Many people enjoy viewing a house and picturing life in a new home. But don’t make the mistake of arriving for a viewing thinking that this is the place for you. Have an open mind. Don’t just focus on the good points, consider the downsides too. It is a good idea to:
1. View the house more than once and at different times of the day. In addition to viewing the property internally, drive past on different days of the week to get a feel for the area. There may be certain times of the day or days of the week when traffic is busier, and this may not be obvious from a single viewing.
2. When viewing a house, take someone with you. It’s worth having another opinion on the property. There may be things you hadn’t spotted yourself.
3. After viewing a house, take a walk. Walking gives a different view of the area. Check out neighbouring properties to see whether they are well maintained. You may even meet some of your prospective new neighbours. Look out for any neighbouring land use or businesses which may affect the property.
4. When viewing ahouse, imagine what it will be like at other times of the year and in different weather conditions. For instance, a house on a north facing slope may have plenty of sun in the summer but may spend weeks in the shade in the winter. A house in an exposed position might take the brunt of the weather during a storm. A house on a steep hill may be difficult to access during icy weather.
5. Don’t just view one property, even if you think the first property is perfect for your needs. Viewing other properties may reinforce your decision to make an offer on a particular house, but similarly it may open your eyes to others which are more suitable.
6. Ask the vendor if you can take photographs. Sometimes you might remember the positive features, but photos may remind you of other aspects which may easily be forgotten.
7. If you are buying a property to let, see “Buying a buy to let property”.
Above all, don’t rush into making a decision. Don’t be pressured by the estate agent or anyone else even if there are other potential buyers on the scene. Buying the wrong property will be an expensive mistake. Make sure you have considered all important issues and be fully aware what you are taking on before exchange of contracts. If you are unsure about the condition of the house or want further information on any defects then instruct a surveyor.