You can learn a lot about a house by reviewing its online photos and reading details in the property description. In fact, you may have easily eliminated many properties from consideration based on the online listing. Now that you have a short list of properties that you are interested in, touring these homes is essential. It is easy to fall in love with a house that is well-staged and that looks like a model home. However, you should look beyond superficial selling points if you want to make a smart selection. These are some of the primary factors to focus on when touring homes for sale.
The Neighbors and Neighborhood
Before you walk into a listed home, pay attention to the neighborhood. Are the streets crowded by numerous parked cars? Are children playing outdoors, or are people walking around? Are the streets congested with traffic, and are cars driving by rapidly? Does the neighborhood have desirable amenities? Your home should be perfectly relaxing for you to spend time in. The neighborhood should be as active or as quiet as you desire, and it should be safe enough for people to spend time outdoors without concern. Likewise, the specific neighbors close to the house should keep their space well-maintained.
The Exterior from Top to Bottom
When buyers walk up to a home, they understandably focus on the front entryway. This area should be clean and well-maintained, and it should not be the only aspect of the exterior that you pay attention to. Look for cracked concrete in the driveway, sidewalks and walkways. Pay attention to the condition of the siding, stucco, roof, and other materials. Determine if the vegetation is well-maintained or overgrown. The exterior condition of the property often indicates how well the owner took care of hidden components, such as the plumbing and electrical system.
The Interior Condition
Your inclination may be to pay attention to the paint color on the wall and the aesthetic appeal of the flooring. While these factors are important, you should not overlook the importance of property condition. Ensure that all of the doors open and close easily. Listen for the sound of a running toilet or dripping faucet. Turn the lights on and off in every room, and look for cracks in the walls or uneven floors that may signify foundation issues. Your property inspection will identify condition issues as well, but your observations may immediately impact your interest in a particular home.
As soon as you walk into a home, take a deep breath. If the home smells musty or generally dirty, you may want to steer clear of it. Pet odors and cigarette smoke are also concerning because they can be difficult to get rid of after you move in. When a homeowner has not kept the house superficially clean, it is reasonable to be concerned about the cleanliness of the HVAC ducts, the drains and other areas that may be hidden from view.
A knowledgeable real estate agent may pay attention to these and other factors as well when touring a home. Your agent may provide insight into areas of concern that you may have overlooked. Any home that has previously been lived in will have some signs of wear and usage, and you will need to decide if you are comfortable buying a home with these and other factors that you observed during the tour.