Love or hate them, viewing a house is an essential part of buying a house. But do you know that it’s a good idea to undertake two or three house viewings to get a real feel for the place? The first viewing gives you a general idea including the layout. The second viewing is where you can really get down to the nitty gritty and start looking in more detail.
A house might be in excellent condition at first glance. But, when digging deeper you might find a multitude of problems. Older homes or those that have been vacant for a while, usually have signs of wear and tear. For those who are happy to do the work, this won’t be a problem. But those who hit the ground running and or don’t have the budget to do a lot of work, anything beyond basic maintenance is a deal breaker.
If you want to buy a home and be happy in it, continue reading to learn what you need to know when viewing a house.
What to Look for When Viewing a House • 5 Tips
1. Roof Condition
What’s a house without a roof? Not livable, that’s for sure. It’s also a very expensive problem to fix. For this reason, make a point of inspecting at the roof as best as you can. You will also want to ask about the date of the last roof replacement. Interestingly, roofs usually have a lifespan of up to 25 years if they’re to be kept in tip top condition. So, if the roof hasn’t been replaced in the last two decades or so, it might be due. This is something you could potentially use as leverage when negotiating the price.
Generally speaking, if you can’t see mold you’ll likely smell it. Houses with a damp problem of any form can usually have a must smell. If you notice this when you walk in, be sure to try and find the source. If it’s a case of condensation due to poor ventilation, this could be an easy fix. Conversely, if you see wet walls, peeling paint or crumbling wood, these might indicate more serious issues.
If you do spot any of these signs, make sure you ask about damp proofing on the house. Again, this could be used as leverage to negotiate a lower price as you may potentially have to foot the bill to fix it later down the line.
3. Cracked Walls
Of all the things to look for in a house, structural integrity is right at the top of the list. However, it’s common for settlement cracks to appear in houses new or old. But it’s important to distinguish between these and more serious cracks. Therefore, if you see a large crack that is relatively wide and the house is older, question it.
4. Boiler Condition
Installing a new boiler can be relatively pricey, and it can also be a hassle, especially in winter. When you view a house, look the hunt for the HVAC system and ask the installation date. But, also ask for a record of maintenance. HVACs are your comfort, so make sure you’re not left in the cold when you move into your new house.
5. Water Pressure
No one likes a shower that drips water. There are several reasons why a house has low water pressure. Interestingly, the easiest to fix is valves that are not fully open. Another reason for poor water pressure might be clogged pipes, or, in the worst case scenario, corroded pipes. If you switch on the taps and notice low water pressure, ask about the material of the pipes. If the answer is steel, they might look okay on the outside but be severely corroded on the inside. In this case, the entire system may need replacing which can be very expensive.
Lead was traditionally used for water pipes but has since been banned. The banning came about because over time it gets into the water supply. Of course, this causes health issues. Both faulty steel pipes and old lead pipes are points of leverage, so look for them when viewing a house.
Of course, there are other things to look for when buying a house. So, it’s important to visualize the space without the nice staging and someone else’s furniture. Despite this, be sure to dig a bit deeper and ask key questions. After all, that’s why estate agents are there!
If you have any questions or suggestions, we always love to hear from you in the comments below. Also below are links that will take you to more fantastic articles about ALL things DESIGN for your home or business.
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