What to look for when viewing a house

Posted by By Bournes Moves - August 4, 2020

what to look for when viewing a house

There are two main areas you'll be concerned about when viewing a house. 

  1. Do you like it?
  2. Is it a good house?

The first has the potential to make a great impact on the way you live your life, the second could be the difference between getting a great property for your money and being bitten by unexpected costs after you move in. Whilst many of these things would be picked up during a home buyers survey spotting them early may save you time and money. 

This list can also help you check your own home ahead of viewings to consider what you might need to bring up to a better standard if you're selling.

what to look for when viewing a house to buy

Outside

Things to consider

  • Is there parking? (if you need it)
  • Are you overlooked by neighbours?
  • Is there a loud road nearby?
  • What times of the day do you get sun in the garden and does this suit how you like to use outdoor space?
  • How much work is required for garden upkeep?
  • If you are viewing a flat check out communal areas too 

Potential issues to look out for 

  • Japanese Knotweed (an invasive weed that can cause damage to walls/pathways etc. Look out for signs when you view but don't panic too much as this will also be looked for by your surveyor when you have a buildings survey done before purchasing). Check out Zoopla's guide to Japanese Knotweed.
  • Roof Condition - look out for signs of a poor condition roof like sagging, missing tiles, standing water or cracks in flat roofs. Don't forget to check for any potenital issues with the chimney like deteriorating brickwork or pointing, leaning or signs of damp.
  • Walls - check for any cracks, disintegrating brickwork or signs of damp. 

Inside

Things to consider

  • Do you like the style? will you need to decorate?
  • Does the layout work for you?
  • Are any of the features that you love going to be moved? (e.g. log burners) or not functioning? (e.g. fireplaces)
  • How strong is water pressure?
  • How is the house heated?
  • Do you get broadband and other utilities services that you require in the area?
  • Is it a listed building?

Potential issues to look out for

  • Any electrics that don't work
  • Springy floors 
  • Damp stains on wooden floors or carpets that are not from spills
  • Damp stains or peeling paint arounnd window frames
  • Cracking sealant around UPVC window frames or rot on wooden frames
  • Signs of mould or damp on walls or ceilings which could be from either external causes or poor ventilation.
  • Musty smells 

So, take your time and make sure to check off everything on your list. If you've missed something don't hesitate to call the agent to ask after the viewing or ask to arrange a second viewing. 

Selling your own property? Check out our top tips for getting your home ready for viewings.

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