New Orleans Home Buying Advice
We’ve all been taught that it’s not polite to snoop in someone’s home. Don’t open the medicine cabinets. Don’t look in the closets. Don’t open cabinets without permission. After all, you never know what’s hiding behind a door and it may be something that the owner doesn’t want in public view. You never want to be that person who snoops in the bathroom and has a shelf collapse, spilling someone’s secrets into the sink (little blue pills, anyone?).
But when you are considering buying a New Orleans home, there’s a certain level of nosiness that’s not just allowed, but encouraged.
1. Take a good look in the closets
Now, you can’t dig around in there, but knowing how much storage a house has can be an important part of your decision making process. If you’ve got a wardrobe that rivals a fashion model or more shoes than Imelda Marcos, you need to be sure that there is enough room to store all of your belongings.
PRO TIP: If your current closet is two sizes too small, bring the dimensions and a tape measure with you while shopping and measure the closets in homes that make your short list.
2. Give the bathroom more than a passing glance
Unless the bathroom is some ginormous, straight out of Hollywood design, most home shoppers just poke their head in and give it the once over. But think about how you use the room and note whether there’s enough storage for towels, linens, toiletries and the extra TP we all keep under the sink.
PRO TIP: Don’t turn on faucets or showers or flush (or eek! use) toilets unless your agent gives you the go-ahead. The water may be turned off in a property and that would be much more embarrassing than the collapsing medicine cabinet shelf.
3. Scope out the attic and garage
Is there enough room for your car? Are there signs of rodent activity? Is there sufficient storage for your holiday decorations and those boxes you keep schlepping from place to place? Are there any indicators of leaks or flooding?
PRO TIP: Bring a flashlight to showings, in case there’s no light in the attic. And if it’s the middle of the summer, you might want to leave the attic inspection to a professional. In case no one told you, an attic is like an oven in our tropical summers and spending the rest of your house tour dripping with sweat doesn’t make for a pleasant experience.
4. Talk to the neighbors
A different kind of snooping, the neighbors can be a wealth of information that you might not ever gain without living in a home. Is there a nearby school that causes traffic jams? Are you on the parade route and need to have an escape plan during Mardi Gras? Does the guy on the corner have loud parties every weekend?
PRO TIP: Talk to more than one neighbor, so you can get a good sense of the people that will surround you and how you’ll fit in. Not everyone will be friendly, but if most of them are, that’s a good start.