The first opportunity you will truly get to see a home during the buying process is during the first time you do a walkthrough. Seeing pictures of the exterior and interior are just not the same as being there in person looking at your potential living space.
The walkthrough happens after you get your mortgage preapproved. After all, you don’t want to waste time looking at homes you cannot afford. Treat your walkthrough like you are test driving a car for the first time. Utilize all five of your senses as soon a you pull up to the house.
The first thing you want to look at when you first pull up to the home is the siding and roof. The quality of the exterior is usually a good indicator of what the previous owner’s priorities were when taking care of the home. Missing roof tiles can mean there are potential issues with the roof, so be ready to ask questions about it. How long has it been since the roof was replaced? Are there any leaks?
Other things to check out around the home is the yard. How is the grass? Is it in good shape, or are you going to have to re-sod it eventually? How does the pavement or concrete look around the driveway, if there is one?
When you first enter a home, look up and look down. How does the ceiling look? What about the flooring and carpets? Look at the paint job in each of the rooms.
Don’t be afraid to check every nook and cranny in every room. Signs of damage can be hard to tell from the initial look, so don’t be afraid to take your time looking at every little detail. After all, this will potentially be your home for the next few years, if not decades.
One of the most trafficked parts of a home is the kitchen. Check out the cabinets to see how new they are. Are they sturdy? How about the appliances? Are they new or well maintained?
Questions to Ask
Don’t just rely on your own observations when doing a walkthrough. Be prepared to ask the real estate agent plenty of questions. If they are a good agent, they will be open and frank about the home and its previous tenants if they have the information.
Ask about the previous owners reasons for moving. Ask about the neighborhood. If you have kids, you should find out about the school situation and what district you will be in. Is the home a part of an HOA neighborhood? If so, what are the fees and expectations?
This might seem like an overwhelming amount of information to take in all at once. And frankly, it is. But home purchasing is most likely going to be the most expensive thing you will ever buy in your lifetime, so it is important to have all of the information you can get before making a decision. The initial walkthrough is your opportunity to research your potential purchase first hand and should not be taken lightly.
Jodi Bakst, Broker-Owner of Real Estate Experts – is known for providing superior customer service and making use of the most advanced marketing systems and technologies that showcase her listings and get them sold