By Fasil Khan

As you engage in the search for your dream home, it helps to know what to look for during a home tour. It’s easy to get distracted or to feel overwhelmed as you tour a prospective home, so use these seven home-buying tips to know what to focus on when checking out your possible future abode.

The neighborhood: Even before arriving at the property, take note of other homes in the area as well as the general neighborhoods surrounding your prospective home. Assess how well neighbors care for their properties, see if the outdoor atmosphere is noisy and if the area seems safe. Check for unpleasant odors such as sewage or smells given off from manufacturing businesses. Take location into account, noting the home’s proximity to grocery stores, schools, restaurants or other frequently visited destinations. 

The roof: Roof repair or replacement can get costly, so it’s best to know the condition of your prospective home’s roof before you make an offer. A roof in poor condition may warrant a price adjustment. Look at the interior ceilings of the home to check for discolorations that may indicate water damage from a roof leak. A newer roof is less likely to leak and may even save you money on your homeowner’s insurance rate.

The plumbing: Not all major expenses are easily seen at first glance. Flush the toilet and pay attention to how long it takes to stop running afterward. Look under sinks to examine the pipes. Note if the pipes have leaks or if there appears to be mold or mildew near them. Look for other signs of water damage around the pipes, such as peeling paint or bubbled surfaces.

The basement: If you’re considering a home with a basement, check for water issues. Mold can cause health problems and should be taken very seriously. Ask if the basement area collects water during hard rains. Musty smells often indicate a moisture issue. A dehumidifier in the basement can also be a sign that the homeowner struggles with moisture levels in that area of the home.

Working order: Don’t be shy about making sure things work as they should. Turn on water faucets, check the water pressure in the shower and test out the garage door opener. Open and close doors and windows and check the locks on them. Your home will probably be one of the biggest financial investments of your life, and you have a right to know you’re making the best choice.

Property inspection: You wouldn’t likely purchase a car without having your mechanic take a look at it, would you? The same logic holds true for the purchase of a home. If you like the property and you are serious about making an offer, have a quality home inspection performed. A property inspection can help identify problems such as structural issues, pest infestations or asbestos. A little money spent up front for a property inspection can save you thousands of dollars after the sale. Know the home’s problems before they become your problems.

Personalization: Don’t sweat the small stuff. While you can’t easily change the location of a home or the way neighbors care for their yards, many aspects of your potential home can be modified to your tastes. Wall colors, carpet choices and curtains can be changed to fit your preferences. Don’t let a bright wall color or outdated carpet deter you from purchasing a home you otherwise love.

Summing it up…

Before attending a home showing, make a list of must-haves to keep you focused on what matters to you. Be mindful that your emotions don’t dominate your logic as you tour your prospective home. Keeping these tips in mind should make your home shopping process easier and more enjoyable.

Happy hunting!

Fasil Khan is a Paterson Police Officer and a Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams Village Square. Fasil enjoys helping fellow law enforcement officers with the purchase of investment properties, as well as general selling, purchasing needs and if you are looking to become an agent. Have questions? Connect with Fasil by calling 201-739-7397 or email at