You’ve saved money. You’ve done your research and you’re just about ready to visit properties in the hopes of buying your very first home this year. You’d better make sure that these visits are effective. Here are a few tips.
- We assume that you’ve defined your needs and priorities before visiting your first homes. Don’t make the mistake of defining them as you go along. If so, you’ll waste precious time.
- Don’t wait to visit the property before getting the basic information, such as the age of the house, the electricity costs, the taxes, etc. Browse the websites of cities and power companies. They can usually give you this information. The real estate broker’s listings also hold a lot of information. If the house is not listed, a phone call or an email to the homeowner should suffice. If you’re afraid to sound too pushy, tell yourself that the homeowner is probably glad to proceed in that way. He or she will also be saving time.
Look at all those trees, the landscaping, the garden! So beautiful! But what about the house itself?
- Take the time to become familiar with each room by spending time in them. It’s your right after all. Being shy or afraid to disrupt others will get you nowhere when buying a property. Remember, this will be the biggest investment of your whole entire life.
- You have the right to open all the doors and request to see anything and everything. You’re the buyer. Ask all the questions you want.
- Having a keen sense of observation is not a given for everyone. Don’t hesitate to bring along a reliable friend, known for having a watchful eye. Critical thinkers will be of great value. But, be careful! Don’t go and confront the homeowner. You might alienate him or her. You should ask questions without passing judgement.
- Ignore the home decor. It’s an illusion. Concentrate on what’s most important: the size and the state of each room, the materials used and the work that needs to be done.
- Remember that dark colours tend to shrink the size of the rooms. What seems small can actually be bigger than you think. On the other hand, a light coloured room with a generous fenestration will make the room seem much bigger than it really is. You’ll have to measure each room to outwit the illusion.
You’ll love it here: a terrace, a porch and so much more! The homeowner keeps on telling you how your quality of life will improve, so important nowadays because of the crazy lives we live in. All of those things are great, but what about the land itself? What does it look like? What about the condition of the ground?
We don’t want you to get paranoid, but be aware of homeowners who go out of their way to point out one specific feature of their home. Especially if they are willing to draft a promise to purchase right away.
Take a moment to visit the neighbourhood and its surroundings by taking a long walk on the streets close by. Talk to the neighbours. Walk to the closest grocery store. Find out what recent projects the city has been working on.
Something’s bothering you, but you can’t exactly put your finger on it. After only 15 minutes, you don’t feel this house is the right one for you. No point going any further. You’re wasting your time. Go ahead and visit another home, and we can’t emphasize this enough, take your time.
Take some time to write notes, sort them out and place them in a folder once you get back. Use your tablet or smart phone, with the owner’s permission, of course.