Top tips for viewing properties like a pro

Added on 17 June 2016

When it comes to buying property it’s important that it’s done the right way. Not only will this be your home for many years, but it’s also an investment, so while you want the perfect place that fits your criteria, it’s also important to remember that this could be an asset you’ll look to sell in the future.

With this is mind, it’s essential that when you view potential properties you take the time to be thorough and get all the information you can. 

To help make sure you don’t miss a thing and make the right choice when you do eventually make an offer, we’ve compiled the following list of tips to view a property like a pro. 

Don’t rush
We understand that this could be the 20th house viewing you’ve been to in the last few weeks, but as said earlier, you could be living in this property for decades so don’t rush through this process. It’s vital that you spend close to 30 minutes exploring the property, asking questions and just getting a good sense of how the property feels. If you just wander from room to room, taking a few glances and only trying to spot glaring issues, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss the small issues that could eventually become big issues. Taking that little extra time will not only help you spot anything that needs fixing, but will also mean you’re much more informed when you come to make a formal offer for the property.

Take a good look at the structure
At first glance the property you’re viewing may seem quite solid structurally. However a closer look at the exterior or some of the walls may reveal potential problems. This is part of the viewing when it’s best to use your head and not your heart and treat this as an inspection of a building and not viewing of a home. Be on the lookout for hairline cracks, damp, broken tiles or guttering. If the current owner has made changes to the property such as an extension, make sure to do a double check in these areas to ensure their changes are structurally sound. If you do find any of the issues mentioned above, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how long it’s been that way or if the owner plans on fixing it.

Check all plumbing and electrics
A surprising amount of people forget to check these sort of things and just assume that everything Is in working order. Sadly, this is not always the case and the seller is not obligated to inform you of any issues. Be sure to check the water pressure by running the taps and the shower and test the lights and check the condition of the power sockets as you go from room to room. Don’t forget to ask plenty of questions regarding such things as the boiler or any wiring that may need to be replaced. Old and faulty plumbing and electrics is not only costly to replace but is also dangerous, so make sure you’re fully informed on the condition of it all. 

Think about how much space there actually is.
When it comes to property space is one thing you can never have enough of. Whether you’re looking to fit in that Queen size bed or you need somewhere to store all of your precious knick knacks you’ve collected over the years, space is incredibly valuable. What you have to remember is that while it’s your job to find the faults, it’s the seller's job to present the house in its best light. This means that they’ll do everything possible to make the room feel larger, whether that be using lots of natural lighting or in some cases removing pieces of furniture all together. You have to keep in mind the home is most likely a little more cluttered on a regular day and that your furniture could take up more room than the current owner. Think about how much room your items take up and then ask yourself if there is any room for expansion.

Take a walk through the area
When you’re buying a property you’re not just investing in that building, you’re also investing in the neighbourhood itself. If you’re first time buyers and looking to build a life in this new home, you have to ask whether the area is suitable for your family’s needs. Is there plenty of shops close by? Are you near a noisy main road? How do the local schools perform? How bad is the rush hour traffic? All of these are questions you need to ask yourself and investigate. It’s best to wander around the area for a short while in order to see how it all feels, after all, if you’re going to be here for some time, you need to feel comfortable.

Once you’ve taken a good look, take another and maybe another.
As we stated at the beginning, when it comes to buying property it’s best done the right way, but even when you do everything right, it’s always best to check things twice. No matter how thorough you intend to be there is always the possibility that you missed a couple of things the first time round. Most would advise visiting a property 2-3 times and at different times of the day if possible to see if you feel the same way each time. Buying a home can be very exciting and it’s easy to get carried away with it all, but it’s important to remain level headed, take a 2nd and 3rd look at it all and really analyse if this is the right investment for you.

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