Making an appointment to view a property is one of those adult steps in life that you’re either
ready for or you’re dreading (because you don’t feel grown-up enough or mentally equipped to
face an estate agent who will instantly realise you’re a lost little lamb hoping to survive this
ordeal). Or, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a mixture of all of those feelings, only to be
met by an estate agent who forgot the keys and wasn’t interested in the sale anyway and told
me to just look through the windows to see what I thought. That. Actually. Happened. And I went
along with it as a first timer. But hey, we live and learn.
Before we move on, asbestos exposure is no laughing matter and should be at the top of
everyone’s checklist when purchasing a property. Make sure you take the proper advice – don’t
risk your life where asbestos is involved.
You need a survey
Do you know how to spot whether a building is structurally sound? Probably not. That’s why you
need a survey. Most of the time, the estate agent will help to organise such things as there are
legal implications. Be sure to pay attention. Any minor issues now could mean major fixes down
the line at considerable cost.
North / South
Which way does the house face? Depending on which hemisphere you’re in, you need to get
this right. Buying a house that benefits from sunlight warmth in the winter and as opposed to a
house that is dark and miserable most of the year round is a consideration that can be hard to
appreciate in the process of a viewing. But you’re going to have to live there. Make sure you do
the research and purchase the house that’s going to work with the sun no matter the season.
Lights, camera, distraction
Staging is where the seller floods the house with the smell of freshly baked cookies, with maybe
a crackling fire and mirrors placed everywhere to create the impression of space. If you walk
into a house that looks and feels (and smells) like home, that’s half the battle as far as the seller
is concerned. Don’t be tricked. Ask what is included in the sale (we’re thinking more to do with
the mirrors than the cookies, but you never know, don’t ask don’t get!). Also, beware that things
like light fittings may not be included. You must make sure you’re not being swindled.