What You Should Look For At A Home Open
As one of the biggest decisions you can make, it’s important to make sure you do your research. With the wealth of information available online, it is possible to have already thoroughly researched a property before you’ve even arrived. Property values, sales history, photos, floor plans, neighbourhood amenities, transport links, schools are all information easy to find online and will help you make your decision.
But what should you actually look for once you are there?
- Outside: check roof, gutters, down pipes looking for damage rust or corrosion. Have a look at the hot water system for age and condition. Do a visual check of exterior walls and brickwork looking for cracks, leans or out of plumb?
- Aspect: North/West facing? Consider if the aspect suits your living and entertaining needs. Do you want garden views from living areas or bedrooms? Does the property have enough natural light?
- Pay close attention to the floor plan and layout. Does it work for your lifestyle? Think about the size and shape of the rooms and imagine how you will use them.
- Storage? Is there enough storage or space to install more storage? Is there room for that garage / workshop you have always wanted and can you get rear drive though access if needed?
- Bathrooms and kitchens – consider wear, tear and age of appliances. Check the condition of tiling, cabinets and bench tops. All kitchens and bathrooms will need updating at some stage in the home’s life cycle. If these two rooms aren’t how you would like them to be, are you prepared to live with it or spend the money required to transform them?
- Interior: Most established homes have been personalised to some extent. Rarely does someone’s else’s taste match your own. Painting is relatively inexpensive and easily done. But what about the floor coverings and window treatments. Do they suit your needs, taste or lifestyle? When will they need replacing?
- Look up: Check the ceilings; damp and leakage are costly and hard to fix and once rot or mould sets in it is notoriously hard to fix.
- Use your senses: Sniff, peer, listen and feel as much as you can. Your nose might pick up a mouldy or musty smell that may mean damp. You might spy small or hidden cracks that could mean structural issues. That clattering sound when water is running? That can be a sign of serious plumbing problems.
Take someone with you to the home open who is objective, confident and not emotionally involved in the property, they can help you avoid those emotional oversights.
Ask the selling agent for information about council rates, water rates and any other holding costs such as body corporate fees.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for a second or third viewing to make sure the property is right for you.
If you are considering buying a new home, call me now to discuss your real estate needs. Your dream home could be only one phone call away!