Buying a property is one of the biggest, and certainly most expensive decisions you’re ever going to make. To give you a helping hand when viewing your next property, we’ve put together this handy little guide.
Take your time to look around the property (at least half an hour if you can) and try to view it again at a different time of the day. That way you’ll get a more realistic impression of what it’s like to live there. For example, if the property is close to a pub, it’s worth checking it out at kicking-out time! It’s also a good idea to walk around the local area. You could even knock on some doors and see what your potential neighbours think about the neighbourhood.
Looking at the potential
Could you do anything to the property that would add value? If you’re buying as an investment, this is a really important question to ask yourself. Consider where gas pipes are situated in the property for new kitchen installations and check out the age of fixtures and fittings.
Check taps and light switches
There’s no better way to make sure the electrics and plumbing are in good working order. Although it might seem a little strange, it’s worth flushing the toilet while looking around.
Use your nose
Bad smells are a sign of problems, particularly damp. If you smell anything unusual, it’s worth asking what is causing it. Be weary of a strong sense of air freshener when you view a property, it may be masking a bad odour.
Find out what’s included in the sale
From white goods to communal outside space, check exactly what you’re getting for the price. Some sellers leave white goods, fixtures and fittings but some are keen to take even the carpets so make sure you know what to budget for.
Which direction does it face?
There’s a big difference between a north and south facing house, especially in the summer. Take a compass with you to your viewing (there are some good compass apps available).
Factor redecoration and renovation into your budget
Decorating can be expensive, so make sure you’ve got the funds and factor that into the amount you offer on the property. If you’re planning to extend or make alterations to the structure of the property, it’s worth checking whether you’ll need planning permission or consent. Even a spotless property at a viewing may need redecorating once the furniture moves out.
Is it tech-friendly?
Research what the mobile coverage is like, and also what broadband options are available in the area. This is especially important in rural areas or for those planning to work from home. It’s easy to check your phone signal in every room in the house and check for satellites on the building.