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What should you look out for when viewing a property?

Anyone who has looked for a new house or flat will know much time they spend online searching for their dream home.

What should you look out for when viewing a property?

Anyone who has looked for a new house or flat will know much time they spend online searching for their dream home.

The search functionality on ASPC allows you to narrow down options by price, number of bedrooms and area, making it easier for you to find and save your favourite properties using our MyASPC tool.

However, it’s not good enough to just look at properties online - when you’ve found a property you like, it is important that you make an appointment to see the home.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at five things that you should look out for when viewing a property for the first time.

 1.       Any issues mentioned in the Home Report

As we have previously discussed, the Home Report can provide a lot of information about a house or flat - from the condition of the house to the presence of dry rot or asbestos, the Home Report can provide a lot of detail about the property that you can’t discover just by looking online.

If any issues are raised in the report, make sure to note these and take a look for yourself and discuss with the owner or the solicitor showing you around for further details.

2.       The size of the rooms

Although online postings do show the size of each room in meters, it is sometimes the case that you have to actually see the room in order to know if your furniture will fit. Some people even measure their furniture to see if it will fit in the property – although this may be more appropriate for the second viewing.

Sometimes the angle of a photo may make the room look larger than it actually is, so just by looking online you can’t tell. By seeing how big it is (and how much storage there is) you can tell if that three bedroom property has enough room for your family.

3.       What the area is like

The age old question, would you rather live in the worst house in the best neighbourhood, or the best house in the worst neighbourhood?  

A house may look like your dream property online, but it’s important when you visit that you also look at the surrounding properties. If the grass is overgrown and there is a rusting fridge sitting in the driveway of the house next door, you may decide that the property is not for you.

Similarly, it is important to case out the area for amenities. If you don’t drive, local shops and public transport are very important, while for those who drive, this might not be so important but the number of potholes on nearby streets may prove off-putting.

4.       Directionality of the house

If you worship the sun, a South facing garden is definitely something to look out for when visiting a property. Many smartphones will offer compass apps to find what directionality the house faces, and this can be useful to tell if you will get sun throughout the day.

Due to shade, North facing gardens can also be damper in rainy seasons, as the sun does not have an opportunity to dry off the rain.

The direction of the house isn’t only of importance for gardening though, it can help you see if the sunlight will stream through your bedroom first thing in the morning and blackout curtains are a must, or if your living room will be warm in summer from late afternoon sun.

A quick Google search shows a myriad of pages of people discussing the pros and cons of a North facing garden: for some people it may not matter at all if they don’t get the sun, so this may not be a problem.

5.       Get tech-savvy

Something you may not have considered is to check for mobile signal. This is something which has grown more and more important over the past decade or so, especially as many people no longer use landline phones.

It’s also important to check how many plug sockets and TV outlets the property has, especially in bedrooms and living rooms. New regulations mean some new build houses have sockets at waist height instead of beside the floor, so this can also be something to consider.

Finally on the tech side, ask the owner of the house about the internet. Who their provider is, how fast is the connection? How good is the Terrestrial Television Signal, if it’s poor is there a line of sight to the Sky satellite to the South? This is especially important for people who work from home or like to stream movies.

Each person will have a specific idea of what they want and need from a property, and therefore everyone will have a different checklist for viewing, but the above points are suitable for everyone.

As well as the above checks, there is one final thing to consider - does the house feel like it could be your home? While you do need to stay objective to prevent rose coloured glasses stopping you seeing flaws, it is important that you do feel some connection to the house, and can see yourself living there.

Good luck and happy house hunting!


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