So, you’re looking to buy a new home – exciting stuff! But with all the hidden problems that could be lurking in any potential property, it’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared before you take the plunge with ‘your next home viewing checklist.’ That’s where Quick Property Sale comes in. In this article, we’ll be providing you with a handy checklist of things to look out for when viewing a potential new home, so you can rest assured that you’re making a well-informed decision.
First things first, it’s important to note that while virtual viewings are convenient, they can’t compare to seeing a property in person. So, while you may be able to shortlist potential properties using desktop viewing, we wouldn’t recommend making a final decision without a proper in-person inspection.
Now, onto the checklist! Before you start viewing properties, make sure to grab a pen and paper or your smart phone to make notes of any important observations during your visit. Here are the main things to look out for:
Is the house in good shape?
Obviously, you’ll want to make sure that any potential new home is in good condition. On your initial visit the presentation of the property will indicate if that homeowner has been conscientiously caring in keeping a well maintained home. If they haven’t it will be very obvious with signs of poor decorating, damaged fixtures and neglect of the complete building fabrication.
Also look out for any major defects, but also keep an eye out for any minor faults that could become bigger issues down the line. Pay attention to areas prone to decay or loss of strength with age, such as extension joints, end-of-terrace brickwork, and bay windows. Check the roof, from ground level, for the condition of slates/tiles, especially flat roofs, for split/peeling asphalt and parted membranes or seams on rubber roofs. Check for any mature tree roots that maybe impeding and affecting the property foundations. The vendor may point out any work they’ve done on the property in previous years, but if you have any doubts, it’s always best to contact a surveyor or builder for professional advice before making an offer.
It’s also worth checking the fencing and boundaries to find out which section you’d be responsible for maintaining as required by the land registry deeds.
Are there any signs of damp?
Damp can be a serious issue in any property, so make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of wetness, mustiness, or flaky or water-stained in corners of walls and ceilings. Check the ceiling for signs of water ingress and around walls where there may be signs of bubbling paint or plaster. Very fresh painting could indicate that an area has had a temporary fix to cover up any issues. Internal damp can be caused by continuous leaking rain goods such as the guttering, downpipes, and damaged fascias/soffits.
Is the house plumbing in good shape?
A new replacement boiler central heating system is expensive to install so checking the C/H is very important. Ask the seller if the boiler has been serviced and when was it last checked? Ask to see any boiler insurance or warranties if they are available. Are there any leakages? Does the shower work well and does the water pressure change when flushing the toilets?
What is the available storage space in the house?
Storage space is often overlooked when viewing properties, but it’s an important consideration. Think about where you’ll put all your belongings, including any surplus items and the ‘kids’ stuff’. If storage space is lacking, you may need to think about having extra storage built in.
What position is the house facing?
While the orientation of a property may not seem like a big deal in the winter, it can make a big difference in the summer. South-facing properties can be full of light, while north-facing ones can be pretty dark even during the daytime. Ascertaining where south is facing is easy to do by downloading a free compass mobile app on your smart phone to find which direction is where. Depending on personal preferences, having a west-facing property can result in low-level sunshine glaring in all afternoon.
Do the rooms fit your taste?
Don’t be deceived by show homes that have been dressed to look more spacious than they really are. Remember that you won’t be bringing along the furniture shown in the property, so think carefully about whether the rooms will be a good fit for your belongings.
Has staging fooled you?
Vendors will often go to great lengths to showcase their home in the best possible light, but it’s important to remember that you must take a tape measure to ensure your furniture will fit into your possible new home. Be aware of small furniture being displayed, giving the impression of a larger room, internal doors maybe taken off to give a false sense of space too.
It is worth discussing effective home staging tips and tricks to sell your home, please do read our ‘Blog Bits’ entitled “effective home staging tips: preparing your house for a quick property sale.”
Are there any strange smells or noises?
Smells and noises can indicate a lot about the condition of a property. A musty smell could mean damp, while a bad odour could highlight a problem with the plumbing or sewage system. Listen for any unusual noises, such as creaking or rattling, which could indicate structural problems. Pay attention to any sounds that may be coming from outside, such as traffic or noisy neighbours, as this could impact your enjoyment of the property.
What is the neighbourhood like?
The neighbourhood is an important factor to consider when purchasing a property. Take a walk around the neighbourhood and look for things such as the proximity to amenities, the quality of schools, and the crime rate. This will help you determine if the locality is suitable for your needs and lifestyle.
What is the parking situation like?
If you have a car or two, it’s important to consider the parking situation when viewing a property. Is there a garage or designated parking space? Is street parking readily available? If the property is located in a city or urban area, parking can be a challenge (We at Quick Property Sale quite often use Google street maps), so make sure to consider this before making a purchase, visit both off peak and busy times of the day and week to check this out.
Is the property energy-efficient?
An energy-efficient property can save you money on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Ask the seller if the property has double-glazed windows and whether there is insulation in the walls and roof. Also look at the gas central heating boiler and whether it’s an efficient rated appliance. It’s also important to consider the energy efficiency of any appliances if they are included in the sale, such as the oven, washing machine, freezer and fridge. If the property has a low valid ‘Energy Performance Certificate’ check the EPC report (enter the house number and postcode on this link) which will advise you on how to improve the buildings cost-effectiveness to save money.
Our final thoughts
Buying a property is a big decision, and it’s important to take your time and thoroughly inspect the property, it’s also wise to view a second time before making an offer. While virtual viewings can be helpful in narrowing down your search, there’s no substitute for an in-person visit. Take note of any issues you notice during your viewing and consider hiring a professional surveyor to conduct a more thorough inspection. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision about your next home.
If you need a house for quick sale (Sorry, yes it is poor English, but it is required by Google search engine so you can find us online) please get in touch on any of our phone numbers above. To discuss anything ‘property for a quick sale’ related, please feel free to contact us, we would be happy to guide you.