When you’re viewing your potential new home, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget to look out for key features that might affect you after you’ve moved in. Our below guide offers a checklist for your house viewing, detailing exactly what you should look out for to ensure you find your perfect new home.
You should look carefully for signs of damp when you’re viewing a property. Damp can cause issues and can also be tricky to remove completely, so take care to inspect every room for signs. Some people may attempt to clean up or hide damp before viewings, so a recently repainted room could be a sign that there is a problem with damp.
Damp can produce a mouldy smell and leave watermarks on the ceilings or walls. It can also cause the plaster to flake or leave patches of mould in problem areas around skirting boards, ceilings, or window sills. If possible, check behind furniture that is against the wall, as damp patches can often occur there.
Unless you’re a qualified surveyor, you might not be able to find structural problems when you’re viewing a property. Anything major will be highlighted in the property surveys you have done before you commit to buying a property, however, you can look for obvious signs now so you can ask the right questions later.
Look for big cracks in the walls, especially around any bay windows, end-of-terrace walls, and where any extensions join the main body of the home. Cracks could mean that the structure is beginning to fall away from the rest of the property, so can be an obvious warning sign of a serious issue.
How much storage space a property has will make a huge difference to you once you’ve moved in. Think about the sort of items you have that you would prefer to keep stored away, like the vacuum cleaner, spare bed sheets and towels, and suitcases. Does the property already have built-in cupboards, or does it have room to build shelving? Is there a loft or garage available so you can store items that you don’t need every day?
Many properties have limited storage space, especially new builds. It can be incredibly frustrating once you’ve moved into your new home and find you don’t have enough cupboards to store your items, so make sure to consider storage when viewing.
This might seem like an obvious one, but you should consider how much space the property has. What will you be using the rooms for – do they have enough space for what you need? Will your current furniture fit, or will you need to replace it?
You should be aware that some people will dress rooms to make them appear bigger, using mirrors and smaller furniture. You will usually be able to obtain a floorplan with the room dimensions from the estate agent, but you could also bring a tape measure to your viewing to ensure everything will fit.
When you go to view the house, find out what way the property faces. Homes with south-facing gardens will get the most sun. But this could mean the property heats up a lot when the sun comes through the windows in the summer. Homes with north-facing windows might be quite dull and dark, even on sunny days. It might not be possible to view the house on a sunny day, but take a compass with you, or use the compass on your phone, to check the aspect so you can imagine what it will be like.
You should look at the window frames both inside and outside the property. Look for signs that they’re cracking, or wooden frames are rotten – a sign of rot is if you touch the frame and it feels soft.
For double-glazed windows, look to see if there is condensation between the glazing. If there is, the sealant is faulty. This can reduce the lifespan of the window and also cause damp and mould inside the house.
When viewing a property, take a look at the roof to check it’s in good condition. Ask how old the roof is and when it last had maintenance – some newer rooves have a life expectancy of 15-20 years, so you’ll want to know if it’s likely to need work soon. Check to see if any tiles are obviously missing or if there are any cracks.
If the property has a flat roof, ask what it has been sealed with. Older rooves used asphalt and gravel, which could sometimes leave edges unsealed and cause leaks.
Plumbing and Electrics
You’ll want to ensure all the plumbing and electrics are working properly. Test light switches, taps, radiators, and power points. Consider whether the rooms have enough power sockets for what you might need, or whether you might need to get more installed. Ask if the pipes are insulated and how old the boiler and hot water tank are. The property survey should highlight any major issues, but use the viewing as a chance to do some groundwork.
Finally, when you go to view a property you should take the opportunity to check out the local area. You should make sure it has all the amenities you might need or want, like a local shop within walking distance, good public transport connections, or schools if you have children.
You should also see if there might be anything undesirable in the area which might cause you disruption, like a late-night pub that could cause noise, a busy road behind the garden, or a local dump which could cause odour in the summertime.
You should also make sure that the area could feel like home for you. Take a walk around and also try to visit at different times of the day so you can really get a feel for what it would be like to live there.
If you’re planning a move, Britannia Movers International is the UK’s leading removals company. We offer a full range of professional and reliable removals and storage services, whether you’re moving across the country or overseas. Contact us to find out more information or get a Quick Quote for an idea of cost.