Five Things to Make Sure You Pay Attention to at an Open House
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It seems like forever since we've had a week without a new listing and an open house....and we're not complaining! There's so much activity happening on both the buyer and seller sides of our Vermont real estate market; here are our Top 5 Buyer Tips for Open Houses:
1. Look Up!
Even before the smell of cookies draws you inside, inspect the roof. Does it look new or a little weathered with cracked shingles or algae growth? Roof repair and replacements can be expensive, so be sure to factor this into your home buying decision.
2. Signs of Care to Care?
Does the home have signs of damage beyond normal wear and tear? Even one or two signs of neglect can be telling as to how the sellers have cared for the home. Rust, leaks, poor insulation, and mold can all easily be overlooked during a cozy open house on a sunny day. The chances are that a home owner who dusts regularly and polishes their hardwood floors has been a better caretaker than one that hired a cleaning service for the first time because of the open house.
3. Hey, Neighbor!
No matter how much money you invest in renovating your home, there will always be one thing you can't fix - your neighbors. Be sure to look around at the other houses and how they're cared for. Are their children playing outside or police offers posted? Do you even want neighbors and is the next house too close? Be observant as you drive to the house for sale and decide in advance what you're looking for.
4. Test Everything
Faucets, outlets, light switches, appliances. Don't take for granted that it all works. Most issues will come out in the inspection, but take matters into your own hands for the little things before you get too far (and invest emotions and money) in the home buying process.
5. Bring Your Imagination
Paint colors, layouts, and furniture can all change. Focus on structure, walls, lighting, and room flow, but flex your creative muscles to imagine how the house can work for you. Just because it's currently filled with plastic covered furniture from the 1940's doesn't mean it can't be your dream minimalist contemporary home.