When it comes to house hunting, viewings are seen as one of the most exciting parts of the home moving process. Although purchasing a property is a big financial commitment, it’s also an important emotional decision.
Amid the excitement of visualising yourself in a new environment, you will need to consider the practical aspects of the home you’re planning to buy.
It can be easy to forget some of the key things you need to know before taking that step on the property ladder, and if you do, you could find yourself in a situation that’s difficult and expensive to rectify.
However, don’t get put off buying your dream home. Instead, see which improvements can be made and ask plenty of questions during viewings so that you’re fully in the know.
After all, you don’t want to spend 20 minutes viewing a property and live to regret it. That’s why we at Hawksbys have compiled a list of questions prospective movers could ask when at a viewing.
Is the double glazing intact?
The state of the external window frames is a good signal of the condition of the property overall. A way to test its condition is pushing your finger into the wooden window frame – if it’s easy to do then that’s usually a sign that it’s rotten. Likewise, condensation between double-glazed window-panes means that they are probably faulty.
If, by any chance, the windows are new, check if they have a certificate of installation and a guarantee. Also, see if the windows are lockable and whether any have been painted shut.
How sturdy are the drains and guttering?
For this, you can use your nose as well as your eyes to check the drains outside for any unpleasant or unusual smells. Replacing a drainage system could be pricey, so it’s best to get some inspections done before sealing the deal.
If any drains have covers, they must be secure and without cracks. Look for any damp patches, discoloration or deposits of salt on the outside wall, as this could indicate the property has leaking gutters.
Can I move the furniture?
It’s not impossible that furniture could have been moved to hide cracks in the wall or that rugs have been used to cover up floor issues, so make sure you carry out a thorough analysis of each room. Check if the walls and floors have been insulated; any signs of damp could mean that the property isn’t well ventilated.
If you can, measure how thick the walls are: would you be able to hear noise coming from other rooms or other parts of the house?
How old is the roof?
Replacing roofs is an expensive business, and newer roofs have a life expectancy of only 15-20 years, depending on the materials used to construct it. If the property has a flat or nearly flat roof, check with the agent or owner about the material with which it’s sealed.
Is the plumbing up to scratch?
It’s important to know what the water pressure is like in the house. Ask if the pipes are insulated and ensure they are not lead. You could try flushing the toilet and running the tap in the kitchen. This way, you will see how well the drains work inside and outside the house. You need to also check if the radiators work properly and the age of the boiler. What’s more, knowing where the stopcock is located will be vital.
What other amenities are there?
Another important factor to consider is what is in the vicinity of the property. Are you near a pub, bar or club that will make the streets rowdy in the evening? Are there any convenient shops nearby or will you have to drive? What about transport links? Are you near any noisy roads or train tracks?
Most importantly, ask yourself if this property could become a home for you. A home that you can grow into, after all, is one worth investing in.
If you like a property, try to arrange another viewing for a different time of day, scouting the local area a bit more to get a general feel of your potential environment.
If you can, bring someone along who might be able to notice things you don’t. On top of it all, once you’ve weighed all of your options and made a decision, you can then begin to budget the right way when moving home.
Here at Hawksby’s we aim to assist you in every step of buying and selling homes in Wellingborough.