When you are in the home-buying process, touring houses can be both the most exciting and stressful part. Imagining your life in a new location while you weigh out costs, space, location, and potential updates or repairs is a lot to juggle all at once.
Preparing yourself before you tour a home is the best way to keep your thoughts clear and check all the items on your list (mental or physical) without becoming overwhelmed. Make sure you know how to get the most out of every home tour you take.
Whittle Down Your List
In order to use your touring time well, create a list of what you do and do not want to see or experience. Allow yourself to imagine life in a new place and create a list that mimics everything you see in your dreams. Once you have a long list, whittle it down so that you can focus on the most important items.
Furniture is one of the first things you can eliminate from your list. A staged home is just that, staged.
When you view a house, while you can note the size and placement of large items, don’t focus on the furniture in rooms. Instead, take measurements and note wall socket and light switch placements. This can help you picture your own belongings in the home, creating a better mental picture than one full of things you don’t own.
Keep in mind, too, that wall treatments are an easy and inexpensive change you can make. If you walk into a room and immediately hate what is on the walls, refocus on windows, doors and ceiling heights in order to picture the room as your own.
Consider dropping other items from your list that would be simple changes as well. Cabinets and door knobs can be changed, as can faucets and yard work. Don’t let what preexists in a home keep your mind off of the structural items you can’t later replace.
Use All of Your Senses
Once you have a list that refocuses your home tour back to those things that are most important, remember to use your five senses to truly investigate a house.
Note the smell of the home when you first walk in, and continue to investigate odors throughout the home. Pay special attention to how basements, bathrooms, and the backyard smell. Musty odors could be indicative of a moisture problem and mold growth, while a foul odor in the backyard could suggest a septic tank issue.
Run your hands around windows and door seals to feel for moisture or air leaks. Do the same near a fireplace if there is one.
Take your shoes off (we promise it isn’t rude, and some homes require it) and feel the thickness of the carpet or note how slick the hardwood is. Look for cracks in corners or water stains on the ceiling. If the water in the home is on, snag a sip from one of the faucets, especially if you are moving to an area that has a water provider you don’t have experience with.
The more you can experience the home for what it really is rather than what it appears to be, the better you will understand what living there will be like. A home is a huge investment, and you deserve as much information as you can get before making it. Make the most out of every home tour by knowing exactly what to look for.
Ready to start the home-buying process? Contact us, and we will walk with you every step of the way.
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