Property viewings are a major element of the house buying process. They come as an opportunity for you to have a look around a property that could eventually become your future home for years to come. You’ve seen the pictures, now it’s time to see if it lives up to your expectations.
One of the biggest mistakes a property buyer can make is holding back when it comes to inspecting the home they’re viewing. Be it out of politeness or otherwise, buying a home is perhaps one of the largest investments you’ll ever make, so it’s important to take in as much information as possible throughout the often short-winded house viewing. In this blog, we’ll go through five things you should check during a property viewing so that you’ll make the right decision.
Inspect window frames and doors
Replacing windows and doors is expensive business, so making sure they’re fit to last is certainly worth checking over. At a glance, you might get a good idea as to whether they’ve been maintained, but don’t be afraid to get hands-on.
With exterior wooden frames, a gentle poke should be enough to check their integrity. If they feel mushy, they could be rotten – which is a sign of poor care. You should also check for condensation between the windows, as this means they’re not managing moisture properly and will likely need to be replaced. Security may also be a concern. What condition are the locks in on the windows and doors? If they’re looking dated, you’ll likely need to invest in updating them.
Look out for signs of damp
A home suffering from issues with damp may not only be costly to your wallet, but also your health. Noticing the signs early during a house viewing is likely to help avoid serious issues with damp later down the line.
When entering a room, make sure to check all the walls – especially exterior walls. Whilst black mould can be easily spotted, damp can be hidden (although a damp smell can be a tell-tale sign!). If walls have been freshly painted, it may be an indication that damp has been covered up. If you suspect anything, or just want to be on the safe side, ask the homeowner directly if there have been any damp issues.
Find out more about the roof
As another expensive element of any property, the condition of the roof should be considered when thinking long-term – and a house viewing is the perfect opportunity to find out beforehand.
Although it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the roof, asking the owner questions such as how old it is, and what materials were used can be a good indication of how long its lifespan. It’s worth also looking at drains and gutters too, as damaged or blocked drains can cause issues down the line, namely damp and flooding.
How’s the plumbing?
Finding out as much as you can about the properties plumbing is a good way to avoid a potential unexpected bill early on, should you go through with the sale.
Run taps in the bathrooms and kitchen to get a feel of the water pressure. Ask when the boiler was last replaced, and if the pipes are insulated. An old or outdated boiler may not only be expensive to replace but also be costlier to run from an energy efficiency perspective too.
Find out what’s nearby
Before or after the viewing, it may be worthwhile having a look around the area of the property for anything that could be potentially problematic should you wish to move in.
Is the house located very close to a pub or late-night bar, which could be noisy at night? Is the property backed on to train tracks, which could be loud when trains pass? What are the transport links like, and how long would it take to commute? Although these questions may seem obvious, property viewings are a great opportunity to also explore the area of the home before you make a decision.
We hope our blog will assist you when viewing property.
If you are looking to buy a property, you can view our current listings here.