Cau­tion: May con­tain faults

You’ve fi­nally found the prop­erty you think might be the one. The ap­point­ment is booked and the ex­cite­ment is grow­ing, but don’t get car­ried away. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when visit­ing your dream prop­erty for the first time.


01. Struc­ture. Make sure to check that the build­ing it­self is struc­turally sound. It may sound ob­vi­ous, but it’s easy to get swept up in the prop­erty view­ing process. Keep an eye out for large cracks, par­tic­u­larly where build­ing ex­ten­sions join onto the main house and around win­dows – es­pe­cially bay worth­while check­ing around the ex­te­rior of the prop­erty as well, even if your es­tate agent is in­tent on ush­er­ing you out as quickly as pos­si­ble. Check for miss­ing roof tiles and look at the gen­eral con­di­tion of the roof. And ask how old it is, as re­plac­ing roofs can be a costly busi­ness. Use your nose as well when you’re check­ing for damp – wa­ter­marked ceil­ings and walls, and a musty odour. An ex­tra tip: fresh paint can be used to dis­guise damp, so keep an eye out for any.

02. Face. Dur­ing cloudy days, night time or win­ter months, it can be be­tween a north and south fac­ing prop­erty. South-fac­ing prop­er­ties are known for get­ting more sun­light dur­ing the day, and are there­fore brighter and warmer, whereas north-fac­ing prop­er­ties are typ­i­cally cooler and darker. If you haven’t been told which di­rec­tion the house you’re view­ing is fac­ing, you can al­ways ask – or use a com­pass app on your phone. If you’re a bit of a green thumb and pride your­self on your gar­den, this may be es­pe­cially im­por­tant to you, as you don’t want your plants dy­ing due to

03. Space. Where would you keep your hoover, spare tow­els and those boxes hoarded for years? Make sure that you keep this in mind while you’re plan­ning your fu­ture. As well as look­ing for cup­boards and shelves, make sure you ask about the at­tic. How big is it? How easy is it to ac­cess? Could it pos­si­bly be con­verted into an­other room? Also ask your­self whether you’ve been fooled by strate­gi­cally placed mir­rors and clever light­ing – tricks which are of­ten used to make rooms feel much larger than they ac­tu­ally are. In this sce­nario, size re­ally does mat­ter.

04. Electrics and plumb­ing. Check for plug sock­ets. Is rewiring your thing you want to do? Also, try run­ning the taps for an in­di­ca­tion of the wa­ter pres­sure, ask how old the boiler is and check all ra­di­a­tors work if you get the time. If not, be sure to ask the cur­rent own­ers.

05. Lo­ca­tion. Spend time ex­plor­ing the gen­eral lo­cal area to see how close you are too all of the es­sen­tials, such as schools, su­per­mar­kets and trans­port links. You may long it’s go­ing to take you to do your daily com­mute. Other things to con­sider are whether you are next to a busy road or train tracks that will keep you awake at night, or how close to the lo­cal pub you are – do you re­ally want to be wo­ken up at 2am by rowdy lo­cals stum­bling to the ke­bab shop?

WORDS chris mc­par­lan

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