Although buying a property is likely to be your biggest ever investment, buyers normally spend less than 30 minutes viewing a property! It is therefore vital that you spend this time wisely. Although we buy with our hearts, we also need to think with our heads to avoid expensive mistakes.
Here's our 7 value adding tips of the things you should look out for when viewing your potential next home.
#1. Is the property well maintained?
Although the majority of us are not surveyors, there are some basic checks you can do yourself when walking around the property. Look out for:
large cracks in walls and / or ceilings and / or floors including outside paths, and driveways
leaning walls, inside and out
flooring that is tender under foot
flooring that is sloping - a quick way of checking this, is placing a ball across the suspected flooring - it will move if the floor is sloping
gaps in the roof
windows and / or doors open that don't fully open or are resistant to opening or not well maintained
slow water pressure - you can do this be running the taps
is the fuse board in good condition?
are there sufficient power points for your needs?
if there is a boiler, is it well maintained? Ask to see the service record
is the attic insulated and / or free from wildlife?
smells or signs of damp or recent decorating in attempt to hide water leaks or damp?
is well decorated?
If after your visit you make an offer and this is accepted, it is advisable to appoint a surveyor to undertake a structural survey of the property (unless it's brand new for which there will be a warranty scheme in place). Once appointed, you should raise any concerns you have with the surveyor about what you saw during your viewing.
#2. Is there sufficient outdoor space or access to outdoor space?
Since Covid-19 hit, our priorities have changed. We now highly value outdoor space - this is the number one priority for many of us!
Make sure there's enough space to satisfy your current and growing family needs. If the property does not have sufficient private outdoor space, investigate the distance to local parks.
Is the property boundary well marked and secure? This will be particularly important if you have young children and / or animals.
#3. Is there sufficient space internally for your needs, including a home office or designated work area?
Is the property big enough to accommodate all your family and pets? Is there room to grow in the home as your family expands? Is there scope to extend in the future? Is the property slightly too small but has the potential to grow with an extension or loft conversion? The Permitted Development rights are changing in September so this will make it possible to extend without having to undergo planning - learn more here.
Having a designated home office really will make your home working more stress free. It will also add value to your home - read more here. Even if there is no designated space presently, can you add this in the future eg. is there an outbuilding you can use?
#4. How much storage space is there?
This may sound trivial but having sufficient storage just makes day to day life easier. Look at how many options there are for storage. If there's limited storage solutions, are there areas in home in which you can create storage area eg. below the stairs, that odd space in the downstairs cloakroom, in the dormer eaves.
Can you access the loft easily? Is it large enough for all those items you don't need on a day to day basis? Is the attic floor boarded - this will make it much easier to put away and take down items you may want to store there.
#5. Is there sufficient parking?
There's nothing quite like getting home and being able to park easily on your own driveway. If the property does not offer a driveway - consider these questions:
is there potential to add a driveway but converting the existing front garden?
is there allocated parking? If so, how many spaces are provided?
#6. Noise Levels
Listen out for all the noises around you when you arrive, when you are outdoors and when you leave.
You should ask yourself these type of questions:
can you hear motorway noise?
can you hear the neighbours downstairs?
can you hear the noise from the restaurant next door?
is there a dog barking consistently?
is there music coming from the neighbour's property?
do the floorboards creak?
is there humming coming from the electricity sub-station across the road?
is the home near a train station? How often are the trains and are they noisy?
#7. Explore Your Surroundings
We all have different needs as a buyer however it's worthwhile spending some time driving or walking around the local area to familiarise yourself with what's available. Some key questions you should consider are:
how far is my local shop?
is the home close to public transport?
is the home near a local refuse or sewage site?
are you near a school so need to factor in traffic issues at key times
are you near eateries and will they be open late?
how close are green spaces?
are you close to a motorway or main route?
is the home on a road which is used as a short cut route?
are your immediate neighbours building?
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. As you can see we've got lots of insight that we can share with you. If you've got any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org