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What to look for when viewing a house

What to look for when viewing a house

Keeping track of everything you’ve seen when house hunting can be tricky.

And while second, or even third viewings, can help refresh your memory and help you spot issues you may have missed first time around, going to a viewing armed with our house viewing checklist could be a massive help.

  

What to look for when looking at houses

As well as what you see, what you ask is key when viewing a property to buy.

Here’s our ultimate checklist of things to look out for and key questions to ask when viewing a house…

 

Outside the property

  • When was the property built?
  • What condition is the exterior structure in?
  • How does the roof look? Are there broken or missing tiles?
  • Does the property have wooden or uPVC fascias? What condition are they in?
  • Are the property’s windows double-glazed and are they wooden or uPVC?
  • What condition is the guttering in? Is it blocked?
  • Which way does the garden face?
  • Is the garden area overlooked?
  • Does the property have a garden or shed?
  • What parking space does the property have?

 

Inside the property

  • How much storage space does the property have? Is there room for more?
  • How old is the boiler and when was it last serviced?
  • When were the electrics and wiring installed? What condition are they in?
  • Do all the light switches work?
  • How many power sockets are there in each room?
  • Are there any signs of condensation or damp around windows or on walls?
  • Are there any large cracks in walls or ceilings?
  • What condition are floors and carpets in?
  • Has the property got wall and loft insulation?
  • Do fireplaces work? When were the chimneys last cleaned?
  • How overlooked is the property? Can neighbours see in?
  • What fixtures and fittings are being included in the sale?
  • Does the property have an intruder alarm, and does it work?
  • How modern are locks on doors and windows?
  • What is the cost of running the property in utility bills?

 

Bathrooms

  • Are there signs of damp and mould?
  • What condition are basins, taps, baths and showers in?
  • How is the water pressure?
  • Is the sealant and grout clean and free of mould?
  • Do the toilets flush?
  • How hot is the hot water?

 

Kitchen

  • What condition are the cupboards, doors and work surfaces in?
  • Is the hob gas or electric?
  • Are white goods integrated?
  • Are free-standing white goods included in the sale?

 

Bedrooms

  • How much space is there for a bed?
  • Is there space for drawers and wardrobes, or space to create a built-in wardrobe?

 

Other checks and questions to ask

  • Does the property have any planning permission in place?
  • Is there potential to add an extension or convert the loft space?
  • Who lives either side of the property?
  • How fast is the broadband speed into the property?
  • How strong is the mobile phone signal?
  • Where is the nearest train station?
  • What school catchment is the property in?
  • What council tax band is the property in and how much is the annual bill?
  • Why are the vendors selling?
  • How long has the property been on the market?

 

Checks when viewing flats or apartments

  • Is the property leasehold or does it come with a share of the freehold?
  • Who is the management company / freeholder?
  • How many years remain on the lease?
  • Are pets allowed as part of the lease?
  • How much is the annual service charge and ground rent?
  • Who is responsible for the communal areas?
  • Are the other residents homeowners or renters?
  • Who lives above and / or below?

 

Further reading…

If you’re looking to buy a flat, you may or may not have considered a basement flat.

Buyers are often put off by basement flats and there are pros and cons to owning one.

Check out our guide to buying a basement flat, which outlines everything you should look out for when considering them.