Open House – 5 Things to Look for Before Making an Offer on a House
House hunting can be a stressful process, however it is exciting to attend open houses and walk around a potential home to see if you are interested. Many buyers get distracted by features that they like in a home that they often don’t notice pitfalls or downsides to the home. Buying a house is one of the most important and expensive purchases you will ever make in a lifetime so it is extremely important that you pay close attention during an open house and look for specific features that could cause problems for you in the future.
The location of a home is a vital component of making a decision concerning this expensive purchase. It is important to understand the local neighborhood before choosing a home. Things to look at include proximity to schools and stores. Walking around a neighborhood is often the best way to learn about the area and get a feel for what the neighbors are like. If you have small children, you should look carefully at the quality of schools as well as crime rates in the area. Crime rates should have a big effect on your decision to move somewhere. Living alone or raising children in an unsafe area isn’t desirable, and if you ever want to sell the house, it could lower the value.
Obviously having running water in your home is no small thing, so it’s important to inquire about the condition of the plumbing in the home as you walk through it. You may have taken the plumbing in an apartment for granted because pipes, hoses and water heaters are often hidden inside walls or utility rooms. However, if you buy a home with worn and rusted plumbing, the repair costs are expensive. IF a home has a history of severe plumbing problems, changes are you too will encounter problems with clogging, flooding, and other issues that are unpleasant. You want to ask about the plumbing before hand so that you make sure you aren’t in for years of frustration and expensive repairs.
Homeowners and real estate agents will make sure a house looks perfect during an open house but there might be surprises lurking inside the walls or attics. Learn how to inspect for vermin including rodents or insects that will make living in a home difficult. According to professionals who provide pest control services, things that indicate vermin include droppings, odors or strange noises. Look for these things as you are walking around, even when inspecting the interior of the home. It is appropriate to ask the owners or real estate agent if they have ever had trouble with pests in the home, just to be sure. Even if they just get occasional ants in the summertime, it is important to know what you are getting yourself into.
Chances are that a real estate agent will not take you up a ladder to view the condition of a home’s roof during an open house. However, before making an offer on a new or older home, you must inspect the roof to make sure it does not leak when it rains or snows. You should do a thorough inspection of the exterior of the home, which is a good time to look at the roof. Look for missing or out of place shingles, and keep an eye out for crumbly chimneys—those are expensive to replace. Like with everything else, don’t be bashful about asking about the roof to see if they have ever had problems with it. You can see when the last time they replaced it was which will give you an idea of how many years it will be until you need to pay to have it replaced.
Having attractive landscaping around a home makes it more enjoyable for families, however it can also mean a lot of work. It is important to walk outside the house looking at shrubbery, trees and flowers to see the plant life’s condition. If you aren’t into gardening, you could be in trouble if you purchase a house that requires a lot of upkeep. The previous owners might have planted a lot of plants, or even vegetables, and if you don’t plan on maintaining an elaborate landscape, it will take a lot of work to clear the yard of everything they have planted, or you might have to hire a lawn crew to maintain the look for you. For some families, maintaining a large and elaborate yard isn’t a big deal, however if you are not used to that, it could create a lot of extra work for you.
Before going to open houses to view homes, make a list of the things to inspect inside and outside the building. In addition, prospective buyers should make multiple visits to a home on different days and times to really understand the true condition of the home. Parents may want to have their children see the home before making an offer, which is another reason why multiple visits can be a good idea. Don’t make an offer after only one visit, and make sure you ask smart questions to get as much information about the house as possible. Don’t be shy about asking about the history of the home—you need to gather all the information possible I order to make an informed decision before making an offer.