There are many things to consider when buying a property and buyers must also remember to consider acquiring a property worthy of their investment and time.
Knowing your worth is as vital as knowing when to walk away, which is why inspecting with the right knowledge of the all-important things to look for in a house when buying will help prevent disappointment. With these house viewing tips on our property checklist, you can find your perfect home with ease.
Exterior and Structures
When it comes to buying a home, the exterior is just as important as the interior. Exterior issues are among some of the most costly to address, so ensuring you’re purchasing a home with a sound structure and exterior features is crucial.
Replacing a roof is an expensive venture. During your house viewing or before, enquire about the age of the roof, as old-build roofs have a lower life expectancy compared to modern ones, and what material the roof was sealed with.
Walls and Foundations
Large cracks on floors and ceilings could suggest a potential structural issue, which if confirmed could entail a costly project involving a new foundation being installed.
Windows and Doors
At a house viewing, feel free to get acquainted with the various intricacies of your potential buy by testing windows and doors, ensuring they easily open and close, and line up with their frames.
Inspect the garden; is much maintenance required to keep the garden tidy?
Having a shed or facility for storing gardening equipment can be the best solution to storage in the garden.
Garage and Driveway
Look closer - is the garage an appropriate size? Is the driveway made of a durable material for your car? Is the driveway on a sloping site?
Interiors and Layout
Discover essential things to check in the interior of your potential new home that can ‘make or break’ a purchase.
Room Sizes and Layout
Compare the house floorplan to any current furniture you own. Ask yourself: are the dimensions correct, and will you need to account for the cost of new furniture for your new home?
Walls and Ceilings
Are there signs of watermarked walls or ceilings or peeling plaster? It’s easy to uncover if you thoroughly look at your surroundings and take photos to refer back to.
In any house build, the floor is an integral part of the house that you’ll use every day, and replacing floor tiles or carpet can be a tedious job if you are not looking for a project.
How much storage space does your property offer? Is there an attic? If you have a large family, having appropriate storage facilities in your home is vital to keeping a clear organised home.
Enquire about space dimensions and look in the cupboards. Is there additional room to grow over the years or can you see yourself outgrowing the house quickly?
Plumbing and Electrical
Another important question to ask when viewing a house: what are the plumbing and electrics like?
Feel free to turn taps on and off or shower and see how it runs - if the water is running fast, it suggests excellent water pressure.
Arguably the most important question, when considering heating expenses, is what heating system does the house uses. Gas, electric or oil?
Enquire into the age of the boiler, what its service history is, and if it needs replacing. Also, check if there are radiators installed on the property.
How energy efficient is your potential buy? Do sockets function correctly?
Switch room lights on and off - do they work and turn on quickly?
It’s also worth checking how much natural light the property benefits from. Are there many windows that would bring a lot of natural light into your house?
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are important to get right, as they are among the more expensive rooms in the house to bring up to standard.
Appliances and Fixtures
Find out the last time the previous owners redecorated and if any alterations are needed. Some appliances, such as ovens and dishwashers, may be built-in, so check if they come with the property or if you’ll need to purchase appliances that fit the space.
Are there large windows nearby? Is there adequate space for air to circulate?
Tiling and Sealants
Are the tiling and sealants clear and free of potential mould? Water and steam from cooking and washing in a well-ventilated house is less likely to cause condensation and will be visibly clear upon inspection.
If you are content with the way your house looks and feels, here are the next steps to evaluating if your lifestyle is compatible with the build.
Do viewings at different times to size up the noise levels during the day and be prepared to research the neighbourhood beforehand.
Assess the area's amenities, transport links, and overall ambience. Consider and test what your commute would be like, either via public transport or car: is it realistic and manageable for your routine, even during rush hour? For weekly shops or social activities, are you near towns or shopping centres? And for schools, is there a reputable educational institution for your children to attend for the new term?
Research your neighbourhood and crime-rate statistics, and check that the property has built-in alarms and durable locks already installed for guaranteed safety upon moving in.
If the house does not have a garage or driveway, check for enough on-street parking for the number of cars you own. Are you on a private road, or is it a communal open space? Parking is a crucial factor, and if a permit must be considered, this is worth noting and considering for your potential total expenses.
Legal and Documentation
Are you thinking about buying? Before you go ahead, ask for these paperwork essentials.
Ensure all necessary paperwork is available and enquire after the following:
• Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Rating
• Council Tax Band
Check for any modifications with planning permission and/or any sign-off documentation for any previous house modifications.
Your home is your investment, and all investments have future potential.
Is the size not ideal, but the property is? Consider the cost of modifications and the possibilities of your property.
Is the property a worthy investment candidate? If you put time and attention into your property, imagine the resale opportunities your investment could achieve in the right direction.
Additional Tips for Viewing a House
Take your time and make multiple visits to make a house decision.
If optional, avoid virtual pre-recorded viewings, as things can be overlooked. If unavoidable, a live video call is preferable as you can ask to inspect problems close-up or go back if needed.
Take Notes and Photos
Keep a record that you can refer back to. You may have things you wish you looked at better, with photos you can look back and investigate for as long as needed.
Ask the seller or agent about the property's history and condition. A respectable estate agent
or seller will happily help you every step of the way, as well as support your decision and help answer any questions you may have until you are satisfied.
Trust our experienced estate agents to help find your perfect home
With hundreds of homes across South Devon to choose from, and trusted service and expertise, we at Marchand Petit
can help buyers find their perfect new home. With the right vision in mind, we can assist with all the practicalities of your move and offer a lifetime of enjoyment with our glorious range of coastal homes and more across locations such as Modbury
Embrace the grandeur of our luxury waterfront properties and reap the bountiful investment opportunities waiting for you in South Devon.
Are you envisioning your dream home? We can help bring your vision to life. Connect with us today with any enquiries you may have, and we can assist you with the next steps to finding your perfect property.