BBC radio 2

Did you hear our how to guides on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drivetime show?

You may have read about Howopia in The Telegraph?

How To Prepare A House Viewing Checklist

Your rating: None
No single property is going to offer everything we require in a family home, so before starting to look for a new house, sit the whole family down together and decide what the priorities are. Once agreement has been reached, make a checklist of all the essential features the new home must have, i..e. number of bedrooms and reception rooms, study or family room, size of garden, etc., and any aspects that are non-negotiable.
What you'll need: 
Copies of the checklist
Spare pens
Measuring tape
Have photocopies made of the list and take a fresh one for each viewing, so you can make any necessary notes to provide a reminder of what took your fancy, and clip it to the estate agent's particulars.
It is important to visualise what the place will look like with your furniture in situ, and if you have any large items to consider, make sure that you have a tape measure to check the actual size of the rooms since estate agent’s particulars err on the side of generous, or don’t mention certain obstructions like air vents, alcoves, small windows, etc. Will your existing furniture fit?
Does the layout suit your domestic requirements and is there enough room for how you want to live?
Is the location right for the whole family, taking schools, transport, leisure facilities, etc. into account?
Take a small compass and check the alignment of the house and garden so that you can tell which rooms benefit from maximum sunshine, and which will be affected by bad weather. A room that never gets any sun can be extremely unwelcoming in winter.
By using the compass it is possible to work out whether the garden catches the sun all day, or whether it’s partially shaded. Take special note of the positions of any large trees and don’t forget that a tree in full leaf can also make all the difference between light and shaded areas.
Take into account any neighbouring properties that may look straight into your family rooms, especially in winter when the leaves have fallen.
Make a note of all these things, then go away with your check-lists and talk it over. Score the aspects you have agreed are essential for your future plans and compare scores with any competing properties. Highlight the problem areas and deal with those first. If you do decide that the property isn’t right, then please have the courtesy to inform the vendor if you’ve promised to go back for a second viewing.
A north-facing room will be cold and dark
A south-facing room will be warm and sunny for most of the day
An east-facing room will get the morning sun
A west-facing room will enjoy any glorious sunsets
A south-facing room can be extremely gloomy if there is a large tree in full leaf obstructing the sunlight.
Many trees have preservation orders that can prevent the cutting back or cutting down


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Featured writers

We have had a chat with a couple of our more experienced writers.

Find out more about their experiences and why they contribute to Howopia.

Spotlight on two writers.

Share this

How To guides

Howopia is a new website dedicated to bringing together a community of experts to create the most useful 'How To' guides, to help you to achieve almost anything.

Related links