When house-hunting it’s imperative that you spend enough of your time viewing a property. Would you spend just 15-20 minutes skimming the property with the odd glance in a few rooms? Many buyers do and they regret it soon enough. Here’s our advice on best viewing a property:
A survey won’t be necessary if the property is okay on a structural level. Look for cracks – big ones only, as small ones are to be expected. Areas to look at specifically include end-of-terrace walls, bay windows and extensions, as these can bow or fall. If you spot major cracks or have any possible doubts, it may be worth bringing in a surveyor for your own peace of mind. Read more about the different types of surveys you can get through haart.
Consider contacting a structural engineer as well if any walls look as though they’re bowing.
The amount storage space is often an overlooked factor. Is there enough space to store away a hoover, linen, towels and tools? Is there spare room for extra cupboards or shelves to be built? Storage space can be limited in many homes, especially new builds, so ensure you have a thorough look.
Are the rooms big enough to match your needs? Think about what you currently own and whether or not the room sizes will suffice, as well as how much spare space you’ll have after the fact.
Check out the state of the windows throughout the property; is there cracking paint? Is the glazing in good condition? The state of the windows often gives you a good idea on how well looked after the rest of the property is; if you’re able to push your finger into the window frame, then it’s likely rotten. Also if you can spot condensation between the double-glazed window panes, then they’re faulty and will need replacing.
Poor wiring can be dangerous and expensive to fix. Inspect the wiring throughout the property and if possible also look at the fuse board, as this usually reveals the state of the wiring – does it look old or even outdated? If so it will need to be replaced soon enough.
Run a few taps to determine the property’s water pressure. Be sure to also ask whether the pipes have insulation and that they aren’t made of lead, which would need to be replaced. Also find out whether the radiators currently work, the age of the boiler and whether the hot water tank is located. Chances are if it’s in the roof then it’s likely an old hot water tank that will have to be replaced very soon.
Is there a loft in the property? If so, find out how easy it is to access and how much space there is. It’s often an overlooked element, but still an important one to factor in. Could it become a possible bedroom? Is it well insulated? These are questions that are worth asking when it comes to the loft.
What is the current state of the area’s drainage? Find out where the external drains are located and how accessible/functional they are. Dedicated gardeners that use lots of water can cause serious structural damage and cause problems for potential home renovations, like a new patio or a general extension. If this is a concern for a property you’re interested in, hire a structural surveyor.
Can you picture yourself living there?
After you’ve had a good long look around the property and done your research on the local area, the final thing to consider is whether you can seriously see yourself living there.
Do you like the property? If so arrange a second viewing for another time of day, and if possible take someone with you who may be able to notice some things you can’t.
Want to know more tips and advice? Check out our Buying Process for tips on searching for properties for sale, viewing properties, making an offer, property lawyers, exchanging and completing.
Is there anything else that you will be looking out for when you view your next property? Let us know on Twitter @haart_UK!