Buying a house is the more than likely the biggest expense you will undertake in your lifetime. So, when it comes to viewing a property you need to make sure you view it properly to ensure you don’t end up buying a money pit.
This could be your home for many years, and unless you’re purposely looking for a fixer upper, then you need a checklist to help you make the right decision.
James Kristian have put together a checklist to help when you are viewing properties, to help you make the right decision.
1. Is the building structurally sound
The first thing you need to be looking at from a property is the outside structure, are there any major cracks in the brick work that may need attention.
This could be an indication of structural issues, the places to check are around the windows, if it’s an end terrace check the gable end for any signs of bowing. And if there is an existing extension look at where the brickwork joins the main building for any issues.
If you see any potential issues then ask the homeowner or estate agent during your viewing, they may not have noticed themselves, a house gains wear and tear and not all cracks may signal trouble.
As part of the sales process there will be a survey carried out, and for further reassurance chartered surveyors have years of experience to spot issues and highlight if needed.
2. Look for damp
Damp is pretty easy to spot once you enter a property, look for wet spots on the walls, and you will generally get a musty smell in the house if there is damp present.
The most obvious place to spot damp, are around the windows, in the corner of rooms, and on the top of the skirting boards.
Look for any freshly painted spots that may look out of place with the rest of the décor, as this may be freshly painted to hide damp.
3. Is there enough space for your needs
When you view a property its easy to get excited about the new décor, or the sunlight gleaming through the windows, or the new garden if it has one.
But don’t forget practicality, is the new place going to be big enough for you?
If you have couches and beds you are going to take with you then make sure you measure them before you view the new property.
Then when you conduct your viewing you can pull out the tape measure and make sure everything fits, even if you are planning on buying new furniture, then take a trip to the store before the viewing, or find the measurements online.
The last thing you want is to be there on moving day to find out your furniture doesn’t fit.
4. Check the waterworks
Check the water pressure in the taps by running them as you view the property. Have the pipes been lagged so they are insulated from the cold during the winter, you don’t want to move in and have a pipe burst on you.
Is there central heating?
Check the age of the boiler and the radiators, does the heating work ok, and check the hot water temperature.
These are all things you can check quickly for piece of mind, having to replace a boiler as soon as you move in will be big expense so check carefully.
5. Check the wiring
Rewiring a property is an expensive undertaking, so it’s essential to take a look a look at the wiring in its current form.
Look at the sockets, do they seem old, are they cracked? Are there enough sockets throughout the house for all your power needs?
And ask to look at fuse board, does it look modern and up to date, you may not be an electrician but if you know one it may be worth asking them to accompany you, or take some pictures on your phone to show someone who knows.
6. Is there adequate parking
One of the essential items on the checklist for a new home, is there enough parking space?
And this may be one you have to check on alternate occasions.
If you view the property by day, then most people will be at work and so the road the property is on may seem empty with plenty of parking spaces.
So it’s worth driving by in the evening and weekends to see just how congested the road becomes, and whether it’s still easy enough to park.
There is nothing worse than coming home from work in the winter and having to walk a good distance from where you park to where you live.
So make sure you do your homework.
7. Are the local amenities any good
If you like the quiet life you don’t want to be living near a busy bar and restaurant area, but on the other hand it may be a bonus to live close to a town centre where these are all on your doorstep.
If you do like the quiet life you still need to get to a local shop for a pint of milk.
So make sure you check the local area for the usual suspects, post office, supermarket, transport links and schools.
Looking for a new place to live whether it be to buy or let is a big undertaking, and it’s really important you do your homework.
Take the time to do all the necessary checks to make sure there are no hiccups.
If you need help looking to find a new place, James Kristian are on hand to help you in any way.
Our friendly staff is here to make sure we answer any queries you may have with your new home.
So give us a call or pop into our offices on Waterloo for a chat.