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Buying a house without viewing

(32 Posts)
goldenshoe Mon 08-Feb-21 12:41:00

Has anyone ever done this with a house they plan to live in? How did it turn out?

I was planning to start looking seriously in late spring/summer when I would be able to go and view but I've been keeping an eye on the market and (of course!) I've seen a great cottage in one of my preferred areas. My finances are already in place to buy so that's not a problem and I've pored over the schedule and virtual viewing and I'm about 95% certain this is a great house for me but I'm currently too far away to view it.

It's possible I could get a friend to go and look at it for me but it's not the same.

I've been keeping an eye on the market since last summer and this is the only place that's come up that I've really loved within budget. Arg!

OP’s posts: |
lastqueenofscotland Mon 08-Feb-21 12:45:21

Honestly I wouldn’t.
You might for no explicable reason absolutely hate it!

trevthecat Mon 08-Feb-21 12:50:42

I absolutely could not spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on something I hadn't even looked at

Ilikewinter Mon 08-Feb-21 12:51:23

As its a cottage im assuming its also old...my concern would be theres a structural or damp etc issue that you cant see from a video. I wouldnt put an offer in without seeing it

dancingbymyself Mon 08-Feb-21 12:52:12

Would you buy a £500 dress without trying it on? smile

ScarletZebra Mon 08-Feb-21 13:01:34

We realised quite early on that houses have a "feel". We lived in a brand new house that never felt like home in all the time we lived there. When we walked into the next one it felt like ours.

We also viewed houses that were perfect on paper but we couldn't wait to get out of, for no reason.

You really need to go and see it.

goldenshoe Mon 08-Feb-21 13:02:32

Thanks for the replies, I think I knew the answer to this one really!

The home report is pretty good, nothing too worrying, and I know the place as have driven past it many times so happy with the location and size. I'm going to try and get an experienced friend to go and look at it for me and maybe do a video call with them as they view.

I banned myself from Rightmove for this very reason - I must work on my willpower.

OP’s posts: |
combatbarbie Mon 08-Feb-21 13:03:32

Ha yes me.... Had seen it on RM and then saw it had been reduced. Realised it was going to auction that week but had fallen in love with it. We knew it would need work. It was on for £249k,auction was starting at bids over £200k but I went in with £180k which was accepted.

We lived in England at the time with work so didn't see it til the day we got the keys 6 weeks later.

As long as your happy with worst case scenario in terms of work doing, anything less is bonus. It was a hell of a risk but I don't regret it for one minute.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Mon 08-Feb-21 13:07:29

I wouldn't. We noticed quickly when viewing it was very easy to make places look bigger and better than they are in real life. Even room dimensions can gloss over things.

Winceybincey Mon 08-Feb-21 13:11:45

Unless it’s at auction I don’t think you’ll be able to. We tried to put an offer in on ours without viewing as time wasn’t on our side however, the estate agent said it’s not allowed, so we had to view.

goldenshoe Mon 08-Feb-21 13:59:28

combatbarbie - now that's what I want to hear! I have room in my budget for unexpected surprises but unfortunately I doubt I'll get a bargain like that!

Aroundtheworldin80movies - I've measured the whole place out against my current home! The only difference is the ceiling height which I know can make things feel smaller but all my furniture will fit comfortably and suits the style too.

Winceybincey - I've not offered yet but have spoken to the agent about my situation and it hasn't cropped up as a problem. I'll ask about that next time we chat though, thanks for the heads up.

OP’s posts: |
TwigTheWonderKid Mon 08-Feb-21 22:28:25

Current rules allow for in person viewings, after initial video viewing. Is the estate agent or vendor not permitting viewings?

HeronLanyon Mon 08-Feb-21 22:33:54

I once nearly bought a property without viewing it. Friend viewed it for me. 300 miles away. She insisted it was great. Said ‘I had to’.
Seller lit his foot down and refused to sell to Anyone who hadn’t seen it. Fear if it falling through. Always thkight he was extremely sensible. Bligh something close which I did get chance to view and only recently walked by that other one and said ‘thank goodness I didn’t buy that’.
Careful op.

Sickofthesoapbox12 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:17:58

Bought both our properties without viewing them in person. One was way before the pandemic but we were living hundreds of miles away. When we got the keys it was disgusting but we planned to redecorate and throughly clean anyway.

Second time was during the first lockdown. I had to move for work which was decided way before the pandemic kicked off. Managed to negotiate a 30k discount and surprise saving on SDLT (came in the week before we completed). It took some convincing the seller we were serious though. So be prepared for a skeptical vendor!

