It’s always nice to walk into a home that smells of apple pie and looks like you can eat it off the floor, however, I try to imagine how it would look (and smell) with my family living in it. I want to see the blemishes. I like transparency. I need to know what updating needs to be done. And I’m not talking about on the surface stuff ~ I’m talkin’ down and dirty peel back the layers stuff. Like these items, for instance:
1) Look for even a hint of water damage. Check under the sink, in the basement if there is one, and under the vanity in the bathroom. Note any telltale signs like recent caulking around the tub.
2) Signs of light. Check the windows, all of them, as well as every light fixture in the house. Do the windows open? Are there cracks around them? Do all the lights work? Ask about any empty fixtures.
3) Talk is cheap. The host is biased, but see if you can get a neighbor or two to open up. They may have biases of their own, of course. But three sources are better than one.
4) Kitchen confidential. How’s the carpentry? I’m not suggesting that you rifle through the owner’s silverware, but check the function of cabinets and drawers.
5) Get into the garage and the basement. Talk about down and dirty – it’s never the most charming part of a property but they are an important place to look. It’s where you can investigate the bones of the house: plumbing, electrical, heating, gas, water, and foundation.
Have a great weekend!