Touring or viewing a potential home investment is an exciting part of everyone's life. It is the time where you get to imagine how you and the family will be spending days and nights in that house, how you can create memories, and eventually grow old in that "forever home."
Sometimes, house tours can get overwhelming and emotional, so you instantly say yes just because the agent staged a nursery room for your future son or daughter. While there is nothing wrong with envisioning how the house will witness every family milestone, it is also important to not let your emotions get in the way and instead unleash your inner detective.
Real estate experts suggest going on a house tour with an "investigative mindset" or see yourself as a private investigator sleuthing around looking for possible clues to crack a vital code: old and faulty appliances.
According to Hilton Head, South Carolina real estate agent Chris Haro, instead of just looking at the house and appliances, there is no harm in opening closets, turning on faucets, or even switching a machine on and off during house tours.
"Be an appliance detective," Haro told Apartment Therapy.
Snooping around every appliance might sound ridiculous to some, but it can reveal important details and lead you to a much better decision before closing a deal.
Below are some reasons why you should have an "investigative mindset" during house tours:
It Reveals the Status of Appliances
Checking if each appliance is functioning is one thing. But Haro suggests taking the sleuthing to the next level by using your phone to snap a machine or device's brand, model, and serial number. As soon as you get home, you can use such information to search for the items online and find out the appliance's age, usual issues with the model and even existing product recalls.
"An aging microwave might not be a big concern, but if the air conditioner, water heater, or fridge is on borrowed time, it could add thousands to your costs," Haro explained.
"Better to know as much as possible upfront. At the very least, this basic information will allow you to make a more informed offer. It might even help you avoid thousands of dollars in potential replacement costs," he added.
It could lead to a lower offer
Once you have cracked each appliance's age included in the house, it could give you a bigger picture of how much the house costs. For example, you find out that the air conditioning model is ancient already, you can bargain the price to the seller as you will eventually need to replace such an item shortly.
Discovering each appliance's status may also lead you to decide not to put an offer anymore and search for a better house that suits your budget.
It prepares you to save for new appliances
Aside from giving a lower offer to the seller, a quick snooping on appliances may also prepare you for future replacement costs. A quick Google search will tell you the current price of your target item, and you can save and include it on your future home improvement budget.