Getting to the point where you are visiting open Jupiter architects and looking for your potential new home is a huge step in the life of a home buyer. You have sifted through tons of listings, chosen a few properties that look like they will be a good fit for you and your family and have finally been able to take the time to go and visit these houses for the open house. You shoulder through the other inquisitive home buyers, silently (or verbally) visualizing your couch, your paintings, your plates and your dog in their respective places in this house.
There are a few things you are going to want to look for in an open house to make sure that this could be your new home- or not. Do not let your glasses get too rose-colored as there might be a few things wrong with your dream house that you and your partner may not want to see.
First, bring along your camera, a notebook, and a tape measure to the open house. The camera will allow you to take pictures of rooms and details you might forget thinking about the house later on (if you visit more than one, which you will likely do, they will all unfortunately all start to blur together). In your notebook you can already have measured out and written down details of the furniture you will likely be moving into this house; the tape measure will help you physically visualize if the open house in question even has enough room for the things you want to put in it.
While you are in the open house pay keep in mind that the realtor has purposefully staged the house to look its best. Everything has been polished and shined, organized to perfection. Look for any areas that may be less than perfect- is that couch in the basement covering up a nasty carpet stain or a crack in the foundation? Pay close attention to any areas that may have water stains, smell moldy, and any places on the floor, ceiling or walls that feel or look uneven.
Part of going to an open house is also exploring the neighborhood around the house. Take a drive and see the neighborhood at different times of the day. Locate the nearest grocery store, mall, movie theater, the distance to your work, and distances to local schools if you have kids. If you ever feel uncomfortable in the neighborhood or don’t get a good feeling from the house or surrounding areas, move on to the next house. If you don’t like the house now it is unlikely that you will like it when you move in.
Some people say that you know the right house when you walk into it, and oftentimes that is true. You will know when the right house comes along and hopefully that also coincides with your ability to buy that house and move it! Happy house hunting!