Viewing a house is a very important time. You’ve found some options that have caught your eye and booked appointments to go and see them. It’s really exciting, we know, but there are some things to look out for before and during the viewing.
Especially for first-time buyers, you may not realise these things are worth thinking about so we’ve put together this list of things to look for when viewing a house to give you a starting point.
The surrounding area
Before you get to the house viewing, take a look around the local area. You can walk or drive around the streets and see what amenities are close by and how the house you’re seeing compares to others. You might see others for sale that are worth considering but most importantly, you’ll get a feel for the area and this will help you make a better decision later in the process.
Make a list of questions
It’s always worth coming up with a list of questions to ask when you’re inside. Ask about the boiler, if there is one, and how new it is. Has there been any flooding damage recently, or instances of mould? Is there double glazing? What’s the energy efficiency level? Some of these details may be available on the listing but it’s good to get some reassurance.
Don’t go alone
Where possible, try to take someone with you whenever you view a property. More eyes means you’re less likely to miss any details that may have an impact on your decision. Where possible, take someone who has experience of house viewings so you can draw on their experience and things to look for. Another idea worth considering is someone not involved in buying the house so you can get an objective opinion on everything you’ve seen.
Check the outside
Checking the outside the house is important. You’ll get an idea if there’s been any structural damage or recent repairs that might need more investigating. Beyond the walls, look at the guttering and windows as well (and check these once inside) to make sure they’re adequate and won’t cause problems down the line. This includes the garden and any work that has been done here.
Don’t forget the roof
While outside, also check on the roof. Is it in good condition? Have there been any recent repairs that might mean more are needed in the future. As more severe weather fronts arrive, this is something to think about going forward. Also check on the roof when inside and see how the wood and support beams are holding up. This is a less obvious are to look at but if they’re in poor condition, it might be worth re-thinking.
Look for signs of damp
Once inside, check the walls and ceilings for signs of mould and damp. This will not only reveal and issue that needs to be resolved but could also point to signs of water damage or leaks and poor air circulation. Kitchens, bathrooms and areas around windows are key areas to check but any external walls and those leading from the basement or foundation should also be inspected.
Points of interest
How are the electricity points throughout the house? Are they in good condition or is there work needing to be done? Beyond that, are there enough? We live in an age where we use a lot of technology and digital devices that require power and if there aren’t enough electricity points, this could be an issue. Also look for telephone and TV line points.
Is there enough space?
A common reason to move house is to find a bigger home that offers more space. While the house you’re viewing might look big, consider how it will be once all the furniture you have or want is inside. Is there still enough space? Are you planning for a family and do you have the room in this house to accommodate that? Are you working from home and is there a space you can do this? You can’t plan for everything but what you can work out will help you make a decision.
Try to be objective
It’s very easy to get carried away when viewing a house, and already seeing it as a home. This isn’t a bad thing at all but it can cause to gloss over potential issues which may be important down the line. Being objective will help you make the best decision – especially if you go with other people. It’s also a good idea to try and view the house more than once if you can, as you’ll notice more things on each visit.
What else do you look for when viewing a house? Let us know!