Things to watch out for the first time you view a home

Things to watch out for the first time you view a home

You booked a viewing with an estate agent and it seems to tick all your boxes: location, price range, number of rooms… You are probably quite enthusiastic as the agent said it could be “your perfect home”. Make the most of your viewing by checking the following points.

Before the viewing, put together a team of expert friends.

As soon as you announce that you’re looking to buy a property, you can expect friends and family to give you all their well-intentioned advice. Although this is great, you know who you can lean on and get them to visit the place with you. Ideally team up with an electrician or a plumber if you can.

Don’t let yourself be pressured

Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal. There will be other properties, maybe even better ones. Estate agents are expert salespeople. They may urge you to make an offer before someone else snatches the place up, because that’s their job! Remember, time is on your side and so are we!

Stating the obvious

Start with what you see first … the exterior of the property and especially the following aspects:

  • What’s the area like? Once you are decided on the area, you can order a zoom local report. Remember to quote “zoom” when you book your Homebuyer Report or Building Survey with us and get it for free! A Zoom Local report is very thorough and covers schools, crime rate, health, transport…
  • How old is the roof? Depending on the materials, new roofs are expected to last up to 20 years. You probably do not want to change your roof as you move into your new property
  • Is the building structurally sound? Look especially around where extensions join, end-of-terrace walls, and bay windows, all of which can start to fall from the rest of the house. You’re looking for issues now that you can ask the homeowner or estate agent about and then ask your surveyor to investigate later. Get a quote now.
  • Which way does the house face? Take a compass with you to the viewing to ensure sunshine and warmth bathe strategic points in your property all day if this is important to you…
  • How big is the garden? Is it going to require you spend your weekends maintaining it? Are you OK with this?
  • Where would you park your car?

Going inside…

You are probably now very keen on seeing the inside of the property. Continue to temper your excitement and check the following:

  • You must beware of “tricks” to dress up a home i.e. strategic lighting, delicious smells, fresh licks of paint are all tricks sellers use to make their home more appealing. And so should you when you will sell the place in the future..
  • Is the property adequately sound-proofed? This is a difficult one … View the place at different times of day i.e around school run time if you are concerned with the traffic noise. Ask the neighbours, if possible.
  • Are the rooms big enough for your needs? Try to picture your current furniture, will it fit?
  • How much storage space is there? Storage space is a valuable but often overlooked asset. Especially in newly built houses, where it can be scarce.
  • Do the window frames have cracking paint? Is there double-glazing? If there is condensation between double-glazed window-panes it means that they could be faulty.
  • Is there smell, mould, flaky plaster, watermarked ceilings? Damp should be thoroughly investigated. A Homebuyer report or Building Survey will assess the risk of dampness and the costs of repairs to be planned (extra cost).
  • Are there enough power points and what condition are they in? Is there any old wiring? What about the state of the fuse box or board? This is a good indication of future repairs that need planning.
  • Does the heating/air-conditioning work?
  • Is the plumbing up to scratch? First you need to run the taps to check the water pressure. Ask how the pipes are insulated. Also try if the radiators work? How old is the boiler?
  • What’s the attic like? How easy is it to access? Is there much storage space? Would you have to convert your loft into Storage? Could it be converted into extra rooms? Is there insulation?

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We hope you made the most of your viewing. You might have even made an offer! If so, congratulations! If you have followed our advice, you might have booked another viewing at a different time of the day. If so, thank you for trusting us, it is the safest method to follow.Now you can book the right survey for your home. Read our blog article for more advice.Please comment on this blog item on our Twitter account (@whsurveyors) or on our Facebook account (@whitehorsesurveyors) .We can’t wait to hear from you!