Open houses may be staged to look like a home décor dream, but don’t let that distract you from the real reason you’re there: to potentially buy a home. Make sure you can look past the neatly arranged furniture and focus solely on whether the house would be a good fit for you and your family. To help, here’s a home buyer’s checklist of things you might have missed at first glance.
Windows – Look specifically if they are facing the right direction to let sunlight in, and whether they open to a nice view (versus directly toward another neighbor’s window).
Under the Sink Cabinets – Check for possible signs of water damage due to leaky plumbing.
Storage Space – Don’t just look to see if there’s enough closet space, but look for closet placement. Also check that the storage is in a convenient location.
Appliances – If they’re included in the house, make sure they’re in good condition. They should be on and working while you’re there.
Under the Rugs – Lift up any rugs to check the condition of the floor underneath.
Floor Level – Check to see if the floors are level. Place a marble or another small, round object on the floor and see if it rolls consistently in one direction.
Attic – If the house has one, make sure it’s well insulated.
Water Spouts – Runoff from the gutters should be pointed away from the house, so take a step outside to see if this is the case.
When you buy a home, you’re getting more than just the structure of the house — you’re getting the neighborhood, too. We recommend visiting the new area multiple times at different times of the day to get a feel for it, since that may determine your family’s experience while living there. A great house might not be as enjoyable if the surrounding community isn’t a good fit. To help out with your neighborhood evaluation, use this checklist of important items to look out for.
Parks – A nearby park might be beneficial for you and your family to get some exercise while meeting new people.
Schools – Check to see how far away the schools are, and how your children would be getting there. This may not be as important for homeowners who don’t have children.
Major Roads – Drive around to locate the closest major highways. If big roads are close, they may increase noise level around your home or become a security concern for those with small children and pets.
Transportation – Depending on the area, you might not always depend on a car to get around. Explore the local public transportation options to see what works for you.
Shopping Centers – Figure out how close you are to shopping centers so you can estimate how long it will take to run errands on a typical day.
Restaurants – If your family likes to dine out, check out the food scene near your house to see if you’ll enjoy frequenting those restaurants.
Recreational Centers – Whatever you and your family do for fun, make sure there’s something within a reasonable distance. Think fitness centers, pools, dance or martial arts studios, painting classes, or anything else that could entertain you and your family.
At your next open house, bring this checklist with you as you go for a walk around the neighborhood. Your new community might be a perfect fit!
Join us on Saturday, May 14th for our Annual Open House Treasure Hunt!
Visit 5 open houses and you will be entered to win over $200,000 in Cash & Prizes!
Some of the prizes from last year's event include:
We hope to see you there!