6 Tips to Get the Most Out of a Home Tour

Woman Taking NotesThe average home buyer tours 10 homes before they find their dream home. That's quite a few homes and unless you have a phenomenal memory, it can be hard to remember all the details of a home. Good note taking can keep you organized and keep you from forgetting the good and the not so good about the homes you visit. But what exactly should you be writing down?

What's your Agent Looking at?

Ask your agent what they are looking for so you can keep track of the same things. Why? This can help you assess how well your agent is finding homes that really suit your needs. For example, if you want a lush green lawn and your agent is just bringing you to homes with desert landscaping  – it may be time to clear up communication. In addition to ensuring you're both on the same page, taking a note of the things your agent is can make you a more savvy buyer. For instance, your agent will most likely keep track of how many people are signing in at an open house to gauge how many people may be interested, which can help inform your negotiation strategy. 

Take Note of Size

Most homes come with a spec sheet, it's important to review the exact dimensions of rooms since good staging may trick your eyes.

Don't Ignore Your Gut Feeling

Just as important as practicality is how your future home makes you feel. Make a note of how a home makes you feel when you walk in – good or bad. In addition, note why you get that feeling, was it the bay window in the master bedroom, the spacious entryway, the scary basement? Don't wait until you leave to make note of these feelings so the homes don't just start to blend together. 

Rate the Home 1-10

Establish your list of must-haves in your future home – before you start viewing homes. Each time you visit a home, rate each must-have from 1-10 with 10 being "better than desired". For example, if you have to have 3 bedrooms, a 3 bedroom home gets an 8 and a home with more bedrooms may get a 10. After you are done touring homes – tally all the scores across all the homes to see which has the highest score on the things that matter most to you.  Getting a perfect score isn't the goal, you're looking for something with the best balance of everything you want and allows you to stop looking and write an offer. 

Take Pictures

Take photos of everything and anything that jumps out at you. Don't rely on listing photos, as most agents will take the most flattering photos possible. Going through the photos you took once you leave a home can help you remember details you may have forgotten like the weird laundry room layout or the perfect dual-faucet sink. Photos can also help you address concerns in your offer that may affect sales price. 

Note Renovations You'd Like to Make

Very few homes are perfect, you are most likely going to want to make some changes, cosmetic or more serious. Once you figure out which renovations your future home may need, do some research to find out how much they will cost. Add any other must change items like paint, replacement gutters, or even new furniture you'll need to fill out a bigger home. Having even a basic idea of how much your new home will cost after purchase, can help you decide if you can really afford it or not. 


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    The Most Beautiful Town in America

    Woodstock, VTWoodstock, Vermont was just named the most beautiful town in America by Conde Nast Traveler – follow this link to see! Of course, we have long known that our little village was pretty special, but it’s great to hear others singing her praises.  Come see for yourself!  It’s always a great time to visit, and maybe, like the rest of us, you’ll decide it’s a great time to stay!

    Image via Conde Nast Traveler.


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    Here we Come A-Wassailing

    When snow dusts the village and lights spangle the trees along the green, Woodstock is at its most resplendent—it’s like living in a Holiday card.  We celebrate this season during Wassail Weekend, and you can join in the festivities. View the schedule here


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    A Season of Light

    mt tom starWhen the days shorten and the nights grow long, we bring light to our evenings with the star atop Mt. Tom.  It’s a little thing, really, but it adds a certain charm to our community during the nights of winter.  You can see it as you drive into Woodstock, from the green, and many of us gaze upon it from the windows of our village homes.  A beacon. A harbinger of the season.  A Woodstock tradition.

    mt tom star close up

    It's Never too Early . . .

    skier on killingtonVermonters love to get the most out of every season, and ski season is no exception. To that end, Killington Mountain, a.k.a., “The Beast,” has already begun its quest for the longest season in the East with runs open as early as October 19th.  It’s never too early to get your pass and skis ready, or perhaps this is the year that you find your perfect Vermont ski house.


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    Woodstock, Vermont Fall Foliage

    Mount Hunger Fall FoliageThe days are crisp and bright; the nights require a sweater. Summer burns into reds, oranges, and yellows, heralding the arrival of a new season.

    If you haven’t visited Woodstock this summer, it’s the perfect time for a quick trip – you’ll beat the foliage crowds and get a preview of the autumn to come.

    Visit Woodstock’s Chamber of Commerce website to stay abreast of seasonal events and activities.

    Vermont Symphony Orchestra at Suicide Six

    Vermont Symphony OrchestraOne of the highlights of summer in Woodstock is listening to the VSO perform at Suicide Six in South Pomfret.  This year’s TD Bank Summer Festival Tour brings an evening of enchantment straight to your picnic blanket beside the bandshell on Thursday, July 9th.  As always, the evening will conclude with spectacular fireworks and the 1812 Overture.

    For more information and to reserve your tickets, visit Pentangle Arts.  We’ll look forward to seeing you there!


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    Osteria Pane e Salute: Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber

    WineTucked away atop an old bluestone staircase in historic downtown Woodstock is Osteria Pane e Salute, one of the village’s most celebrated dining venues.  Tiny and open seasonally, it can be tricky to get a seat for even in-the-know locals, but an evening at Pane is always worth the wait.

    In addition to their successful restaurant, proprietors Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber have turned their seemingly endless enthusiasm to farming, vineyard cultivation, winemaking, and design.  Enjoy a balmy evening on their home farm vineyard and winery at one of their summer suppers or wine tastings, or if a trip to Vermont isn’t in the cards, you can find their delectable wines at select venues in New York and Boston.

    Farmingmenu boardpeople eating in early eveningpeople eating at night


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    Lilac Season

    LilacsOne wonderful reason to visit Woodstock in the spring is the chance to see the village’s thousands of lilac trees in full bloom. But hurry! No plant better captures the evanescence of a hard-earned New England spring than the lilac. 

    A member of the olive family, lilacs are popularly grown in temperate areas from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia (though we can’t help feeling a proprietary affection for our local beauties). While the most common hue is the light purple from which the popular name is derived, blossoms can be found in white, pink, pale yellow, deep purple, dark burgundy, and variegated varieties. The flowers are appealing for their luxuriant shape and saturated colors, but it’s the heady fragrance perfuming our little village for a week or two that makes lilacs the quintessential harbinger of springtime in Vermont.

    Be sure to visit our Pinterest page to gather ideas for growing or displaying your own lilacs. And follow us on Instagram to see images of our local lilacs in bloom!

    Variety of LilacsDeep Purple LilacsLilac in Bloom