Tips on Viewing
t's easy to let your heart rule your head when you to a property viewing, but it's important to back up your feelings with facts. If you keep your wits about you and ask the right questions, you'll be far less likely to run into problems in the future or have any regrets. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you're viewing your potential future home:
Investigate the area
Spend some time walking around the area, observing things such as proximity to shops and cafes, transport links, and noise. Be sure to revisit at different times of the day, particularly rush hour, to see how light and traffic changes. You don't want to find out after you move in that the quiet street at 10am becomes a clogged road at 6pm!
Look at the structure of the building
Make sure that you check the home for damp, giveaway signs are a mouldy smell, peeling paint and watermarked walls or ceilings. In addition, hairline cracks could be a warning sign of structural problems. Replacing a roof can be incredibly expensive so do also ask/check for missing or loose tiles or broken guttering. Finally windows, if you can easily push your finger into a wooden window frame, it is likely to be rotten, even if it's been cleverly given a coat of fresh paint!
Check, check, check
It's also important to check internal fixtures such as taps and light switches. How is the water pressure? Does it take long for hot water to come through? Don't be carried away by clever staging, strategic lighting, fresh paint etc. It's important to check the boring stuff too!
There is no such thing as too many questions
Prepare a list of things that you want to ask, as it's easy for things to slip your mind once you're inside. Some things you may want to consider putting on your list - ask what fixtures are included
(that marble fireplace which makes the living room feel like home when you step in might not be!), whether any modifications have been made to the property, and confirm what land comes with the property that parking space might not be yours.
This is often overlooked, but it's a very important consideration especially if you're downsizing. Where are you going to keep the boxes and boxes of random things you have lying around the place? Is there room for additional storage space to be built if you need it? On the other hand, if you love a property and there isn't enough storage, it could give you the incentive you need to do a little spring cleaning!
At the end of the day, if you do spot faults, you shouldn't necessarily rule out the property altogether. You could use it to negotiate on the price by taking into consideration repair costs. There really is just one thing to remember - don't just spend half an hour viewing a property that could become your home for many years!