You’ve spotted the perfect house on the web and you’re pretty much ready to get going – but is it as good as it seems? Viewing a house in person can reveal a lot, either making or breaking the big decision for good. When it comes to that all important viewing, here’s what to consider to ensure you find a property that’s right for you.
House viewing tips
- Take someone with you
Whether it’s a partner, a family member or a trusted friend, having someone else there is wise. Not only is it safer, but you’ll also be more likely to spot if there’s something wrong with another pair of eyes on the place.
- Ask questions – and lots of them.
Don’t be afraid to ask about the small things, the answer may end up making the decision for you.
- Do your research before you go.
There’s no point falling in love with a house if the area isn’t right too. Check out reviews of the local schools, restaurants and transport links before meeting the seller.
- Take a walk around the local area.
The house may be perfect, but you have to like the area too. Going for a walk helps you get a real glimpse of general day-to-day life in the town. You may want to do this a couple of times to get a feel for it at different times of the day.
- Ask about storage.
Whether you’ve noticed a lack of cupboards or there’s no room in the garage, be aware of how much storage there is in the house. Don’t let it put you off though; a storage unit is a simple and secure way of solving this problem if you have any bulky furniture or items you’re not quite ready to get rid of.
- Take your time when viewing the property.
Rather than rushing to get out of the seller’s hair, spend some time in each room to really suss it out.
- Think about the layout.
Will your furniture fit nicely? Is the shape of the room itself a problem? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to layout and size.
- Take your own photos if you can.
Photos online can be deceiving, so take your own so you can have something to refer back to and compare to your current home. Most sellers won’t mind you doing this, but it’s always wise to ask first.
- Use your nose.
As weird as it sounds, pay attention to any smells in the house. Air freshener and paint can be used to cover the smell of damp, so query any odd odours around the house.
- Check how busy the road is outside.
You don’t want to be kept up all night with busy traffic or be beside an unsafe road.
- Keep an eye out for exposed wires and large cracks in the wall.
Both are dangerous and a sign of disrepair.
- Ask what central heating system is installed.
Gas central heating is preferable, as it’s cheaper and more efficient to run. Think carefully about a property with electric or calor gas heating.
What to ask at a house viewing
It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and forget about important aspects of the home. Having questions prepared is a great way of ensuring you find out everything you need to know. Some of these you’ll be able to spot for yourself, but it’s worth having all of them in the back of your mind just in case.
- How long has it been on the market?
You might be able to put in a lower offer than the original asking price if it’s been up for sale for a while.
- What is the ownership history?
Spotting a pattern of short term owners is usually a bad sign.
- What’s included in the price?
This includes parking spaces, garages, sheds and anything else left on the property.
- How is the WiFi and phone coverage?
You may want to ask them what network provider they recommend.
- Why is the seller moving?
It may sound like a personal question, but it’s actually very important and can indicate if there’s something wrong with the house.
Things to check as you view the house
You might feel a little intrusive, flicking lights on and turning on taps but it’s important you do this to see where problems lie and if anything needs fixing if you buy the property.
- Do the light switches and electrical sockets work?
You could check this for yourself to make sure.
- Are the floors in good condition, or will they need to be replaced?
It’s a good idea to check this as you’ll have to factor the cost of redecoration into your budget.
- Is there much storage?
As mentioned, you’ll have to find a place for all your belongings without making your new home look cluttered. Using a storage unit allows you access to your things without making your place look messy.
- How recently have the walls been painted?
If you spot random sections of fresh paint, damp or mould may have been covered over.
- Do the taps work and how powerful are they?
See if you can check this for yourself. Nobody wants a shower that barely lets a trickle out.
- Is there a shower, bath or both?
Some people like to have both options while others don’t mind.
- Does the boiler work properly?
You don’t want to move into a freezing cold house or have to pay out for a new boiler without warning.
- How much maintenance does the garden require?
It’s all well and good having a large garden, but you’ll need to decide if you can keep up with the care.
- Are there any tiles missing from the roof and are they in good shape? Replacing a roof often comes at a significant cost.
- What condition are the exterior bricks in?
Asking this will give you an idea of how structurally sound the building is.
Once you’ve found your dream home, you can start packing and planning. Whether you need packing supplies or extra storage, Ready Steady Store has everything you need to make the moving process a lot less stressful.