Begin your inspection before you go inside
When you arrive at the property, take time to walk around. Check out the condition of the brickwork and look for cracks, but don't just look at the walls, examine what you can see of the roof for missing tiles and broken guttering. While you are outside look at any fencing and whether it will need replacing. It’s also worth looking at the condition of the dive and external paths.
Should you make an offer for the property, you will of course have it surveyed but your initial observations of its external condition will help you decide whether to make that offer or not.
Inside the property
Take your time. No matter how much the owner or agent may try to rush you, you should look in every nook and cranny. Potentially, you will be spending a lot of money on the property so you need to make sure it's right for you.
Try before you buy
You may not think to do this but open every door and window, don’t assume everything will be in good condition so make sure to test it out.
Carefully check under the sink, look for any signs of leaks or drips, and take a torch with you to have a look in darker areas like under the stairs.
Ask to see inside the loft. If it has been altered in any way to include a permanent staircase or a habitable room ask to see the building regulations approval. If the homeowner can't produce this it is probable the work was done without approval.
Unapproved work could be sub-standard and could even invalidate insurance. This also applies to any extension on the property so always ask to see the paperwork.
Check the plumbing
Run the taps and check to see how quickly the water heats up as well as checking the pressure. Also ask the homeowner to turn the heating on. Check it works in every room but pay particular attention to cold spots or whether there are rooms without heating.
Ask plenty of questions
The more information you have the easier it will be to work out if this is the home for you. Ask the homeowner:
- Why are you moving?
- What are your neighbours like?
- Has the property been extended in any way?
- What is the council tax?
- How much do you pay in energy costs?
After the viewing
It is worth remembering finding a new home isn't just about the property. Take a look around the neighbourhood, check out the local shops, schools etc.
A good tip is to visit the area in the evening and at a weekend. You may discover the reason the homeowner is selling up isn't to downsize but to get away from the thrash metal band which practice next door every Saturday night.
But hopefully the property is exactly what you are looking for and the neighbourhood is perfect. It's time to put in an offer and arrange a mortgage.
Mortgage advice in Newcastle
Finding the right mortgage can be as difficult and time-consuming as finding the right property. With so many mortgages to choose from and every lender claims theirs is the right one for you, it can be confusing knowing what to do.
If you’re a homeowner with an existing mortgage do you continue with your current arrangement or look for a better deal? If you’re buying your first home and looking for a mortgage - where do you start?
Fortunately, Mortgage Advice Bureau are here to help. When you‘re looking for mortgage advice in Newcastle, you want to be able to talk to an expert adviser in person. Someone who will take the time to understand your unique personal circumstances and who will find the right mortgage for you.
Our expert advisers have access to 12,000 different mortgages from many different lenders. We’re able to sort through all these different products and find the one which is the right fit for you and your financial circumstances, and our mortgage adviser can see you either in our Newcastle offices or can arrange to visit you in an evening at your own home.