6 Questions To Ask When Viewing A Property

6 Questions To Ask When Viewing A Property

Searching for a new home can be a difficult task. You might see a number that you like and maybe you can’t make up your mind which one is best. Or perhaps you have been searching for a long time and still not found anything that suits you. One of the problems with searching for houses is that there isn’t always a lot of time to view a house or apartment before you need to make a decision. A viewing might last for 20 minutes, and if lots of people want to see the same property you might not even have that long. Plus, if you do like a property, it is wise to have a second viewing, which will delay your decision even further.

When viewing a property, that second viewing can be crucial though. Making a decision about where you are going to live for perhaps many years shouldn’t be done in a rush. It is important that you have a set of questions to ask about the house or apartment when you go back for a second time. Here are some that you might want to ask.

viewing a property
Photo by Erik Mclean

Is There Damp?

Damp can be a big problem in a property, especially one that has been empty for a little while. It’s important to look out for signs of it, including a musty smell, flaking plaster on the ceilings and walls, watermarks on the walls, and wallpaper peeling away. The skirting areas of a room should be checked particularly, and if a room has just been repainted, it might have been to cover up the damp. Place your hand against the wall when viewing a property and if it feels cold and wet, then the damp is hiding behind the new paint.

Is The Roof In Good Repair?

The roof of a property needs to be in good repair otherwise you could find that water is let in, the property is unsecure, and, in the future, it will cost you to repair it. Of course, it can be difficult for a layman to inspect the roof of a property they don’t even own, but if you are concerned then you can invite a roofer over to check it out for you. Make sure you choose a reputable roofing company to help you and give you an accurate report so that you can go back to the realtor or owner and explain your misgivings.

What Do The Cracks Mean?

Great realtor photos can persuade people to come and view a house, but don’t be swayed by them – you do need to inspect everything closely. That includes checking out the structure of a building too. You might spot cracks in the walls; they could be large and noticeable, but you also need to look out for hairline cracks that could easily be missed. These cracks might say something about how structurally sound the property is, especially if the cracks are large ones. Big, deep cracks in walls and ceilings might speak to a problem with subsidence, or perhaps to a problem with a later extension or added room, or other building work. Pay special attention to areas around conservatories, outside walls, bay windows, and those extensions we mentioned earlier.

Is There Enough Storage?

When we get right down to it, storage is always going to be needed, even if we try to live fairly minimal lives. When walking around the house, you may well have spotted closets and cupboards, but are they really suitable for your needs? Since you are viewing the property because you might want to live there, it is perfectly appropriate for you to open these closets up and take a peek inside. Are they actually as large as they seem? Are there enough storage points in the property or are you going to need to add some more (and if so, where will you put them?)? The last thing you want is to move in somewhere and then discover that there is nowhere to put any of your possessions – you will end up living in a mess and be unhappy with your choice.

Which Direction?

You can ask the owner or realtor which way the house faces, or you can take a compass with you and work it out for yourself. In most cases, this won’t really matter, but if you want to know where your yard is facing, or where the sun is going to come up (and therefore which rooms might have the sun in the morning – you may need thicker blinds or curtains in those rooms so that the sunrise doesn’t wake you), then it is worth asking about. Although this probably won’t be the reason that you do or don’t buy a property, knowing in advance will mean you can make plans should you need to.

Why Is It For Sale?

There might be a perfectly rational reason why the property is for sale; the owner might be downsizing, or upsizing. They might want to move closer to work or family. There could have been a relationship breakdown. They might just like the idea of a change of scenery. However, there are other reasons that people choose to sell their homes, and if you can possibly discover what they are, then you will have a better idea of whether or not to make an offer.

One reason that someone will want to move is that the house is too expensive to upkeep. If that is the case, will it be the same for you? Check out what the energy bills and taxes are going to be before you start to get serious about the place, because they can make a big difference to your monthly budget. Another reason could be bad neighbors, so make sure that you drive by the property at various times of the day during the week and weekend to see what kind of noises you can hear or behavior you witness. Finally, is the neighbourhood a good one? The house might be wonderful, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good place to live.

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