Home showings are always exciting as you might be visiting the home you’re going to live in for the next 10/20 years. Don’t let your emotions run the show no matter how beautiful the home is, and don’t forget why you are there. Your goal is to slip into the role of an inspector and look out for anything that could be wrong with the home. Have your real estate agent help you as they've probably seen hundreds of houses and will be able to recognize if something is off. Homebuyers usually prefer home showings with the listing agent and without the sellers, but you may not be in the position to choose. Either way, don’t lose your focus and don’t let the sellers distract you on your mission.
When we are house hunting, we think of all the details and features we want our new home to have, but as soon as we enter a home, we usually get very excited and forget at least half of it. Will you remember to ask about the air condition, especially now during the cold winter days? Making a list of all the things and features will help you remember all the questions you want to ask. Maybe you want a master bathroom, a gourmet kitchen or a beautiful backyard, but don’t forget about the “hidden” features that tell a lot about the quality of the house. Make sure to put these 3 things below on your list:
Remember that home showings allow you to see all the things that are not visible in the photos. Insulation is one of them, so make sure to run an insulation check in the attic and the basement for any signs of moist, damp or roof leakage. Ask about the condition, about extra layers of insulation, etc., as it plays a huge role in the overall comfort in any home.
The foundation is what keeps it all together, so any issues with it could cause thousands of other problems. Look for foundation cracks or easily sloping floors, and whether windows and doors are aligned in a proper way. Of course, more details will be known after an inspection, but why wait for an inspector and lose valuable time and money when you can spot these things on the spot? The inspector should look for more complex issues.
Are The Utility Bills in Proportion with the Home’s Size?
Ask the seller or listing agent casually about the monthly bills that come in and how high they are. Are they reasonable or are they a bit higher than they should be considering the home’s size? This question will lead you to inspect the appliances in more detail and the insulation which protects the home from external factors and retains heat and coolness depending on the season. Utility bills are a long-term commitment and you need to be confident that you are OK with the costs.
Looking at the above, we can surely say that big foundation issues could and should be a deal breaker. The other two could be improved and fixed. You may even work something out with the seller and make a contingent offer or you could simply try to negotiate the price and here is how.