First time buyer guides
What to look for when viewing a house
First impressions shouldn’t be underestimated. Even before the viewing, you should go and see the property from the outside. Often this is enough to know a property is not for you. You can get a good feel for the neighbourhood by driving around nearby streets too. It’s worth doing this both during the day and at night to assess things like traffic noise.
Make a list of all the things that are important to you and any questions you want to ask before the house viewing. Once you’re in the house it’s easy for things to slip your mind.
Never go to a viewing alone. Either take a partner or friend, or attend the viewing with an estate agent. Not only is it safer, it’s always great to have someone to bounce ideas off and ask for a second opinion.
Are there any signs of damp like peeling paint or tide marks on the walls? Are there any loose tiles on the roof?
Remember, this is one of the biggest purchases in your life. No one will blame you for being nosy. Check all fixed cupboards, especially under the sink. Ask to see the loft too, and take a torch in case there is no lighting.
How long does it take the hot water to come through the tap? Does the heating work?
Ask to see utility and council tax bills so you know what to expect.
Ask what fixtures and fittings the owners will be leaving. Carpets? Oven? Curtain poles?
Ask how the property has been modified and request copies of receipts and guarantees.
Damp is one of the greatest annoyances for homeowners. Keep an eye out for peeling paint, stains on the ceiling and steamed up windows.
Building a rapport with a seller will make you more memorable, which is always helpful when you want your offer accepted. A good relationship with the vendor can help with a smooth sale too.