BUYING A HOUSE | TIPS FOR HOUSE VIEWINGS


So, we're currently making the initial steps into buying a new house. It's all quite exciting, yet nerve wracking at the same time, buying a house is complete minefield. I don't think it really matters how many times you've done it before, every process is different. You're so dependent on other people, whether that's solicitors, mortgage advisers, vendors, the bank and what's that saying about too many cooks? Of course then you throw in the advice from anyone and everyone about what you need to look for in a home. We're pretty lucky that my Mum is so fickle with houses, and compared to most families, we moved house quite a lot - which has it's benefits, my parents know what they're doing. They've made mistakes, they've found people in the industry that work really well and they generally (not all the time Mother don't let this go to your head) have quite sound advice.


That isn't the case for everyone, just this week we've been viewing some houses and while it's so exciting, it's very easy to get bogged down in what you should be looking for. You know ahead of time if the home has what you're looking for, or why else would you be viewing it? Three bedrooms, tick. Kitchen / diner, tick. large garden, tick. These are things you can find out from a simple Rightmove search, and a handy floor plan. It's hard not to be distracted by these when you view the property, but in reality, you need to be asking questions and looking for the stuff you wont find in the property brochure. Having said that, I think we're almost getting the hang of what we should and shouldn't be doing at these appointments, and at this stage in the buying process so I wanted to share them with you. Along with that some other helpful bloggers have shared pieces of gold that they found useful when they've been in the buying shoes.

1. Judge a room by it's paint job - Something I'm so guilty of, but in reality that's a couple of hours worth of painting for you should you hate what the current owners have done. Don't let that blind your sight and prevent you from getting a home that's perfect. If paint is the biggest problem, it sounds like a great house.

2. View with kids in tow - I know it's hard if you have no choice, but ideally it's best not to be distracted. We took Patrick recently and whilst he behaved impeccably. I did have to carry him the whole way around as I was so nervous he'd touch something he shouldn't, it was incredibly distracting.

3. Assume parking - I truly didn't realise how many houses require parking permits just to park on the street. Allocated parking is a huge one for us, I don't want to have the anxiety of leaving the house and not knowing if we'll be coming home to a choca block road and having to park five streets away. When you've got two children and a car full of shopping, it would be a nightmare.

4. Don't be sporadic in your viewings. We have blocked off a full day and booked in as many viewings as we can fit, it'll help us compare properties a lot easier whilst they're fresh in our minds, we only viewed one solo house on Monday and half of me has forgotten what it was like already.

1. Ask why they're selling, it could be because they're relocating for a job, a separation, or because their needs exceed the house. But if there doesn't seem to be a reason, it's time to dig a little deeper. It can also be an insight into any big chains etc. If you're feeling extra brave, ask how long they've lived there, if they're moving after a few months that will ring some definite alarm bells - Laura & Beth

2. Don't forget to ask how much they've found bills to cost monthly, every house is different but you will definitely get a rough idea. Poor Lyndsey bought a house with awful storage heaters, and they cost her a fortune. 

3. Ask about the neighbours, who lives there and what they're like. It's quite easy to tell if someones lying about the lovely little family next door. - Laura

4. Check if there is any planned developments in the area, nobody wants to move in next door to what they think is a lovely field, for it to be transformed into a building site within months. - Kate 

5. It's worth asking them if they've found anywhere yet, if they have and they are really waiting on the sale of their house to move forward. It gives you a bit of an idea of just how desperate they are to sell - which definitely gives you the upper hand when it comes to making offers. 

6. Louise really recommends knowing where you stand and asking the technical questions. So when was the boiler installed, is it regularly serviced? When were the windows last replaced, are they still under warranty? It's all about going into things with your eyes wide open. 

7. Does your phone get signal? It might seem trivial, but if you're like me and work from home, then it's imperative that I can use my phone in the house. The same stands for internet access, if you're running a business Angela thinks these would be top of the list. 

8. Lucy suggests driving around the area at different points in the day / evening. Whilst a house might look like it's situated on a quite cul-de-sac at lunchtime, by 8pm it could be a meeting point for the local youths and something you'd really want to avoid. Always drive by to get a feel for the area throughout the day.

9. Dig deeper when asking questions. When were the windows installed? Has the roof had any problems, how old is it? Is the boiler new. Nobody wants to move into a house that's in disrepair.

7 comments

  1. These are some great tips, and some really valid points, I would never think to ask about parking! It's such an exciting and stressful time.

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  2. great tips, good luck in finding your new home.

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  3. I hate moving house, it's all so stressful. I think you will never really know all the problems until you move in, but I think I have been lucky in my purchases so far. I find it so easy to be swayed by things that aren't on our list, fortunately my partner's are more sensible than me.

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  4. One I never would have considered...phone signal!!! Moving house can be so stressful! This check list is worth noting.

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  6. Some great advice here! I remember moving into my flat in Brighton and not having any phone signal. It drove me bonkers (this was pre-smart phones)! xx

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  7. Some great points. We spent the day looking at houses today. We are wondering if we are brave enough to take the plunge and put our house up for sale

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