Skip to content

Things not to forget when viewing a property

Do you think it would be worth your time to spend just 20 minutes looking at property for sale – in person or virtual – that will become your home for many years to come? Some home buyers make the mistake of buying too many properties. Our top tips for buying a home – a checklist to follow when looking at properties.
There has been much talk lately about virtual viewings, and whether they will ever become the norm. Virtual viewings can be helpful in shortening your list of properties to purchase, but nothing beats the experience of visiting the property in person to resolve any problems. Here is our list of things to watch out for when viewing homes for sale.

1. Is there any damp?

If you are looking at a property, be sure to look out for signs that it is damp. You will notice signs of dampness such as a moldy smell, flaky plaster, or watermarked walls or ceilings. This may sound obvious but pay attention to the ceiling and the skirting boards. A second clue is if the room was recently repainted, possibly to cover any damp.
2. Are there any structural problems?

Big cracks are what are you looking for, but you can expect some hairline cracks. Be sure to look around extensions, bay windows, and end-of-terrace wall joints. All of these can lead to the house falling apart or bowing away. Ask the homeowner or agent to discuss any issues and then contact your surveyor. However, you can’t look for things you don’t know. A chartered professional surveyor is skilled at identifying risks and determining what needs to be addressed.

3. How much storage space are you allowed to store?

If you’re looking at homes for sale, storage space can be a great asset. Your vacuum cleaner, spare sheets, towels, and junk can all be stored in a place that is convenient. Can shelves or cupboards be installed in the space? Particularly in newly constructed houses, storage space may be limited.
4. What direction is the house facing?

Winter is tricky because it’s difficult to see the difference between north and south-facing houses or gardens. However, in summer, it can make a big difference between a home that is bright and dark and one that is bright and warm. Bring a compass to property viewings. You may even have one on your smartphone. Bi-fold doors are all the rage. But, remember that the sun can heat the room in sunny moments. So, make sure you visit that room and enjoy it.
5. Are the rooms sufficient for your needs and requirements?

In order to make rooms appear bigger, we’ve heard from new home developers who put smaller furniture into rooms. Be aware! Be aware!

6. You have been tricked by staging.

To make their home more attractive, sellers employ cleverly placed mirrors and strategic lighting. While it is nice to feel that you can simply move in without doing anything, it is important to keep your eyes open. Ask them about their furnishings and take photos. For example, perfect light fittings can be difficult to find and replace.
7. Is cracking paint visible on the frames? Is the double-glazing still in place?

When buying a house, one of the first things you should check is the condition of the windows frames. This is an indicator of the overall condition of the house. It shows how much care has been taken to maintain the frames. Wooden window frames are often rotten when you can put your finger in them. Condensation between double-glazed window panes can indicate that they are defective. You will need to have new windows installed by a registered inspector. Ask if it is.
8. How old is your roof?

Replacing your roof is expensive. However, newer roofs can last only 15-20 years depending on what materials they are made from.

Check the sealant used if there is a flat or near flat roof. A membrane is now more common than asphalt or gravel, which can leave seams unsealed.

9. Are there enough power points? And in what condition?

Unsafe wiring can pose a danger to your home and can make it difficult to rewire your new home. A survey will show if the fuseboard needs to be replaced. The fuse board is often an indicator of the wiring’s condition. In today’s gadget-driven world, having enough plug points is a major selling point. It’s worth paying attention to when you view a property.
10. Is the plumbing in order?

Check the water pressure by running the taps. Make sure the pipes are properly insulated. Does the radiator actually work? What is the age of the boiler? If the hot water tank is located on the roof, it may be an older one and will need to replaced.
11. Is the property sound-proofed properly?

If you are not able to hear your neighbor’s every word, ask the seller to turn the radio/TV off.
12. What is the look like in the attic?

Although the attic is often neglected, it is an important part to the house. How accessible is it? Are there enough storage spaces? Could it be used to create additional rooms? Are there any insulations? The insulation can make all the difference in how much you pay and how comfortable you feel in winter.
13. How does the area look?

Do you live near a bar, kebab shop or pub that is rowdy in the evenings?
Do you need to drive or can you walk to the shops to buy a pint of milk?
Is it difficult to access public transport?
Are there train tracks or noisy roads nearby?
Are you under a flight path
Is there an area dump within smelling distance?
Do you live near a school where it is difficult to get out your car at school time?
Are you located in a conservation area

Most importantly, does it feel like a place you could call home? Google streetview is a great tool to discover the area from the comforts of your own home.

If you are interested in a property, schedule another viewing at a time that suits you and do some local research. Bring someone along who may be able to spot things you might not notice.
Virtual viewing

Virtual viewings are available in a variety of formats. They can be prerecorded, or they can be live with the agent or owner. If you are able to view the property live, then take it slow and ask many questions. Also, make sure you inspect the interior of the boiler, the fuse board, and cupboards. Take a look at the window frames closely and take in the view from your window. It can be hard to get a sense for the location and the surrounding area. Google Street View can help. Google Maps can give you a view of the neighborhood and show how it has changed over time.