Perhaps the most exciting part of buying a home is touring homes and properties. It’s fun to imagine your family living in these new spaces, and it’s easy to get carried away thinking about how you’ll decorate or explore your new neighborhood.
While touring homes can be fun, it’s important not to get too emotional in the process. Even a home that looks great may have some serious issues, and you don’t want to get too invested in a home that just won’t be a good fit for you. Before you can imagine yourself in a home, you need to do your due diligence and inspect as much as you can as you tour the home.
Whether it’s your first or fourth time buying a home, it can be hard not to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new home, so keep this checklist in mind to ground yourself — and find out how pressure washing services can get your own home in shape for buyers.
What to do before you enter the home
When you buy a home, you also buy into a neighborhood and community. You may already be familiar with the community if you’re moving within the same town or city, but neighborhoods within the same city can be very different.
Before going inside, take a drive or walk around the area to familiarize yourself with the layout and take stock of what matters most to you, whether that’s closeness to schools, public transportation, nightlife or grocery stores. This should be your biggest priority — everything else is just gravy. Be honest with yourself about what you really need. It would be great to be close to a public pool or movie theater, but if you want your kids to be able to walk to and from school everyday, then that should be your priority.
You should also look at other homes on the block and what their vibe seems to be. Are they kept in good condition? Are people outside with their kids or are kids riding bikes or playing outside? Do people leave their garage doors open? If you go by at night, look at the lighting of the street. Are some of the street lights out? Do houses leave their lights on?
You probably won’t be able to get an accurate feel for the neighborhood during just one time of day, so visit the neighborhood at different times of the day. After all, your prospective neighbors may be very active and friendly in the evening hours, but you won’t know that if you drive by at 1 p.m.
If your prospective home doesn’t offer the location you really need or the neighborhood isn’t quite what you’d like, then do not tour the home. Buying a home is a huge investment in time and money. It’s perfectly acceptable to be picky when choosing a home.
Your home touring checklist
Now that you’ve gotten a feel for the neighborhood, it’s time to move inside and see how you like the interior of the home, but it’s not about paint colors or furniture. When you tour a home, you need to put style out of your mind. You can paint. You can replace cabinets and add curtains and furniture. For now, just think about the bones of your prospective home.
As with your neighborhood, think about what matters in a new home to you most. Is it space? Do you need more bedrooms and bathrooms to fit your family? Are your kids older with fewer big toys or are you hosting playdates often for the neighborhood kids? You should also think about your personal needs. Do you want to host holidays for family? Do you have hobbies that you want to make room for? It’s okay to have competing wants, but decide on what is most important.
To really do a thorough look, go room to room and think about each one individually and as part of the larger picture. To help you along, here’s a checklist for each room.
The living room, and subsequent family rooms and dens, will be spaces for relaxing. Here’s what you should be looking for:
- Space layout: Do you need open-concept or would you prefer a more segmented living room? There are pros and cons for both layouts, depending on what your family needs.
- Fireplace: Is it working or decorative? Gas or wood burning? Ask the seller’s relator for details.
- Outlets: Do all of them work? Bring a phone charger with you and test every outlet.
- Flooring: Carpet? Hardwood? Laminate? Does it need to be replaced or refinished any time soon?
- Walls: Any cracks? How does the crown molding look?
- Lighting: You may not love the fixtures, but they can be changed. Most importantly, do all of the lights and fans work?
- Furniture: What kind of furniture do you plan on having and will your new living room accommodate it? If you want a big sectional, will there be room? If not, will you be okay with a small couch and maybe a chair?
Some believe that bigger is always better, but with living rooms, bigger spaces with high ceilings may be more of a problem than you might realize. Rooms with high ceilings are hard to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They look nice, but you will be paying a lot of money to your electric company.
Having a well-functioning kitchen matters most to a lot of families, and it can serve as the hub of activities. Some kids like to do their homework in the kitchen, and some parents prefer to make simple meals as opposed to more extravagant ones.
As you’re touring, keep this checklist handy:
- Countertops and cabinets: Are they in good condition? Open up all cabinets and check under the sink to know for sure. Do you see holes anywhere? Is the sink leaking? Do you see water damage under the sink at all? Water damage can mean mold or even infestations, so pay attention to any sign of water damage or leaks.
