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Smart House Hunting

Known as The Home Genie on Instagram, Georgina Burnett has created a helpful guide to assist people purchasing their next home.

Her list of considerations when viewing a property for the first time includes the following:

Make a list

It’s worth investing a bit of time in making some notes or doing a spreadsheet if you’re planning on viewing several properties. Prioritise them by marking them out of ten and arrange viewings on the ones you like the most first. It’s worth seeing as many as you can on 1-2 days to help you compare them.

In situ research

Drive by the property at different times of the day, to see what the traffic’s like and to work out how long it would take to get to the station / school / work. Turning up for just one viewing on a weekday morning won’t give you enough information.

It’s also worth walking around the area to get a good feel for it, and to chat to some of the neighbours to get some honest feedback on the road and surrounding area.

Important things to check for

  • Damp – look out for mould, flaking plaster, bubbling wallpaper and waterworks on walls or ceilings. If you spot any of these things it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the property but it’s worth getting it checked out before you start negotiating.
  • Cracks – hairline cracks are to be expected but major ones can be a sign of subsidence and a full structural survey will be required. There is always likely to be a solution, it might just be a costly one and this may need to be factored into the price you pay.
  • Trees – if there’s a tree near the property, its roots are likely to be about three times as long as the height of the tree and will be sucking water out of the ground. So, a tree within 20 feet may case a problem.

Modernising the property

You may want to consider making it more open plan, which can be done really easily and cost-effectively by removing any stud walls – just tap the wall to see if it sounds hollow which will tell you if it’s a weight bearing wall or a stud wall.

If the kitchen’s outdated, but the layout is fine, check inside the cupboards to see if the carcasses are in good condition then you only need replace the doors and get a new worktop.

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