Open houses give the buyer the opportunity to walk through a property and find out whether it will be a right fit for your family or not. You can make an offer on it if you like it and think it fits your requirements. However, don’t let the excitement of purchasing a new house cloud your judgement. It’s a huge investment and you must be careful while making it. Here are some things you must never overlook at an open house.
- The layout
Think about whether you want a closed concept or an open concept floor plan, which doesn’t have as many walls separating rooms. Open concept is growing rapidly in popularity and is fitting if you’re someone who prefers better flow and openness for entertaining. However, remember that open floor plan is a relatively new concept and may not be available in older homes. Think twice before making an offer if an older home has an undesirable layout but an attractive price tag.
- Issues with the structure
You must not expect an old home or previously used home to be absolutely perfect. But, don’t overlook issues the house may have with its foundation as it could be a costly issue. Check for cracks in the interior walls and look for cracks in the exterior too. They may indicate a very serious structural problem with the house.
- Outdated bathrooms and kitchen
Bathrooms and kitchen are both, perhaps the most expensive rooms to renovate. But, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make an offer on a home which had an ugly or an outdated bathroom or kitchen. Consider whether you have the required time and resources to re-do it completely after you move in.
- Old windows
Windows which are old won’t be as energy efficient and will probably result in higher cooling and heating costs. Also, replacing them will be a huge expense. So, make sure you thoroughly inspect all the windows in the house during the open house. Check for visible signs of condensation, cracks, air leaks and any broken locks. You can also ask the realtor or the homeowner to estimate the age of the windows to be able to determine whether they need to be replaced or not.
- Water leakage
A leaky pipe or roof can cause severe damage to a home. It also significantly increases the risk of mould. Try to look for hidden signs of water leakage while walking through the property. Damaged wallpaper or floors, brown stains on the wall, mildew in the bathroom or kitchen, or a musty odour are all signs the house has water damage related issues.
- Too much noise
It’s possible that you find the house of your dreams. However, be careful about the noise around the property. Loud and constant noise of nearby traffic can be a big issue over time. It’s important, to be honest with yourself and consider if you can live with all the noise or not. It’s possible that you may get used to the noise but there are no guarantees that it will happen.
There may not be a house which is perfect, but that doesn’t mean that you must settle for just any house which is available. An inspection of the property prior to making an offer is essential. It can bring attention to many potentially costly issues which could cost you a fortune.
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