Attending an open home is an exciting undertaking. Could the property you are about to see be ‘the one’?
Everyone wants to walk through a front door and feel the head-over-heels giddiness that can come with finding the perfect home.
However, it is critical to approach the process with a discerning eye to ensure it is the right fit.
Open inspections are the best opportunity for you to ensure you are making a well-informed decision by using the time in an effective way.
But how do you know what to look for to ensure it is the right choice?
Here are eight essentials to consider when inspecting a property.
You can consider the property location prior to an open inspection. Evaluate the location based on your needs. Young families may want to consider proximity to schools and public transport, or whether it is a good neighbourhood. Is it on a busy road, or a quiet cul-de-sac which is more family friendly?
The location has an impact on your lifestyle, and the property’s long-term value. While heading to the inspection ensure you take the time to look at the surrounding suburb to get a feel for the area.
Natural light and ventilation
The right balance of natural light and ventilation can dramatically improve your living experience and contribute to the overall value of the property.
Placement of the windows is important. Australia’s sun path is angled to the north, so south-facing windows generally receive less sunlight. Northern facing windows will deliver more radiant heat and light throughout the day.
Assess the natural light in each room, especially those where you will be spending a significant amount of time, such as a living space or kitchen. Natural light should be present and create an inviting atmosphere. Outside obstructions such as buildings, trees, or other structures can be disruptive to this, but can also have an impact on ventilation.
Be sure to note how the property handles cross ventilation. Open doors on the opposite side of the property and see what happens. Cross ventilation promotes air circulation, and a more comfortable and fresher indoor environment.
Structural integrity and condition
Ensure you pay close attention to the property’s structural elements. Looking for things such as signs of wear and tear can give you an idea of how well the house has been built and maintained.
Look for signs of cracks or water damage. Condition also extends to appliances, plumbing fixtures and electrical components. Make sure they are well-maintained and modern.
Up-to-date fixtures and fittings mean less replacement work in the future and are key to ensuring the property is comfortable to live in and efficient. It will also reduce unexpected maintenance costs.
The layout of the home has an impact on how you live and function day to day. Understanding your lifestyle needs is key. When at an open home be sure to assess the layout based on your needs.
Evaluate the flow between rooms, the storage spaces and room sizes. If you are in a family, you may be looking for a layout that has the ability to accommodate changes as the family grows or to accommodate a work-from-home set up.
Outdoor spaces can add to the liveability of the home, but also to the maintenance.
Be sure to explore the outdoor areas including gardens, or patios and balconies. Assess the condition of the space and envision how you could utilise them. Does it suit your lifestyle? Are you looking for something that is low to maintain or are you happy to manage the upkeep of an established garden?
Noise and movement
Looks, location and layout might be great, but what if that dream family home was on a busy main road?
Your home should be your oasis; you want to be able to hear yourself think and avoid purchasing a property where you have overlooked the hustle and bustle.
Noise and movement can come in many different forms: The neighbour who loves a party, the nearby train line, the cars or trucks traveling by an arterial road, or a suburb that falls right into a flight path. Listen during the inspection, or better yet, ask around the neighbourhood about noise or traffic.
Research any upcoming development plans in the area. Knowledge of future developments can affect property values and the overall desirability of the location. A proactive approach to understanding the neighborhood’s future can help you make a more informed decision.
You’ve seen the home. Now it is time to obtain more information from the agent during the inspection. Questions you may want to ask include:
Attending open inspections armed with a strategic checklist ensures you focus on critical aspects about a property’s value and livability.
It means when you walk through the door as the owner, you won’t be blindsided by anything unexpected, and it will make the decision-making process easier in finding the perfect home to align with your lifestyle and investment goals.