If you are buying a house and have set up an appointment to view the property there are some essential questions you need to be asking.
Top 11 questions to ask on a property viewing
1. What's the crack! Look at the structure of the building. Walk around the outside and check the exterior looking for any evidence of damp, hairline cracks in the walls or broken/missing roof tiles – and if so, investigate further or ask questions.
2. What's that smell? Be wary of damp. As a viewer, one of the best ways you can check for damp is by smelling. Damp can give off a musty smell even if you don't see physical signs.
3. Can I view the house again? View the property three or four times, at different times of day, to find out what it's really like – where the sun comes in, how the daylight affects the garden etc. and how traffic and surrounding noises change.
4. May I stay a little longer? Take your time to look around so you really get a feel for the place. Hopefully the first impression will be a good one and persuade you to spend more time finding out just what the property has to offer.
5. Is it okay to turn on switches? You may not think about it at the time, so make a note to also check the taps/water pressure and the light switches. You may not be told about any problems, but will see them for yourselves if you try. Opening and closing windows to check they are in good condition is also a good idea.
6. How would you feel if I moved this furniture about? By moving the furniture around you can uncover common cover-ups include painting over damp and hiding wall cracks or floor problems with furniture, paintings/photo frames or rugs.
7. What's included? Make sure you know exactly what the sellers will be leaving with the house. If you're buying the house based on certain features being left – perhaps a range cooker or garden structures – then make sure those things are staying.
8. Who owns that bit of land? Confirm what land comes with the property and be clear on ownership of garden boundaries or parking spaces.
9. What's in here? Don't be afraid to ask to look at space under the stairs, in the garage, in the loft or other places that may influence your decision.
10. Where's the bus stop? If you use public transport you'll need to know where the nearest bus or train stops are and the owner of the house is a good source of information for such a question. It's then up to you to find out running times and work out your commute time to work.
11. What is it like at school pick up time? Remember, location is key. Spend some time walking around the general area. Find out what the area is like at rush hour/school run time.
Su Snaith, head of Estate Agency at The Nottingham, said: "It is easy to fall in love with a property and sometimes forget to be practical. However, by keeping your wits about you and taking the time to prepare for the viewing, buyers could avoid possible issues further down the line.
"A checklist is a practical and simple way of ensuring you don't miss anything – and shows your intentions about buying are serious."
Remember, don't get carried away. If you are viewing a house try not to see it as a home (until you move in!). At the initial inspection try to treat the property as a building that needs inspecting, even if you really love it. Don't get too attached too soon – particularly if you have a number of viewings lined up.
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