If you are looking at property for sale in London, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the choice available – this is very normal and expected. At Strutt and Parker, they have many years’ experience within the housing sector and will always be glad to help match you up with the property of your dreams. To help make the process a little less daunting, we have put together some tips and questions you should ask when you are viewing properties, to help you decide whether you are looking at a good deal or not.
When You Arrive At Property
It’s wise not to view a property alone, as having a second pair of eyes will help you to stay grounded and may spot something you don’t see. Once you arrive, take some time to look at the building from the outside before going in and look around for any problems there may be with regards to parking or neighbours.
Ask the Basics First
Before you even start walking round the property, ask the estate agent the basics. Ask about the cost of council tax and other utilities; get as exact numbers if possible. Also ask if the owner has had any work completed on the property and if they have proof of the appropriate warranties and approvals. Make sure you ask how secure the property is and if there have been any break-ins and what the neighbours are like. The answers to these basics may help decide whether you want to buy the property or not, even before you see it.
Taking a Closer Look
When you begin walking round and looking at the property, keep your nose and eyes open for signs of mildew or mould. Check the property for cracks and any signs of water damage. Make sure you look at the heating system and boiler and check to see if it is noisy. Inspect the wiring to see if it is safe and modern or if there any issues. If any of the curtains are closed, open them to check the views from each room, ensuring that the lights are off so you know what the natural daylight levels are like.
When you walk into each room, and either imagine it empty (if it isn’t already) or full of your own furniture. Ask what, if any, of the fittings and fixtures are included in the property’s selling price. Make sure you run all the taps and shower and be aware of any smells that could indicate blocked drains.
Also ask the estate agent if you can see any outbuildings and gardens included in the asking price. Spend a bit of time checking the outside of the building for any evidence of leaning, damaged or missing bricks, rotting window frames and cracks.
Consider the Location
Make a note of the direction that the property and any connected gardens are facing and if you have the chance, visit the property at different times of the day to have a look at the natural light levels.
It is also sensible to spend time walking round the neighbourhood so you can get a feel for the area and check how far away the local amenities and schools are. If possible, try and visit the area during rush hour to see how bad the traffic is.