8 quick checks to make when viewing a house

Viewing houses always seems to be the fun part of the home-buying process. It’s easy to get carried away with envisioning yourself living in the house, and forgetting to note some of the key details.

If you find yourself falling in love with a house at a viewing, take a breather and go through our list of quick checks. It’ll give you a better idea of what’s going on with the house, and present any red flags you may need to know for future reference.

Is there any smell?

Sniffing and finding that something smells off?

Damp smells often indicate that the house is poorly ventilated. It’s best to be straight up, and mention it to the realtor and ask if they have any information on any previous issues with the house.

Does the house get natural light?

Try to figure out whether the house gets a good amount of sunlight coming through.

If the lights are on during the viewing, it may mean the room is generally dark and gets very little natural light.

Are the rooms a decent size and shape?

Are the rooms big enough to fit a bed of any size?

Notice the layout and shape of the room, is it planned well, or does the shape prevent it from being useful?

It’s always great to make a mental note of where the powerpoints are located in each room, and mentally think about where you would place your own furniture.

Is there sufficient wardrobe and storage space?

Need to make sure the house has enough space for your shoe and clothing collection?

Do a check of each room to see how big the wardrobes are, and if there are any other additional storage cupboards.

Can you fit your car in the garage?

Older garages can often be too small to be practical, so if there’s not enough space, make sure there’s a driveway or that there’s an option for roadside parking.

Where’s the laundry?

Think about the usability and noise impact of the location of the laundry in the house.

It’s also worth thinking about where you can hang your washing. Is there an existing washing line? If not, is there space for a drier?

Is it the best/worst house on the street?

Check out the state of the house compared to others on the street. Does this change your perception of the house or area?

What are the neighbours like?

This is a bit of a tricky one. The most you can do at this point is peek over the fence and make a few assumptions.

Is their section maintained? Does it looking like they have any pets - primarily a dog that may bark in the wee hours of the night?

You can always ask the realtor if they know who’s living next door. 


Asking yourself these questions when viewing a house can often make your end-decision much easier.

For more house hunting and buying tips, check out The Summit Homes blog.