Home Inspection: Questions to Ask When Viewing an Apartment

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What to consider when inspecting an apartment or house

During the inspection prior to the purchase of a home, various aspects must be examined. Central aspects are the construction quality and the energy-efficiency of the building, the age of the property or the condition of individual structural components such as the windows. Therefore, the property inspection is a significant part of the decision-making process when it comes to purchasing a home. In principle, the more information you have before the viewing, the better you will be able to gather impressions at the appointment itself that will support your decision. It is therefore best to clarify key data in advance. This includes facts such as the age, size, and floor space distribution of the house, but also the reasons for the sale. This will give you a good impression of the home, which, together with the inspection, will provide you with a meaningful overall picture.

Essential questions during the inspection

To prepare thoroughly for a home inspection, it is advisable to create a checklist in advance that covers the most important points. This will ensure that you get all the key information and don't forget anything. It makes sense to go to the appointment with two people if possible - four eyes see more than two. In addition to questions to be clarified in advance, there are also aspects that you clarify with the seller while you are inspecting the property. Points about which you should gather information include the type of heating, sound insulation, and the amount of operating costs. Questions regarding possible structural changes are relevant, for example, if you want to make an attic or basement conversion. You will also clarify questions about any property management and its costs, as well as about sound insulation, during the initial inspection. In addition to the characteristics of the house, you should also obtain information about the surrounding area, for example with regard to the density of development, transport connections or nearby schools, kindergartens or shopping facilities.

Necessity of a second viewing

When buying a home, it is not uncommon to have a second inspection of a property. While the first appointment focuses on the decision for or against a home, the second viewing is much more concrete and extensive. At this appointment, the focus is on having any defects assessed by an expert, especially when it comes to costly items such as the heating system, electrics or the roof of the house. It is therefore advisable to bring in an expert or at least a craftsman familiar with the subject matter at the second home inspection to write an appraisal letter about the property or to inform you of his impressions during a consultation.

A second home inspection often gives a better insight into the property.

Virtual tours

Due to the Corona pandemic, changes and rescheduling were necessary in many areas that would previously have been characterized by face-to-face contact. This is also the case when prospective buyers visit properties. An ideal solution for this is the virtual apartment or house inspection. It allows you to inspect a property from your own computer or mobile device and get an impression of it. Virtual tours usually include 360° tours that are based on numerous images of all interior rooms and exterior areas and allow you to experience the house or apartment as if you were there. The virtual tour is web-based on a PC or via an app on a tablet or smartphone. The impression can be enhanced by VR glasses. The advantages include greater flexibility as well as cost and time savings. However, a virtual tour provides fewer impressions than a real walk-through on site, where you can better assess, for example, noises from outside or the general atmosphere.

The most important tips at a glance

As a prospective buyer, you are well advised to prepare carefully for the home inspection and to ask the seller any questions that you can clarify in advance. You should also prepare a checklist of key points. This will ensure that you do not forget any important question. Think carefully about what expectations you have of your future home and use these as a basis for the viewing. It is also recommended that you bring a second person with you. Of course, it is ideal if this person has a certain level of expertise, but even if this is not the case, a companion brings an objective view. The most important tip for the inspection, whether virtual or real, is to make as neutral and objective an assessment of the property as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Written by:

Stefanie Aust, Guest Writer

Stefanie loves to put complex topics from the real estate world into understandable and inspiring words. Whether it's about the right financing, choosing the right type of flat, or a successful property search: Stefanie is happy to inform you.

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