What to look for in an Open House

We Drive anywhere in Austin during the weekend, and chances are you'll come across dozens of open house signs letting you know you they're there.  

As soon as you walk in, one of two things happen: an agent greets you and bombards you with information, or you make a beeline for the cookie station and bail.  I'll freely admit, I attend open houses solely for the cookies.  

You've decided to have a look around, now what?  

First, don't fall in love with the staging or that fresh baked cookie smell.  Then ask for the SELLERS DISCLOSURE NOTICE.  

This document will let you know if there are any known issues with the house from the roof to the foundation and everything in between.  

Don't be afraid to look in the closets and kitchen cabinets.  You don't want to find out too late that the cabinets are too small to fit your oversized dinner plates, or that your prized possessions of pilfered pint glasses only goes three deep and that's it.  

If there are stairs, walk up them slowly and deliberately and listen for squeaks and creaks.  This is to make sure your kids can't sneak out (or in) in the middle of the night... and also could be an indicator of loose boards that need to be tightened up when you replace that lovely shag carpet.  

Finally, you can easily check for foundation issues by looking for angled cracks in a few key places.  

  • Around Window and Door Frames 
  • In the tile 
  • In the mortar outside or on the fireplace 

If the cracks in the drywall are straight, and up and down or across- you've likely got typical settling.  If they slant out and curve, then it could be an indicator of foundation movement.  

Well... That' about it for now on open houses.  Go out there and check a few out, have some cookies and let us know what you find!  If you're looking for an open house, here they all are :) 

Happy Hunting -Jeff and Meg

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