How To Really View A House You Want To Buy

Property viewing is one of the most important stages of buying real estate. Keep these tips in mind if you want the viewing experience to be truly helpful:

Watch Out For Signs of Neglect

Signs of neglect may mean that the owner has not been taking good care of the house, which may signal more serious problems with the house that may not be immediately visible to you. Here are some obvious signs of neglect:

  • Overgrown lawn or yard
  • Stains all over the house
  • Dirt and debris all over the house
  • Carelessly patched holes

If a homeowner can't cut their loan, then how can you be sure their HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system is properly maintained?

Watch Out For Attempts to Hide Damage

Some homeowners don't want to fix defects when selling their homes, but they also don't want potential sellers to see the defects. They, therefore, take the shortcut route of hiding the damages so that potential buyers don't see them easily. Here are some of the ways in which sellers hide defects:

  • Painting walls or ceilings with stains, tiny cracks or signs of water damage
  • Using a wall-to-wall carpet to hide defects on the floor
  • Hiding evidence of oil tank, say, by sawing off the fill pipe

Use the Opportunity to Scout the Neighborhood

When going to view a property, don't just focus on the property and its lot; take the opportunity to view the neighborhood too. Check out the roads, the state of pollution, pay attention to whether there are any suspicious characters hanging around or whether there are children playing in the streets. In fact, it's best to use different routes for arriving and departing so that you can get to know the neighborhood better.

Don't Put Much Weight on the Décor             

You are going to view the property, the neighborhood, the appliances and major systems, but not the décor. Sure, the seller will spruce up and stage the décor to attract you, but décor is something you can easily change. It would be disastrous to buy a house because its décor is stunning only to find that you don't like the floor layout or that the insulation is inefficient.

Take Notes during the Viewing

Lastly, don't rely on your memory (human memory is fickle) during the viewing. Instead, have a notepad and take notes of interesting things, things you don't like about the house and generally anything that comes to your mind during the viewing. That way you have the opportunity to review the notes and even compare the property with other potentials later on.