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Your property viewing checklist to help your house search

Buying a new property is a huge decision and you shouldn’t rush into putting in an offer, so take your time inspecting each room and the garden.

The average person might only spend 25 mins and 30 secs viewing a home before putting in an offer but you might benefit from spending a little more time taking a more in-depth look.

During a viewing, it’s important that you don’t let your heart overrule your head. To help you on viewings, we’ve created this property viewing checklist. It covers everything you need to look for when viewing a house
– from interior fittings and plasterwork to neighbours and parking.

1. Is the property light and airy?

If you are looking at older homes and the owner keeps the lights on even in the daytime, this could hint that the rooms are dark.

Look out for strategically placed mirrors which make small rooms seem bigger and brighter than they are.

When viewing a new build property, depending on the time of day you are viewing, ask the agent as many questions about how light does or doesn’t flood into each room.

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 if you moved in?

Could you add shelving or cupboards? Is there a garage?

When buying a new build, you’ll be given a plan of the property to look over before it’s finished, while you can also view similar, finished properties on other developments, so that you can compare 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?

New build 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.

You’ll be glad you did because north facing gardens gets little sunshine 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?

New build properties have better soundproofing than older properties so you won’t have to worry too much about noisy neighbours.

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 socially, whether that’s a party at one of the houses or by making use of a communal area during summer. 

5. What’s the loft like?

Is the loft accessible, insulated and partially boarded?

Is there enough room to store things up there?

If you’d like to convert the loft in the future, it’s a good idea to have a quick look during the viewing.

If you’re buying a new build home and this information is not provided in the sales brochure, it’s something you’ll be able to ask for before making an offer. 

6. 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.

If you’re buying a new build home that is not yet built the sales adviser will outline this information on plans for you.

If the development is up and running you could visit the street to give you a better idea.   

7. Does the property have potential?

Although you may know you’ll want more space in the future that doesn’t mean you require a large house just yet.

If extending is something you’re interested in, it’s important to assess the property’s potential, deciding whether there’s scope for upgrades through extensions or other structural work.

If so, you should enquire about planning permission as soon as you can, contacting your local planning authority (LPA) and getting a general feel for whether future work on the property would be viable or not. 

8. 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, whilst 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.  

9. What’s the neighbourhood like?

Is the property close to a pub? Is there a takeaway or supermarket nearby?

It might be handy to have these places close to hand, but you might not want noisy customers passing by your house in the early hours. You might also want to be close to green space.

Barratt Homes builds homes with the local wildlife and greenery very much in mind. If you move onto one of our developments, you’ll know you’ll be living in a nice neighbourhood with plenty of sustainable communal areas.

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 dream home.  

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