Open houses can be a great opportunity for potential buyers, even those just taking a look at neighborhoods before deciding on where they want to settle down, to get a feel for what the area is like, and what the real estate consists of. When you attend an open house it is important to really think about what you are seeing, and ask the appropriate questions. Real estate is one of, if not the most expensive financial purchase that a person will make in their lifetime, so you it is crucial that you know what you are really getting upon purchase.
The Outside of the House & the Neighborhood
Most potential home buyers are already formulating an opinion of the house before they step in the door. Just seeing the exterior of the house in its neighborhood may lead to the following:
- When were the windows installed?
- What is the neighborhood like?
- How old is the roof?
- Are there schools around?
- Is it in walkable distance to shopping and entertainment?
- What about accessibility to public transit?
- How old are the windows?
- Are the windows and doors energy efficient?
Maintenance problems in the bathroom are often the most inconvenient, and for obvious reasons. The home buyer will want to make sure that everything is functional before they commit. You might hear things like:
- How old is the plumbing?
- Is there a history of mold?
- Where does the sewage lead to?
- Has it ever been treated for mold?
- Have there been any leaks?
- How strong is the ventilation?
This room is often the hub of the family home, it is where so many memories are made, and laughs shared. So it’s important to seriously look at all aspects of the room and to know its quality beforehand. Take a look around and really think about if you could see your family there.
- What are the cabinets made out of?
- When were the appliances installed?
- Are the appliances energy efficient?
- Is the countertop sealed?
- What kind of countertop is it?
- Does it provide the sightlines that you want?
- Are all appliances included?
- Has there been any history of mold?
Whether or not the basement is finished, as a potential home buyer make sure that you take a look at it. Often, potential home buyers are thrown off when they see an unfinished basement, but really, if everything else is positive about the space, an unfinished basement simply means untapped potential. Questions to consider asking might be:
- How old is the wiring?
- When was it last inspected by an electrician?
- Have you ever experienced water damage?
- Has there ever been flooding?
- When was the basement finished?
- Have there been any foundation issues or concerns to be aware of?
Questions to Ask Regarding the History of the House
- How old is the house?
- Do you know who the builder is?
- Is there any history of rot?
- Are there any known structural issues?
- Where is the access to the attic?
- Has there been a history of any infestation or critters?