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MG Legal's property conveyancing solicitors’ house viewing guide.
You probably won’t require the assistance of our property conveyancing solicitors until you have found your perfect home, and the sellers have accepted your offer.
However, with years of experience in dealing with residential and commercial property sales and purchases, our team are here to offer some words of wisdom in the form of our top tips for viewing properties.
#1 Always take a friend or family member along for the ride
You may be buying alone, or buying a property with a friend, family member or partner. Whoever you are buying with, it can be easy to become over-excited and focus on where your dressing table will be placed, and what colour scheme your kitchen will be, forgetting the important things. Who can blame you? A property purchase can be an extremely exciting time, which is why our Property Conveyancing Solicitors are on hand to guide you through the legalities, so you can enjoy the process of acquiring your new home. So, whilst you may be the biggest property expert in Lancaster (except for of our Property Conveyancing Solicitors, of course), a second pair of eyes will never go amiss when viewing.
It may just be a helpful eye to confirm that, low and behold, everything looks good, or it may be the useful voice of your parent, pointing out a potential issue with your new possible home. The second opinion will prove invaluable further down the line.
Another benefit of having that all-knowing second opinion is that you may have ‘property goggles’ when looking around; you might instantly fall in love and not notice some potential issues with the property. Like the common alcohol-related term, you may be wearing goggles.
#2 Have your viewing at a time when you are most likely to be at home
If you are a shift worker whose pattern changes every week, this may not be as easy for you. However, if you can try and view the property at the time of day you are usually at home, or when you would normally expect to spend a prolonged amount of time there, you will get a better feel for what your new potential home will be like.
For example, if, like our Property Conveyancing Solicitors, you are at work from 8:30am until at least 6:00pm, Monday to Friday, you may decide to go and view the property at 7pm in the evening, or over the weekend. This will help you to gain a better understanding of what the natural lighting might be like in your new home, and allow you to see what the traffic and parking in the area may be like around that time (as well as knowing more about whether your potential new neighbours may just be a little bit too noisy).
#3 Prepare a list of questions to ask the sellers (or the Estate Agents)
When you are looking around a property, much like with any important time in your life, the important questions that you need to ask can just slip your mind. To avoid this, our Property Conveyancing Solicitors would suggest making a quick list of all the questions that you might want to ask the sellers. When you arrive, some of them may answer themselves (is there a parking space with the property? Well, yes, we parked our car there – check that off your list), but it can’t do any harm to have the questions ready.
Some information that it can be helpful to ask the sellers for is:-
1. How old is the boiler, when was it last serviced and what does it work on? (i.e. combi boiler, just gas, etc)
2. When were the windows replaced, and have you had any issues with them?
3. How much does it generally cost to run the house?
4. What is the EPC rating like?
5. Is the loft boarded and insulated? (if applicable)
6. Are any of the white goods included in the sale?
7. Do you intend to leave any of the furniture in the house?
8. How quickly do you want to move house?
9. Have you found somewhere to move to already?
10. When were the electrics last replaced?
To help you along the way, you can also download MG Legal’s Property Conveyancing Solicitor’s useful list of questions, here.
#4 Location, Location, Location
It’s incredibly cliché, we know, but location really can be important. Now, we’re not talking about geographical location: we mean the location of the house on the plot of land. Consider this: you’re buying your dream home; however, you want to make a few changes: maybe an extension to the upstairs, a new orangery, or an extension to the side of the house. Whatever changes you want to make, think about whether this will be possible where the house is positioned on the land.
If the house is central, with plenty of room for your extension on either side, then no problem. Also, consider any future improvements you may want to make to your new home before committing to buy the house.
#5 You don’t need to worry about giving the house a 60-minute makeover
It can be easy to get wrapped up in a house not being for you just because the décor isn’t quite to your taste. However, remember that you can decorate your new house to your heart’s content once exchange and completion have taken place.
You may not be up for it on moving day, but once you’ve got the keys, the house is yours to personalise. Whether it’s funky wallpaper or dove grey throughout, try not to worry about how the current owners have painted the kitchen a bright orange. It’s nothing that a quick coat of paint cannot fix. After all, buying your new house will be one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your lifetime, so don’t let a £20.00 tin of paint put you off your dream home.
So, if you’re looking at houses and haven’t even begun to consider any of the items on our Property Conveyancing Solicitor’s list, take a minute, and perhaps revisit that dream home one last time before you make an offer.
And, once you have an offer accepted and you’re certain that you have found the one, don’t delay; contact our expert Property Conveyancing solicitors for a fixed-fee quote for your purchase. You can contact our team online, here, or email email@example.com for a call back within one working hour to discuss your property purchase.