When starting out on your property search journey, either for the first time or the fifth time, getting started is always the hardest part.
At Gilson Gray, we caught up with Ben Finnie who is a Regional Sales Manager within our Dundee office, to discuss some of the key factors you should be looking out for when viewing a home you are interested in purchasing.
Small and large cracks
While some cracking on walls, ceilings or even around door and window frames, can be nothing to worry about, some cracks can be very serious and perhaps highlight structural issues with the property. I would always recommend reading over the Home Report, which can be obtained by the Selling Agent of the property, to check if anything has been mentioned. This will be categorised on a scale of 1 – 3 where 1 signifies no issues found and 3 signifies immediate repairs needed. Wherever you are unsure or would prefer to seek a second opinion, I would always recommend speaking with a specialist.
Signs of damp, mold or infestation
The key signs to look out for are a damp or musty smell, any signs of mold, peeling wallpaper and rotting skirting boards. I would recommend taking a look over the Home Report for the property and speaking with a damp specialist if you have any concerns, as damp and mold in particular can have a detrimental impact on your health if you are living with these conditions for any period of time, especially for young children, the elderly and those with health conditions such as asthma.
Windows and doors
It is always worth checking that doors and windows open easily when you are viewing a home. While a Surveyor will test a number of windows and doors for the home before it goes on to the market, these can sometimes be overlooked at larger properties as they won’t test them all. The current homeowner may advise you if any of the windows need or have keys to lock and open them, should they be the ones to show you around the property, or confirm if any need a little extra push to get them to open.
Knowing what type of heating system a home has is something a lot of people are keen to know, especially when it comes to saving money and being environmentally conscious. You can check what type of heating system the property has either by asking the current homeowner, the Selling Agent or by checking over the Property Questionnaire within the Home Report. The Surveyor will also make a comment on the overall condition of the heating system in the report.
Some people take five minutes to view a property and others will take over an hour. Most of the time, it will depend on the size, condition and your future plans for the property. It’s nice to take some time to chat to the current homeowner if they are showing you around, as they will often divulge information such as their favourite local spots, where is good for parking, and who the best neighbours are! I would always recommend taking your time at a viewing, and, should you run out of time, then I would recommend arranging to go back for a second viewing if the option is there.
Additionally, when looking for your new home, I would always recommend viewing as many properties as you can. This will give you a full representation of the market place and you will quickly learn what you like and don’t like in a property, helping you to narrow down and streamline your search criteria.
Furthermore, I would always try and speak with the experts as much as possible. Speak to your Solicitor, as they will be able to help along every step of the way. If you have any concerns about a property, they will always have the answer or know a specialist that will be able to help.
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