Viewing houses for the first time can be very exciting as the possibility of what could be, begins to look like a reality for the first time.

When viewing properties, it’s important you don’t get too carried away. It can be helpful to take a friend or family member along to the viewings for a second opinion that is free of any emotion.

Where to look for properties on the market

  • Online - estate agents websites, Rightmove, Zoopla 
  • Local newspapers
  • Driving around and looking for sale boards
  • Property developers - show homes
  • Auctions

But before you start viewing properties, it’s a good idea to write a list of all the requirements you want from your house, aka, your wish list! This might include some of the following:

  • Kitchen-diner
  • Downstairs W.C
  • Off-road parking
  • Garden
  • Near to local shops

This way, you can weigh a property up on paper and decide whether you think it could be right for you, before you book a viewing.

What to look out for

How does the local area look?

  • Is it peaceful or is it quite a busy, built-up area?
  • Have a trial run of your commute to work - how long does it take you?
  • Are the transport links good?
  • Are you nearby to local shops?
  • Is there a high crime rate?
  • How close are you to local schools and nurseries?
  • What is the parking like? Not only during the day, but in the evening when everyone has returned home from work

How does the property look?


  • Is there off-road parking?
  • Is the house south-facing for the sun?
  • Is there a garden?
  • How secure does the house look? Alarm, gates, floodlights, double glazing windows etc.
  • Can you see any cracks in the walls?
  • Can you see any mould or damp?
  • Does the guttering look in good condition?
  • Does the neighbour’s house look well-kept?


  • What energy rating is the property?
  • What heating system is in place?
  • How much will the council tax be?
  • Can you see any mould or damp?
  • Are the rooms big enough for your needs i.e. storage space?

Overall, you want to see how far the property meets your wish list.

Don’t worry too much about keeping a lookout for any structural problems - these types of things will be picked up on the survey (if you choose to have one) but you could look out for obvious signs of things such as damp and large cracks down the centre of walls.

Then, once you’ve found a house that meets all your needs, and you have your Decision in Principle (DIP) , you’re ready to make an offer!

Have you read our article on buying alone for the first time? Whether you're buying alone or with someone else, this article highlights the key areas you need to think about before buying.

For further information about buying for the first time, please get in touch with the friendly team at Mortgage Advice Bureau today. Our advisers can arrange appointments either over the telephone or face to face, whatever suits you best.

Important information

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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