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First time I've ever viewed a house - help!

(51 Posts)
OttersPocket Fri 13-Sep-13 14:41:54


DP and I have finally managed to get a mortgage in principal, we have our deposit sorted, all we need to do now is find a house to buy!

It's a very competitive market where we are and 'first time' houses sell like hotcakes. We're going to view one this evening but having never bought property before I feel a bit overwhelmed.

The house owners are doing the viewing. It's a 3 bed mid-terrace with an attic conversion. So, what do I need to ask? What should I look out for? I'm in Scotland so I have read the home report etc. Any tips gratefully received!

NigelMolesworth Fri 13-Sep-13 14:53:00

Sounds stupid but look at everything carefully!

Try to ignore furniture and any strange/overwhelming decor - look at walls, floors, window frames etc. If the room is very full of stuff, the ceiling is a good indicator of room size.

Look for damp, weird electrics.

Inspect the roof - are there tiles missing? Does it have a bow in the middle?

Are there signs of water running down the outer walls from badly aligned drains etc.

Have things been well maintained? ie are the kitchen cupboard doors all on straight and well fixed?

Don't know much about Scottish house buying, but in England, you'd want to double check what is included? Ovens, dishwasher, shed??

Also, once you've been shown round by vendors, see if you can wander around on your own. Do you really want to live there? Can you imagine yourself living there? Never underestimate gut instinct!!

Have fun!

mistlethrush Fri 13-Sep-13 15:04:55

In addition...

Look for cracks - particularly in gable walls or top or bottom of windows.

Check where the power points are and whether there are enough.

Will the kitchen units need replacing (do check, don't go on what they look like from the outside - ours turned out to be very old but painted quite nicely - luckily they've lasted pretty well.

Look for paint on the walls that looks bubbly - might be damp.

OttersPocket Fri 13-Sep-13 16:14:18

Thanks for the guidance - really helpful!

Fingers crossed it's a good one...

Zoe789 Fri 13-Sep-13 17:27:15

If you think there's even a chance you might put in an offer, take pictures. I am about to move in (next week I hope) and it has been so useful to look back at the photos I took.

NigelMolesworth Fri 13-Sep-13 18:27:33

How did you get on? (nosey emoticon)

gindrinker Sat 14-Sep-13 15:31:41

Remember you don't have to make a decision on one viewing.
If you like it, go back... Think about it with your sensible head on. Drive past it at various times, check bus routes/parkings/schools/how long it'll take to get to work etc etc

OttersPocket Sat 14-Sep-13 19:51:06

Hi folks,

So DP and I viewed on Friday and fell a little bit in love with the house. It's perfect for our needs - structurally sound (I'll be getting a full survey though), spacious, great garden etc. It needs completely redecorated being very. very dated but we could take our time and really make it 'ours' over the next few years. I went for a second viewing this afternoon and took my parents who also think it's a good buy. We've checked out local schools (we're TTC at the moment), know the area pretty well etc.

I told the sellers I would contact my solicitor on Monday to make an offer and they seemed happy with this. I'm in Scotland and it's fixed priced so I'm hoping (and hoping and hoping) that it's accepted...

We're first time buyers and pretty clueless about the whole process (fortunately we have a great mortgage broker who is explaining everything to us) so it's all very nerve wracking! Wish us luck smile

Zoe678 Sat 14-Sep-13 20:00:23

Oh it's so exciting! I hope they accept your offer! I viewed a house end of May and I'm moving next week. Don't panic if when the survey comes back the house seems a wreck. There are always long lists of things that could be better.

OttersPocket Sat 14-Sep-13 20:17:56

Thanks Zoe. I really didn't appreciate how stressful the whole process could be. I knew it wouldn't be easy but my emotions are all over the place!

