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Viewing a property? Here are our ten tips for things to look out for.

Posted on 01 November 2017
Viewing a property? Here are our ten tips for things to look out for.

Viewing a house can be one of the most interesting and exciting parts of buying a property, but it can also be one of the most daunting and overwhelming. There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re deciding if it’s the right home for you. So, to help make the process easier, here are our ten tips for viewing a property.

Investigate the neighbourhood.

It’s a good idea to take some time to view the area the property is in. Taking a half hour walk around the house will give you an idea what the community is like, how safe the area is and how close it is to the amenities you need. You can investigate transport links, schools and nearby shops. It’s worth visiting the area a couple of times to see what it’s like at rush hour and weekends.

Look at the structure of the property.

When you visit a house make sure you take a look at the outside of the house, checking for damp, missing or loose tiles on the roof, broken guttering or hairline cracks in the walls. Pay particular attention
around points where extensions meet the original building and around windows. If you do happen to spot any problems as questions and find out what has caused the damage and whether it will be fixed. If you have any doubts at all make sure you get a surveyor to take a look.

How old is the roof?

Replacing a roof on a house is a very expensive business and a new roof only has a life expectancy of 15-20 years, depending on what materials were used in the construction. If the property has a roof that’s flat or nearly flat, find out what it is made from. Newer houses have a membrane that seals the roof more effectively than the asphalt or gravel that were used in older buildings.

Is there damp?

Once you’re inside the house check for any damp. The main signs are a mouldy smell, plaster flaking and watermarks on walls and ceilings. Make sure you take a close look around the ceiling and skirting boards. Looking for damp might sound obvious, but dealing with damp can cost you a lot of money later on, so make sure you know what the situation is before you make an offer.

What condition is the plumbing in?

It’s worth your while to ask some questions about the plumbing. Are the pipes insulated? Are they made from lead? If the pipes are lead, they would have to be replaced, which will be expensive. How well do the radiators work? How old is the boiler? Check the water pressure from the taps and shower to make sure you’re happy with them.

Are the windows in good condition?

You can tell a lot about how well a property has been maintained by the state of the external window frames. If the previous owners have taken care of these it’s a good sign for the rest of the house. Is the paint cracking? Is there condensation between the panes of a double glazed window?

Are the rooms big enough?

It’s important that you have enough space in your new house, especially if you work from home or if you have children. Check that there’s enough storage space, that your furniture is going to fit comfortably, that there’s plenty of space for your children to play. If you don’t have children but you’re planning for it, make sure they house has enough room for your family to grow into it.

Check the condition of the electrics.

It’s crucial you check the condition of the wiring. Dodgy wiring can be very dangerous and having a house rewired can be very expensive. Check that the fuse board doesn’t look old or outdated as this can give you an indication of the state of the wiring. Also make sure to take a look at the light switches and plug sockets. Do they all work properly? Are there enough power points?

Is the property adequately soundproofed?

Living with constant noise from neighbours, traffic and anyone else who happens to be going about their business around your house can be extremely stressful and lead to real dissatisfaction with your home, so it’s important you make sure you’re happy with the noise levels. Turn off any TVs or radios that happen to be on and listen carefully to ensure you can’t hear every word the neighbours say.

What is the attic like?

It’s easy to forget about the attic, but it is an important part of the house. The most important thing to check is that it’s properly insulated, but work out how easy it is to access, does it give you much storage space and could it be turned into an extra room?

Contact us.

With so many factors to consider when you’re buying a new house, you need an estate agent who will make the process as easy as possible for you. So, if you’re looking for a new home, take a look at our website or visit us in one of our branches in Templepatrick or on the Lisburn Road in Belfast and find out how we can help you find the perfect home.