The Perfect Date (and Time) – Tips for Viewing Homes

Buying a home involves a lot of decisions, such as making sure it is the right one before you sign on the dotted line. If you only view the property once, you might miss something that’s important. Many real estate agents suggest viewing a home at least twice before making an offer.

During the first visit, you may not see any of the negative aspects of the property, especially if they aren’t readily apparent. You are also likely to overlook less-than-perfect circumstances if the previous home you viewed has a lot of areas needing repairs or upgrades. When you arrange for a second visit, you have the opportunity to check out some of the finer details. For example, you may want to check:

  • If your washer and dryer will fit 
  • If the rooms are spacious enough for your furniture 
  • If there are enough closets 
  • If the garage is large enough for your existing vehicles 

Not only should you make the effort to visit the house twice, but you should check out the surrounding neighborhood several times before you make a formal offer. Doing so gives you a chance to discover the positive and negative aspects of the property before you finalize the deal.

Visit During Different Times of the Day

No matter where the property is located, it is a good idea to view the home at different times of the day. Doing so allows you to see each of the following aspects of living there:

  • How noisy is the area in the morning, afternoon, and night? If you visit during the middle of the day, children may be at school and parents might be working outside of the home. You won’t be able to gauge how quiet the area is. Additionally, if the neighborhood is noisy, you may be faced with a daily challenge. If you work from home, you may need several hours of solitude. On the other hand, you might just appreciate the presence of small children in the neighborhood, particularly if you have a few of your own.
  • How much sun and shade does the property experience at different hours of the day? Where the sun shines may affect your landscaping plans, making it impossible to have a vegetable garden or plant the flowers you like best. Not enough or too much sun can also impact your heating and cooling expenses.
  • How well lit is your street? Is the home shrouded in darkness, creating a dangerous situation? While a darkened facade might be a reason for concern, it isn’t enough of a reason to knock this home off your list. After all, outside lighting can easily solve the problem.
  • How heavy is traffic throughout the day? Does rush hour make traveling to and from work less than ideal? Your street may not be filled with cars during rush hour. However, the local highways near you might just be congested. It’s a good idea to find this out before you relocate.

Visit during Good and Bad Weather

Most likely, you won’t be able to view the home during different seasons of the year. However, getting a look at the property during good and bad weather is a good investment of your time. You shouldn’t expect any surprises on pleasant days, but you might discover a few during stormy weather. For example, surface drainage can be an issue that leads to unpleasant circumstances.

It’s always a good idea to see how attractive the property looks on a rainy, gloomy day. While this aspect might not impact your decision, at least you won’t have any unpleasant surprises if you do make the purchase.

Visit During The Weekday and the Weekend

Neighborhood activity typically increases on the weekend when many families are off from school and work. If you value peace and quiet, you may want to include weekend activity in your decision-making process.

On the other hand, you might be looking to meet the neighbors and make a friend or two. If you have children, you might want to consider visiting the neighborhood during bus pickup or drop-off. Doing so gives you a good idea as to the number of playmates your children can have.

Keep in mind that it is easier to let a home go before you make an offer. Many home buyers view the home for the second time after making a bid on it. As a result, they may be more willing to overlook dirty carpeting and scuff marks on the wall simply because these issues have easy fixes. Why settle for a home that you know needs fixing up if your dream home is still out there somewhere? View homes that you are interested in buying more than once so you can make the best decision possible for your needs.