The Art of House Shopping in the Rain

As counter intuitive as it may seem, shopping for houses in the rain is a very smart idea, and it can be done very effectively, as long as you plan ahead – packing and dressing appropriately.

For starters, visiting your potential home options in the pouring rain allows you to check the drainage. Is there standing water in the front yard, back yard, or the side yards? What about on the porch, patio, or balcony? If you like the house enough to move forward, keep notes and even photos of the concerns with standing water to ask questions of the seller either before or after making an offer. Your agent may ask the listing agent to ask the sellers “by clients really love the house, but what’s the deal with the huge pool of standing water we saw when we were there last week in the pouring rain? Have they tried to snake it? Has the water ever reached or entered the house?”

In addition, you can see if there are any active roof leaks when you brave the elements and go out house shopping in the rain. Whether or not the sellers have put out buckets to catch the water dripping from the ceiling under the area where the roof is damaged, you’ll know if the roof is doing its job when you can tour the inside during a downpour. If it is nice and dry inside as you go from room to room, that’s a great sign. Of course, you’ll still want to engage a home inspector to check up in the attic to look for any signs of a leak, as well as all of the other aspects of the house on the inspector’s punch list. You may even hire a roof inspector just to give you an added degree of certainty as to the condition of the roof. Maybe even one with a drone that can survey the entire roof and provide photos you can use to negotiate with the seller, should you get that far down the path to purchase.

Braving the rain to go in and out of your car and then in and out of a number of homes does take some planning. First, wear the right shoes. Rain boots, although not a staple in most adult closets in Southern California, are highly recommended. If you are going to check out the back yard and side yards, you need to be able to walk out there comfortably, without getting your feet drenched. 

You’ll also want to wear a rain coat and carry an umbrella. Again, you are going to go back outside once you get inside, so you’ll need to be covered up and waterproof to be comfortable and not ask for that pesky cold that is going around. You might also consider bringing your own plastic bag, to put your wet umbrella in as you walk from the front door to the back door, taking care not to drip all over the floor. Bringing your own towel to mop up after yourself would be very considerate.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or