It worked out really well for us both times. We always got a good survey and did a video viewing.

user85963842 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:30:50

Technically we did it as we bought off plan, there were no show homes and due to Covid we didn't step foot in the house until exchange. We felt quite confident as we knew what we were buying from lots of research, but no way would I do it with a previously owned property, no one can tell you if you'll like a house.

I'm not sure an EA will accept it, we had an offer on our last house unseen and we said we'd only take an offer seriously when they'd viewed, as the EA suggested, sure enough they viewed and we never heard from them again!

Bouledeneige Wed 10-Feb-21 21:28:05

I really wouldn't. You just have to feel it to know it will suit you. I've been to see so many places that looked lovely in the pictures but just weren't really nice in real life.

Go and do the viewing yourself. Don't send someone else.

RainingBatsAndFrogs Thu 11-Feb-21 09:00:27

Why are you too far away to view?

Travel for moving home is allowed.

waxed Mon 15-Feb-21 18:18:26

OH and I reserved a new build when I hadn't yet seen the show home. He saw it and was on face time the whole time, I saw videos, loads of pictures, had a blue print, and i had seen similar showrooms - one smaller model and one larger model. It was completely fine.

However I saw the show home a few days later - I'd I hadn't been able to see it at all I would have been less keen.

NavyBerry Mon 15-Feb-21 18:49:31

In a similar situation our offer (the highest) was declined. We were cash buyers, chain free and ready to proceed. I don't know what the vendor was thinking about. Now their buyers have pulled out and they are back on the market.

And actually we had seen the house with another agent previously... but of course in the middle of the pandemic the owners wanted to make sure their buyers come again visit them in person. So odd

PeachPiePip Mon 15-Feb-21 19:23:25

I wouldn’t make an offer without viewing. I’ve fallen in love with houses on paper previously and just felt flat or wrong on viewing. There are also houses where something is a bit strange. We almost bought a house where the head height on the staircases was really low (bad workmanship). I didn’t notice, but DH (who is taller) did. Also there have been beautiful houses we’ve loved where the access roads or neighbours are dreadful. You need to experience a property in person to ensure you don’t miss anything

Nearlyhalfterm Mon 15-Feb-21 19:29:18

Could your friend WhatsApp video her way round so you can see it and point the camera at things not necessarily seen on photos like the bottom and tops of the walls by the windows where damp would normally be? And try the taps for water pressure and make sure the doors actually close (which I've done since being in a place with rubbish water pressure and another where the doors were all open for the viewing and didn't actually close 🤣). The rules in England do seem to allow you to travel for the purposes of moving house so you could go, but if you can't for any reason and are desperate for that house for some reason it's an alternative.

Orpheline Mon 15-Feb-21 20:11:25

Way before RM, we loved the willow-lined road, and the house from the outside. Couldn't view it, as the sellers were away. Made an offer, and been here for 30 years.

Magstermay Tue 16-Feb-21 08:49:38

We relocated 4 years ago, I saw a house advertised I was convinced would be perfect. Drove 2.5h to see it, vendor opened the door and I knew within seconds I wouldn’t buy it. Unless you’re prepared to spend £££ if needed I wouldn’t.

goldenshoe Tue 16-Feb-21 16:03:38

Thank you for all the replies, they've given me lots to think about.

A friend is viewing for me tomorrow and as long as the seller doesn't mind he will WhatsApp me throughout. He's a tradesperson and has built a house before so knows what to look out for. I think he has a pretty good idea of what I'm after and also what my last home was like, what I liked about it and what was missing.

The warnings are making me think I'm actually quite well prepared to do this. Although it seems like I am ignoring advice, it's been really helpful to challenge my gut feeling and thought process, and realise that I have thought of everything that's been suggested and more - I do my research well!

This is the only place that has suited my budget and criteria over the last 10-12 months I've been looking, so taking that into account, I think I'd be pretty crazy to let it pass me by.

Finger's crossed!

OP’s posts: |
Stupidusernamefaff Tue 16-Feb-21 16:06:57

We did ! We knew the area and had seen loads of houses and we knew the one we wanted fitted the bill. It was very much a practical house for work though rather than a character forever home so in a way the ‘vibe’ wasn’t as important. We knew it would be for a shortish period. I can’t remember why we couldn’t view it (I think we were both working and it was one open day only) . Our parents in law viewed it and we bought it . Lived there happily for 5 years and had our first child there!

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