Top Things to Keep an Eye Out For on a Property Viewing

News at Musker McIntyre | 09/12/2021

Buying a house, whether it’s your first home or you’re upgrading to a bigger property, is
probably the biggest spend most of us will make in our lifetime. But we make the decision
based on just 20-30 minutes in one or two viewings of the property. Most homebuyers get it
right and are very happy, but there are some that live to regret it.

The current Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t helped the situation over the past two years either. In
fact, some people who needed to move and weren’t able to wait had to make the decision
based on virtual viewings – nightmare! Most of us will have thought of something we should
have checked or asked at the viewing once we’ve left a potential new home. So, when you
read that advert and think that’s the house for me, then book a viewing, what do you need to
consider on a property viewing?
1. Is it big enough?
A principal reason for moving house for many is the need for more space. So, as you’re
walking round the house, imagine your furniture in each room. If you’re not sure, take a tape
measure with you, note down the measurements of each room and compare with the rooms
in your current house.
2. Check for power points
This might seem like an obvious one but make sure there are enough power points in each
room for your array of electrical items and gadgets, particularly in the kitchen. Count them as
you’re going round. While you’re there, ask where the fuse board is and have a look at it; if it
looks old, there is a possibility you may be looking at a new one in the future.
3. Is there enough storage space?
Sometimes you can never have enough storage but there are also houses that don’t have
enough. Think about where to store away the hoover, brooms and brushes, the ironing

board and other items. Do the bedrooms have built-in wardrobes or will you need to get free
standing cupboards, which will take up floor space? Does the kitchen have plenty of
4. Check for cracks and damp
As you’re walking round, keep an eye out for any hairline cracks in the walls, around door
frames and windows, and where any extensions join the house. Don’t forget to check the
outside walls as well. Also look out for any signs of damp, such as flaky plaster or
watermarks on walls and ceilings. If you see anything like this, talk to the agent and your
surveyor. It might be an old leak that’s been repaired but the room hasn’t been repainted, or
its historic, natural movement, particularly if the property is old.
5. Is it north, south, east or west-facing?
You might not think this matters much and to some, it doesn’t, but if you want a sunny
garden in the afternoon and a house full of light and the warmth from the sun, or to avoid
bearing the brunt of harsh weather, it does make a difference. If you’re not sure which way it
faces, ask the owners or use a compass app on your mobile device. The way it faces can
also make a difference if there are solar panels fitted; the more light they receive, the more
impact it will have on your heating bills.
6. Check the double-glazing
Check the double-glazing and the window frames, if they are wooden. If there’s any rotting
frames or condensation between the panes of glass, they are damaged and let in air. This
will affect your heating bills and they will need to be replaced. Check with the owners the age
of the double-glazing; if they’re not that old and faulty, they may still be covered by a
warranty or guarantee.
7. Look at the roof
Roofs are expensive to repair or replace, so check the property’s roof, particularly flat roofs.
Are there any tiles missing? How is the flat roof sealed? Older flat roofs were sealed using
gravel or asphalt but that left the edges and any seams unsealed, which could cause
problems. Most modern flat or nearly flat roofs are sealed with a membrane.
8. Check the plumbing
Don’t be afraid to run a tap in the bathroom or kitchen and check the water is running
consistently and clear. If viewing in the winter, it's easy to check the radiators are working.
Ask about pipes – are they insulated and make sure they are not lead pipes; if they are, they
will need to be replaced. Also ask where the water tank is located and the age of the boiler.
All of these items are expensive to replace.
9. Is there an attic?

Not every property has an attic, such as flats, but if there is one, ask if it is insulated and or
boarded. This will make a big difference to your annual heating bills. In addition, look out for
access to the attic and where it is located – you may be thinking that you could convert into
an extra room in the future.
10. Is there parking?
Not every property has off-road parking in front of the house. If there is a specific area where
residents park, ask about the number of parking spaces allocated to the property and if there
is any visitor parking available. If there is parking on the drive of the house, measure it and
make sure your car will fit. There’s been plenty of stories where a car hasn’t fitted into the
garage or is too wide for the driveway. If there’s no parking available, ask the owners about
parking in the area.
There’s a lot to think about when viewing a property, so don’t be afraid to write a list and
note down the answers to your questions so that you can review them at a later date before
you make a decision.
Musker McIntyre is a leading independent, multi-faceted property agent in the heart of East
Anglia, predominantly covering Norfolk and Suffolk. They have a wealth of experience
marketing a wide variety of properties with a proven track record as experts dealing in sales,
lettings and property management. Discover how Musker McIntyre can help you sell, buy,
rent or let a property by contacting us for more details.