Q. I’m finally starting to think about buying my first property and have booked some appointments to view property over the next few weekends. Obviously I’m looking for a property that feels right and ticks my personal boxes but what other important factors should I consider on the viewing?
A. Viewing for the first time is naturally an exciting time, you have saved long and hard for your deposit and finally you are now in a job where you can afford a decent mortgage and here you are ready and armed with your AIP (agreement in principle) from the bank, but there are as you rightly say lots of other important considerations too. Firstly do try and research not only the property but also the area you are considering prior to the viewing. This makes it less likely that you will waste time seeing something that does not meet your requirements. Take someone with you when you view, two pairs of eyes are better than one and it’s likely they will spot things you don’t, it’s always good to consider another opinion. Don’t be afraid to ask direct and blunt questions. If you like the property arrange a second view and go back at a different time of day. Don’t be pressurised into making an offer by either the estate agent or the seller. Always remember to clarify at the onset what is included in the sale with regards to white goods and furniture this will stop any discrepancies later on. Check out if there has been any alterations to the property and if so does the seller have the relevant planning permissions and building control consents available to inspect? Is the property in a conservation area or a listed building – if so this could restrict any alterations you may be considering? Look out for any rooms that have been recently decorated, this could be hiding something sinister. On that point look out for cracks in the walls, or doors sticking as this could be a sign of subsidence. Watch out for the smell of damp, and signs like damp wallpaper or bubbling paintwork. Consider too the location, are there any noisy pubs or restaurants nearby, are you on a flight path or near railway lines. You may be fine with this but it may impact trying to sell the property on at a later date. There are many things to consider and the above are just a few of the main points, taking your time and carefully considering everything and speaking to trusted sources is paramount when it comes to making the biggest investment your ever likely to make so don’t whatever you do – rush the big jobs!