Now normally its recommended to have a 2. viewing before putting down an offer just so you can inspect the house and area a little bit further, in our case that recommendation went right out of the window with us putting in our 1st offer a couple of hours after we went to view it, somehow we just knew it was meant to be our very first family home, but just in case you want to go down the save road here are some ideas what to look out for when viewing a property for the second time:
Investigate the neighbourhood – Have a walk down the street check out where local shops, bus stops, even schools are and in case you bump into somebody walking down the road there is no harm in stopping them and asking them if they would mind telling you about the area in case there local. Have a look where your nearest parks and playgrounds are.
Take your time when viewing it and try to not to see at it as your “home” yet because its easy to get distracted to imagine where to put the couch and which bedroom would be great for the kids. Try to see it as a house and inspect everything on it.
Caro from The Twinkle Diaries told me: “Go with your head and not your heart on the second viewing. Don’t get caught up on cosmetic stuff and look for the structural things — cracks in brickwork (vertical through bricks and not just mortar), whether it needs re-roofing, re-plumbing, re-wiring etc.”
Look at the structure of the building – Make sure you walk around the outside of the house to check the exterior. Look for damp and hairline cracks in the walls, missing or loose tiles on the roof and broken guttering. If you find signs of a problem, ask questions to find out what the cause is and whether it will be fixed.
Use your nose as well as your eyes – Be wary of unusual smells. Damp, which 70% of people check for according to our research, can give off a musty smell even if you don’t see physical signs.
Check the taps and light switches – Only 28% of people check the taps and water pressure, while 35% check that the light switches work – but you’ll only know about problems if you check things yourself. Also, try opening and closing the windows to check they’re in good working condition.
Have a close look – The seller doesn’t have to tell you about problems – in fact, they may even try to hide them. Common cover-ups include painting over damp and hiding wall cracks or floor problems with furniture or rugs.
I like Kate’s Tip who blogs over at Confession of a new Mummy: “When we brought our house, one thing we did was took our camera with us and went round taking photos of anything and everything so that when we were getting ready to see the Solicitors the pictures acted as a memory prompt for the different things we wanted to ask – eg a crack in the wall in the hallway, the wall in the back garden, rights of way over a strip of land.”
We actually did just that I asked the vendors if there are ok with me taking pictures of every room (our Estate Agents Pictures of the Property on Rightmove where really spares with bathroom, utility room and other rooms missing on the portfolio) and when we finally received the Fittings and Contents Form we could look back on the pictures to see which colour the curtains are they mentioned etc. it came in more than handy in our case!
Another good tip came from Emma over at Day 48 who said: “The beat advice is as given by an agent is going upstairs and look out the window 2 doors left 2 doors right. That will tell you what sort of neighbourhood you’re moving too, especially the back garden.”
Check out the Loft and Outbuildings – I doubt there are many people who go up in the loft or have more than a quick look in the garage on the first viewing so make sure you check out the outbuildings from garden shed, garage and maybe even a log cabin and make sure you go up the loft to. Now would be the time to ask the vendors or estate agents if the loft is isolated or boarded up at all? Is the Shed/Garage/Log Cabin water tight No wet patches in sight?
Confirm what land comes with the property – If there’s any uncertainty over who owns a garden or parking space, make sure you find out the answer and get it confirmed in writing BEFORE you start paying for a Survey to be carried out.
As an example Laura who blogs at Five Little Doves said: “After we bought our house a few years back and moved in we realised that people were walking through our garden constantly and when I got the council involved it turned out it was a public right of way!! Ours was a really old house, early 1900s so the only deeds were hand written talking about horses and carts, it was an absolute nightmare. We moved a few years later but it was a pain when it came to selling as who wants a garden that people can walk through?!”
I hope these tips will be helpful in your search for the right house for you and your family!
Happy House Viewing!