Since the early 1900s, open houses have allowed potential homeowners to kick the proverbial tires of prospective homes. What was once a novel idea is standard practice in today’s real estate arena. In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® reports that 6% of buyers found the home they purchased through a yard sign or an open house in 2020. The following are things you should keep in mind when touring an open house.
1. The Condition
It’s unavoidable, every home will have signs of everyday use. But at what point does normal wear and tear turn into damage? Typically, damage is anything that can negatively affect the home’s value or even cause the home to be uninhabitable. Two of the most common, and expensive, issues you might run into are water damage and foundation issues.
Water damage can present itself in several ways. When touring a home, stained or warped baseboards, stains on the ceiling, or an earthy smell can all be indicators that a home has water damage. Check exposed pipes for rust or signs of leaking, and look for signs of mildew in bathrooms and kitchens. In addition, check for flaking or bubbling paint around windows. Any condensation built up inside the glass could also indicate a leak or the need for a replacement window.
For the foundation, small cracks in a wall or ceiling are a normal sign of the home settling; however, larger cracks might indicate a problem with the foundation. Another indicator would be if doors and windows hard to open.
2. The Neighbors and Community
You aren’t just buying a home, but a community as well. Does the neighborhood have an HOA? If so, you will have to determine if the costs offset the benefits the HOA provides. Also look to see how the neighbors on your street maintain their homes and, if possible, how they interact with each other. Purchasing a home is a years-long investment, and you want to be happy living in the neighborhood.
3. The Layout
After touring a home, consider the functionality of the house as a whole rather than focusing on specific rooms. This way you can determine if the overall layout fits your needs. Can you open the doors and windows, and take advantage of a summer breeze? If you like to entertain, is there enough space in both the kitchen and living areas to accommodate many people? Is there enough natural light or do the rooms seem closed off and dark? If you have larger vehicles, is the garage big enough to fit your car(s) and have extra space for storage?
Speaking of storage, lack of closets and storage is a common frustration for many homeowners. Before touring a home, think about the storage you currently have, and compare to what is available in the new home. Keeping this in mind will save you frustration down the line.
4. The Other Buyers
When touring an open house, it can be beneficial to watch how people are reacting to the house as this can give you some clues on the home’s desirability. For example, potential buyers who walk through the home quickly might indicate that there are issues. Conversely, people lingering around the yard and taking their time might indicate their interest.
Open houses can be a great chance to look over a potential property and determine if it fits your needs. Checking for any signs of damage or major wear and tear, how your potential community operates, and if the layout fits your needs will help determine if the home is perfect for you.
Since 2000, the Blythe Real Estate Team has helped families and individuals buy, build and sell residential homes in the Omaha area. From new construction and existing homes to commercial real estate, we have the expertise to assist our clients with their real estate needs. Contact us today to get started.
Melissa Santos, Team Agent
Melissa cultivates a trusted and confident relationship with her clients. Whether its a first-time home buyer or someone whose been through the process before, she will provide the level of support that makes her clients most comfortable.
Contact Melissa today at (402) 739-7234 or email@example.com.