Things to Watch For: Open Houses in Victoria, BC


5 Things to Check in an Open House

If you are planning to go to Open Houses in Victoria, BC or surrounding areas in the region you could benefit from being prepared with some ideas of what to look for. Here is a starting point, a list of 5 things to check out when you go to an Open House.

1) The Neighborhood and The Neighbors

The location of a potential real estate purchase matters greatly, whether it will be an investment or a home to live in. The best investment is often the worst house in a neighborhood, a little fixing up can generate a far higher rate of return than on the better homes in the same area. If you're buying where you plan to live, watch for how well-kept the neighbors homes are, how safe the neighborhood feels, and whether there are annoyances like large aggressive dogs etc close to the property. 

2) Windows

You can learn a lot of things by taking a close look at the windows of a home, this is easily done from within the house. Open and close the windows, is it easy? If there are difficulties it can indicate foundation problems (as can large cracks over the window frames) or poor installation. Window repairs are expensive! How clean are the window ledges, as an indication of home maintenance? How drafty are the windows, are they single or double pane if it's an older home?

3) Look For Signs of Mold

Nobody wants to live in a toxic moldy house, and there are a few easy indicators you can watch for that there could be a mold problem. If a house seems to be heavily artificially scented, this could be a sign that a more sinister odor such as mildew/moisture are being covered up. Look under bathroom and kitchen sinks, behind and around the pipes for mold and moisture stains. Look at the ceilings and the walls for evidence of moisture be it discoloration, bubbles, or warps.

4) Watch For Needed/Wanted Improvements

Sometimes a house requires only minor cosmetic improvements to immediately lift up resale value, such as well-maintained homes inhabited by someone with decorating taste a few decades old. Some improvements could be far more costly than you may realize at first glance. Take careful notes about what improvements you would make and do some research to get realistic about what those improvements would cost.

5) Home Exterior

Take some time to look at the exterior of the home. Review the condition of any decks or balconies, look underneath at the condition of supporting joists and beams. Fungus and rot could mean expensive repairs in the near future. How is the mortar between bricks, what is the condition of the roof and the gutters? Check out the condition of fences and gates