Whether you’re renting or buying, there’s nothing quite as exciting as starting the property search for your new abode. Some people find it a breeze, others find in an absolute nightmare. It all depends on your requirements, expectations and sometimes, how much time you give yourself to find that perfect place.
Viewings are particularly important and you’ll want to avoid any potential snags at this stage or you could end up wasting your own time and money in the long term. People often make the mistake of not paying attention to detail and forgetting to ask the agent the right questions. So we’ve compiled some of the top tips we believe viewers should be armed with on their search.
Key questions to ask
Depending on your current situation, the essential need-to-know information can vary. For example, tenants and buyers will need to know exactly what comes with the property in terms of fixtures, fittings and furniture. We’ve all heard horror stories of kitchens and bathrooms unexpectedly being taken by previous owners so it’s definitely a question worth asking.fittings and furniture. We’ve all heard horror stories of kitchens and bathrooms unexpectedly being taken by previous owners so it’s definitely a question worth asking.
Rented properties can range from furnished, part furnished or unfurnished so it’s ideal for tenants to be sure of which of these categories would suit them best. Usually, furnished will include the majority of house essentials such as sofas, tables and chairs but double check what appliances or white goods may be included. Daily essentials things like toasters and kettles may be on show when you look around, but could actually belong to the existing tenant so it’s wise not to automatically assume everything you see will be included.tables and chairs but double check what appliances or white goods may be included. Daily essentials things like toasters and kettles may be on show when you look around, but could actually belong to the existing tenant so it’s wise not to automatically assume everything you see will be included.
When viewing to buy, it’s essential to look beyond the general appearance and décor and take a clear look into the structural detail of the building. Cracks in the brickwork, sloping floors, a poorly constructed roof – all can be quite expensive things to fix and may even de-value your property. Knowing the tell-tale signs of structural issues could save you survey costs and stumbling blocks in the future. There may be valid reasons why such cracks or other issues exist, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions.
Although we all want to walk into a property and instantly fall in love, it’s important to focus on areas you can’t always see such as electrics, drainage and insulation. Asking about how old things are, such as the roof and the boiler, can be beneficial in the long run as they could end up being costly to replace. A good estate and lettings agent will be able to answer your questions and will provide you with all the information you need to decide whether this is the property for you.
What to look out for
Generally, you can spot a good property from a mile off and some people fall in love before they’ve stepped through the front door! If somewhere is well maintained and beautifully presented, it’s usually a good sign that it’ll get snapped up quickly providing it’s at the right price. However, there could always be something that didn’t quite catch your eye on the viewing that could potentially become an issue. You’ll want to check for obvious things such a damp, mould and any possible leaks so look around window frames, ceilings and behind wardrobes and other large furniture. Checking the state of plumbing and drains is useful too so ask the agent or landlord if you can run the taps to check water pressure.
Location can say a lot about the property too. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, spend some time having a quick walk around the neighbourhood and see what amenities are close by. If you’re after a quiet life you’ll want to avoid being near any pubs or busy roads, but if you’re more of a night owl, you may prefer to be close to local bars and restaurants so it’s always useful to get a feel for the area. Drive by at different times during the day/night and you’ll soon get an idea whether the area is a good fit for you.
TOP TIP: Try to take as many pictures as you can, this will be good for your records as it’s surprising how it easy it can be to forget what a property looks like (especially if you’re viewing several in one day). Plus your camera will pick up any bits of wear and tear you might’ve missed.
If you’re searching for a new home and would like to arrange of viewing of one of Ascends properties, call our friendly estate agent & letting agents team today, for our Manchester branch it's 0161 637 8336 and for our Liverpool branch it's 0151 305 2577. If you'd prefer you can contact us directly online here.