Looking for a Home? – What to look for at Open House

Today a checklist of sorts that will help you when you stop at your next Open House.

1.  Look at the condition of the property – use your senses as a guide.  What do you smell, see, hear and touch that will cause you to look deeper.  Look up, down and all around to see what potential fixes or changes might need to be addressed.

2.  Square Foot – If you are just beginning your home search this may be something that you have to see to understand better.  Once you stop by a few you will have a better understanding of how big the rooms in a home need to be for your success.

3.  Inclusions – What comes with the home?  Generally anything that is attached to the home comes with the home.  That said, sometimes certain items are excluded from the sale and will be listed on the MLS in this manner.  Make sure you know if appliances, window treatments, and lighting fixtures are included and now with flat screen TV‘s and wall mounting’s we need to be clear on what is a fixture so no one is surprised later on.

4.  Renovations – Have their been renovations and if so when?  Is there room for further renovations should I later decide to do some remodeling or room additions?

5.  The Outside – Walk the property.  Begin with the home itself.  What is the condition of the roofing, siding walkways, driveway etc.  Does the home have landscaping and what is its condition?  Are there wells on the property or other things you should be aware of such as a grave?  (it happens).  Look at the chimney and other brick work to make sure it is in good condition.  Does the home have a deck or patio?  If so, what condition are they in?  Does the home have central air?  Stop and check the condition of the air conditioner.  Are there outbuildings, sheds, pools, etc?  If so what condition are these in?  This is also a good time to again use your senses and listen to see if you hear any noises that might be a deal breaker.

6.  Hire an expert – while we can yea or neah a lot of things on our own, once you find that one that seems to meet your  needs, write up an offer but make it contingent on a home inspection.  Hire a reputable home inspector.  Review their report and note any fixes or problem areas.  If the concerns are fixes you can address, buy.  If they will be costly or unobtainable, continue your search.

7.  Your Realtor – While you are free to attend open houses on your own, setting up a private showing with your real estate agent will allow for more time to walk through, a knowledgeable person working for YOU who can point out areas of concern and or help in only showing you homes that really match your needs in the first place.  In most cases, the person holding the open house is looking out for the seller.  You need your realtor to be looking out for you!

Kim Woehl is a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty – She works in the Lakes area.  This includes Forest Lake, Wyoming, North Branch, Lindstrom, Chisago City, Stacy, Scandia, Hugo, Center City, Linwood, East Bethel.  If you are looking for an agent that will work hard for you and listen to your needs.  A realtor that will educate and keep you in the loop as you move along the process of finding your next home, look no more.  Give her a call!  651-214-1459