Have you dreamt of the day you find your dream home? Browsing listings and arranging viewings comes with a lot of excitement, making it easy to forget the practical things you need to consider.
If you have already made up your mind about a space from its listing or are a first-time buyer starting to view properties then this checklist is for you.
What to do when viewing a property?
Keep your eyes and ears open, stay focused on the practical information and don’t get distracted by the current homeowners’ interiors. Our best advice for this is to curb your enthusiasm and follow our checklist.
What to look out for in the interior of a property
1. Start by reviewing the condition of the floor
· Check all floorboards for damage
· Check for any damp patches or musty smells
· Keep an eye out for any damage hidden by furniture
2. What to check for in electricals
If rewiring your new home isn’t in your budget, don’t overlook the electricals at viewings.
- Are there enough electrical sockets?
- Are the sockets in working condition?
- Can you see any exposed wires?
- Ask to view the boiler and fuse box to ensure they are in working order
3. What to look out for in windows and doors
Windows and doors can influence a lot of sales, particularly if there isn’t a good source of natural light. It’s better to iron out finer details early to avoid bigger problems down the line. Other important checks include:
- Are the doors and windows in good working condition?
- Can you see any cracks on the door frames?
- Are the windows double-glazed?
- Are the locks in good working condition? Take note of any that need to be replaced
4. What to look out for in the plumbing
While you might feel awkward about checking every tap and toilet, don’t be, you’re investing a lot into a new property, you need to know everything about the space. So, flush the toilets, run the taps, and see what the water pressure is like.
- Take note of the fittings, is there a bath or shower?
- Do the bathrooms need a remodel?
- Is there a septic tank and where is it located?
- What is the ventilation in the bathroom like?
- Are there any signs of mildew or mould?
5. Assess the storage and space you will have
Maybe you are looking to add in an extension or convert the attic space, make sure the property has the right amount of space for any renovations you want.
- Will the space be big enough for you?
- Do the bedrooms have enough storage space?
- Do you have space to extend?
- Is there adequate space for your current furniture?
6. Will the current floor plan suit you?
Some layouts are easier to change than others so take time to consider if the layout of the current home will suit your lifestyle.
7. Take note of any fixtures that will be included in the sale
This includes any built-in kitchens, and wardrobes. You may be planning some home renovations so knowing what is included will help you when making your final decisions.
What to check on the exterior of the property
The exterior of a building gives you a good indication of its condition and if it’s been maintained well over the years. Don’t overlook any cracks on the building or excessive wear and tear in the roof, it could be an expensive oversight, make sure you check for:
- Any cracked broken or missing tiles on the roof?
- Are the chimneys aligned and in working order?
- Are the gutters clear and in good condition?
- Can you see any cracks in the exterior walls?
- What are the access points to the property?
- Check the whole perimeter of the house and garden
- Are there any large trees blocking out light?
- Check the signal on your phone
- Is the home located on a busy road?
- What are the transport links like?
- How long will your commute be?
- What are the local shops and amenities like?
- Will you have neighbours overlooking the garden?
- Will you have enough room for parking?
What should you look out for when viewing a house
Knowing what warning signs, you should look out for when viewing properties will save you a lot of time. It’s also important for you to know if any extra renovations are needed as this could affect your budget and offer.
- Assess what direction your property is facing if you’re not sure of this you can ask the estate agent for more on this.
- Keep an eye out for damp patches, mould, and musty smells, is there any evidence of painting that might conceal this?
- Stay vigilant for any cracks in the walls and above the door frames, this is a big red flag of bigger issues in the home and could be a sign of subsidence.
What should you ask when viewing a house
Extra information on the sale of a property can help you make the right offer and suss out any room for negotiation. The estate agent is there to help you, make use of their knowledge.
- Ask for the BER rating, this can impact your future utility bills.
- Has the home had other sales fall through after the survey?
- Does the building have any management fees?
- What are the exact boundaries of the property?
- Why is the current homeowner selling?
- How long has the property been on sale?
- Are there any current bids on the house?
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