When you find a home listing online that interests you, the next logical step is to check the date of the next open house and plan to attend. Visiting the home in this capacity is ideal, as it's not an official viewing with your real estate agent and can give you the chance to tour the home and yard without feeling any pressure to make a decision. During your attendance at the open house, you'll be checking out a wide range of factors, such as the size of the rooms and the overall feel of the home. Here are some specific things to make sure that you check out, too.
Dryness Of The Basement
Don't make the mistake of glossing over the basement just because it doesn't seem as exciting as the rest of the home; a thorough investigation of the basement can reveal a lot about a home. In particular, pay attention to whether the basement seems wet or dry. For example, does the space smell damp or musty? Is there a humidifer running or can you see signs of water damage on the floor or walls? These are all signs that the basement has flooded or, even worse, is prone to flooding. Conversely, a basement that smells and looks dry is a positive sign.
As you make your way around the home, keep an eye out for patch jobs on the walls or ceilings. These can indicate that there was water damage or an issue with the plumbing or wiring behind the wall. The presence of a patch on the wall or ceiling shouldn't automatically make you dismiss your interest in the home, but it does mean that you should find out more information from the listing agent. And, if you do wish to proceed with an offer, you'll want to make the offer conditional on a successful home inspection — and have the inspector check these areas.
It's easy to get focused on the size of the rooms, the furniture, and other such things at an open house, but you won't regret taking the time to look overhead when you're outside. Looking up can allow you to check the condition of the roof — if the shingles are warped and lifted, the roof is bad and this could mean that there's water damage in the attic. Likewise, you can look up and see the condition of the gutters. If they have obvious vegetation growing out of them, they haven't been cleaned in a long time and this could mean that there's water damage to the roof and attic.