Congratulations on the move smile

Zoe678 Sat 14-Sep-13 20:26:48

Thanks! Yes, so stressful, but the stress is nearly over, because the uncertainty will be gone and then it'll just be hard work! have to assemble bunk beds and hundreds of other laborious and practical tasks! it's SO hard not to get emotionally invested into the place. but try!. This time last year I was just licking my wounds when I had to pull out of a sale, the survey came back and the house was more like a favela than a house. Anyway, this house is solid, but even it had a few issues. I bought a French Enamel house number before the this house even went sale agreed! I knew that was a risk, and it's not like I could use it for another house confused but for some reason I did it anyway. I had a feeling this time.

OttersPocket Sat 14-Sep-13 22:52:38

Zoe that's such a good story - but yes, it's impossible not to become emotionally invested. Whilst the seller was talking to me (over a cup of coffee, a good sign no?!), I was mentally re-decorating the living room! I absolutely have not been googleing plasterers in the area etc wink

NigelMolesworth Sun 15-Sep-13 16:35:21

Great news! Good luck for tomorrow. I will have my fingers crossed for you.

Nat38 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:08:15

Good luck for tomorrow!!!
The house I fell in love with was a 3 bedroom terraced house, the feeling of the house just felt so right!! There were 2 or 3 other houses that were so much better-semi-detatched, not so much work needed etc.
22 years & 2 children later I am still in the same/first house I fell in love with & bought!!

Zoe678 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:26:32

Yes, good luck, let us know if your offer is accepted!

Zoe678 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:29:57

That's brilliant Nat38. Is semi-detached better? I prefer terraced myself. There is a mixture of terrace and semi on the road I'm moving to and the semis are all more expensive but not bigger, or not signifcantly bigger The house I'm moving to is a 3bed terrace as well and I'm so looking forward to living in a house that might be slightly less freezing than rental house, I spent last winter with a north face coat on, inside! I know other people might live in bigger grander detached houses but to quote Kirsty and Phil, this terrace will be my "forever home".

Zoe678 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:33:47

Good luck tomorrow OP, let us know if your offer is accepted!

OttersPocket Sun 15-Sep-13 19:40:35

Thanks everyone, I'm poised to called my solicitor at 8.30am!

Zoe, it's the same set-up with the street I'm looking at - a mixture of terraced and semi-detached but with no real difference in internal size. Only difference is the price. And the house we are offering on is on offer for a very decent amount - just the decor which leaves a lot to be desired wink

I'll let you know how we get on!

Zoe678 Sun 15-Sep-13 20:36:50

I think terraces are a bargain. Moving from a semi to a terrace and the BER rating is much better in the terrace house, so I look forward to spending less on central heating. grin

Zoe678 Sun 15-Sep-13 20:39:44

Well "bargain" might not be quite the right word.

Update us at 8.45 smile

CinnamonAddict Mon 16-Sep-13 07:48:12

Good luck today.
We bought our first house (Victorian 3 bed terrace) privately. We went round the streets we loved and put notes through the door of those houses we could see ourselves living in. One couple replied, they were thinking of selling, we viewed, loved the house, bought and moved in 8 weeks later.
Now I know this is fairytale land for most housebuyers. It was just so perfect.
We sold and moved 6 years later (after dc3) and the stress was unbelievable. Luckily we are now in a house we could be in forever. It was a wreck, but in a lovely street and the location could not be better for our needs.
I remember the builders' comments when I said I want it presentable by Christmas. One said "next year's or the year after?"

I hope you get the house!

macskater Mon 16-Sep-13 08:06:54

Have you checked the factor fees? Have these been mentioned at all? I've heard of cases where these are prohibitively expensive.

OttersPocket Mon 16-Sep-13 09:02:14

Thanks for all your stories and luck-wishing!

I called my advisor at 8.30am and he is calling the sellers lawyers at 9am to make the offer. Eek - very scary and exciting!

Mac - no factors fees at this property.

NigelMolesworth Mon 16-Sep-13 09:31:56

Here - have a brew and cake while you wait!!

OttersPocket Mon 16-Sep-13 11:46:40

Oooooh look, my thread is in 'discussions of the day' grin

Still awaiting a phone call though....

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