You’ve met with a mortgage banker. You’ve scoured the real estate apps, and now you have a shortlist of homes to consider. It’s time to start the home tours.
But don’t let the chocolate chip cookies sway you. You’re there for a reason. Make the most of an open house or a home tour by first knowing what to look out for, and what potential red flags are. Here are our best home tour tips.
1. Don’t fall for the staging.
That throw blanket? It was strategically placed there. Everyone (or at least smart sellers) will stage the house for the best possible flow from room to room. Open houses are designed to look as aesthetically appealing as possible. Look past the trendy furniture and into the house itself. Do you like the overall style and arrangement of rooms? Does it have a good layout? If the answer is yes, move on to step two.
2. Picture yourself in it.
Use your imagination. What would your furniture look like in this house? How about your current decor? Picture yourself making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning. Imagine throwing parties and having family over. Is the home you can see yourself making your own?
3. Look beyond paint and wallpaper.
In the world of home-buying
, painting is one of the cheapest ways to give your new home an upgrade. That said, it’s important to know how comfortable you are with making renovations—big or small—before you buy. If the idea of working on your house over the weekend doesn’t sound appealing, maybe a fixer upper isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re itching to put your power tools to work, go for it. Know your home remodel comfort zone prior to putting in an offer.
4. Check out the neighborhood.
Depending on how long you plan to stay in this new house, you might want to consider resale value. You can make upgrades to the house itself, sure, but the neighborhood also plays a role in your home’s value. Look around while you’re at the home tour. How busy is the street? Where is the lot in relation to the block? Is it the biggest house on the block? Is there a garage or off-street parking? Are there many vacant houses or rentals in the neighborhood? After the tour, if you like the house, drive around or go for a walk to get a better idea of the neighborhood.
5. You’ll know it when you see it.
Love at first sight: it’s true about relationships, and often, home-buying. If the issues you have with a house seem small and easy to overlook, you may just have found the one. There’s no substitute for a good dose of skepticism, but if you’re aware of the house’s potential downfalls, the home inspection is complete and it still looks and sounds like a dream? It might be the right house for you.
6. See a house more than once.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself during the first visit. You should always plan to see a house more than once. The first time around, focus on steps one through five. After that, the real scrutiny begins.
Was that helpful?
If so, you can get even more home-buying tips such as how much to save for a down payment and what price range to consider with the help of the right mortgage banker. Get to know our bankers
and then make an appointment today.