What (And What Not) to Look for on a House Tour

A Realtor Giving a House Tour

House hunting can be very overwhelming! It can be especially difficult when looking at multiple homes, and not knowing what to look out for - but don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for! In this article you’ll learn about what you should look out for, and what you shouldn’t pay too much attention to when on a house tour.

Things Not to consider

When looking at a house that you could potentially live in, you must remember that if/when you move in, you’re going to make the house match your taste. So when it comes to parts of the home that aren't going to be hard to change, you shouldnt focus too much of your time on them during the viewing, this would be things like:

  • Furniture/Decor/Staging of the home - This will all be moved out of the house when you move in, so don’t let the staging blur your vision on the rest of the house.
  • Wall and Floor Treatment - Painting walls and pulling out carpet is something that is easily doable, and relatively inexpensive to change, so don't worry about the outdated carpet and blue wall colour that you’re not totally fond of. 
  • Small Fixtures and Hardware - Once again, don't fixate on small things like this that are easily replaceable.
  • No Fence - One of the things on the top of many people’s wishlist is a fence, especially if you have small children or pets. If you love the rest of the house though, remember that a fence is another relatively easy, and inexpensive addition to a home.

Things that you Should Consider

Yes, there are plenty of things that are easily fixed, but you should be careful when you see problems that are going to be more difficult, and costly to fix! Some of the main things that you should look out for are:

  • Odors - Smells like cigarette smoke, or pet odours can get trapped in walls and floors. They can be harder to remove than just covering it up with some febreeze and incense. Be cautious if there are odors in the home you do not find pleasant. 
  • Wall and Floor Condition - Defects and warping of walls and floors can indicate bigger issues than just one that’s not aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This is also much harder and more costly to fix than it would be if you were to just change the colour of paint on the walls. 
  • Integrated Fixtures and Systems - Fixtures that are integrated into a home are much more difficult to change and replace. Ask your realtor questions about whether or not certain fixtures will be easy to remove, or if it could potentially have an effect on the structure of the home, or cause other issues.
  • Unpermitted Additions - If there has been an obvious addition to the home, ensure you ask your realtor if the previous owners have a permit for the addition. This will be important for the transaction of the home. It could also cause you trouble in the future if it was done without a permit, or against bylaws.
  • Noise Levels Inside and Outside of the home - When going through a home tour, try to listen to what is going on inside and outside of the house. If you’re looking to move into a quiet home, you’ll want to ensure that there aren't loud neighbours, or heavy traffic around the home. Also try to listen for the systems inside of the home- some heating and cooling systems can be much louder than others.

Overall, when going on a house tour, don’t get distracted by the things that can be easily changed or replaced. Instead, focus on issues that could cause you more hassle, and be much more draining to your pockets. Keep these points in mind when you’re on your next house tour! Also remember to ask lots of questions, this way you’re not left in the dark about anything; which is very important when buying a home! Good luck, and happy house hunting! 

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