If you’ve ever been to an open house, you know there’s a lot to consider. Is it actually cramped, or is it those drapes? Will it need a new AC in the next year? What are houses in the neighborhood selling for? Only you know what’s most important to you and your family, but there are some universal things to keep in mind.
- Don’t be shy – Go to lots of Open Houses! It’s never a bad thing to walk around the open houses available to you, even if they’re not exactly what you’re looking for. Listing agents know this, and their whole goal is to get as many people to walk through as possible. And you pick up what you like and don’t like when you go on open house “dates” – so it’s easier to spot “the one” quickly later.
- Feel free to ask the listing agent questions! They’re experts and can offer lots of insight into the home and real estate in your area. Don’t be shy about asking! Here’s a few good questions to start you off…
- Are there any known issues with the house? It might feel a little awkward but if there are known structural problems or code violations, these are required to be disclosed t buyers. Most agents will also have a written seller’s disclosure you can request.
- How much do utilities tend to run?
- The last time the home was updated? Updated appliances and the like are great, but don’t forget to ask about the features you can’t see, like the roof, plumbing or wiring.
- What’s in the area? Finding out there’s a great coffee shop, a convenient grocer or a nearby playground for the kids, can all tell you a lot about the neighborhood.
- Ask yourself (and your spouse!) what matters to your family. Possibly the most enlightening thing about going to an open house is talking it over afterward. What did you both like or not like? Can you imagine your family moving easily through the space in your daily life? Did you see an amateur DIY fix that concerned you? These kind of discussions are invaluable during your home search, and an open house can spark them.
Hopefully these tips will help you navigate your next open house – and give you the affirmation to go to more! And if you’ve yet to find a lender, give us a call. We’d be happy to answer your questions. We’re a Christian mortgage lender, built from one family’s dream and dedication. So we focus on getting you the best loan possible, even when others said no – because we get family and we believe in giving you our best.
The Christian Mortgage Mom