Open houses are always an easy way to check out multiple homes in a community that you’re interested in or to get an idea of what you like and dislike in the beginning stages of your search. If you do find a home that you are interested in by visiting an open house, there are some red flags to keep an eye out for. Some of these are worth putting some serious thought into as they can be costly updates down the road should that open house gem become your home.
We understand that no home is likely to be perfect – even new construction – but some “fixes” can be more of a headache (and more costly) than others. For example, hard to swallow paint colors may be hard to look past, but are a quick and low budget change. It’s the underlying issues to keep an eye out for and here’s a quick guide to help you out:
Check out the condition of the roof.
Looking beyond the features of the home that may make it dreamy like a chef’s kitchen or oversize walk in closets is hugely important. While taking your tour, be sure to visually inspect the roof to see if it appears to be sagging or is in disrepair. The typical life span of a roof is up to about 20 years, but the average cost to replace one can run as high as $25,000 or more. The roof is traditionally included in the home inspection you would have done in your due process, but if there is immediate evidence of damage, it may not be worth the trouble to even get to the point of a home inspection.
Are there issues with the home’s foundation?
It’s not hard to understand why the foundation of a home is so important. It is quite literally what the home is resting and built on. While walking through the home, be sure to pay attention to any sloping in the floors as you tour and look for any wide cracks on the exterior.
Be on the lookout for noticeable water damage.
While water damage may not always be evident, there are some warning signs to be aware of and keep your eyes open for while at an open house. Patched or discolored areas in the ceiling are an obvious sign of water damage, but you can also use your sense of smell. A musty odor can sometimes also be a sign of a previous leak.
Is the wiring outdated?
Depending on the age of the home you are visiting, you may want to pay attention to things like the lighting switches and knobs. An older wiring system may still be functional, but could cause problems for you down the road that is somewhat intrusive to fix. If you’re seeing lighting features that seem a little antiquated to you, it can’t hurt to ask the seller or the person overseeing the open house about the age of the wiring in the home and if it has ever been upgraded.
The windows tell a story.
While original windows in an older home can have a charming look, they can also mean higher heating and cooling costs. There is a benefit to the energy savings of new windows and something to consider is the cost of having to replace all of the windows in a home.
Some additional questions you house be asking if you’re seriously considering taking next steps are things like: whether insurance claims have been made on the house and why, what’s the state of the sewer system, what is the state of the seawall/dock if applicable. With so many factors to keep in mind, it is always a smart decision to work with a Realtor who can help you navigate these important steps. TEAM BUKY has a combined 80 years of experience in the Sarasota and Bradenton real estate market and is ready to help you find the home of your dreams. Give us a call today to streamline the process and get the exceptional service you deserve!