- Appliances: How old are they? Turn on all the tops of the stove to make sure they work. Do they look worn? About how long will it be before you need to replace them?
- Floors and walls: Notice how the floors and walls look. Are there major scuff marks on the floor? If there’s a door outside in the kitchen, are the floors and walls around that area particularly dirty?
- Lighting: With kitchens, you need more task lighting, such as undercabinet lighting, to see what you’re doing. You might also need fans. Flips the light switches and make sure everything works.
- Layout: Is there a kitchen island? Is the kitchen easy to navigate and get around? Large kitchens can be great — until you need to cook in them and you’re practically running back and forth just to make a grilled cheese sandwich. If there isn’t a lot of counter space or the layout isn’t functional for you, keep that in mind.
- Outlets: Look for functionality, of course, but also look at the location of outlets. Will there be space for your coffee pot or toaster?
Shows like HGTV make having a big kitchen seem like the end-all-be-all, but when you’re touring, you need to be honest with yourself about what kind of a kitchen you really need. Remember, you can add in granite countertops and stainless steel appliances later if that’s what you really want. If you don’t like to cook big dinners or your teenagers are no longer home often enough for dinner, then don’t worry so much about a high-end kitchen. Focus on areas of your home where you’ll spend more time.
For your master bedroom, you want a space that you and your partner can have some privacy away from your kids. For the other bedrooms, you really just need rooms with enough space for a bed, maybe a desk and some good closet space.
Here’s what you should be looking for:
- Layout: Think of bedrooms in terms of the now and the future. Is there enough space for your child to sleep, do homework, play and put things away in closets, dressers or desks? When your child is grown and out of the house, will a queen bed fit for guests?
- Closet space: Walk-in closets are great for master bedrooms, but guests bedrooms probably don’t need them.
- Access to bathrooms: You probably want your own private bathroom off your bedroom, but are your other bedrooms near a bathroom in case someone has to go in the middle of the night? That’s an important question for smaller children.
- Outlets: Check that they’re all working.
- Lighting: Ceiling fans are important for bedrooms. Make sure they work.
- Floors and walls: Look for anything suspicious such as water damage or dark spots on the carpet.
Bedrooms need less scrutiny than other rooms, but don’t overlook them as you’re touring. Look at windows, see how much natural light is coming in.
Bathrooms, like kitchens, need to be thoroughly checked out. As previously mentioned, leaks and water damage can cause mold and pest infestations, so check bathrooms carefully.
Here’s what to look for:
- Faucets and showers: Turn them on and let the water flow. Set it to cold, then to warm and back again to see how the water reacts. Notice the water pressure in the showers and how weak or strong it is.
- Sinks and showers: Look under the sink and around the shower to check for leaks or any signs of water damage.
- Toilets: Flush them all and make sure they work.
- Lighting, fans and windows: Showers need ventilation for the hot air, so fans need to be working. If there are no exhaust fans, make sure the windows can open.
- Floors and walls: Again, look for signs of leaks and general wear and tear.
Bathrooms are small, but if there’s a problem, they can be expensive to fix. Pay special attention to bathrooms and make sure everything’s in working order.
How pressure washing services can prepare for selling your home
When you’re touring homes and getting ready to buy, chances are people will be touring your home, and if that’s happening, then it’s time to schedule pressure washing services.
As you know firsthand, your homes curbside appeal can make a big impact on buyers. A good-looking home gets a tour started off on the right foot, and pressure washing services can blast away all the dirt and grime on the side of your home, deck, fence or driveway. This will make your home look more appealing to buyers seeing it for the first time.
At Advance Pro Services, our experts in pressure washing services have worked with a lot of homeowners trying to sell their homes. They know how to get your home looking clean and in good shape for buyers. They’ll show you how pressure washing services can make your deck look like new again. Driveways often look a completely different color after pressure washing services are done, and when done by an expert, pressure washing services can get rid of oil stains and weeds growing in the cracks of the driveway.
Pressure washing services can especially benefit older homes, and having an expert do the job ensures that the home will be cared for. Older homes are naturally a little more fragile than new ones, and it takes a keen expert in pressure washing services to clean the home without using too much pressure and damaging it.
Inside, you know the effect a good cleaning can have on your home. With pressure washing services, you’ll bring that effect to your exterior.
Tell us: What are you looking for in your new home? Share with us — and let us know how pressure washing services can get your home looking sell-worthy.