Viewing properties, depending on your approach, can be a very exciting prospect. If you’re a first time buyer then it’s especially exciting to go through property pages, but a little word of warning. Even though you are viewing for a new home it’s important you keep your feet firmly on terra firma. After all, this is probably the most important decision and the biggest purchase of your life. Here are our top tips to help you get enjoyment out of the whole process.
It’s not yet your home
It’s very easy to get excited at viewing your first property. But it’s not yet your home and you should treat it like any building that just needs inspecting from a structural point of view.
Don’t buy on impulse
London is a fast moving market and properties come and go very quickly. If you see a property you like, make sure you do all your research first. This may result in the property going before you’ve had a chance to check out the area and someone getting in there before you. Buying on impulse could be your downfall, so try and stay calm.
View a property a few times
View the property a few times. This will give you a better feel for the area and make you more confident and happier in your final choice.
Check the structure and condition of the walls internally when viewing properties
You will inevitably get a survey done but don’t underestimate your own nose. Check internal walls and keep your nose open to damp, especially in areas where there’s water.
Visit the property at different times.
So you’ve gone there on a nice sunny midday and everything seems fine. But what you don’t know is that in the evening your next door neighbour has his band practice until midnight, or the local school a few hundred yards away have all the children passing your door making noise at just the wrong time. Visit the property in the morning afternoon and evening and where possible at the weekend you will see more people at home.
The seller won’t necessarily tell you about problems with the property and may try and hide them so it’s important to do your research and have a list of questions ready. There are many common issues like painting over damp problems, cracks in walls recently filled – look at the recently painted floor or walls: they may indicate something hidden.
The all-important survey before viewing properties
Just because you get a mortgage valuation, doesn’t mean your property has been fully surveyed and depending on the age of the property, you may want to have a full structural survey as well as the mortgage valuation.