Sensory Alerts & House Hunting
September 13, 2012

Tap into your senses to buy a better home. Sight, touch, smell, hearing, typically taste doesn't come into play however your sixth sense let's call it intuition should be on high alert. Ignore one of these senses at your peril.


It is amazing how much we look at but don't see. Make a conscious effort to actually see everything in a home. Stainless steel appliances and granite countertops can be blinding so you need to make sure to see past them. Look at the both the good and the bad. Do you see any staining, cracks or holes, and do things appear square and true?

When you're shopping touch everything and think about what you're touching. Is moist or wet, rough or uneven? It is also about more then just your hands. Is the floor you're walking on sloped or spongy, warm or cold, do the stairs feel awkward to go up or down? Can you feel drafts as you walk through the home?

What can smell tell you when home buying? If you pay attention it might suggest the place was just painted, had new flooring put in, or it might be musty suggesting a dampness issue (largest concern). Does the house smell stale, can you smell last nights dinner? Houses should breath; a fresh house is a healthy home.

Are there any unusual sounds in the home? Is the air conditioning or heater loud? Is there noise transfer from the neighbours or the street? Do the floors squeak? Do the sinks gurgle excessively when they drain? Be aware sounds can be much different depending on the time of day.

Intuition tells you to look at something a bit closer or to ask a question.  Does everything seem to be in the right place? Is there anything that is bothering you? It can be as simple as depressions in the carpet from where the buffet used to be but now it's 12" to the left. Why is all the storage raised up off the ground in the basement?

Think about everything your senses are telling you and ask questions. Remember there are only smart questions when purchasing a home. If you notice something unusual to you, like the drains gurgling excessively, ask a professional what this might mean (the drains may be poorly vented allowing sewer gases into your home). Some things you may be noticing for the first time but are quite common. Other issues you may see as serious are minor and of course the opposite might also be true.

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