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The process of buying a home can be a long and stressful one so when you do finally decide to put an offer on a house, you need to be certain that it’s the right house. How can you be sure you’ve found the right property? By taking your time when viewing a home and asking the right questions. You’d be surprised at some of the questions people forget to ask and end up regretting it months down the line when they discover something about the home that they don’t like.
To make sure that you find the property most suitable for you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 questions that are definitely worth asking when viewing a property.
How long has the property been on the market?
A great place to start as it can give you a good insight into the property immediately. If a property has been up for sale for nearly a year, you might want to think about why no one has picked it up so far. Houses that have been on the market for a long time aren't always a sign of something sinister, but knowing how long it has been on the market does give you a little more perspective and is a good starting point to any viewing.
How much interest has there been?
This is a good follow up question to the previous. Especially if you think you’ve found your dream home. If there have been a lot of viewings or even a couple of offers then you know straight away that you need to act quickly.
How long have the current owners been here?
When viewing a property, most people are thinking long-term and looking for a home they can see themselves in for years to come, so it’s worth finding out if the previous owners did just that. If there have been multiple owners in and out of the property over the last 5 years, then you need to think, why?
Have there been any recent repairs or renovations?
What you have to keep in mind when viewing a property is that you’re most likely viewing it in its cleanest and brightest state. The current owners are trying to sell this home and to do that they’ll do their best to wow you at every opportunity. Try not to simply glance at the rooms and move on, ask questions about the state of the home, have there been any repairs recently? Will the home need any repairs in the future? If you’re making an investment, you want to know.
What’s included in the sale?
While you wouldn’t expect the seller to leave behind their 60 inch HD TV, some of the items in the home may be left behind. This mainly applies to the kitchen area and items such as cookers, washers, dryers. It’s best to ask what’s included with the home so you know what extra purchases you’ll need to make if you end up buying the home.
Can we test the plumbing and electrics?
Sellers may not make you aware of any electrical or plumbing issues so it would be best to check everything is in working order. Check the water pressure and try turning all of the lights on and off. This doesn’t mean that you should consider any faults with electrics and plumbing as deal breakers, but you need to know exactly what needs fixing.
What’s the neighbourhood like?
You can take a walk around the area yourself and get a feel for things, but a good agent should know the area pretty well and be able to give you more information. Ask about the local schools, shops and if there has been any major changes in the area recently. After all, you’re not just investing in the home, you’re also investing in the neighbourhood itself.
What transportation links do we have easy access to?
If you or members of your family need to use public transport, find out about the transport links. How far away are the train stations and bus stops? How frequently do they run in this area? If you’re going to be using public transport daily, you need to know if the commute from your new home is suitable.
How is traffic during rush hour?
For those of you that get around the city in a car, finding out how easy it would be to get from point A to point B during peak times could be quite important. If you need to drop the kids off at school and try and get to work before 9:00 am, it’s best to find out how much of a challenge that will be on a daily basis.
Can we book another viewing?
If you make it through the viewing and still feel positive, ask if you can come back again at a different time of day to see if you feel the same. Try visiting when it’s less bright when the property looks less like a show home or when the area is less quiet during rush hour and find out whether noise could be an issue.