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Top Tips - Things Not to Forget When Viewing a Property

Published at: 15/06/2016

Top Tips for Viewing

Would you spend only twenty minutes having a quick dash round a property that could to be your home for many years? Some buyers do, and live to regret it. Don't go home afterwards and think of all the things you should have checked out, go prepared.

Here are Jackson & Co's of Colchester's top tips for viewing a property.

Drive by

First impressions count and should never be underestimated. This could be enough to know if the property is for you. However, before you jump in both feet first, take a drive around the nearby streets to get a feel for the local area.

Things you should consider are:

  • Is the property near a pub, bar or restaurant that could be noisy in the evenings?

  • Can you walk to shops to get a pint of milk, or would you have to drive?

  • Is it easy to get to public transport?

  • Are there noisy roads or train tracks nearby?

  • Are you underneath a flight path?

Be prepared

Make a list of everything that is important to you and any questions you want to ask and take this with you. Once you're in a property it's easy for things to slip your mind.

Take someone with you

Take a partner or friend with you to viewings as it's always great to have someone to bounce ideas off or just ask for a second opinion.

Check the outside of the property

Look for cracks in walls and loose tiles on the roof. If the property, or part of the property, has a flat or nearly flat roof ask when it was last replaced as these often have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.

Be thorough

Buying your home is one of the biggest purchases of your life so nobody will blame you for being thorough. Check in all built in cupboards, especially under the sink. Ask to take a look in the loft too, and take a torch with you in case there is no lighting.

Check the bills

Don't just ask about utility and council tax, ask to see the bills so you know what to expect.

Ask what's included

Ask the owners what fixtures and fitting they will be leaving. Carpets? Oven? Curtain poles?

What work has been done?

Ask how the property has been modified and request copies of receipts and guarantees.

Are there enough plug sockets and what condition are they in?

Bad wiring can be dangerous and rewiring can be expensive. Check the fuse board which if it looks old and outdated can be an indication of the state of the wiring.

Is the plumbing up to scratch?

Run the taps to check the water pressure and how long the hot taps take to run hot. Ask if the pipes are insulated and ensure they are not lead, which would have to be replaced. Do the radiators actually work? Ask how old the boiler is.

Look out for damp

Damp is one of the greatest annoyances for homeowners. It is also hard to get rid of and expensive. Keep an eye out for peeling or flaking paint, stains or watermarked walls and ceilings.

How much storage space is there?

Storage space is a valuable but often overlooked asset. Where will you keep your vacuum cleaner, towels, spare linen, and boxes of junk? Is there room for cupboards or shelves to be built in?

Which way does it face?

The difference between a north and south facing house or garden can be the difference between a home that is full of light and warmth, and one that is frustratingly dark. Your smartphone may have a compass, so use it.

Be friendly

Building a good rapport with the seller will make you more memorable, which is always helpful when you put in an offer. And if your offer is accepted again this can help make the whole process of purchasing your new home run smoothly.

Second viewing

If you like a property arrange a second viewing for a different time of day, and scout out the local area a bit more. Again, try to take somebody with you who might be able to notice things you don't, give you second opinions and ask questions you hadn't thought of.

And most importantly, ask yourself, does it feel like you could make it your home?

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