House Hunting: What to Look For Outside the House
It does not matter if you are looking round a two hundred year old cottage in a country or viewing a semi detached bungalow on a new housing estate. Details provided in this hub apply to anyone who is looking round somewhere to live.
One of the things you will want to think about is how long you are likely to stay in the house, how your family may change I that time and what extra furniture and equipment you may get. Remember, this can affect where you want to live. For instance near a secondary school, as well as the design of the house itself.
Is the house and garden likely to be quite enough for you or are you likely to be disturbed by noise from traffic or aircraft? Are nearby buildings likely to be a source of noise - workshops or dance halls, for instance?
Is the house near enough to shops, schools, libraries, public transport and other facilities which you and your family will want to use?
Will you get sunlight where and when you want it, both inside the house and in the garden/ Remember that trees cut off sunlight particularly when they are in leaf. Nearby buildings also cut off light - particularly in winter when sun is low.
Do the rooms and garden have as much privacy as you require? Find out if you are overlooked by some houses and how much callers and passersby can see into your rooms
- Is there a porch which will give shelter from the rain?
- Is there somewhere for parcels, milk and food deliveries which is secure and sheltered from direct sunlight?
- Is the dustbin inconspicuous both from front door and the road?
- Can the dustman get to it without entering the house?
- Can you get the dustbin under cover?
- Can you get dustbin from the kitchen without going through the main living room?
- If the house has a solid fuel fire or boiler, is there and adequate fuel store?
- Can you get to this store under cover?
- Can the meter-man read the meters without entering the house or at least without going into the living rooms?
- Are the meters within easy reach of adults but beyond the reach of young children?
- Is there adequate car parking space or garaging available for your family’s needs?
- Can you get to the parking space under cover from the house?
- Check that your particular car will fit easily into the space provided. Remember that you need room to open the car door to get in and out of it.
- Is there a water tap necessity?
- Is there room for visitors to park conveniently?
- If you are likely to have a caravan or boat, is there room for it? Make sure that there is adequate access and enough height clearance for these.
- Is there space for a workbench, should you need one?
- Is there a place for bicycles?
Is the garage large enough for your needs, such as drying washing, children’s play, putting the pram out, growing flowers and vegetables, sunbathing, eating outside?
Is there a store for garden tools which is easily reached from the main garden? Check whether you have to take tools through the house.
Think over it before you start to look round any houses. Mark the things that seem most important from your point of view - no house is likely to give you every single thing you want eve If you can pay a great deal for it.
Before actually start going round houses, it is a good idea to sort out the amount and size of furniture and kitchen and laundry equipment you will be having.
When inspecting, remember to take a measure tape with you so that you can make sure whether bulky pieces of furniture and equipment will fit in. Also try and get a scaled plan of the house so that when you get back home you can try out various arrangements of furniture.
Things to consider while looking for a house
There are certain things that one should give first priority before purchasing or renting a house:
Whether the house you chose is soundly built:
If you are buying a new house it is worth making sure that the builder is registered and able to enter into the form of legal agreement prescribed by Builders council. This gives you a legal entitlement to minimum specifications; safeguards your common law rights offers a guarantee against major structural defects and other benefits.
For an older house, you will want a surveyor’s report. If you wish to improve an older house, you may be able to get an Improvement Grant.
Inquire at the Town Hall before you start modernizing your home.
Whether it is affected by proposals for redevelopment or development close by:
You can find this out for yourself at the town hall, or leave it to the solicitor who is handling the purchase.
In any case make sure that you fully understand anything these inquiries turn up. If you are attracted to a house because it has open land opposite, find out if it’s likely to be built on. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions if necessary.