3 Questions To Ask During A Property Viewing
Buying a new home is exciting, and it’s easy to get carried away when you start viewing properties. This is especially true thanks to the internet. In the past, a real estate agent would have given you a few details and images, so there wasn’t much to think about before you got inside the property. Today with virtual tours and 3D images, you get a much better idea of what the house is like, and it’s easy to imagine yourself living there before you even book an appointment to see it.
This makes choosing which homes to look at easier, but it also makes the decision harder because you’ll have a biased view before you even get there. That’s why it’s crucial to ask questions when viewing to ensure your heart doesn’t overrule your head on this important – and expensive – decision. Read on to find out more.
1. Is The Roof In Good Condition?
Almost everything you need to see in a property will be available during your viewing. The roof, however, may not be. You won’t necessarily be able to see it from the ground, and it might be hard to get into the attic space to see it from inside. This is why it’s worth asking for information about the condition of the roof. Ask when it was last repaired, whether it leaks and what kind of insulation is there, for example.
Although an older roof might require the services of a roofing contractor once you move in, this is not always a bad thing. It’s a negotiating tool, for example, and if you can save money on the house to put towards fixing the roof, you might even get a bargain. Either way, it’s good to know in advance.
2. Is There Any Damp?
Just like a badly maintained roof, damp in a home can be a big problem. In fact, a leaking roof can lead to damp, so the two are linked in some situations. Damp might not be noticeable in a house that someone currently lives in, so you’ll need to ask about it, or look for subtle signs such as a lot of condensation on the windows, mold growth or water marks. If a house is empty, it will be easier to spot because there will be no furniture in the way and the smell of the damp walls and flooring will be evident.
Damp can cause a lot of issues, and it can even be a structural problem known as rising damp. This could mean having to remove walls and fix foundations, which is problematic, disruptive, and expensive. If you notice damp or are told about damp, it’s worth considering whether the house is really worth the hassle.
3. What Are Those Cracks?
Although there are virtual tours and it is possible to buy a house without ever visiting it, this is not a great idea. Photos and videos can only show you so much, and hairline cracks may not be noticeable at all, until it’s too late.
Of course, some cracks in a property are perfectly natural – they’re caused as the building settles. Others, however, might suggest there is subsidence or another structural problem. It’s worth investigating fully if you see cracks and certainly at least asking what they are caused by.