Buying a house: 7 key house viewing tips
We recently wrote our tips for viewing rental properties, and whilst there are some similarities, buying a house involves more complexities and with the amount of money involved, you want to be sure the property is right for you. So, here’s our 7 key tips to take into consideration for when viewing a house.
1. Is the property structurally sound and has no signs of damp?
Check for things like larger cracks, ripples in wallpaper, the external brickwork, musty smells etc. This will give you an indication as to the structural integrity of the property. Most modern properties will generally be fine, but to be sure, we always suggest getting a survey carried out at the property which is essentially a report from a structural engineer indicating any problems. There are a few options to choose from, check out our guide to choosing the right survey – we recommend having one carried out. Just think if there was something wrong that isn’t obvious to the eye…
2. Take your time but don’t dawdle
Remember, you might not be the only person looking to buy this property so whilst you need to be sure it’s the right property, don’t delay in making that final decision as you could lose out. If you can, try to view it a second time as you will be more likely to spot any potential negatives for you. This also ties in with checking out the neighbourhood for things like parking and sometimes, even knocking on neighbour’s doors to introduce yourself can help your decision.
3. Check the plumbing and heating
Don’t be afraid to test the shower and turn the taps on. By doing this you’ll not only get an understanding of the water pressure (nobody likes a weak shower!) but also whether the heating works as expected.
4. Understand what work has been done
Ask how the property’s been modified and if possible, request copies of guarantees. This is especially important if the property has had any major building work such as an extension.
5. Confirm what comes with the property
It’s important to know what fixtures and fittings come with the property, such as kitchen whitegoods, curtain poles, etc. Even more importantly, if there are any uncertainties over what land comes with the property or parking spaces, make sure to ask and get the answer confirmed in writing.
6. Be nosey
This will likely be one of your biggest purchases in your life. No one will blame you for being nosey. This includes opening up the kitchen cupboards, especially the sink, to getting up into the loft to assess the roof.
7. Look past what’s currently in the property
This is especially true when viewing a property that isn’t in the best or most modern cosmetic state, like those that are cluttered or the colour scheme isn’t to your taste – the current owners belongings won’t be in the property when you buy it and you can quite easily make cosmetic changes yourself with very little cost. It’s important to never dismiss properties with potential too, as whilst they may require work, if it’s in a liveable state, why not take the project on and develop the rooms as you go. In other words, use your imagination!
Need some advice with buying or selling your property? Just get in touch with our friendly sales team.