When you are looking to buy your dream home, you may walk in and decide straight away that it is the one for you, but you must carry out plenty of checks to ensure it is in the best possible condition and not likely to cause you problems in the future. We have curated a checklist for all new home buyers to use when viewing a property.
Outside the house
Is the building structurally sound?
Seeing hairlines cracks in a house is completely normal and can come with the house settling over time. However, noticing larger cracks in the exterior of the property can be more of a serious issue and one you need to speak about with the estate agent.
Which way does the house face?
The way your house is facing can be the difference between your home being filled with light or the house being dark throughout the day. Try to visit the property at different times of day to get an idea of the light you can expect.
How old is the roof?
Before heading into the house take a look at the roof and the condition it is in, can you see missing or cracked slates?
Ask your estate agent about the age of the roof. Typically, newer roofs have a life of up to 20 years before work is needed to get it back in a suitable shape.
Will you be overlooked by neighbours?
When we are in our homes and gardens, we want privacy, but when moving into a busy estate or cul-de-sac your garden may be overlooked by many other properties.
You should also check for parking around the property, will you have a garage or a drive to park your car or are you going to have to park on the roadside?
Inside the house
Is there damp?
Once you are inside the property, take a look around the rooms for signs of damp. Some tell-tale signs of damp and mould in the house include a smell of moist, flaking walls and watermarked ceilings.
Many sellers can give their damp rooms a fresh lick of paint to cover the damage caused by the damp so bear this in mind through the viewing.
Storage space may not seem like a big priority at first, but once you have moved in you’ll soon realise a lack of space to keep boxes, vacuum cleaners, seasonal decorations etc.
Does the plumbing work?
When viewing the property, you should run the taps in each room to check the water pressure and see how long it can take the water to heat up. Low pressure and cold water can become a big bugbear when you move into the property.
Check with your estate agent if there are any issues with the boiler and how old it is, this will give you an idea of if it will need replacing.
Is the house soundproof?
No one wants to live in a house where you can hear the conversions happening in your neighbours’ home. Make sure you get some time to check this when you are in the property.
Can you use the attic?
You should take some time during your viewing to discuss the attic. The attic can have many uses, it can become extra space for storage, but it can also have the potential to be converted into additional rooms.
Are the fireplaces functional?
If you are serious about purchasing the property, you should get a professional to view the fireplace to ensure it is working as it should. Keep an eye out for any brickwork issues, poor ventilation or downdrafts.
Is it important you take time to get to know the local area before purchasing your new home, test your route to work or the school run to learn of any traffic issues.
Make sure you make time to walk around the local area and see how close you are to the local amenities. Get to know any shops, restaurants or bars around in the area.
It is a good idea to take a look for the schools local to your house, whether you have children or not. Families tend to like to have a school within a close distance, but this can also cause traffic issues with morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups.
When viewing a house, we would advise you to take your time and don’t rush into any issues, despite the competitive nature of the housing industry.
Schedule in a few appointments to visit the property at different times of day to get an idea of the sun position, traffic and noise pollution. Taking this extra time will ensure you make a purchase you will remain happy with.
If you are looking at purchasing your next home, get in touch with our team of expert conveyancers at ONP Group for both support and advice.