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Checklist: Things to look for when viewing a house

Viewing a property can be one of the most exciting parts of purchasing a home. Many Londoners decide to snap up a house in 33 minutes according to insurance provider Aviva. However, you must scrutinise the house before owning the keys to the front door.

It may all seem rocket science, but it is surprising how much is overlooked, even if you are purchase is a second homeUse our house viewing tips to maximise the supposed 33 minutes and find out what things to look for when buying a house.

Exterior: 6 things to check when viewing a house

1. Does the house match your prerequisites?

Before your property search, create a must-have list. This useful house viewing tip is an approach used by Sarah Jessica Parker in the film I Don’t Know How She Does It. Once you have listed all your property’s prerequisites, bring it with you to house viewings to compare and contrast.

2. Research the area

When viewing a property, it is best to have as much information as possible before you begin the process. It may be a good idea to see what the current market for house prices in the area looks like as well as checking local schools and crime statistics. Are there good transport links, pubs and restaurants and a corner shop to pick up a newspaper one weekend morning?

Make use of all your senses when viewing a property and keep your ears open for noise in the area if particularly close to the overground or tube stations.

3. Identify opportunities for improvement

Is there room to add value and add space to the house? Can the home be extended or converted? For example, could update the kitchen? Looking at what your future neighbours have is a useful indication whether you can get planning permission easily.

4. Clarify what’s included

Some vendors will leave some appliances such as a fridge, washing machine or even bedroom cupboards. Find out if the white-goods will remain. Next, assess how much storage there is and whether the layout will fit all your existing furniture.

5. Grill the estate agent

Ask the agent everything there is to know about the property and do not shy away from asking too many questions. Ask whether there have been other viewings, offers, and whether the asking price is negotiable. Double check if the property is leasehold, freehold or a listed building.

6. Check the exterior thoroughly

The exterior of a property is your first impression, so why not arrive a few minutes early to inspect parking facilities, the roof, walls, gutter, brickwork and the windows and its frames.

Do you want a garden? If so, check whether the house has a sun-facing-lawn. If you have a family, determine whether there room for a trampoline and climbing frame.

Interior: house viewing tips

While you check for the aesthetic features of the property, from the number of bedrooms to bathrooms, it is also vital to check for signs of interior disrepair. Often there are hidden problems in a property. As such, we shortlisted the most important house viewing tips for the inside of a home.

Interior checklist for house viewings:

  • Boiler – how old is it and is it in good condition?
  • Where is the fuse box?
  • Check the water pressure and hot water system by running the taps
  • Are there signs of dampness and general decay?
  • Does your phone work? Nearly half of 18 to 35 year-olds rank mobile phone signal as a consideration factor when buying a property.
  • If you are viewing a flat, check the service charges and common areas.
  • Bring a camera! Photographs will help you decide if you are choosing between several properties.

Our final house viewing tip is to check how sellers prepare homes for viewings. After all, understanding this will enable you to remain level-headed during the house viewing.

So if the average person takes 33 minutes to make an offer on a house, utilise your time with our house viewing tips to find the right home. When the time comes, don’t forget to download one or two of the best apps to make moving house easier.

We would also love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Share your experiences and things to look for when viewing a house.

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