9 Essential House Viewing Tips for buying your dream home

house viewing tips

Buying a luxury property for your dream home is as exciting as any decision to buy a house but, even before you start looking at a property guide, the prospect of finding your ideal London home can be a bit overwhelming. There is so much to think about when you view a property that ideas can become confused and decision-making difficult. At Arlington Residential, we know our market back to front and are here to advise you and simplify the process. Here are our 10 top house viewing tips for buying your dream home.

House viewing tips – location still matters

Location remains the most important aspect of choosing a new property, especially when you are looking to buy a house in one of London’s more prestigious areas. Luxury properties in Hampstead Village for example, have access to a bustling and lively community that offers both entertainment and some rather well known neighbours, and those who buy in St John’s Wood can expect a world of elegant bars and restaurants within easy reach of the city and some wonderful green spaces. If it is high end property you are after, our best of the house viewing tips would be to restrict your search to a few, key Central and North West London locations.

what to look for when viewing a house

Choose an estate agent who understands your local property market

Once you have chosen your London property locations, the next step is to make sure you work with a well-established estate agent who understands the subtle nuances of the area in which you are searching. Property prices and standards can vary from one end of a street to another and one building will have special nuances that another doesn’t. A reputable, local estate agent will be able to quickly assimilate your requirements and prove to be an invaluable property guide. At Arlington Residential we have exemplary knowledge of our market and have achieved stunning results for clients looking to buy a house.

Consider whether or not the location gives those vital ‘added extras’

No matter how luxurious our homes, we all need to leave them to live our daily lives. As well as considering a location for value and immediate neighbours, it is important to think about the wider picture. How, for example, will a certain location impact on your journey to your place of work, how important is it for you to have access to some of London’s beautiful green spaces and, if you have a family, how much value do you place on being able to walk your children to a top independent school? Take some time to consider these ‘added extra’ questions before you view and have them in mind during your viewing.

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Write your must-have list before considering a property guide

Writing a must-have list before you buy a house, or even before you look at a property guide, can help you to understand exactly what you are looking for and cut through the, sometimes misleading, ‘wow’ factor with which some luxury properties might lead you astray. One of the most important house viewing tips is to write your must-have list before you view your first property, because if you don’t, you may find your list growing longer as you view properties with more features that you like. Must-have lists should include things like gardens, numbers of bedrooms and parking arrangements but if you start adding too many luxury extras such as balconies, romantic attic rooms and marble floors, you may find yourself with an unachievable list.

If you think you might buy a house, walk past it well before you view it

Viewing days can be exciting and offer the hope of finding your new, luxury home. This is great but it does mean that, on a viewing day, you might be so eager to get inside a property that you forget to take a careful look at its outside and the surrounding streets. By far the best way to get a feeling for a property and area in the days before you view is to take a little walk around, particularly up and down the neighbouring streets. You can learn a lot from the types of property in the neighbourhood, the friendliness of passers by and even the level of privacy of the property you are considering. If you have any questions after your walk, don’t hesitate to ask your local estate agent for clarification. If they don’t have the answers, they will find them for you.

property guide

Take a friend to act as an impartial property guide

When you view a property for the first time it can be difficult to take in all that there is to see. If you have formed a good impression of the property before your visit, you may also risk only seeing its advantages in your eagerness to find your new home. One of the best house viewing tips is that, by taking a friend or partner along you will give yourself an extra pair of slightly more impartial eyes that will spot things you don’t and maybe even ask questions you hadn’t even thought of. Allow time for a chat with your viewing partner afterwards and compare notes. Ultimately the decision about which property to buy is yours but it always pays to take in other opinions.

Recognise the difference between your gut feeling and the nitty-gritty

This is a tricky one and house-viewing tips often talk about the importance of both initial reactions and details. We have all experienced moments when that gut feeling has led us down a path that is entirely right for us and the same can happen with a house viewing. If a property makes you feel relaxed and at home when you view, it is likely to do so if you decide to purchase. The danger with gut feelings however, is that they might cause you to view a property with rose tinted spectacles and therefore neglect the nitty-gritty details that, if they are not suitable, will eventually annoy you and detract from your enjoyment of your new home.

advice on buying a house

Arrange a survey before you buy a house

House surveys can give you information about a property that you won’t get from your own viewings. Most issues can be sorted out post-purchase but even so, it is far better to go into a purchase well informed. Ask your estate agent for advice about house survey services. There is no requirement in England for sellers to pay for a home report when they market their home as there is in Scotland. There are three types of RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) home report, RICS Home Condition Report, RICS Home Buyer Report and RICS Building Survey. There is more RICS information here about which report would be best suited to your requirements.

Don’t buy a house on the strength of a single viewing

We have all heard the story of the lucky buyer who bought the perfect property without even seeing it, but in truth this rarely happens and we would always recommend a second viewing. Like many things in life, a property often looks different after a good night’s sleep and a second visit will give you the opportunity to focus on more practical issues. Even if you are sure you fell in love with the property the first time round, one of our best house viewing tips is that looking more closely at the details might sway your opinion when you revisit.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our house viewing tips post and have gained some additional knowledge around buying a property. If you are looking to purchase a luxury London property as an investment or a home for your family, it always pays to get the very best in local, expert advice. At Arlington Residential we have been advising elite clients since 1994. Our portfolio includes luxury properties across Central and North West London and we work closely with each client to ensure that their specific needs are met. To talk to our dedicated team and make the most of our exemplary market knowledge, call us now for professional help and advice.


CALL OUR TEAM +44 (0)20 7722 3322


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