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10 Questions You Should Ask During an Open House

Posted on: in [ Home Buying Process, Open Houses ]

10 Questions You Should Ask During an Open House

When you’re in the market for a house, anything has the potential to become your next home. That’s why, even if you’re attending an open house “for fun,” you should still take notes. Here are 10 questions you should be prepared to ask:

  1. How old is the roof? Generally, a roof should last around 20 to 30 years. If it’s getting close to that time, you need to factor that expense in if you do become serious about buying.
  2. When were the appliances installed? This applies to everything from the fridge to the furnace. Find out if any of them come with the house—if not, then that could also become another cost associated with purchasing that residence.
  3. Where does the sewage go? Find out if the house has a septic tank or a city system. Even if the house is closer to town, it may have been built before the neighborhood was connected to city utilities.
  4. Has there ever been water damage? This applies to both leaky roofs and wet basements. Even if they are not an issue now, there may be residual damage from when water was a problem.
  5. How old are the windows? People weren’t always as energy-conscious as they are now, and that’s reflected in how windows were constructed.
  6. What are the kitchen cabinets made of? Solid wood cabinets tend to last to last longer than plywood, and metal ones may start to see rust over time. 
  7. Has there ever been a problem with mold? If you’ve ever lived with mold, you know how much havoc it can wreck with possessions and health. Find out if the home is prone to it, and how much it would cost to fix.
  8. Has the basement ever flooded? Even if the home is not in a flood zone, Iowa rivers can jump their banks considerably, as they did in 2008.
  9. How old is the plumbing? Older pipes tend to leak, and it used to be common for them to be made from hazardous material such as lead.
  10. How old is the wiring? To be on the safe side, you want the wiring to be less than 40 years old. If it is more dated than that, it’s not inherently dangerous, but you want to make sure it was installed with the latest industry standards.

You never know when a house you’re “just looking” at ends up being the home of your dreams. Before you become too attached to one house, however, you should make sure you’re informed of all the possible pitfalls that come with it. A REALTOR® can help you answer these questions, as well as with the next steps you need to take in the home-buying process.

Homeownership! Building Communities One Dream at a Time. Visit www.IowaRealtors.com.