Looking at a home with your real estate agent for the first time involves asking many questions and getting as much information about the property as you can. If you do it right, you should leave with a strong impression of the house and the neighborhood, allowing you to compare it to other properties you’re interested in. Here are four of the top tips you can use to get the best information possible when you’re looking at a house you’re thinking of buying.
Take a Good Look at the Basement
Though it isn’t the most important part of the house, never overlook the basement when you are looking around a property. The condition of a basement can tell you a lot about the condition of the house. If, for example, you see old pipes that haven’t been replaced, you’ll know that the previous owners likely made few upgrades. You should also look for foundation cracks, as these can turn into serious problems over time.
Look at the Nearby Cars
One of the cleverest ways to gauge the neighborhood a house is in is to take a look at the kind of cars parked at nearby homes. If they are nice and appear well taken care of, you’re probably moving into a good neighborhood. A high number of old or inoperable vehicles, on the other hand, can be a warning sign that the house is in a less cared-for area. You can also look at the exteriors of nearby homes, which will give you a similar feel for the area.
Inspect the Yard
Yards tell a great deal about how a home has been cared for. Someone who neglects a yard is also likely to neglect maintenance on the home, but the yard will show it much more clearly. Look for things like rock gardens that haven’t been weeded or large bare spots in the grass. This step is especially important if you’re looking at luxury property, since those who own large, expensive homes rarely neglect their yards. If you find a luxury home with a poorly-kept lawn, it’s a very serious warning sign.
Start Conversations with Neighbors
If you happen to see one of the neighbors while you are looking over the house, you should try to strike up a conversation. Keep it casual, but try to get a feel for the area and the people who live in it. People who have lived in the neighborhood for a while are invaluable sources of information.
Your initial visit to a house should yield as much information about the home and the area it’s located in as possible. Though the real estate agent can be helpful, these tips can help you gather more information on your own.