Open House: What You Should Look For
Did you spot a property that appears to meet your needs, and the broker is holding an open house this weekend? Here are a few things to verify during your visit.
Take the time to explore the neighbourhood. How do the other properties look? Are they well-maintained? What services and shops are within walking distance, or driving distance? What about schools, parks and public transit? Is the property located in a safe environment?
The property’s exterior and its surroundings
Walk around the outside of the property. How close are the neighbours? Do you have enough privacy? Stop and listen. Is the neighbourhood quiet?
What about the exterior of the home? Take a look at the siding, windows, patio, walkways, etc., to see if they are well-maintained. Do you see any cracks in the foundation? You should obviously have a pre-purchase inspection done, but a careful first glance can be decisive.
Layout of the home
Once inside, look at the layout of the rooms. Are they well located in relation to each other? It’s important to consider their size and brightness, as these elements are important for your comfort.
Also, will the layout of the home allow you to live there for a long time and will it evolve with your needs? For example, is it possible to add an office if you decide to work from home or to accommodate children once they become teenagers? Do the storage spaces, the location of amenities such as the laundry room and access to the garage and backyard meet your needs?
Every house has a history
Ask the listing broker questions about the builder, the number of former owners, and any transformations or renovations that have been done over the years.
Get your broker involved
Before going further in your process, schedule a second visit with your broker who will give a professional opinion about the property. Your broker will also be able to review documents, analyze the market and provide advice about the property’s fair market value.