An essential feature of any residential property search, house viewing can unfortunately be quite time-consuming and repetitive. Trekking across the country to see numerous properties can become tiring very quickly, especially if you have family to bring along. However, it is crucial to avoid becoming apathetic about it all. By remaining engaged and spending a good length of time at each property, you are far more likely to pick up on any potential problems. We’ve highlighted below some of the most important residential property search tips to make whenever you’re viewing a potential new home.
Inside the Residential Property: Residential Property Search Tips
When several house viewings quickly turn into a residential property search, it can be very tempting to only give rooms a cursory glance before making a decision either way. Make time, however, to look beyond the furnishings and fittings and examine whether everything is quite as perfect as it seems.
Often, sellers will try and disguise any damp with a quick coat of paint. Whilst this might cover up any watermarks on the walls or ceiling, you can still check for the tell tale mouldy smell or signs of peeling plaster. If the house has wooden window frames, common in older properties, there is a simple test to ensure the wood isn’t rotting away. Just press your fingers into the frame to see if there is any give. In newer properties with double glazing, condensation between the window panes is a cause for concern.
Low water pressure can cause weak toilet flushes and feeble showers, neither of which are particularly comfortable to live with. When viewing a house, simply give both a try and see if they meet your own personal standards. It is also worth investigating the age of the boiler and whether it has had any recent problems, as they can be costly to replace.
Other details to look out for include missing roof tiles, broken guttering and faulty electrical wiring. These problems are all fixable but it is much better to be aware of them when entering negotiations, rather than getting a nasty surprise later on. If you have any concerns about a property, we would certainly recommend that you contact a surveyor.
Outside the Residential Property: Residential Property Search Tips
One of the less obvious areas that you should carefully consider in a residential property search is the local geography. Given the increasingly tumultuous weather the UK is experiencing, it is more important than ever that check whether the property is built on a floodplain. If it is, you are likely to face higher insurance premiums although caps have been put in place to limit the increase. For your own peace of mind, it doesn’t hurt to research the local flood defence schemes and prior history.
If you are fairly keen on a particular property, we’d recommend viewing it more than once, at different times of day. This will give you a more accurate picture of the local noise and traffic levels, the distribution of light around the property and much more. It’s all about building as full a picture as possible before committing to anything.
On a very practical level, ensure you are fully aware of the parking situation. If the property does not have any off-street parking, you will need to find an alternative solution. In very built-up areas you may be required to purchase a parking permit- a hidden cost to be aware of.
As with the inside of the property, we recommend you seek advice from a chartered surveyor and/or structural engineer before committing to a purchase. Make sure your offer is always Subject to Survey.
County Homesearch can take the stress out of your residential property search by viewing one or more properties on your behalf and providing an independent professional opinion. Contact us on 0333 939 8300 to discuss how we can help you.