Hello home buyers, I’m sure the reason why you are here is you’re looking for a house to buy, maybe you have seen few houses for sale already and still can’t seem to find the right choice and make that final decision.
Or maybe this is just the first time you would be looking for your very own property to buy.
In this post you will learn things to look at the house during house tour like a professional home buyer.
See the online pictures first
Pictures gives you an idea what you are about to see, and take note of this, an excellent real estate broker, if you’re dealing with a broker, or a serious home seller, will and can provide you quality picture of the house they are selling online.
It’s just because they know a good high quality picture will help sell the property faster.
The picture you would want to ask are, front of the house, garage, living room, dining, kitchen, bedroom, if it is located in a gated community, you can ask for the subdivision’s entrance and roads.
Now some of the seller do not post picture of toilet and bath, but that doesn’t mean they do not have it, so go on and ask.
Oooopps. You did not expect this to be early on this list. Yes, you’re paying only for the house and lot but the area where it is located comes as all in package.
House tours does not mean that you only take a investigative look inside the house, what’s outside of it comes with it also.
Make sure to spot major systems like, traffic conditions. Is the house close to market, shopping mall, hospital, entertainment centers. Check out also if it is near the subdivision clubhouse.
Have time to drive around, see if the surrounding will fit your lifestyle, is it safe to walk, run or bike, if you have children, will there be a place for them to play?
Consider also the time to go in and out of the subdivision, in case of emergencies, how much time will it take to go to the nearest hospital?
Can you see public vehicles? If none, chances are you will need to have your own way of transportation.
In many instances, client would ask me if the place has a history of flooding. Of course, we make sure that all of our for-sale properties are flood free.
The nearest neighbors
Look beyond the fence. Check out the house on both sides, left and right, even your would be back neighbors.
Does the house next door keep their lawns clean and tidy? Do they have pets, dogs that bark all day is a big no.
How close the neighbors are? If privacy is one of your top considerations, take a walk around the perimeter of the house to feel how close the next house will be.
Orientation of the house
If one of your requirements or you are very specific which direction the house should be facing, this should be settled during your communication before you schedule a house tour.
It would be better to ask “Is the house facing East?” beforehand, than be disappointed and waste everybody’s time seeing the house and turns out this requirement would be a problem.
Driveway length and width.
Of course, you have to know if your car(s) would fit the driveway.
How long it is? Is the house near the main road? How about neighbors who happen to share your driveway? Sounds impossible, nope, it happens only in the Philippines.
For mid-to-high end house buyers, there’s a little concern for street parking, but for socialized housing projects, you really need to check this out.
In my experience, it is good to do house tour at daytime, better in the morning, so you can see the natural light enters the house.
Studies have found that natural lights affect our mood, it lowers electricity consumption too.
Here’s a good article of benefits of natural light posted by arclighting.com.
Notice also the lights going through the window if it leaves a distracting glare on the television or computer screen. If it does, can you re-arrange the furniture to avoid such glare? Take note of your possible future actions.
Natural Air flow
A good natural ventilation inside the house, when you open the doors and windows is also good for energy saving plus it gives a lot of health benefits too.
The house design can enhance or diminished the natural ventilation, depending on the orientation and wind direction, a wind break like fence, row of trees, landscaping can block the wind, they can force air into or away from the windows. Make sure to watch for those.
Noise and privacy
As you enter and move inside the house, listen for outside noises, like traffic that runs along the highway a few miles away. Is the airport near?
Check for repairs. Roof, wall, paint jobs
You need to take a close look on these, no a second look then a third look would suffice, maybe the seller don’t want you to see those.
Be like a detective, ha ha. No seriously, if you’re really considering buying a house, and the house is built for years, you have to carefully check if it is properly maintained.
See the exterior and interior paint jobs, does it look fresh or damaged?
Check the roof and ceiling for repairs. Get a good look it they need to be replaced in the next 3 to 5 years.
Floor layout. Entrance & Exit Flow
Floor layout plays a big part on your lifestyle, if you’re well advance in age, I think stairs to second floor will be first on your list of unwanted things for a house to buy.
Walk through the room imagining your typical day. Going in and out of every room in the whole house should be easy to navigate, look for sharp corners around the house.
Size of Rooms
Not too big, not too small, your preferred room sizes depends also on your lifestyle. Just imagine setting up the bed as you enter the bedroom, imagine placing the sofa as you enter the living room.
Don’t hesitate to ask for the measurement. A very good agent know them.
Here’s a good post if you’re wondering what are the key sizes of the room.
Spot those blank spaces around the house, back of the main door where you can put a small cabinet for an extra rack. Can you build a book storage under the stairs?
Check every room. Living room, Bedroom, Kitchen, Laundry Room, Maid’s Room.
Yes, in the first place, that’s the main reason why you scheduled for the house tour, to see the entire house.
Start from the main entrance gate, if the situation allows and the gate is open, park your car at the garage. That way, you can check if your car fits the garage and at the same time have a good feel how would it be if you already own the house.
Next is the main door, to the living room, try to sit down for a while. Then to the dining room, kitchen, toilet and bath then the help’s quarters.
Your next stop is the master’s bedroom, if it is located at the upper floor, take the stairs, move slowly on every step, hear the noises and check out for cracks if there’s any, then check out every other rooms.
So there you go, on your next house tour, you can do it like a pro.