Scoping out new properties can be very exciting as you envision your potential new home with the bits and pieces clicking right into place in your head. However, buying a property is an extremely important decision, so be careful not to get carried away by first impressions when house viewing.
Reel that imagination back in. Take a step back and continue your viewing with a fresh perspective. Try not to dismiss the shortcomings of a property that may have gone unnoticed but may potentially cause issues down the line.
Read on for some important factors to consider when you’re viewing a house and some useful tips to heed.
Any signs of damp?
Be sure to observe for flaky plaster, watermarked walls or ceilings and a mouldy smell. These are all signs of damp, which lowers the overall value of a property and can cause significant problems for its new homeowners. If a room has been repainted recently, it could be covering up damp.
Is there enough storage space?
Storage space is a crucial thing to consider when house viewing. Does the property have ample space for all your furniture and belongings? Not to mention cleaning materials and other miscellaneous items that also need to be stored.
Is there room for extra shelving should you need it? Or will the space be cramped? So many questions, so little storage space.
Is there room for everyone?
When scoping out the space of a house, keep in mind that you may occasionally have friends and family over. Having guests are part and parcel of owning a property and you’ll want to ensure that it’s fit for visitors. Make sure that the living room, dining room and kitchen are spacious enough for your guests. You can also consider if there’s extra space for a guest bedroom.
How is the plumbing?
Remember to test out the water pressure of the taps to ensure you won’t run into any problems with plumbing in the future. Also, ask if the pipes are insulated and ensure they’re not made of lead, which will require a replacement.
How is the surrounding area?
The surrounding area of a property is just as important as the property itself. You don’t want to move in and be stirred away one morning by an airplane flying over your roof. Here are some factors to consider about the area:
- Is public transport accessible from where you are?
- Are there shops and eateries nearby?
- Are there pubs and bars nearby that get rowdy at night?
- Are there noisy roads, highways or train tracks nearby?
- Is there a school around the area that will cause congestion during after school hours?
- Is there a local dump nearby within smelling distance?
Take your time
During house viewings, don’t be intimidated by the homeowner or property agent to have a quick look around. Take your time exploring the house as well as the neighbourhood to get a feel on living here.
Ask as many questions as you need
Don’t be afraid to ask any question that’s on your mind, as the homeowner or real estate agent should be transparent if there’s nothing to hide. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Why is the property available at this time?
- How long has it been on the market?
- How old is the roof? (Replacing an old roof can be very expensive)
Go back with someone for a second look
It’s best to view your potential home more than once, and even have someone with you for a more pragmatic perspective. They may spot specific details that you missed the first time and offer neutral feedback on the house.
Who knows? You may realise you were merely awestruck by first impressions and that the house isn’t as great as it had seemed. Or, the second viewing may confirm your instincts that this house is the one for you.
Either way, don’t be hasty in your decision.