There is no doubt about it, but touring Windsor homes for a buyer should be a good experience. After looking online, perhaps for months, getting pre-approved and interviewing real estate agents, now the fun begins! It’s time to seriously start looking at homes and hopefully, find the house that you have been dreaming about for months.
In the excitement however, buyers, especially those doing this for the first time, often forget to ask important questions when touring a property. Again, the process can be overwhelming, especially if you see a home that you immediately fall in love with. Buyers sometimes get so excited, that they forget to review ask the all important questions to ensure that the property has everything on their wish list.
I always suggest that buyers look and ask questions as they go along. Here are some of the more common things buyers need to look for when touring a home for the first time:
1. Is there enough room to grow?
If you are buying a home and have family in mind, ask yourself if this home will do for several years, especially if you have no desire to move for a while. In fact, many buyers who think that a home will only be temporary often stay longer than they originally thought. So if this is the case, will this home suit your needs for the next 5 years or so?
2. Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
Or, are there too many bedrooms and baths? When buyers are downsizing, it’s often hard for them to actually downsize. They think they will need extra room for guests or in case children come home. But keep in mind what your goals are. If you think you need more room, then go home and sleep on it. Too many times buyers have contacted me the next day and they exclaim, “What were we thinking?”
3. Is the house structurally sound?
Of course, buyers will need to hire a home inspector, but look around and see if you notice any cracks in the walls. Are the floors level? Major flaws in the driveway or garage floors? Are windows leaking or any water stains on the ceiling?
4. Do the appliances work?
Turn on the faucets, check the hot water and pressure. Don’t hesitate to turn on the garbage disposal and other appliances. Again, an inspector should check these things, but there is no reason not to see if things are running properly.
5. Do you like the floor plan?
Do you desire a traditional floor plan or a more open flow? Is it important that the kitchen and family room be one space? Do you want the master bedroom on the first floor, or do you prefer to be upstairs?
6. Will your furniture fit in home?
I often suggest that buyers bring a tape measure to see if furniture will fit. It’s surprising how big empty rooms can look and can be quite deceiving. It’s not until moving day when a buyer finds out that their king sized bed is way too big for the master bedroom.
7. Is there enough storage space?
Buyers today want lots of storage space. Older homes usually have fewer closets while newer homes often have more than enough. Remember, especially if you are a first time homebuyer, you will gather more and more belongings the longer you are a homeowner. Think about holiday decorations, sports equipment, yard supplies and tools. Really, the list gets longer and longer, so be prepared!
8. Are there any visible repairs or replacements needed?
Take a look at the appliances, will they need to be replaced or updated? Do you see dripping faucets or a room that is need of a coat of paint? If you see too many repairs or updating, yet you don’t have the time and budget, you may want to keep looking.
9. Will seller repair or replace?
Sometimes, your real estate agent will have information that a seller is making plans to make a repair or update an appliance, but usually, these requests are made during the negotiations or, in the case of repairs, after a home inspection has been conducted.
10. Consider the house in good and bad weather and all throughout the year.
A home may have lots of charm during the summer, but how will it look during the winter? For example, you may love the long, winding driveway, but will it be fun to plow the snow in the winter? The swimming pool may be fun in the summer, but are you willing to maintain it?
Buying a home may be your most costly purchase. The goal is to find a home that you will be happy in for many years. Chances are you will need to make some compromises, but make sure you don’t make changes that you can’t live with.