Property Checklist created in partnership with Perfect Property
Buying a home can be an exhilarating yet daunting experience. No property will be perfect on all fronts, so there are many considerations buyers should keep in mind when viewing a property for the first time.
At Mortgage123, we understand that many of you will be new to the market and at a loss on what exactly to ask an estate agent or seller. We are delighted to have teamed up with Perfect Property to create a go-to guide for viewing properties.
Perfect Property is Ireland’s fastest growing property website, offering smarter property searching tools so you can find exactly what you are looking for faster. We want you to feel confident and comfortable in your decision and feel this guide will point you in the right direction when property hunting.
To make the right decision, you need to get as much information as possible about each property when viewing it. For this reason, you must ask as many questions as possible! Before you set your sights on your potential new home, take a moment to read through our property checklist and learn what to keep an eye out for when making this important decision.
Before the Inspection:
Create a ‘must haves’ list to keep you focused
What do I need from my new property? This is the first question you should ask yourself as a buyer. Creating a list of all the things you need is a great starting point when buying a home for the first time. Bring the list with you and be reminded of exactly what you want from your future home.
Check out the area & nearby amenities
You can change the size of your house, but you can’t change the location. One of the most important factors when buying a home is location. Don’t just decide about the home itself but look at the neighborhood where it is located and what amenities are available nearby. Buy in a neighborhood you can see a future in.
Take a moment to do a planning search
The purpose of the planning search is to get the full planning history of a property. The planning process is an open and transparent one. You can freely access all planning documentation through your local Council’s office or through the Council’s website. Planning searches involve a detailed examination of all previous planning applications to ensure that there are no unauthorized developments.
During the Inspection:
Ask as many questions as you need
Make sure you ask the estate agent as many questions as possible before deciding to buy a home. The agent or seller holds a wealth of knowledge on the property and their answers can be telling.
Learn about the house’s history
One of the first question you should ask the estate agent is why the owner is selling. A genuine fear when buying is that you are missing out on some negative factor that the owner and agent know about. Ask critical questions and get to know the history of the property well.
Ask about certified heating
Ask the estate agent about the Building Energy Rating (BER) of the dwelling. Having a look at the BER certificate can provide you with important information on the construction type, heating, ventilation systems and renewables of the property you are purchasing.
Use your ears to check noise levels
Listen out for noise while you are walking around the property. Anti-social behavior and noise pollution can be a nuisance in the evenings and late at night when you’re sleeping. Actively listen to your surroundings and raise the question of noise levels to the seller.
Be on the lookout for mould
Most mould is unmissable. However, small, or hidden growths can be mistaken for just a dirty surface. Dap areas such as bathrooms and basements are great breeding grounds for mould. Mould growth in residential buildings can pose as a health hazard, so have a look around window frames, walls and corners for any mould or mildew occurrences.
Test the water pressure
One of the most important considerations when buying a home is checking the water pressure. It is not the most obvious thing to check when roaming around a property but can prove a costly fix if any issues are present in the system. Check the pressure in the kitchen, bathrooms, and showers for an accurate representation of water pressure.
Determine how much light gets in (throughout the day)
The general lighting of the building is important as it creates a warm and bright atmosphere in a home. Naturally well-lit homes improve mood and good natural lighting makes a room feel less cramped. Pay attention to how the light spreads around the rooms and where most of the house’s natural light originates.
Remember that square footage isn’t everything
Size doesn’t always matter when it comes to purchasing a home. Not all square feet are created equal when it comes to your home’s layout. Consider wasted space within hallways, if rooms are awkwardly shaped or enjoyable to live in. You want the square footage to be allocated to the rooms you spend the most time in, such as the kitchen, sitting room and bedroom.
Be critical about the property, if it has red flags then walk away
It’s easy to become emotional when viewing a property, especially if you find a home you’ve instantly fallen in love with. Take a minute to gather yourself and look critically around the space. Don’t get caught up in the bigger picture and miss out on the things that matter when choosing your future home.
Understand your full costs by accounting for renovation (if needed)
Ask yourself how much work does the house need? If you want a home with relatively low renovation costs – do yourself a favor and buy a property which has been well maintained over the years. Unexpected renovations can break budgets, so take into consideration how much money the property would need to bring it up to your living standard.
Look for opportunities to add value to the property
If you want to know how to add value to your potential home, you need to consider ways to add instant interior appeal to the property. Does it have space for an extension? Could you add a new kitchen or give your home’s exterior a facelift? If you’re not tempted by large scale projects, consider small ways the value could be improved in the future.
Now that you know what to look out for when viewing a property, it’s time to start your search! Perfect Property’s website is the ideal place to find a property, with easy access search options to help you find what you are looking for quickly.
*Bring a printed version of our guide with you to your first viewing. Download here.*