Have you been spending your weekends visiting open houses? With modern staging and those delicious cookies they’ve left out for you to eat, it is easy to overlook some important details. The open house is an opportunity for you to look beyond the touched up photos you’ve seen online. Here are a few key things that you should be looking for.
Inspect the Kitchen
You are likely going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Don’t be distracted by the flowers and staging items. Stand near the stove and sink; open and close some drawers and cupboards. Check for smooth movements and listen for squeaks. You also want to make sure that the layout works for the way you like to cook. Is there an adequate prep area? Is there enough lighting? Take note of the storage, is there enough space for all of your small appliances? How long until the backsplash needs to be replaced? Or will the cabinets need to be touched up sooner rather than later? These are all questions that can be forgotten when speaking with the open house agent.
Take some time to look beyond the beautiful finishes, or new renovation to look at the space. Do you require a double sink? Do you like to take baths? Even if there is a gorgeous shower, if you are a bath person or if you have kids, you are going to be looking at renovation in the future purchasing a home without a bathtub. Is there storage space for a linen closet, or to hide all the kids’ toys? Test the taps. Make sure the water pressure in the shower suits your needs. Flush the toilets. Plumbing issues can cost a lot of money, so you want to check those as soon as you can.
How do the Window coverings look?
Replacing all the window coverings in a home can really add up. Take the opportunity during the open house to make sure the current window coverings suit your needs. Do you prefer blackout blinds? Do they match your furniture? Do you have pets that will pull at the cord of the blinds? Spend some time opening and closing all of the shutters, curtains, and/or blinds. This will help determine if there are any that are damaged and need replacing.
Can you see the foundation?
Often overlooked during an open house visit, it is critical to inspect the foundation. Can you see it in the basement? If not, take a walk around the exterior of the home and look for any visible abnormalities. If the basement is not entirely finished and you are able to take a look, examine it for any cracks, smells, or white powder-like substances. If you do see white marks, this is a sign that water has seeped in at some point in time. You will definitely want to ask your real estate representative to look into it. Even if you will be performing a home inspection during your offer process, taking a good look at the foundation during your open house might help determine if you should put in an offer at all.