Buying A House: Questions to Ask When Viewing a Property
We’ve just spent the past few weeks viewing multiple properties while trying to find our dream home and the first thing that really surprised me was the fact you are usually shown around by the vendor as opposed to the estate agent.
I suppose it’s from watching way too may American TV shows that I thought a real estate agent would show you around and try and big up the property as much as he can. In reality it is usually more of an awkward visit as the vendor tries their hardest to show you everything before letting you have a little wander around yourself while they sit out of the way.
The first few viewings felt very awkward indeed as you try to be as polite as possible while trying to find out the reasons why the vendors are selling and understand how the property has benefited them over the past few years. It is sometimes hard to hide your disdain as you see imperfections and every sentence the vendor utters sometimes makes you think, shut up as you are talking yourself out of a sale here!
I decided to ask the blogging community what the most important questions are when looking around a prospective house and things you need to look for to make sure you get all the information you need before putting in that all important offer.
Questions to Ask the Vendors
What are your neighbours like? Remembering that if they’ve had a dispute this has to be declared. – Katy Kicker
When was the boiler last replaced and he electric rewired? Last thing you need is a big expense as soon as you move in! – Real Mum Reviews
What fixtures and fittings are you planning on leaving behind? This can save a small fortune but is also useful to know so you don’t turn up on moving in day to find all the carpets have been ripped up. – Twinderelmo
What do the utilities cost? Is the heating gas or electric or both? How much is council tax? –Thrifty Mum
Does the house have mains sewerage of a septic tank? If is a septic tank, who is responsible for emptying it? – Riding Boots for Boo
Are the other houses nearby owned or rented? Do the tenants change frequently? – Emma Reed
Who has responsibility for hedges and trees and maintaining them? Do they have preservation orders on them? – The Mummy Monster
Why are you selling? Watch for their genuine reaction. – Living Life Our Way
What to Look For
Signs of damp, including looking behind furniture. Damp usually manifests in areas where there’s lots of water vapour so bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, utility rooms and areas where the vendors may have been drying clothes. – Anklebiters Adventures
What’s parking like? Is there enough room for the number of vehicles you have? Is there off road parking? Try visiting in the evening to see if you’d need to park far away from the house – Household Money Saving
Where is the sun shining and at what time? It’s preferable to have a garden that’s south facing but it’s a good idea to visit the house at different times of the day to see what rooms get what light and when. – Devon Mama
What is mobile signal like in different rooms of the house? Sounds small but this can be infuriating if you find out that you can’t make mobile phone calls unless you are at the very far end of the garden – Devon Mama
Visit at different times of the day to see what the street is like. Are there undesirables hanging around after dark? Is the street full of vehicles at school pick up time? – This Day I Love
Is there a curtain behind the front door? Is this for aesthetic reasons or because of a draught? Are there portable electric heaters in rooms with radiators? Why? – Chilling With Lucas
Try a tap to check the water pressure. You do not want to buy a property where it takes two hours to run a bath! – Lylia Rose
How many plug sockets are in each room? You don’t want a bedroom with one plug socket right on the other side of the room- how will you charge your phone?! – And Another Ten Things
What are the schools like in the catchment area? What was the recent Ofsted report like? – Frugal Family
Look at of the upstairs windows into next door’s gardens. Can you see lots of junk or cigarette ends? Would this annoy you if your neighbours were smoking all the time or were messy? – Just Average Jen
Go into the garden and just listen. Is there lots of noise? Traffic? Kids? You will want to know you can enjoy your garden space. – Navigating Baby
Are there local shops nearby in case of bad weather or vehicle breakdown? – Autumns Mummy
Thanks to all the bloggers who took part in helping me create this post. It definitely came in helpful for us and gave us a few more questions to ask when viewing prospective houses. Some of the things I hadn’t really thought of at all. We also found it really useful to write these questions in our phones before hand as invariably when it came to question time we often forgot what we needed to ask caused either by nerves or overwhelm!