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What to look for when viewing a home

Our emotions shape most of the decisions we make. They play a huge part when choosing your ideal home, just don’t forget to listen to your head as well as your heart.

Viewings are exciting, so it’s perfectly natural to start imagining your future home life. Make sure you’re also looking carefully at the property in its present state.

Asking yourself these important questions will help keep your mind straight:

  • Does it have everything that you want and really need? Are there enough rooms; a garden; garage or parking?
  • Are the kitchen and bathroom to your taste? These rooms can be more expensive to refit – so if they aren’t, do you have additional budget?
  • Is there enough room for your belongings?
  • Is the property in good condition? Are there any signs of damp, damage or rot inside or outside? Check brickwork, guttering and roof tiles. Look closely as some damage can be covered by a coat of paint.
  • Will it require renovations or repairs?
  • What’s the location like? Is there traffic noise and which direction does the house face?

Asking the seller or estate agent these important questions will also help you make your decision:

  • Why is the property being sold? When is the seller looking to move? How long have the owners lived there? Have there been any previous offers? How long has the house been on the market? What is included in the sale?
  • Have any major works taken place? Is it a listed building? How old is the property? How energy efficient is the property? Have any rooms been recently redecorated or refurbished? How old is the boiler?
  • What are the neighbours like? Do the sellers have any insight into the neighbourhood? What are the rules around parking? What is the traffic around the area like?
  • How much is the council tax? How much are utility bills? Is there a service charge for any communal areas?

Good relationships make good sense

Building a positive relationship with the seller can help – especially when negotiating an offer. Here are some hints and tips to keep them on side when viewing:

  • Be on time.
  • Don’t bring too many people with you.
  • Offer to remove your shoes when you arrive.
  • Ask the seller if you want to take pictures, check behind doors or look in cupboards and drawers.
  • Don’t be critical of the home in front of the seller, or talk about improvements you’d make.
  • If you like something in particular about the home, tell them – it gets your relationship off to the right start.
  • If you need to cancel your viewing, do so as soon as possible.

Next steps

If you’re liking the property and the answers you’re receiving, make sure you view the property more than once. Perhaps take another person for a different perspective.

If you’re seriously interested, an expert home buyers survey will identify any issues you may have missed. It may also provide the information you need to negotiate a lower purchase price with the seller.

Download our handy house viewing checklist

Our handy checklist covers everything you need to know and includes comment boxes so you can make notes as you go. If you have any questions about buying your first home, one of our friendly, qualified mortgage advisers will be able to assist. Call us or book an appointment with an adviser.

Download our free house viewing checklist here:

House Viewing Checklist 

Happy house-hunting.

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