4 TOOLS to bring to every OPEN HOUSE!


Q: What do you bring with you to an Open House?

Looking for a home is one of the biggest steps we take as an adult.  We’ve made the decision to start looking – – but WHAT do we bring with us to the OPEN House to make browsing worthwhile?  Here’s a list of 4 TOOLS you can carry in your pocket every week as you check out those OPEN HOUSE signs down the block.

First, find a pocket-sized notepad and pencil stub (preferably with an eraser) that will fit in your coat or back pocket. Make sure you write down the address at the top of the page so you don’t forget which house you were looking at and before you drive off, make all your notes. There are always things to jot down – like the condition of the driveway, whether you liked the landscaping or even the name of the Realtor who was showing the house. If you’re better at using the NotePad in your smartphone, go for it— we just found that the little pad of paper reminded us to make a few notes especially about what we did or didn’t like.


Second, find a small measuring tape – it doesn’t have to be one of those big 24’ construction kind… the simple 3-6 foot one that can fit in your pocket will be super! If you find a property that you’re truly interested in you’re going to want to measure a few things like the width of doors (can that washing machine fit?) or windows. This little tool has a few other uses as well because it can serve as a prodding device if you want to find out what’s going inside someplace or a sweep in places that are just a little to close to see clearly.


Third, include a little pocket-sized flashlight. It doesn’t have to throw a huge number of lumens and be a spotlight, it should allow you to see inside of places you may want to just “take a peak” – like the attic or the furnace or even under the sink. Keeping your eyes open for conditions that may indicate damage or neglect may make the difference from being prepared to deal with a few minor issues or throwing your savings into a money pit!


Lastly, download the Personal Home Inspection Tool now available on Google Play or the iTunes App store. One of the most useful apps on the market … it’s NOT a game, bartending reference or dating app!!! It IS a personal home inspection survey tool that helps you to look at the property very objectively. All you do is respond to a short series of questions as you look at the home’s exterior, bathrooms, attic, basement, and other rooms.  Once you’ve responded, the App will produce a report calculating the number of responses you reviewed that can pose issues or may be remediation concerns in the future. The written copy of the report is emailed to you and can serve as a starting point to learn more about the work that might be involved in clearing those issues OR deciding if that was the home you wanted to invest in at all.


So as you get ready for your OPEN HOUSE tour this week, make sure your pockets are filled with the right tools!  And while you’re at it, if you found this information helpful, sign up for our Tips on Tuesdays!