An open home checklist: What to look out for

Published on November 20th, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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You may have found a house that is in a suitable location, has a great price and comes with all your desired features. However, if you are not sure what to keep an eye out for during the open house inspection you could end up with a costly problem. Here is a checklist of what to look out for when going to an open home viewing.

Take a good look

Arm yourself with a notebook and a camera to remember the potential issues that come with the property. Know that you are armed, carefully inspect every aspect of the property. Open the cupboards, turn on the lights, taps, storage space, water pressure, open windows, smell the place for any dampness and more. Check to see if the physical condition of the house is up to standard to what you need. Remember to jot down and take pictures, especially if you are planning to view more than one house. It will come in handy later when you are comparing notes to choose.

Get a second opinion

Maybe you are not good at paying attention to the finer details of things or you are still looking at the property with rose tinted glasses. This is where it would be helpful to take an object friend or family member who will be able to view the property with you and point out areas in which you were not aware of. After all, this is a place you will be spending a lot of your time at. Try not to rush the process when walking around and inspecting the place.

Think outside of the house

You may have found a house that is sound, but is the neighbourhood also sound? This can play a vital role in the property’s value and your sanity. Is the area improving in value or are there things such as future developments that can drag the value down? A property that is close to public amenities such as shopping centres, transport, and other services is a definite winner. You can also check the noise levels surrounding the property at different times of the day. The last thing you want is a property that is next to a busy road, clubs, or airports.

Can you visualise yourself in the space?

When viewing the house, it is vital that you can visualise yourself in the space. If you are looking for a property that will be suitable for expanding a family, you need to keep that in mind when viewing. There is also such a thing as purchasing a house that has good energy in terms of having good lighting than to be stuck in a perpetual state of poorly lit rooms.

Check the structure of the house

It is important to have a budget set aside to handle the cost of purchasing a house so that you don’t strain your finances. This will come in handy when you are hiring a property inspector who will be able to check the structure of the house before you place your offer. This can give you peace of mind that you are making a sound investment instead of inheriting a house with problems.

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