House Viewing Checklist Part 3: External Inspection

2 min read
Stage 3 of our house viewing checklist examines what you should inspect on the outside of a property you are interested in buying during a viewing.

This part of a house viewing is highly important as the outside of a building can give you many clues about the structural soundness of a property and whether it has any serious issues.

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  • What is the state of the outside decor overall?
  • If there is pebble dashing or whitewashing, is it recent or in need of renewal?
  • Is the brickwork in need of repair or repointing?
  • If there is a front garden, is it well kept?

Check for signs of subsidence, damp, cracks and infestation

The majority of people are not surveyors(!), nonetheless there is sometimes clear evidence of these four major issues or at least that further professional inspection might be needed for peace of mind.

  • Damp can leave tell-tale marks but musty smells can also be a fair indicator.
  • Climbing plants which cling to walls can greatly weaken them over time and can attract many insects.

Check the roof

  • Missing tiles are a good barometer as to the state of a roof and whether costly repairs may be needed.
  • The state of repair of the eaves at the base of the roof is also a good indicator of how well kept the roof is.
  • The state of repair of the flashing, or weatherproofing, which surrounds roof structures such as chimneys or is found below dormer windows in a roof is similarly a good indicator.

Check the drains and gutters

  • Are thes in a good condition?
  • Do they leak when it rains?

Check outbuildings such as any separate or attached garage or shed

  • Do they look to be well maintained?
  • If you are buying a house with a garage, is it large enough to accommodate your vehicle(s)?

Check the windows

  • Are the windows double glazed?
  • Do the window frames look secure?
  • Do the windows need painting?

Back garden (if applicable)

  • Is it generally in a good state of repair?
  • If there is a pond, is it well kept? If there is a pump, does it look old?
  • Is the fencing secure and complete?
  • If there is access from the back garden to the outside, is it secure/does it have good working locks?

Tomorrow, Part 4 of our House Viewing Checklist series examines what information you can get from an internal inspection of a property.

If you have any questions about any aspect of house viewing, please call one of our experts on 0333 344 3234& or email us at

*Fixed Fee – No Sale No Fee – On all Mortgage Lender Panels

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