Five essential checks to make during a house viewing
Unless you’re purchasing a new home, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a property where all the appliances and fixtures will be in mint, or brand-new condition. With the property being previously occupied, it’s more likely that these fixtures have been used – perhaps worn or are dated which will require a more detailed eye to help avoid any additional problems further down the line.
Whilst house viewings offer the opportunity for you to inspect the property in person, it can be easy to lose track of what it is you’re looking for as you may find the experience overwhelming – it’s a short period of time to essentially decide whether or not to you could see yourself living there. To help you know what to keep an eye out for during house viewings, we’ve compiled five key elements of the property you should check when looking around to help you save time and money down the line.
Windows and Doors
Have a good look over the windows and doors of the property as you make your way around. Find out what the locks are like, and how effective they are as this may affect your insurance policy should you wish to move in.
Find out if the windows are double glazed. If they’re only single, it may be something you would look to change (which is likely to be at your expense) to make the home more energy efficient. Single glazing can also be problematic as it could let more moisture and cold air into the house, which can result in damp and mould – so be extra cautious if windows are not double glazed already.
Damp and mould
When visiting a property, have a close look at areas in which damp is likely to arise. Common areas may include bathrooms and kitchens, but damp can appear in every room, so it’s worth keeping an eye out throughout the whole viewing. This may be especially important to look out for if the property is located near the sea or a large body of water, as the increased moisture in the area can make a home more prone to becoming damp.
Whilst everything within the confines of the property may tick all the boxes on your dream house checklist, there are also some external checks you should be making – specifically relating to who it is you could be living next to.
We recommend being upfront with the seller and asking if they’ve had any problems with neighbours in the past. Although sellers are legally obliged to disclose any disputes they’ve had with neighbours, it becomes somewhat of a grey area as to what constitutes as a dispute worthy of being noted due to its subjective nature.
Although you may be in the right to take legal action against the seller in the case that problems arise which they did not disclose, we suggest doing your own detective work whilst visiting the property. We suggest looking out and listening for any signs from neighbours which may be potentially disruptive to your lifestyle. If you do notice any red flags, consider how this may affect you before you go through with the sale.
During your visit to the property, we recommend finding out where it is located in the house and having a glance over it, as well as asking for details about it and how it runs.
Find out things like when it was last serviced, whether it’s protected under warranty and its energy-efficiency rating. These should give you a good indication of whether it’s suitable to remain in your home in the long term, or whether you’ll need to budget for a replacement (which can be expensive!).
Roof, Gutters and Woodwork
Although it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to closely inspect the roof during the house viewing, there are some tell-tale signs of its condition you should keep an eye out for which may be visible from a distance.
Look out for broken tiles, blocked/broken guttering and decaying wood on the properties exterior. Whilst minor repairs may not break the bank, major repairs to a roof and its components are notoriously expensive. The last thing you want to be doing is organising these repairs on your move-in day, and whilst a home survey will provide more detail, make sure you know beforehand how long it will be until these components will need maintenance repairs.
We hope our tips will assist you when viewing property! If you are looking to fond your dream home, you can look at our current listings here.