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Your property viewing checklist

Oct 03, 2019
Your property viewing checklist

Buying a new property is a big decision which shouldn't be rushed. However, the average person spends just 25 minutes viewing a home before putting in an offer. During a viewing, it’s important to take your time inspecting each room and the garden. This will help you to make a sensible, rational decision rather than allowing your heart to override your head. To help you make the right choice, we’ve created a property viewing checklist which covers everything you need to look for when viewing a house.

1. Is the property light and airy?

If you are viewing a property during the day and the lights are on, this could hint that the rooms tend to be dark. Ask questions such as which direction each room faces. This will help you to determine how much light the rooms will receive. Southern facing rooms will have the most light during the day. Look out for strategically placed mirrors which make small rooms seem bigger and brighter than they are.

2. Is there enough space?

Look at each room in detail. Is there space in the kitchen for a dishwasher, washing machine or tumble dryer? Would there be enough room to store everything you own? Could you add shelving or cupboards? Is there a garage? When buying a new build, you’ll be given a floorplan of the property to look over before it’s finished. If there's one available, you'll also be able to view showhomes on each development, to gage the available space and see if it’s the type of home you’ll be comfortable living in.

3. Which direction does the garden face?

Depending on how much time you spend in the garden, it might be high on your priority list to find out which direction the garden faces. House descriptions and listings will usually state if the garden is south facing or not, but if you want to double check you can use the compass installed on your smartphone when viewing the property. North facing gardens receive the least sunshine during the day because the house will block out the sun. If you’re viewing a property at night time, you may want to plan a second viewing in the daylight.

4. What are the neighbours like?

Who you are surrounded by can make a huge difference to the enjoyment of living in your home. When looking around a potential new home, be sure to take a look around the whole street to get a feel for what your neighbours might be like. If you're looking for somewhere quiet but there's loads of children playing in the street, this might not work. Or in fact you might feel the opposite and this is something you're looking for. Another key thing to look out for is whether the street is kept tidy and homes are cared for. 
New build properties have better soundproofing than older properties so you won’t have to worry too much about noisy neighbours if this is what you opt for. If you’re moving onto a new development it’s likely that other residents will be moving at a similar time, if not the same date. If so, this provides a great opportunity for everybody to get to know each other, whether that’s a party at one of the houses or by making use of a communal area during summer.

5. Is there sufficient parking?

If you’re concerned about parking, it’s always good to visit the property after work hours or at the weekend when most people are home. For a new build home that is not yet built, the sales adviser will show you if the house has a parking space on the plans.

6. Are there good transport links?

Are you close to stations or major motorway junctions which will make it easy for you to get to work or to see family? It might be worth doing a dummy run at rush hour to check. If the property is on a busy road you might want to come back and see what traffic is like at different times of the day. If you’re moving onto a new build development, you’ll be able to gauge how much traffic there will be by the number of properties there are.

7. What’s the neighbourhood like?

Take your time to scout out the neighbourhood. Is the property close to a pub? Are there cafes, parks or schools nearby? You might also want to be close to green spaces. If after all these checks you’re ready to buy and have your finances in place, it might be time to consider making an offer on your new home.