Many people have asked us what to look for when viewing a house, which is for sale. So, we thought that we would provide this article in which we provide 8 house viewing tips for home buyers making that all-important first viewing of a property which they might want to buy.
In some cases a house may look like a million dollars, but it is actually a loser. You must have the ability to find what makes or breaks a good home before you start putting down any cash. So, here are our ideas on how to choose a home you will actually have the best chance to enjoy living in.
What to look for When Viewing a House
Tip 1: The Roof
Our first suggestion is to make sure the roofing system is in order. When buying a home you do not simply want a roof system over your head, it is advisable to buy one which does not suffer from leakage! Even if you are looking at a home for remodelling, you will want as a minimum of to keep an eye out for a roof with missing and dislodged shingles, missing ridge tiles etc! Roof leakage can very rapidly cause deterioration of a property by water damage, so roof repairs are not only essential, but if seen during an initial house viewing need to be discussed from the outset. Alarm bells should be ringing in the mind of any house viewer, if the existence of a roof maintenance problem has not already been explained before the viewing.
If the owner has not even attended to roof repairs the viewer looking at the property would question what other maintenance problems have also developed and not been put right. So, take a good look at as much of the roof as possible, from the ground below. Make a point to walk back from the house until you can see as much of the roof as possible.
You will be surprised the number of individuals who are not sure what to look for when viewing a house, and those people will look at a house, but never look up at the roofing!
Tip 2: The Kitchen and Bathroom
Make sure to hang around for a while in the kitchen and bathroom. These rooms cost more than other rooms to refurbish, so think about what you would want to change as soon as you moved in.
Picking a home with updated bathroom and kitchens will save you cash. If you buy a home which will need a new kitchen, and/ or bathroom to meet your needs, you will be well advised to factor-in the cost and disruption which remodeling will incur. So, when you consider the list of, what to look for when viewing a house the kitchen and bathroom should be given a high priority.
Tip 3: The Basement
Make a point of looking in the basement especially thoroughly. Not all houses have a basement, and if they do, it may be tempting not to look at it in detail in the excitement of viewing the rest of the property.
The point about this is that repairing wetness problems of all types is pricey. If you see wet or mold we can tell you, as experienced home inspectors, that when we see dampness, we will typically also discover that the moisture has triggered, or been triggered by, other issues which cannot typically be seen. Beneath damp plaster there will often be rotten wood and the dampness itself may be caused by faulty damp proof membranes, blocked drains, and even foundations which have moved.
Check basements for mold and water damage, and if possible avoid any home you view with these problems, if possible. If asked what to look for when viewing a house, I would say that this is one of the most important factors to look for.
Tip 4: Electrical System Problems
Make sure there are no electrical issues. If the house is unoccupied be sure that the power is switched on, and if you are informed that the lights are not working, find out why. No layman is knowledgeable to any level of detail about what to look for when viewing a house for its electrics, but everyone can make sure the electrics are working, and if they are not, ask the question why not.
Tip 5: Don’t be Distracted by Excitement and Enthusiasm if You Really Like A House
There is so much to take in when you see a home for the first time, so it is an excellent policy to be rigorous with yourself. In many ways it is easier to make a balanced and dispassionate judgement on a future home if you don’t much like it. It you do love a property at first sight, it is easy to get carried away by enthusiasm.
Also, do not be sidetracked by irrelevant information, if the Agent who accompanies you during the viewing describes dramatic events and associations with the house. Many homes have a story attached to them, and rooms dedicated to particular purposes may look decidedly unattractive when emptied of their trappings. Room decoration styles may be quite, shall we say, “exotic” and not at all to your liking. When this happens try to imagine the room in the decorative style of your choice. After-all, to allow even a two week delay before you move in for a painting and decorating contractor to redecorate in your own preferred style, can be relatively inexpensive, and provide truly fresh and clean rooms, for the start of your occupation of the dwelling.
Simply put, inform yourself to disregard things that you can simply change. Focus on the main features of the home duting your first viewing. Do attempt to ignore paint colors you do not like and garrish colors and patterns.
It truly does not take much time or expenditure to strip wallpaper and repaint spaces.
Tip 6: Look Out for Neighbors
If you see any any next-door and nearby neighbors, make a point of talking with them, if it is possible to strike up a conversation.
That method you can get a feel for the area, and a gut reaction to how comfortable you will feel if living there. The author of this article once chose between two very similar homes, because he liked chatting to a neighbor he met during his initial viewing. Now, 10 years later, he considers that neighbor and two others to be lifelong friends. It can be amazing sometimes how-life changing events like this can take place during a one half hour home viewing!
Tip 7: Make Use of the Local Knowledge of the Agent Who Accompanies You During the House Viewing
Wherever possible, make best use of the understanding of the person who shows you around your home. It is always useful to check where there are local stores and schools, and beyond that what the stores sell and how good the schools are rumored to be.
That way you can build up a picture of the neighborhood, and how of far you would need to travel from the property to the essential services you will need. Parents, or those planning a family, will want to know whether good schools will accessible in the location. So, simply ask the agent who accompanies you during the viewing.
Tip 8: Commission a Home Inspector to Make a detailed Survey of the House
Finally, assuming that you like the house well-enough to make an offer to buy it, always engage an expertly qualified home inspector to supply you with a detailed home condition report. A good home inspection ensures that someone who really does know what to look for when viewing a house, has seen it, and only when you have the home condition report will you really known whether the property would be an asset, or a libility for you.
Make certain you take that step after you have actually viewed the residential or commercial property, after you have agreed a provisional cost, and prior to you moving forward to handing-over the money.