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Shopping for a new home is very exciting but can be quite daunting. It is likely to be the biggest purchase of your life and you don’t want to make any mistakes.

 

Our Lamb Brooks Property Law Team speak to thousands of homeowners every year and have put together a quick guide with some tips for viewing properties.

 

Don’t Get Carried Away

It is very easy to get swept up in the moment when viewing a house – particularly if you are a first time buyer. Be realistic and remember that you don’t have to fall in love with the first property that you view. The market can move quite quickly, but don’t let that pressure you into putting an offer in for a property that isn’t quite right for you.

 

Bring Someone With You

Taking someone else along will help give a different perspective on things. Someone who’s opinion you trust, like a parent or good friend can be helpful. They may also spot things or ask questions that you hadn’t thought of.

 

Don’t Just View the Property Itself 

Arrive for your viewing early and wonder around the neighbourhood and surrounding roads first – this will help give you an idea about the local area, the noise, traffic, parking situation and what the neighbours are like. As well as a good look around the inside of the house take a good look at the external walls too – what is the brickwork like? the windows? guttering? roof? These are all very important aspects to consider. Spending some time in the garden or outside of the property is vital.

 

Take a Second Look

It is recommended to view a property more than once before making an offer. Not only will this help you make your decision but you may notice something that you had overlooked on your first visit. Visiting the property at a different time of day will also help give you a feel for the local area – for example, you could visit in the day time when the roads were quiet but you might find in the evening that there is nowhere to park once people are all home from work.

 

Be Prepared 

To get the most out of your time at the property viewing ensure that you have read up on the Property Particulars, researched the area and made a list of any questions to ask. Whether this is your first property purchase or you are looking to move property, it can be useful to put together a list of your needs and wishes so that you can compare other properties and weigh up your decision.

 

Use Your Imagination

It can be difficult to picture yourself living in a property when it is filled with another family’s possessions. Try to imagine the rooms are empty and decorated neutrally. Remember that paint, carpets and fixtures can always be changed to suit your own taste.

Whether you are being shown around by an estate agent or the owners themselves it is worth preparing a few questions to ask which will help you find out more about the property, the area and the circumstances of the sale.

 

Some key questions to consider:

 

  • Ask for an idea of the council tax and utility bills for the property. This will help give you an idea of what to expect your monthly bills to consist of. If you are buying your first property or are moving from a smaller home then this could impact on your budget.

 

  • Ask what fixtures and fittings will be included. If the owners are taking all the kitchen appliances for example you may need to factor in the cost of white goods.

 

  • Ask what work has been done on the property. Ideally obtain certificates, reports or guarantees for any building works such as extensions, conservatories or moved walls.

 

  • Ask what the local area is like. They have lived there and are best placed to tell you what the neighbours are like, where the local shop is and how the parking is at weekends. Of course, they are trying to sell their property, so keep in mind that they are unlikely to tell you anything off-putting but you should still be able to tell from what they say if the area is pleasant or not.

 

  • Ask if the building is structurally sound. Your survey will only go into full detail if you opt for this. Ask about the roof, damp or cracks if you spot anything suspicious – it is much better to find out now than later down the line.

 

  • Ask about the plumbing and electrics. These are not cheap to fix should something go wrong so find out about the age of the boiler or fuse box and ask if any work has been done.

 

  • Ask why they are moving and what the circumstances of the chain are. Finding out where they are in the chain can help give you an indication of how complicated or smooth the process will be and can give you a better idea on timescales.

 

  • Find out about parking, traffic and transport. Where is the nearest bus stop or motorway route? This can all be useful information if you commute for work.

 

  • Find out about local schools. If you have children this will be vital information and if you plan to grow your family in the future being in a good catchment area will be important

 

 

If allowed, taking photos or videos is useful so that you can reflect on your viewing once you are back home or share information with your friends and family.

 

If you are in the process of moving property or buying your first property and would like a conveyancing estimate, then please get in touch with our friendly Property Law Team today on 01256 305516 or email enquiries@lambbrooks.com

 

 

 

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.