How much work needs to be done?
Some of these things may sound obvious, but it’s worth writing them down so that you don’t miss anything when you visit. The most obvious things to check are simply cosmetic. Are the walls a colour that you like? Are there any chips or stains that will need touching up? Are the carpets/floorboards in good condition? These things can of course be changed if necessary.But there are more serious things to check. Is the building structurally sound for example?
Cracks in the walls and ceilings could be extremely costly to repair. Damp and mould should also raise alarm bells. Ask about the maintenance and age of the home. How old is the property? Have they had any work done recently?
Some things you may want to check up on for convenience and comfort, for example, high quality double glazed doors and windows can be a beneficial thing to look out for to keep the noise out and the heat in.
Location, Location, Location
It is important that when you move in to a new home, that you are happy with not only the property itself, but also of the area. Take into account things like the distance from your home to work, for instance. If you have kids or are planning to start a family, schools in the area must also be a consideration.
Whilst this may sound nosey, when you first visit a property – weigh up the neighbours. Obviously don’t take things too far, you can’t climb over the fence and spy on them. But look out for the cleanliness of their front garden, do they seem noisy, are there other children for your kids to play with? Other things to think about could be traffic, shopping and public transport.
Remember, you can change the appearance of your new home as you wish, but if you decide you aren’t a fan of the area after moving then it might just be too late, you can’t uproot the entire house and move it elsewhere. Also, if you decide you don’t like it there, chances are others may feel the same, and you may struggle to sell!
Spend a week as a neighbourhood detective
Is the area clean and tidy? Can you see children playing out in the street after school – are there safe places for them to go? If your potential home is near a school, look out for parents’ parking preferences, you don’t want cars blocking your driveway every weekday at 9 and 3.
How appropriate is the property for you? You might want to live in a huge 6 bedroom home, but if you can only just afford to pay the mortgage each month, then you won’t be able to give the interior the attention and TLC that it deserves.