It’s easy to get caught up in the ambiance of a house, the energy of an open house, or get focused on one amazing feature in a home that you start to totally ignore some of the essential things that you should be focused on. That is why I have found that carrying a list such as this one helps you to stay on track, take important notes to hash over later, and be able to do a quick assessment of each home. This also helps keep houses from running together in your mind. After the 5th or 6th home you start to forget which house had which problem or which home had most of the amenities that you were looking for. Next house you visit bring this checklist along:
* Look at the roof. If it appears to be newer you are probably safe but if it appears to need a bit of work it may end up costing you quite a bit. Plus if it is a newer roof your homeowners insurance may be lower.
* Open the cabinet below the sink. This will help you see any leaks or mold issues that could also be costly to repair.
* Walk the exterior of the property. While most people focus on the house you need to determine if the house is prone to flooding or if the fence needs extensive repairs.
* Turn on everything. This means light switches, flush toilets, turn on sinks. You may even want to taste the water.
* Check the hot water system. You will want to see if it is big enough for your family. A family will need a bigger system than a single person and so on. If it’s a gas system check for the systems last servicing.
* Open and shut the windows. See if they open and close easily. Replacing windows can be a costly investment.
* Check if there are unusual shaped rooms. Some of these may prove hard to furnish.
* Check for wall outlets. In older homes there are sometimes only one or two in the entire room. This will become a hindrance once you are trying to plug in your computer, tv, phone, ipad, lamp, alarm clock, printer, etc…
Things to Overlook:
* Outdated carpet. While it makes a big impact on the room it can easily replaced at an affordable price.
* Paint: While exterior paint may be a bit more costly, you can repaint a room in your house for much less and certainly shouldn’t be a reason to not purchase a home if everything else is up to your standards.
* Outdated Kitchen cabinets: Cabinet resurfacing can be done very inexpensively.
* Old or ugly window treatments: It can certainly have an impact on a room but you can easily purchase new window treatments and give the whole room an update!