Using Your Five Senses When Viewing a Home

Buying a new home is undoubtedly a huge commitment. Searching for one is a time of excitement and anticipation, and understandably you want to ensure you make the right decision for your family and you. It’s a lot of weighing pros and cons and paying attention to details.

While viewing a home, you can enlist the help of your five senses to assist you with the decision.


Be sure to look at structural aspects of the home. The aesthetic of the home, like paint colors or dingy carpets, isn’t as important as something like frayed wires, water damage, bowed steps, an outdated and dilapidated roof or cracks in the ceiling. All of these types of issues can be costly to fix, so unless you’re specifically looking for a fixer-upper that you’ll be spending your man-hours and paychecks on sprucing up, you must take these things into account.

Additionally, pay attention to: what types of window treatments the home has, (older or damaged ones mean bad insulation and higher heating or cooling costs); whether or not the home has enough storage; and leaky pipes underneath the sinks.

Look around the neighborhood, too. Is it the type of neighborhood you’d like to live in? Does it look safe? Are there kids playing in the yards or riding their bikes on the street? Do the house you’re viewing and the other houses in the area have curb appeal?


While you’re out in the neighborhood, be sure to also take a deep breath. Do you smell flowers or sewage?  Does the inside of the house smell clean or like cigarettes or pets? If you’re not a smoker or are allergic to pet dander, these things may be costly as you might be replacing carpets. If it smells musty, it could mean mold and could become even more costly.


Flush toilets, turn on ceiling fans, open doors and windows…you get the picture. Pay attention to doors or windows that get jammed, ceiling fans and lights that don’t work and toilets that take too long to flush.


Is the home you’re viewing situated in a loud neighborhood? It may be a good idea to set up viewings during two separate parts of the day. Does it get louder at night? Are you near a busy highway or a noisy airport? Is the neighborhood near a college (which may mean loud music or parties)?


No, we’re not saying you should taste the house. However, don’t hesitate to ask for a glass of water. Water quality can be either a serious issue or a good selling point for a home. Does the water taste crisp and clean or bad/dirty?


The Sargent McDonald Team is ready to assist you with any home-buying or selling needs. We know just what to pay attention to when viewing a home. We know it’s exciting but can also be overwhelming trying to remember everything to look for. Let us schedule and accompany you to any home-viewings so that you don’t miss a single thing!