[Video] What you should do before, during, and after seeing a home
In your journey of finding, viewing, and buying a home, there are three phases of research you should consider to help you de-risk your home purchase.
Here are the key takeaways:
Phase 1: Before seeing a home in person
Get the full listing: Zillow and Redfin only show you limited information about the home on their site. A full listing will include additional description of the home, disclosure documents, and notes from the seller. At Nuhom, we send you the full listing. Request a full listing of any home here.
Know your neighborhood: Use tools like Google Maps and Google Street View to gauge where the home is and what the neighborhood is like.
Does it meet your lifestyle: A home is the most important place in the world. It's where you spend much of your time. But you also want to make sure the area beyond the home fits your lifestyle. Are restaurants, bars, stores you like near by? Are parks and places of interest that are important to you walkable? Is it a safe neighborhood? Can you see yourself grow in this community for the next 5-10 years? These are all important questions to consider before you go see the home.
3D Tours and floorpans: The listing may have a 3D tour or a floor plan that will give you an early idea of what the home offers and how rooms may be situated.
For a more detailed read on what you should look for when investigating an online home listing: [Blog] Know when and why you shouldn't tour a home
Phase 2: During a home tour
Go to an open house or a private tour: If phase 1 checks out, and if an open house is available you should go see it. If you require a private home tour, schedule one here.
Get a feel of the home: We at Nuhom often say, you should "feel" whether the home is a good fit for you within the first 30 seconds of entering the home. If it doesn't feel right, it may not be the right home for you.
Assess the condition of the home: A home is a "living organism". Beyond the paint on the wall, we encourage home buyers to focus on the bigger ticket items. See if the roof is older or missing shingles, look for cracks in the foundation or signs of water accumulation in the basement, note the age of the heating and cooling systems, take photos of the plumbing work and electrical panels (We can help you assess these later).
Take photos & videos: As you walkthrough the home, it is very important to take photos and videos of the areas of concern. This will be a good reminder later, and we can help you assess what you have seen.
For a more detailed read on what you should look for on a home tour: [BLOG] You have 1 hour to tour, here is what you should look for
Phase 3: After seeing a home or getting an offer accepted
Are there any city violations or open permits on the home?: The city or town may know things about the home you may not know about or perhaps that the seller did not disclose. If the home has undergone renovations, there may be open permits on the home that may need to be assessed and closed. Less often, but possible, there could be a violation on a home due to a health hazard or building code violation. Anything left open or unaddressed would be passed on to you, the new home owner. It's best to address these in the offer or in the purchase and sales agreement.
Be aware of future new developments: You might be buying a home for a great view. But the empty lot next to your home could be developed that can block your view. It's always a good idea to know how a neighborhood will develop over time. You can speak to the city building department to see if there are any upcoming developments in your neighborhood. This is especially the case in busy city zip codes.
These are the basic things you should do as you look at a home. If there are any show stoppers along that way, move on to the next home.