10 questions to ask when viewing a house

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As a housebuilder we know a thing or two about advising customers on the home buying journey.

When looking for a new house, whether it be one of our stunning new build homes, or a second hand property, it’s important to ask lots of questions. Although, if you’re a first time buyer it can be hard to know what to ask. 

Here’s our top 10 questions for you to ask when buying a house. 

1. Will the insurance be affordable?

Insurance is an important considerations when viewing a house. 

New build homes, like ours, often come with lower insurance costs because they're built to stricter safety standards, making them generally less risky for insurance companies to cover.

Innovations in plumbing and wiring systems have really benefitted modern homes, but older properties may face challenges due to outdated materials, increased wear and tear, or even the inability to handle modern demands like high-powered appliances.

2. Is it structurally sound?

When buying a secondhand house, wear and tear is a factor to consider. It’s worth looking to see if there’s any damage to the plastering, as this may be a sign of structural issues. 

Even if the cracks appear to be initially small, they could potentially broaden in the future.

If the cracks are wider than 5mm, you should price up a survey and building work before buying the house.

Or better yet - consider buying a new build home from Avant, which offers much more reliable structural integrity. 

3. Is there any damp in the property?

If you’re viewing a secondhand home, test the floorboards during your viewing. If they sink, the floor may be rotten and need replacing. This can be a sign of longer-term dampness in the property, which is a potentially pricey issue to fix. 

Also, lookout for any smells, patches on the walls, and mould, as these can also be signs of a wider damp issue. 

A new home is… new! So it’s very unlikely that there will be any issues with damp or mould. 

4. Is this a home you can grow into?

When moving into a new home, don’t just think about the amount of space you’ll need now, but also consider your plans for the next few years.

Are you thinking about having kids? Do you currently have a passion project you’d like to take to the next level?

You might want to consider getting a property with a spare room, and spacious living areas, that you can customise when you need to.

5. Does the boiler work ok?

The average boiler lasts for 15 years, so you should always check the make and model installed during a viewing. 

Replacing a boiler is a lengthy and expensive process, and it’s kinder to your budget to buy a house with a few years left on its heating system or, even better, a brand new Avant home with a new, modern boiler!

6. Is the attic insulated well?

Heat rises, and the last thing you want is your warmth to dissipate out of the roof. Check whether the attic is properly insulated and finished, and watch out for damp up there, too! While you’re viewing, you can also check how much of the attic space is boarded and ready to use for storage.

Luckily, in new build properties, this is not something you’ll have to worry about, as loft insulation and energy efficiency is always a key priority.

7.  Are their draughts?

In a secondhand, older home look for fireplaces, gaps under doors, and faulty sealing around windows if you’re viewing an older property. A draughty house can be a symptom of a larger issue, which may end up costing you later down the line. 

In a new build home, this won't be an issue as our homes are air pressure tested to current regulations to ensure we handover airtight homes. 

8. Does the house hold heat well?

Double or triple glazed windows will be visible to you, but the quality of insulation is a question you should ask the estate agent at your viewing of a secondhand house. 

With new build modern homes, the standards set regarding insultation are far superior to those of older homes. Plus, at Avant, all our homes come with triple glazed windows. 

9. Is there natural light?

South-facing windows provide the most light to your home, while rooms with north-facing windows are darker. Ask the estate agent when viewing a secondhand home how much natural light each room will get seasonally. The last thing you want is to work in a dark home office all day!

10. Have the utilities been checked?

When viewing a secondhand home your estate agent should be able to tell you when the utilities were last checked. 

This isn’t a worry for new build homes, but for older properties, wiring systems should be checked by a professional at least every 10 years and plumbing should be serviced every two years. 

Opting for a new build home is an excellent option for those looking for peace of mind with these common issues, preventing the risk of any nasty surprises later down the line.

If you’d like to arrange a viewing of one of our new build homes, please get in touch and a member of our team will be more than happy to help.