Things To Look Out For When Viewing A Property
(Read: Property Checklists Are a Must)
House hunting is exciting! If you combine that energy with a checklist of key items to look for, you’ll be ready to explore your dream home in no time. It’s a good idea to ease into the process by first preparing, in advance, a list of important questions in order to get the most out of your viewing experience. Ideally, you will leave your property viewings as fully informed as possible—including warning signs to look out for and questions to ask your Realtor.
When you take a walk around the property, what is the overall condition? Here are some key items to consider:
• Are the doors and windows secure? Are the windows energy efficient?
• How old is the electrical, plumbing, and central heating systems?
• Are there any exclusions (i.e. items not included in the sale of the property)?
• How old are the kitchen appliances? Is there a home warranty?
• Are security and smoke alarm systems installed?
• Is the property the right size? Will all of your essential existing furniture fit?
• If there’s an attic, is it suitably insulated? Is there flooring installed so that it is safe for use?
• Do you have mobile phone coverage throughout the house? Any “dead’ spots? (This is especially important for the work-from-home crew!)
• Is there safe parking? An adequately sized garage?
• Have there been any additions/alterations to the property?
• How sufficient is the storage space?
• Confirm the property lines.
Where you live—the neighborhood, the local schools, and the overall feel of the area—is as important as the house itself! So keep the following questions in mind to determine if an area suits you and your needs:
• Are there good transportation options?
• Is it noisy?
• What are the nearby schools like?
• Where is the nearest supermarket?
• Are there any plans for new developments?
• What is the crime rate?
• Do the neighbors seem pleasant?
• How do property taxes run in the area?
Plus, there are warning signs to look for, such as:
• Are there cracks or signs of structural damage inside and/or outside of the home?
• What’s the condition of the roof? Any dips? How old is the roofing? What material?
• Any signs of mildew, mold, or a damp smell in the house?
• Are the drains and spouting modern and functioning?
• Do the windows and doors close and open easily?
• How is the water pressure? (This is always an important one, in my opinion!)
Don’t be afraid to ask even the most detailed questions for each home you see and like. Remember, your Realtor is there to help you find your dream home and avoid a failed inspection later down the road.
• Is the property on a flood plain? Is there any risk of flooding?
• Do we know why the sellers are selling the property? (This can affect negotiations in many ways.)
• How long has the property been on the market?
• When do the sellers want/need to move out?
• What’s included in the sale?
• How many times has the property changed hands?
And finally, here are a few final tips to ensure you get the best out of your viewing experience:
• Take your time…don’t feel rushed during your viewing.
• If possible, view the property at different times of the day. It’s important to see how each room in the home looks at different times of day, but especially when each room is most likely to be in use. (The kitchen’s sunshine/natural light can be cheerful in the morning, but overpowering in the afternoon, for example).
• Explore the area at peak times of the day… Drive and/or walk around and on different days of the week.
• Explore your potential commute.
• Ask permission first, but take pictures of the property! You’ll want them when comparing particular features among properties you’re considering.
Enjoy the process – you’re about to begin your next chapter!