Red Squirrel Property Shop

We have put together a list of things to look out for when viewing a property. When viewing a property its easy to be distracted by decor and views, many main aspects of a property get overlooked and can end up costing a lot of money and issues to rectify down the line. Its important to remain openminded when at a viewing, don't be afraid to look around in depth and ask questions to the estate agent. The agent carrying out the viewing will usually have a good understanding of the property and if there is anything they aren't sure of ask them to find out and get back to you.


  1. Structural condition

 Look out for obvious signs of cracking, crumbling walls or bulging on the exterior and interior walls, you should however expect to see some hairline cracks which is totally normal. You want to look for issues that you can ask your estate agent about right away and potentially ask your surveyor to investigate.


  1. The roof

 Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive repair jobs you will need to carry out on a property. Therefore, its important to check the condition and find out when the roof was last replaced. The average lifespan of a roof is around 15-20 years.


  1. Signs of damp

 The main sign of damp is black spots/patches, mouldy smell and watermarked walls and ceilings. If you are viewing an older property, it’s important to understand that they commonly have damp issues, and they can be solved. It may be difficult at first glance but try not to confuse condensation with damp. Condensation can build up behind large items of furniture like wardrobes and beds that have been pushed up against a wall in an under ventilated area or room.


  1. Windows

 If the property is single glazed, bear in mind that even if they are in good condition they will allow a lot more noise into the property and will not retain heat as well as double or triple glazed.

If the property has double/triple glazing, check to see if any of them have blown. To do this look to see if any liquid has built up at the bottom between the glass panels or if there are any watermarks on the inside of the panels. These can normally be replaced easily and relatively inexpensive, however it is an added cost you may need to consider.


  1. Floors

 You want the floors to feel stable and level. When walking around the property take notice of any dips or bumps you feel in the floor, also does the floor feel spongy/bouncy.


  1. Gas/electric meters, fuse box & boiler

These run your home so it’s important to check whether they are up to scratch! Check where these are and check their condition. You’ll want these to be in a place that’s easily accessible and in good condition. If you can, try to find out when they were fitted or how old they are…the newer the better!


  1. EPC rating

 An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a legal document which provides you the details of the property’s energy efficiency rating in relation to the properties running costs. An EPC rating is on an A-G scale with G being the lowest and A being the highest. The higher the rating the better efficiency of the house. The EPC rating should be displayed on the property listing; however, your estate agent will know.


  1. Storage space

 This is an area that is always overlooked when people view a property. Whether you’re a hoarder or a minimalist, everyone needs storage space. Have a look around for pre-existing storage areas like airing cupboards, under stairs, the attic and look for areas where storage could potentially be fitted.


  1. Garden/Outdoors

 See what condition the garden is in and how much work would need to be done to it. A few weeds and the odd dead plant are nothing to fuss over. If the garden is extremely overgrown, don’t be too worried as this can be rectified pretty quickly by using a landscaping company who can normally come in, dig everything up, take it all away and lay new grass in the matter of a few days however this is not a cheap service. Even if you do the work yourself you still need to take into consideration the extra time and effort as well as the cost of hiring tools and removals.


  1. Do you like it

 Everyone has a checklist they look for when looking at properties online which is great, however try not to get put off viewing a property that ticks all the boxes apart from 1. If you ask any homeowner, they will more than likely say that they compromised on something in their home because it ‘felt right’ when they viewed it.

When your viewing a property, if you can picture yourself living in that home and impulsively start imagining where your furniture would go, that’s a pretty good indicator that you’ve found a contender.