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?