You would spend 20 minutes looking at a property that you are interested in buying – whether it is virtual or in person. This will be your home for many, many years. Many home buyers regret this decision. Here are our top tips to help you find the right home.
Virtual viewings have been the subject of much hype lately. While a pre-recorded or live tour is a great way of shortlisting properties that you are interested in, nothing beats an actual visit to address any issues. This is our checklist of things you should be aware of when viewing or buying a property.

1. Is there damp?

Watch out for damp signs when you’re looking at a property. A mouldy smell, flaky plaster and watermarked walls and ceilings are all signs of damp. Although it sounds obvious, make sure to look at the ceiling and skirting boards. You might also notice a repainted room, which could indicate damp.
2. Are the structural integrity of the buildings?

You should be looking for large cracks, but not too many. You should pay attention to the areas where extensions join, the end-of terrace walls, and bay windows. These cracks can cause the house to bow or fall apart. Now is the time to look for problems that you can discuss with the homeowner or estate agent and then have your surveyor investigate them. You can’t see everything. A chartered surveyor, with years of experience, is trained to identify risks and what needs attention.

3. How much storage space do you have?

When looking for homes to purchase, storage space is an important but often overlooked asset. You will need somewhere to store your vacuum cleaner, towels and other household items. Are there enough space to build shelves or cabinets? Storage space is often limited in new houses.
4. Which direction does the house go?

It can be difficult to distinguish between a south and north facing garden or house in winter. But it can help you tell the difference when it is dark or sunny. You might be able to bring a compass along with you to property viewings. Bi-fold doors are very popular. However, in the summer the solar gain can make the room too warm so it’s best to go and visit the room when the sun is out.
5. Are the rooms large enough to meet your needs?

New home builders often put smaller furniture in their rooms to make them appear larger. Warning! If you assume that you won’t need to buy new furniture immediately after you move in, how will your existing furniture fit into the space?

6. Are you being fooled by staging

Sellers with homes for sale, use cleverly placed mirrors, strategically lit rooms, delicious scents, cozy fires, and new licks of painting to enhance their homes. Although it’s great to feel like you can just move in, try to be objective. If they have any furniture that makes the space feel cluttered, take pictures and ask them what they are doing with it. It can take years to replace perfect light fittings.
7. Are the window frames covered in cracking paint? Is the double glazing intact?

The condition of the exterior window frames is an important thing to inspect when buying a house. This is a good indicator of the condition of the house. If people have invested in these frames and taken care of them, it will be a sign of how well the rest of the house has been maintained. They are usually rotten if you can push your finger into a wooden window frame. Double-glazed windows that have condensation between them are considered faulty. A registered inspector must install new windows. This certificate is often accompanied by guarantees. Ask your inspector if this is true.
8. What is the age of your roof?

Replacing a roof can be costly. Newer roofs, depending on their materials, have a lifespan of 15-20 years.

If the roof is flat or almost flat, make sure you check the material it was sealed with. A membrane is more effective than asphalt or gravel which can leave edges and seams unsealed.

9. Is there enough power? In what condition?

Bad wiring can lead to serious injuries, and it can be costly to rewire your home. You should also inspect the fuse board. This is often a sign of the condition of the wiring, but a survey can confirm if it requires replacing. It is worth noting that having enough plug points can be a selling point in today’s increasingly tech-driven world.
10. Are the pipes in good working order?

To check the water pressure, run the taps. Check to see if the pipes have been insulated. If they are, you will need to replace them. Are the radiators working? Is the boiler still in good condition? The hot water tank may be located in the roof. It will likely need to be replaced quickly.
11. Are the properties sound-proofed adequately?

Ask the seller to turn down the radio or TV so you don’t hear the neighbours.
12. What is the attic like?

The attic is often overlooked by people, but it is an important area of the house. Is it easy to access? How much storage is there? Is it possible to convert it into additional rooms? Does it have insulation? Insulation can make a big difference in your winter comfort and bills.
13. How is the area?

Is there a pub, bar, or kebab shop near you that gets rowdy at night?
Are you able to walk to the shops and get a pint? Or do you need to drive?
Is it easy for me to use public transport?
Is there noise from nearby roads and trains?
Are you on a flight path?
Is there a dump nearby?
Is it difficult to get out of your driveway at school?
Is your property in a conservation zone?

Do you feel at home in it? Google street view allows you to see the entire area from the comfort of your home.

You can arrange another viewing at a different time and explore the area more if you like a property. Take someone with you if you can. They might be able see things that you aren’t.
Virtual viewing

Virtual viewings can be recorded or live with an agent or owner. You should be patient if it’s a live session. Ask lots of questions, and ask for the inside of the cupboards, fuse board, and boiler. It is important to examine the frames of the windows and the view from the window. It may be difficult to get a feel for the area and the neighborhood. Google Street View is able to help. Google Street View can be accessed via Google Maps to get a feel for the area and how it has changed in time.