Tips for viewing a house you`re looking to buy

October 11, 2012

Mortgage

Viewing a house you`re looking to buy

Viewing a house you`re looking to buy

Buying a house is often the biggest investment you will ever make. It can also be a chaotic process. The property market in the price range you’re looking at could be quite competitive and you usually have to organise viewings around working hours.

Research

Find out as much as you can from friends, relations, colleagues or online about the neighbourhood before you commence the viewing process. You could be wasting your time inspecting a property only to discover that the area does not have the facilities you hope to find.

If at all possible, take someone along with you to a viewing. Two pairs of eyes are useful, especially if you are feeling sentimental about the property. It may look like the home of your dreams but it could turn out to be a nightmare. Put yourself into an objective mindset and look at the property as a building with potential flaws, not a future home.

Outdoors

Look carefully at the exterior walls for any cracks. These could indicate a subsidence problem. Even if the front garden looks pretty and full of summertime flowers, think how it will look in winter. Are there any ugly pathways, drives or uneven paving that could be a hazard?

Damp

On entering the house, keep your senses sharp for any signs of damp. These could include slightly loose wallpaper, dried marks on the corners of walls, uneven window sills and flaky paintwork around the frames. Damp always has a musty smell and cannot be camouflaged easily. Always ensure that you take a good look at any basement or crawl space. That’s where most of the damp in a house begins.

Look carefully around each room and take note of how the furniture, wall decorations and rugs are placed. These could all cover problems in the flooring, paintwork as well as signs of damp. If you are viewing during the daytime and the lights are on inside the house, switch them off to see what the light in each room is like. Take your time looking around the house you will need at least half an hour and try not to be hurried.

Fences

Walk around the gardens and nearby streets to view the property from every angle. Examine all fencing carefully and find out who owns which fence or wall. Fencing and boundary problems are the cause of many disputes with neighbours. Try to find out if any of the neighbours have a problem with any prominent trees or hedges.

Neighbourhood

When you have finished your first viewing, walk around the neighbourhood and find out where the public transport and parking facilities are located. If there is no space around the house for off-street parking, how do residential parking permits work?

Noise

Try to locate nearby schools, pubs, clubs and any major sports venues. These can cause noise as well as traffic chaos. If you plan to work from home, take care not to underestimate the noise potential from school playgrounds, distant railway lines or overhead aircraft. Some people can become accustomed to these quickly, but for others, they may become a festering nuisance.

Try to visit the property three or four times at different times of the day. This will give you a better idea of the neighbourhood as well as the daytime illumination of the house.

Remember to look online for cheap home insurance once you’ve signed on the dotted line and agreed to buy your new home!

Tips for viewing a house you`re looking to buy

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