What to look for at an open home

When it comes to buying a property, open homes are a key part of the purchasing process.

These allocated times allow buyers to walk through the property, gauge its size and feel, then determine if it’s a home or investment they’re interested in purchasing.

But what exactly should you be looking for while you’re there? Here’s a quick guide on things to look for at an open home.

The purpose of an open home

Open homes are often the first time that you have an opportunity to physically visit a property that you’re interested in.

They offer the chance to wander through, assess the property’s size, understand its layout and imagine what it would be like to live in the home.

They are also the opportunity to gauge that property’s condition, including any work that might be required or any amendments that would need to be made to suit your needs.

Then, if you’re keen, you might revisit the property again at a further open home or private inspection, and also schedule any required checks such as pest and building inspections.

But in the meantime, here’s a quick checklist of things to look for in an open home…

Property direction

The direction a property faces has a huge bearing on what it’s like to live in. For example, properties that face east generally enjoy morning sun, while those that face west will have afternoon light.

Depending on where they’re located, they might also catch a welcome breeze at certain times of the year.

Natural light

Abundant natural light can be a huge drawcard, so take the time to consider how much natural light the property has and when the property is likely to enjoy this light. Is it morning, afternoon, or all day long?

Cupboards and storage

Ample storage allows you to maintain a home that’s neat and tidy, and this is particularly important if you have a family or like to indulge in hobbies which might require extra storage space for materials or equipment.

As you wander through the property, assess the available storage, paying particular attention to cupboards and their location.

Interior condition

An open home is the perfect opportunity to really assess a property’s condition, including whether there are any structural issues or persistent problems such as mould.

During the open home, cast your eye over walls, windows, the ceiling and floors, looking for cracks, signs of damp or wood rot. Although small, these may be an indication of bigger issues that lie beneath.

Exterior condition

On a similar note, do take the time to assess the property’s exterior condition, including external areas such as balconies, patios, decking and pools.

While you’re at it, look up and cast your eye over the roofing and gutters, factoring in any work that might need to be done immediately or in the near future.

Water and hot water

This one’s often overlooked, but it pays to assess the water pressure at the property and check the hot water system during an open home.

Lack of water pressure could indicate a plumbing issue which requires fixing, while an aging hot water system might be something you need to replace in the near future.

Meanwhile, in semi-rural properties, take the time to check whether the property has access to town water or is reliant on rain water tanks.

If the property turns out to be reliant on tank water, have a look at the condition of those tanks and the water pump. 


The property might be perfect, its condition impeccable, but what about the parking situation? Does it suit your needs? 

In busy city suburbs, off-street parking is a huge asset, and if you have a car collection, secure undercover parking is a must. 

Noise considerations

While you’re at the property, don’t forget to listen to the noises around you, with your ears pricked for sounds of road noise, overhead planes, nearby trains or other ambient sounds that you might not expect.


Finally, what’s the neighbourhood like? And how close are you to those neighbours? Also, what parts of their property overlook the one you’re interested in and vice versa?

While it might seem like a small thing to consider now, neighbours play a major role in any suburb or property you live in.

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