6 important questions to ask when viewing a house

Buying a new house can be a daunting prospect – it can be stressful, time consuming and probably the most expensive thing you will ever buy. Our estate agents have put together a list of questions to ask during a house viewing to help make the process that bit smoother and to help you avoid any nasty surprises.

1. How long has the house been on the market?
Asking this question will help to give you an indication of how sought-after your potential new home is. If it has been on the market for a long time, you need to ask yourself (or your estate agent) why. It could be down to the price putting people off or something out of the seller’s control but it may be something more concerning about the property or the area.

2. What’s the area like?
Although it may be the house of your dreams, it’s important to check out what the area around it is like too. Ask your estate agent what the schools are like and check the crime rate in the area. We would always recommend doing your own independent research on this as well. One great question is to ask your estate agent if they would be happy to live there too…the answer and reaction can be very telling!

3. Is the property listed or located in a conservation area?
Love the rustic, older style of property which is packed with original character features? It’s always worth checking if the building is listed as this could greatly restrict how much you can change the property – for example, windows, doors and walls. If you are planning on doing some renovation work on the building in the future, it would be worth checking to see how much you would be restricted. Similarly, if your dream home is located in a conservation area this will also impact on how much you can extend or change the surroundings of the building.

4. How long have the current owners lived there?
We would always recommend asking your estate agent how long the current owners have lived in the property. The reasons people move out are often varied and personal to their circumstances but if they are moving out after a short period of time, it may be down to neighbourhood problems or issues with the building itself. If possible, try to find out why the previous owners decided to move out.

5. What’s included in the sale?
Your estate agent should explain exactly what is included in the sale of the property. From the garden shed you’ve got your eye on to the greenhouse that could do with a revamp, and down to the fixtures and fittings, once you’ve signed on the dotted line you don’t want to move in expecting to get something included that isn’t. It’s very important you know what you’re getting for your money. Also, don’t forget to ask where the boundaries lie around the property.

6. Have the sellers found their next property?
If they have, they will probably be keen to sell quite quickly so they can get settled in their new home. If not, it may result in a long chain that has the potential to fall through so it is always worth checking this with your estate agent.

Charles Lear & Co. is an award winning estate agency and the longest established independent agency in Cheltenham. The dedicated and friendly team specialise in unique and interesting properties for sale in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire. They are experts in the industry and the local property market.

Looking to buy your dream home in Cheltenham or the surrounding area? Browse the fantastic properties currently available with Charles Lear & Co. here. For more information, call the team on 01242 222722.