The most fun part of buying a house or condo is going to open houses. And while it’s fun, it can also get easy to lose track of important details that can become a headache or expensive to fix down the line. Here is a checklist by room for some things to keep note of as you go through the open house. And if you decide the home is offer worthy, be sure to hire an inspector to take a closer look.

General

  • Floors: What’s the conditions of the floors through out the house? Is it something you can live with?
  • Walls:
    • What’s the conditions of the walls? Do you like the colors/textures present? Any patch jobs/uneven paint or texture from previous holes/hanging/projects? If not, take note as updating them will cost at least a couple grand.
    • How noisy is it? If you can visit during a quiet time and try to gauge how creaky the walls might be or how much noise might come through from downstairs or upstairs neighbors, this will leave you more informed for when you actually move in
  • Ceilings: How high are the ceilings? Standard is about 90″-95″; any lower than that might end up feeling too low for your liking, so watch out for that
  • Windows:
    • Are the windows in good condition? Any noticeable dirt? Are the tough to close?
    • How drafty is it? How noisy is it, even with the windows closed? Is there a highway/major street/construction nearby to be aware of?

Livingroom/Dining

  • Is it large enough for the dining table/sofa you’d ideally want?
  • Is there sufficient lighting?
  • Is there a clear demarcation between livingroom + dining?

Bathroom(s)

  • Bathroom updates are one of the most common + expensive renovations; take careful note of what you like/don’t like in the bathroom as even the smallest changes can add up pretty quickly
  • Is there sufficient/functional lighting?
  • Does the tile work + grout appear to be in good condition? (ie. no cracks, it looks level, no discoloration etc)
  • Do you see any signs of water damage? (ie. stains on the ceiling, weird smell, damaged walls/flooring etc.)
  • Is there sufficient space between the shower/tub, the toilet and the sink — or does it feel cramped?
  • Do the air vents appear clean and functional? Are there any air vents? Are they overly loud?
  • Is there a washer/dryer? Is it included with the home? What condition is it in?

Kitchen

  • How functional are they kitchen cabinets? Do they appear to be good quality? Or in good condition?
    • Take note of any discoloration, slamming doors, incomplete builds with visible pipes/plumbing
  • Do you like the cabinets as is? Are there any immediate changes you’d want to make to them? Kitchen renos are one of the most common + expensive updates, so be sure to take note that the kitchen is as close to useable/what you like as possible
  • Is there any tile work/custom paint job in the kitchen? Is it in good condition?
  • Is there any water damage on the corners of the counter top/walls? Any visible cracks or discoloration?
  • What’s the age/state of the appliances? Take a very close look here at the edges/corners + insides and take note of visible dirt, rusting, mold, plastic peeling or discoloration.

Bedrooms/Closet

  • Are the bedroom sizes suitable for the size beds you have/want to get?
  • Is the closest in good condition? Are the cabinets/drawers functional and appealing? Is there enough organization/storage for all your belongings?
  • Are there any elements that you might want to remove or cover up? (ie. water heater)

Hallways/Exterior

  • Do you have parking included? Will it be easy to get in/out from your car to the house?
  • Are there any elements that might bother you? (ie. Weeds, moss, unpaved road?)
  • What is the condition of the roofing? Are there any missing shingles?
  • How are the exterior walls? Any peeling paint or sections falling apart?
  • What’s the condition of the hallway? Is the carpet clean? Any weird smells?
  • What’s the curb like? Any elements/work you would need to do?
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