Finding somewhere that you want to live can often leave us so excited that we can rush through the process to ensure we secure the property. Checking out a new property that could potentially become your future home is something that naturally comes with a bit of pressure. There are so many things on your mind, whether you can or can’t see yourself living in the property that sometimes details can get overlooked. We want to give you some advice on a few specific things to look for when viewing a property.
What is included?
Furnished or unfurnished, that is the question. One thing to look for when viewing a new property, is whether things within the house belong to a previous tenant, or haven been put out for ‘show’ purposes. It is important to get a grasp on what you may need to bring with you. This can include asking about things such as curtains, light fittings, fridges, shower curtains, blinds etc. Of course, you can always use your own version of amenities that may come with the house, but always talk to the landlord beforehand before removing their stuff from their homes.
Having this knowledge is perfect for knowing what you have and what you need before beginning the moving process.
Who is responsible for what?
Shared properties or flats can be difficult to understand what roles fall to which people. For example someone living in a ground floor flat may have access to a garden of sorts, but this may also mean that garden upkeep may be something that has fallen to others who previously have lived within the flat. Asking you landlord whether garden upkeep costs you extra or if they have someone who frequently tends to it can take a lot of pressure off of you in this situation.
Check the water pressure and lights
There’s nothing worse than standing under a shower that feels as though you’re being dribbled on! One thing you can do when entering a property for a viewing is to turn on one of the taps both upstairs and downstairs, to test the water pressure is to your liking. This can also give you an insight into the condition of the boiler. Equally test the light switches in rooms to check that they are all in working order and there are no breaks within the house’s circuit.
Check the toilet flushes
Similar to the above reasons for checking water pressure, you also want to be making sure that the toilet itself flushes and that it flushes smoothly. The last thing you want is a toilet that needs flushing 5 times or one that sounds like a rocket.
Ask about local amenities
Asking about the local amenities can be a game changer for you when buying a property. This can extend into local shops, access to public transport or motorways, what schools are nearby and much more. Whilst asking your landlord is a good way to gather this information, always take the time to do some research yourself.
What is the state of the insulation/windows?
Make sure to be keeping an eye out for any condensation that is gathered on the windows. This can be an indication of cracked sealant or poor insulation, you can further this by asking whether the windows are double glazed or not. Check for any signs of damp that may be hanging around, this can be a further indication of poor insulation and can cause mould issues later down the line.
Also spend some time checking on the condition of any double glazed windows if they are present in the property. Blown units in double glazed windows will looks cloudy or misty even when clean. It means the gap between the glass is compromised and has let moisture in reducing the effectiveness of the windows.
Visit the property different times of the day
When viewing a property, you should try to view the property at one time and then maybe visit again another time to get a better feel for how things sounds, feel and look at different times of the day. This can help to really give you a full picture of what the property will be like at all times as apposed to when the sun is shining just right!
Know where the important stuff is located
Make sure that you are shown where the stop tap is located and that it is working order in case of emergency – check that it is rust free. Also, ask about where the meters are located and make sure that they have been read prior to moving into the property. It is also very helpful to know where the fuse box is and how to reset it/where the trip switches are should you need to find these at any point.
Check your appliances
You want to ask what ‘white goods’ come with the property for example: Do you have a washing machine, dryer or dishwasher included within the property. There is also the question of how some appliances run. Ask about whether your oven and your heating system uses gas or electric. This information can be helpful in knowing how to manage usage and understanding how this may affect your bills.
Does it lock?
Safety is key. Ensure that when viewing a property you double check that all of the external locks and window locks – particularly on the ground floor – work and lock properly as they should. This may seem obvious and be a little awkward to do, but it is something that can ensure your safety and save you a little bit of money in the future should any need repairing.
Bits and bobs to consider
Bits and bobs make the world go round, and a few home comforts can go a long way no matter how small. Checking to make sure that there are enough plug sockets around the house can save your fortunes on extension cords in the future! Also checking that the internet connection is strong can be useful, especially if you are going to be streaming TV a lot, or if you work from home regularly.
In short, looking for a new home can have so many challenges it can be easy to get caught up and forget about some of the important details. There are always specific things to look for when viewing a property that can be forgotten and we want to help you consider the important behind the scenes questions that can make all the difference!