Making the Most out of Open Houses
When searching for your next (or first) home, you probably have a good idea about the major details, such as the bedroom number and that dream kitchen. Although the photos on a listing can really make or break a house, the experience of walking through that front door is what really seals the deal (or breaks it). Being able to truly see how the house is laid out and how everything comes together in person may make an iffy house become the one for your family or it could turn a potential home into a no-go. Here’s a list of a few things to keep in mind so you know what to look for at an open house.
The Layout of the Home
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but some of these questions may get buried when you’re ogling over the modern appliances in the kitchen. So stand in the entrance of the home and ask yourself some serious questions, starting with can you see your family living here? Does the living room flow into the kitchen or the rest of the house in a way that works for you and your family? If you have little kids, would you prefer to have their rooms close to the master or are you planning on settling down roots and are okay with their rooms on a different level
Another silly question, but one that we know many people may overlook at an open house: Is there enough space for you, your family, and all your things? Think of the kitchen. Sure, the appliances are great and the flow from stove to sink to fridge (or however you create meals and use the kitchen) is effortless, but are there enough cabinets and pantry space? If you were hoping for a house with an office, does that exist in this house or is there at least the potential to convert a room into what you need it to be?
The Neighbors and the Neighborhood
Your surrounding environment is important in knowing what to look for at an open house. Think about pesky pets, maybe unkempt yards, and homeowners associations. If you have kids, does the neighborhood seem safe enough for them to ride their bikes in front of the house or walk the dog along the sidewalk?
Everyday Life Factor
Many a home has been designed and built by people who obviously won’t be living there. Although that’s fine and these houses are probably gorgeous, sometimes the everyday living experience gets forgotten. When you’re using the restroom, are you also peering out into your neighbor’s kitchen? If your family is big into entertaining and having people over, think about these experiences.
Any Signs of Neglected Maintenance
We’re talking about water stains on the ceilings, any smells that smell…smelly (could be an indication of mold lurking beneath the surface), and just general wear and tear that could have been easily fixed. If any of these signs are present, then be wary of larger issues that may be hidden (or at least know that these could lead to future worries and expenses for you). Giving the exterior of the home a quick, yet thorough glance can also shed some light on any potential issues.