What do I need to look out for when viewing a house?

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Buying property is a huge commitment, and there are several things that you should be looking out for when you view. From ensuring that you have the right survey to finding out more about the surrounding area, We Buy Any House have put together some helpful tips to make your property purchase much easier!

Surveys

Getting a survey is incredibly important when you buy a house, as it could reveal issues that would cost thousands to repair that you might not have known about. There are different surveys that you can get, depending on the level of detail you want –

  • A Condition Report:
    This is the cheapest and simplest survey that you can choose. It works on a traffic light system, with green indicating the areas are in good shape, orange showing any potential problems, and red being a severe issue that will need work. These surveys don’t include any form of advice, but will outline any defects and likely risks.

  • A Homebuyers Report:
    This survey will give you more detail and information about obvious problems, such as subsidence or rot, but it’s a non-intrusive survey so will only look at the surface of the property. There is also another version of this report that will include a valuation for you at a slightly higher cost.

  • A Home Condition Survey:
    A survey that goes deeper than the above, it will include more helpful information for the buyer, including things like an assessment on broadband speed and more intrusive damp testing. They are also individually checked to confirm the data being provided is correct.

  • Building Survey:
    This is the most extensive survey that provides a very detailed report. The surveyor will do an in-depth assessment of the property, checking spaces behind walls and between floors to get as much information as possible. It will also offer advice on any repairs that need doing as well as outlining the potential costs and timeframes of the jobs, as well as giving you information of what could happen if the problems aren’t rectified.

Not getting a survey on a house could cost you a huge amount of money if you find issues after you’ve completed, so having a survey done before is key when looking to buy property.

Location

When you buy a house, you want to know what everyday life will be like in the area, so spending some time getting to know the location and making sure that you’re going to be happy there is a big factor when buying a house.

Visiting the property at different times on different days will give you a better overall idea, finding out if it’s overly busy during rush hour or if there’s lots of noise in the evenings. Often, buyers view the property at the same time on a Saturday morning which doesn’t give a fair representation of the area throughout the week, so going at different times of the day will show you more about what everyday life in the property will be like.

It’s also a good idea to look at your commute and find out how long it will take on a typical day from the house you’re looking at. Depending on the location and the typical traffic build-up that the area sees, you could find that your commute starts taking a lot longer than it does currently and impact your decision about buying.

Plumbing

Checking the plumbing in the property, and particularly the water pressure, is often something that buyers forget to do. Bad water pressure can cause all kinds of problems in a home, especially ones over multiple floors. You can test the pressure easily enough when viewing a property, testing taps in bathrooms and kitchens, but you can also ask the agent and the seller. They will need to be honest with you and cannot hide any problems in the house.

In houses with poor pressure, you’ll likely find that you’re unable to use appliances at the same time, or that you can’t have taps running both upstairs and downstairs which can become an inconvenience very quickly. Poor pressure can be resolved if the issue is down to blocked pipes or a leak, but some houses, especially older ones, just don’t have the best pressure, so bare this in mind when you’re viewing if this is going to be a big concern for you.

Storage

Something that a lot of viewers don’t think about at first but can make or break a property for them is the storage that it offers. From cupboards for cleaning products to attic space for more organisation, having storage space is hugely important to a lot of homeowners and can make life difficult without it. Homes with little storage often become more cluttered, and having no storage space can put a lot of buyers off – so check this on your first viewing if you know that storage is an important factor for you.

Specific needs and wants

When you look to buy property, you should know before you start booking in viewings what you want and need from the house to ensure you’re only looking at houses that offer you those things. These will change depending on your personal preference and physical requirements, so take some time to think about what you wish your current home had to make life easier for you.

It’s also important to recognise the difference between needs and wants. A house may offer everything that you want, but doesn’t cover the needs, which will ultimately make it a pointless venture. For a house that provides everything that you need but is missing one or two of your wants, however, you may reconsider, depending on the other properties that you’re looking at and the other factors involved.

These tips will help you go into your purchase much more confidently and avoid any nasty surprises down the line, letting you enjoy your new home!