What To Look Out For When Viewing A House

When you’re in the market for a new home, the excitement of viewing potential properties can sometimes overshadow the need for careful inspection.

It’s essential to approach house viewings with a keen eye and a clear list of criteria to ensure you’re making an informed decision. Here are some crucial aspects to consider during your next house viewing.

Exterior Condition

Begin your inspection from the top by checking the roof for missing or damaged tiles, signs of wear, and potential leaks, as a well-maintained roof is vital to avoid costly repairs.

Examine the exterior walls for cracks or signs of dampness, as hairline cracks may be harmless, but larger ones could indicate structural issues, and inspect the foundations for any signs of movement or subsidence, which can be a significant red flag.

Interior Condition

Inside the house, look for any cracks in the walls and ceilings, keeping in mind that while minor cracks are often due to natural settling, larger or horizontal cracks could indicate more serious structural problems, so don’t hesitate to ask the seller or estate agent about any concerns.

Damp can cause a host of problems, from health issues to structural damage, so look for tell-tale signs such as watermarks, mould, and a musty smell, especially in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Test the water pressure by running taps and flushing toilets, and check for any leaks under sinks and around the base of toilets.

Inspect the electrical system by testing light switches and outlets, and ask when the wiring was last updated to ensure the fuse box is up to current standards.

Layout and Space

Consider the size and layout of the rooms, thinking about your furniture and how it will fit into each space, and visualise daily life in the house to determine whether the layout suits your needs and lifestyle.

Adequate storage is crucial for a functional home, so check for built-in cupboards, attic space, and garage storage, considering where you will store items like vacuum cleaners, laundry, and outdoor equipment.

Natural light can greatly affect the feel of a home, so pay attention to the orientation of the house and the size and placement of windows, as a bright, airy home is generally more inviting and pleasant to live in.

Neighbourhood and Surroundings

Lastly, spend some time in the area at different times of the day to gauge noise levels, considering traffic, nearby schools, and commercial areas that might contribute to noise pollution.

Proximity to essential services and amenities like schools, hospitals, shops, and public transport can greatly enhance your quality of life, so explore the neighbourhood to ensure it meets your needs.

Legal and Financial Considerations

Once you’ve made an offer, consider getting a professional survey to uncover any hidden issues and ensure the property is priced fairly. Using a reputable service like SAM Conveyancing can simplify this process.

Side note: Understand the difference between leasehold and freehold properties, as leasehold properties may come with additional charges and restrictions, so make sure you’re clear on what you’re buying into.