that it will work for your family.
Is it essential that you have a first-floor bedroom or is it a must that your children’s bedrooms are on the same floor as yours? These are nearly impossible features to fix, so be sure to get it right the first time.
Remodels or additions
Be sure to find out if there have been any remodels or additions to the home. If so, it will be essential to know if they were properly permitted. Additions that aren’t permitted won’t count in the square footage of the home.
That could hinder the appraisal value. Also, a remodel that wasn’t permitted may not be up to code. That could cause a health or safety hazard.
Pools and spas
If the home has a pool or spa, you’ll want to have the equipment and conditions evaluated. Older pools are prone to cracks and leaks. Know what you’re in for before taking on a potential problem.
Take pictures and notes:
There’s a lot to evaluate when touring a potential home to purchase. Taking some photos of parts you like and don’t like will help in the evaluation process. Notes will help formulate your thoughts and remind you what you liked and didn’t like about the property.