A year ago, it was almost unthinkable that someone would buy a new home having only viewed it online, but now it's not unusual to hear of buyers making offers without ever setting foot inside the door. There's no denying that online video tours are now a big part of the homebuying process. For those wondering what to look for when buying a new home, we've prepared a quick guide to virtual tours for homebuyers, listing the main things to look out for when buying a house.
One of the main things to consider when taking a virtual home tour is whether the layout will work for your lifestyle? Is there a room where your kids can leave their toys out? Room for a big dining table and chairs? Enough space for a home office?
It can be hard to look beyond someone else's style choices when you view a property but try to ignore the décor. Look up at the ceilings and down at the floors, check out the windows: are they double-glazed? You could have problems with heat retention if not. If it's a live video tour, you could ask the agent questions such as “Do the fireplaces work?” and “What's the water pressure like?” (yes, you can even ask them to run the shower!)
Bathrooms and kitchens are considered the most important rooms in the house, but they are expensive to refurbish. You should feel comfortable living in those spaces until you can afford to renovate. Check the condition of kitchen worktops and ask whether there is space for all your appliances. Can you fit in a washer and a tumble drier? A full-size dishwasher?
This beautiful Shaker-style kitchen from Harvey Jones showcases plenty of storage, light and different textures.
Is there a bath in the bathroom, or only enough space for a shower? Is the room well ventilated and well-lit, and does it include benefits such as a spa bath or demisting mirror? Is there a separate toilet elsewhere in the property?
Bathroom goals right here in this monochrome space.
As the camera moves from room to room, try to get an idea of the storage that is available. For example, is there space to hang coats near the main door? Are there fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms? Is there a loft or garage space where you could store bulky items?
Utilising a wall with storage solutions like this bespoke built-in alcove shelving from Neville Johnson can really streamline and maximise your living space.
Try to get a sense of what is outside the property. What can you see out of the windows? Is the house or apartment in a quiet neighbourhood? On a virtual tour, it's hard to know what's outside, but you can always use Streetview to explore the immediate community.
If your virtual tour extends to an outdoor area, check whether the space is overlooked by your neighbours. For example, if the property has a balcony or roof terrace, what kind of view does it offer? While you are outside on your virtual tour, use the opportunity to look at the condition of any fencing or decking, as well as assessing the fabric of the building itself (including roof tiles, brickwork and exterior cladding).
Dress your garden like an outside room with a gorgeous selection of wares from Maisons du Monde
There are a significant number of things to consider in a video home tour, but a good estate agent can point out a property's strengths and weaknesses. If you'd like some help with your property search, why not call us at Hudsons Property?