Our house viewing checklist

As a first time buyer, it’s very easy to get carried away with your first house viewing. The simplest mod-con can seem like a revelation if it’s housed within your potential first property; you romanticise how each and every room will look, how you’re going to co-ordinate the soft furnishings with the wallpaper and what you will do to transform the bathroom into a 21st century spa haven.

It’s so easy to be caught up in the excitement, in fact, that you can often overlook elements that could become major problems later on – after you’ve signed on the dotted line.

When purchasing a home as a first time buyer, it’s vital that all your concerns are ironed out and that you know everything you need to know about a property, before you decide to commit to it. With this in mind, Enact have compiled this checklist for first time buyers on what they shouldn’t forget to do when viewing a property. In no particular order, here are our first time buyer must-do’s:

  1. Be certain what land is included with the property

Nothing will sour the relationship with your new neighbours faster than a feud over who owns a parking space, plot of land or piece of garden. You should  get           this cleared up well before you sign anything and make sure your conveyancer explains exactly what is included to ensure that everything you think is your responsibility and property is just that.

  1. Arrange a survey
    While mortgage lenders will request a valuation, we would always recommend that a further, more detailed, survey is carried out as well. Doing this will help you to find out more information about the condition of the property, helping you to discover if there are any hidden issues. The seller is not obliged to point out any problems, even if they are aware of them.
  2. Ask if you can check the taps and light switches
    If you want something doing, do it yourself. You will only be made aware of any issues with the water pressure/pipes or faulty electrics by checking them yourself when viewing the property. (You should always ask first, of course!)
  3. Check the wallpaper
    This may seem a bit fanatical, but you should keep an eye out for any ripples in the wallpaper in every room. If you notice several ripples in the wallpaper, this can be a warning sign of damp or infestations.
  4. Weed out the plant life
    Are there any weeds poking out in the yard or the house’s walls? It may seem like a small thing, but having weeds removed from your new home can cost an absolute fortune in the long run.
  5. View the property more than once
    A big mistake many first time buyers make is that they fall in love with a property on the first viewing, often overlooking various aspects before exchanging contracts. Arranging a second viewing means that you are able to ask any questions that may have slipped your mind or not occurred to you the first time you viewed a property.
  6. Listen up
    Make sure there isn’t a radio playing during the house viewing and take a moment to really listen to the home. By that, we mean is there a railway nearby? Can you hear the neighbours shouting through the walls? If you are moving from a quiet area to a busier one, you should be prepared for higher levels of noise. A house viewing is a perfect opportunity to experience an average hour’s worth of hubbub.
  7. Ask the seller
    If the seller is present during one of your house viewings, direct a couple of questions their way. Top of the list should be the most obvious: “Why are you selling?”

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