Before you see yourself living in the property, don't forget to check out the local area. A lot of your research can take place online, such as investigating the neighbourhood's crime rates, or using the government’s planning portal to shed light on any major works coming up nearby. You can also find out council tax, broadband speeds, transport costs and school league tables online – so you can get a feel for the neighbourhood even before you set off for your viewing.
When you visit the property, explore your surroundings in person:
- Are there amenities nearby or will you need to drive for miles just to get a pint of milk?
- Is there off-road parking available? If there's an allocated parking space, is it included in the purchase?
Spend at least half an hour touring the general area, stopping in at any parks, coffee shops and pubs, and try to come by at different times of the day.
If you're buying a terrace or flat, don't forget to scout out the neighbours and how they maintain their property. If you can, take the time to talk to them before putting in an offer, to get a good feel for the area.