What To Look For When Touring A House
Feb 1, 2022
What To Look For When Touring A House
When touring houses, it can be easy to get swept up in the moment and forget what you should be looking out for. Coming to house tours prepared means you can make a more informed decision about which house is right for you.
Focus your attention on the parts of the house you can't change or that will be expensive to change. Things like decorations, furniture, and paint colors can be easily swapped out with your own preferences, so you don't need too pay much attention to them.
Take notes and photos as you go. You'll likely be in and out of a lot of homes, and you don't want to be left wondering which house it was that had the leaky faucets and which one had the perfect home office space.
Here are the things to look for as you tour houses:
Lots of storage space is usually noticeable, but a lack of storage space can be overlooked. When touring a house, open up closets and cabinets and picture how you'd use the space. If you anticipate needing more room to store things, see if there's space for a dresser, shelves, or storage units.
CARPET, FLOORING, CEILING AND WALLS
Check for wear and tear, warping, or unevenness among the floors. Flooring can be redone, but it can be costly and time-consuming, so ask yourself if that's something you're willing to take on.
Look for cracks, stains, water damage, and other flaws on the ceiling and along the walls and baseboards. Check in corners and behind doors, too. Some of these issues are harmless, but others are expensive to repair or are signs of bigger problems with the home's foundation or roof.
Odors can be a way to detect mold and mildew, which smells damp, musty, and sometimes like dirty socks. Excessive air fresheners or plug-ins in the house can be a red flag.
Some odors, like pet smells or cigarette smoke, can linger on walls, ceilings, and carpets.
LAYOUT AND ROOM SIZE
Take the time to see if you feel satisfied with the layout and the house in general. Opportunities to remodel could be exciting or feel like a burden - it depends on what you're looking for. Logistics matter a lot, but so do your feelings. A house may not be for you if you already feel cramped or are thinking of many things you wish were different.
ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING, AND APPLIANCES
Flip on the light switches to make sure every room is getting power. Bring along something small, like a phone charger, so you can test outlets. It's also a good idea to take note of how many outlets are in each room so you can visualize your things in the space.
Turn on faucets and showers to check drainage, water temperature, and water pressure. When checking out the plumbing, look for signs of water damage or leaks underneath sinks. Ask about the age and condition of appliances.
You can check on the electrical systems, plumbing, and appliances even more closely during a final walkthrough, but you might as well find out about any issues as soon as possible.
WINDOWS AND LIGHTING
Inspect windows to see what kind of shape they're in. Look for signs that the windows need to be replaced, like flaking paint or a lot of condensation. Observe how much natural light the house gets if that's important to you.
Head outside to take a look at the roof the best you can from the ground. Ask how old the roof is to have an idea of when it needs to be replaced. Replacing a roof is costly but necessary, so you want to know how soon that has to be done.
SIDING, GUTTERS, AND LANDSCAPING
For siding and gutters, look for the obvious - holes, physical damage, or makeshift repairs. Check if the gutters are fully intact with no cracks or gaps.
While you're outside, don't skip over taking a look at the landscaping. It's a good idea to see how much outside space you'd have to keep up with.
GARAGE AND OUTDOOR EXTRAS
Check the functionality of the garage door and the space inside. Check for any cracks in the floor.
If there is a pool, shed, fence, gate, or other outside structures, check out what shape they're in. Look for holes, cracks, rotting wood, and pests.
LOCATION AND NEIGHBORHOOD
The house itself can be improved by upgrades, renovations, and decorations, but the location can't change. Since homes are often a long-term investment, don't overlook the proximity to stores, schools, or whatever else is important to you.
When touring houses, pay attention to how well the neighbors take care of their houses and yards, if there's a lot of noise, and if there are street lights, especially if you have children who will be playing outside or waiting at a bus stop early in the morning as the sun is still rising.
Once you've toured a house, you can review your notes and determine what stood out to you.
ORIZON CAN HELP YOU FIND YOUR HOME
Are you ready to start searching for your home? Our professional real estate agents are here to help you every step of the way. Call us at 260-248-8961 to get connected with an Orizon Real Estate agent today!