An open house is an integral part of every house hunt but they can be quite daunting. Not only are they physically exhausting but if you are not keen enough, you may end up overlooking some serious faults that may end up costing you a lot of money should you decide to proceed with the purchase. The average buyer spends 96 minutes looking at the property that they are planning to buy. That may not be enough time to spot all the faults within the property such as the malfunctioning showers, outdated roofing, broken down fixtures or even faulty electrical wiring. Some of these problems can easily be avoided by taking your time to research the property and carrying out assessments during an open house.
It will get a lot harder if you have to tour multiple properties in a day. Keeping track of what you saw where can be a tough prospect. There are issues that you may spot during an open house that may end up costing you a lot more a few years down the line or which may be an indicator to a more serious underlying problem that may not even be easy to fix. Here are some tips on how you can spot the faults during an open house.
Prepare a checklist
What is most important for you in the property? Draw up a checklist of your must-haves and use these during your open house time slot to determine if the property makes the cut. What are your minimum requirements? When was the last time the property was surveyed? How many bedrooms do you want? How many bathrooms do you need? Having a checklist of the things that you want will help you to promptly check off the details and determine if the piece of property is suited for your needs.
Watch out on the hidden contamination
Walk through the property to determine that there is some hidden contamination such as sewage leaks, disposal areas, vehicle batteries or small landfills. If you purchase a property with some contamination, the burden to clean it up will be on you. Take your time to evaluate the condition of the property to determine if everything is ok.
Any signs of moulding?
Sellers may go out of their way to mask off signs of degradation or mould growth. Assess some of the likely culprits as the fascia boards, soffits, bathrooms and kitchens for any signs of mould growth.
Examine the home foundation
Does the property have a solid foundation? The entire edifice rests on a solid foundation so take time to inspect these for soundness. Superficial blemishes on the property foundation will not amount to much but if you spot large cracks, there is good reason to pause and think about the cost of fixing these a few years down the line.
Is the sewer system good?
An inefficient or blocked sewer can be one of the biggest headaches in the home. Not only does it pose a serious health risk, it is also costly to fix. Most homebuyers generally focus on the glitter of the finishing and other superficial details but fail to factor in the more critical factors such as the reliability of the sewer and septic systems in the house. This is further complicated by the fact that septic systems and sewers are rarely part of regular home inspections so you may want to consider spending a little extra on dedicated sewer inspections. It can be a worthy investment that would save you high repair costs down the line.
How good is the roofing?
When was the roofing last replaced? Home sellers may paint the roof and give it a pristine look but if it is past its lifespan, it will soon break down over your head. The roof is one of the bones of the home so you need to give it critical attention to establish that it is still strong and with good durable quality. A deteriorated roof is not just costly to replace but it will cause a lot of a secondary problems such as the disintegration of the underlying structures and moulding in the interior surfaces.
How old is the wiring?
When was the wiring last done? Is the home wiring up to standard? If you purchase a home with outdated electrical systems, chances are that it is not going to support your current electrical needs and you may have to grapple with lots of costly electrical repairs. Old wiring also poses a safety risk.
Are the doors and windows in good shape?
The doors and windows may look great but if they were installed ages ago, it is likely that the underlying support structures may have disintegrated or undergone some damage and they may not be easily operable or even provide adequate protection from burglars or intruders.