When house hunting, many buyers tend to fear that they have forgotten something, or don’t know enough about the house they’re planning to buy. It almost feels as though a viewing is just not enough, and we should be allowed to just stay at the property for a couple of nights to get a feel of the place!
Unfortunately, you most likely will not be able to do this, so you had better make sure you get the most out of your property viewings…here’s how.
Check the windows
Don’t forget to have a look behind the blinds or curtains – do the windows have double-glazing? How old are they?
If the window is cloudy or has condensation between the layers of glass, it’s likely that the seal has blown.
Have a look at the appliances
What comes with the house? Make sure you ask if the fridge or washing machine, for example, will still be here when you move in.
If you do get some appliances of ‘white goods’ with your new home, do you even want them? Check if they are in good condition and will work for you and your lifestyle.
Is there enough storage?
If there isn’t much storage, you could always use this as a way to force yourself to throw out some possessions you don’t need. However, if the simple fact is that your possessions just will not fit in the property, this will be a big problem and your new home will feel cluttered.
An idea would be to make a list of all the larger items you own (such as a vacuum cleaner or a large set of bed sheets) and make sure that there will be enough room for them when you’re viewing the property.
Is the boiler going to hold up?
Check its age and condition, and whether it has annual maintenance and breakdown cover. If it won’t last long, replacing it can be a really big, unexpected expenditure after just buying a house.
Do some research before you go house hunting, so you know what to look for.
Check for cracks
Don’t run a mile at the first small crack you spot – most older properties will have these and they’re more than easy to fix with a bit of filler.
However, larger cracks may mean that it’s worth getting a surveyor round to take a look at the place. Big cracks can often point to a larger, more serious structural problem.
Particularly pay attention to the bathroom when it comes to looking for damp and mould. Make sure that it is well ventilated and that the extractor fan works. Look for any mould that the owner could not scrub off before the viewing – this may point to a more serious issue.
Go when you would normally be at home
Try to view the property at the times when you would usually be at home, such as in the evening. Is there enough parking? How busy and/or noisy is the road?
Check out the neighbourhood
Talk to the neighbours if you can – they aren’t trying to sell the house and will probably be honest with you about any problems within the immediate community.
Do your research on the area before you visit the property – this way, if there are any deal breakers (such as no transport links for you to get to work) then you won’t waste your time viewing a property that you ultimately will not buy.
Ask the owners
They are the ones who have lived in the property and know the most about it, it’s good to ask some questions and get a sense of whether they have enjoyed living there.
Which way does the house face?
South-facing properties get the sun for the majority of the day, so keep this in mind when viewing your potential new home. If the rooms you spend the most time in get a lot of sun during the day, they’ll be nice and warm later when you get home.
How much sun the garden gets is also an important thing to look for – will you use the patio if it’s always in the shade?
Make a prioritised list
Make a list of everything you want/need in a home and put it in order of priority. Be prepared to compromise on certain aspects, such as the location, or how big the garden is etc.
If you need to compromise, you’ll know that you can take off some wants from the bottom of the list, but not from the top.
Don’t feel as though you’re wasting anyone’s time when you’re looking round. This could be your future home, where you spend a lot of your time – it has to be right!
A good estate agent will understand that you need time to go around and check out all of the things that you want to know about – they shouldn’t be rushing you. Take your time, inspect each room, and pay special attention to things that are important to you.
For further information about moving home call us on 01373 482900 for an informal chat.