House hunting can be an exciting but taxing, and often confusing activity. Having seen one home after another, you begin to focus more on getting the task done with rather than actually checking out the homes to determine whether you should purchase them. However, if you maintain your focus, and keep a few top tips in mind, you should be able to house hunt effectively, and ensure that you find the perfect home in no time.
Use open houses to your advantage
Open houses are a great way to tour houses with your real estate agent, without having to arrange for viewings in each individual home you are interested in. Your real estate agent is likely to keep tabs on any open houses that might be taking place in the areas you are interested in, and you can browse through real estate websites to stay updated too.
Open every door
Many aspiring homebuyers satisfy themselves by checking out what the house is like on the surface, and do not bother to really delve into it. However, since a house is a big investment, it’s your right to look into every nook and cranny, and be a little nosey. In this regard, it is absolutely essential to check for closet space – open every door you see, in order to find out what’s behind it, so you can determine whether the storage space is sufficient.
Test the lights and appliances
Turn every light switch on and off, to check whether it works, and make sure you check all major appliances. Turn on all the faucets, and anything else that will be included with the house. You can also ask the current owner for a demonstration of the plumbing and heating.
Check for drafts
This might seem insignificant, but it is essential to open and close all the doors and windows to ensure they open and close smoothly. When closed, feel for drafts – make sure there are no cracks or slits through which air can pass in or out.
Is the house well-cared for?
Give the house a critical once-over, to determine whether the current owners have put effort into its upkeep. Is the lawn well-maintained? Are all the rooms well-painted? Are any of the walls damp or moldy? The better maintained a house is, the less effort you will have to put into it for repairs and improvements.
Look past secondary things
Do not be distracted by the decor and furnishings – keep in mind that these belong to the current owners, and you will be re-doing the entire place. Instead, focus on whether the house is spacious enough, and whether the layout is to your liking.
Get a feel of the area
In addition to looking at the house, check out the area it is located in. Take a walk around the neighborhood to get a feel of it and see if you like it. Visit a local coffee shop, pop into a grocery store, and use the local transport services to see if everything is to your liking.