What to Look for When Viewing a Home
Don't you find it crazy that we can commit to buying a home to live in after just one or two short visits? It really is critical that you make the most of each visit so you can understand any home you are considering buying. To figure out how it flows. You want to work out its good points (and bad points) so you can make educated decisions when it's time to make an offer.
If you happen to visit during an open home, it can be easy to become distracted by the other buyers present. It's easy to fall into the trap of spending more time sizing up the competition than you do sizing up the bedrooms.
Use these six tips to keep your visit on track and make the most of the short time you have before deciding if this home is the one.
1. Check out the sun aspect
You can go through a home with a fine-tooth comb, checking paintwork for damage, inspecting curtains for mould and spouting for damage, only to walk away without even thinking about sun aspect. It's especially easy to miss this important point on a cloudy day.
Take a compass with you to the home so you can check the orientation and understand which rooms will have sun in the morning vs. afternoon. If the home feels dark, can that be improved by trimming large trees or hedges? Or adding extra windows?
2. Think about storage
It's a boring feature but oh-so-important when you turn up to move in with all your stuff and find there's nowhere to put it. Check for wardrobes naturally, but think about bathroom and kitchen storage too. Is there attic space? Could you add attic stairs to make roof storage easier to access? The underfloor may have potential for extra storage too. Check outdoor spaces as well. Is there a garden shed, or room to add one?
3. If you have large furniture take a paper template with you
This might sound strange but a great tip I heard once was to cut a piece of newspaper (or tape some together) in the shape of your large piece of furniture, then fold it up and take it with you to open homes. If you have a large couch, grand piano, or maybe a monstrous bookshelf, you can roll your paper template out on the floor in the home you are considering to get an idea of how much floor space that item will take up in your new home.
4. Drive past the home at night
This will help give you a better understanding of the neighbourhood, especially if you stop by on the weekend. Are there loud noises coming from the houses next door? Stop the car and take a walk around. Does this area feel like home?
5. Look past cosmetic details
Try to ignore paint colours, carpet, curtains and furniture if they are putting you off. It's easier said than done but this is a perfect time to remember that you can change anything about a home, except where it is located.
6. Have a moment of silence
It can be awkward to have silent moments around strangers, but it's important to remember this step when buying a home. If you are the only buyers present, ask everyone to be quiet and just take a moment to be in the home. What can you hear? Are there birds singing outside? Or can you hear the low hum of a nearby motorway?
Your sensitivity to exterior noises will fade over time once you move into a home but it's nice to understand what you are working with. That way you won't move in and get a shock when you finally get to sit down and enjoy some peace and quiet in your new home.
If a private viewing isn't possible, go back to point 4. Park outside the home when it's quiet, put your window down and see what you can hear. Keeping in mind that any noises will be reduced when you are inside the home.
Are you ready to start looking?
Give us a call to talk through your buying criteria. We can keep you posted on any new properties coming to the market that might suit.
Do you need an appraisal first?
If you own a home already, you might be wondering how much you would get for it. That will help you work out how much you'll have to spend on the next home.
The market has moved a lot this year so it's important you have accurate, up-to-date guidance. We can give you an approximate sale price estimate and also provide tips on where you might be able to add value to your home with minimal expense before going to market.
Call us today to book your free appraisal.