A Sunday spent touring open houses is a downright good time if you're in the market for a new place. But if you want to take the process seriously — and, you know, nail down your dream house — you ought to take care not to make any missteps. We've taken the liberty of outlining the three most common mistakes that everybody makes when viewing open houses. Continue reading to find out whether or not you've ever been guilty of one of these.
Getting Bogged Down By Aesthetics
You may have heard this one before, but it's so important that it bears repeating: Aesthetics can be changed over time. While decorative details may be some of the first things to catch your eye at an open house — especially when they're really different from your personal sense of style — these things shouldn't make or break your decision of whether or not you'd like to purchase the home.
Instead, it's important to focus on areas that can't be as easily altered. These are things like the layout of the property, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the overall square footage, and its location. When buying a home, you'll want to make sure that these things meet your needs upfront. Everything else can be dealt with down the road.
Forgetting the Surrounding Area
If you're serious about making an offer, it's important to remember that your open house experience shouldn't stop at the property line. Buying a house is as much about moving into a new area as it is about purchasing the particular property. You need to be sure that you'll be happy living in the neighborhood, as well.
After you're done at open house, consider taking a tour of the area. Be on the lookout for essentials like the nearest grocery store, gas station, and bank. Look around to see the condition of neighboring properties and think about what living there would mean for your commute to work. This information should ultimately help you decide whether or not it's worth submitting an offer.
Visiting Too Many Open Houses at Once
Serious buyers may not want to take on too many open houses at once. While planning a jam-packed tour of available properties in the area may seem like a fun way to spend Sunday, it's too easy for small details to blend together or to become overwhelmed by the amount of information you're taking in.
Instead, you may want to limit your schedule to one or two properties at a time. This way, you'll be able to spend more time at each location and to really get a sense of whether or not it's worth bringing your agent back for a second showing.