Surveying Development Potential…
Prior to the visit
Don’t arrive at any property “cold.” Get as much information as possible prior to your visit. . At the very least have a look at the property and it’s environs on Google Earth and a street map and the agents details. From this you should always be able to ascertain the properties age, attachment (semi, terrace etc.) amount of garden.
Is the neighbourhood 100% residential? (Are there industrial units / warehouses nearby)
Is the neighbourhood desirable?
Is there a housing estate in the vicinity? (Check local crime rates on the internet)
Is there a local school, or a local park? (This has disadvantages as well as advantages….. twice a day traffic problems, badly behaved kids, antisocial behaviour, noise, litter, football matches, etc.)
How far away is a possible source of flooding?
Is there a large adjacent tree? (Possible root intrusion)
Does the railway run behind the property?
Is the property reasonably near good transport links?
Is the front “converted” for parking? (If conversion to flats is a possibility, parking is very relevant)
When entering the road itself
Observe the local residents and the condition of other properties and their gardens. (This will help give you your target market -first time buyers / retiring couple).
Is there a parking problem?
Are there lots of extensions and loft conversions already?
Look for serious problems…...
Cracked, bowing and leaning walls and chimneys.
Sagging roofs, condition of the roof coverings. (Try and gain sight of any flat roofs).
Evidence of inspection chambers (are they covered), condition of gulleys (are they dry)
Look in a chamber. (Will chambers have to be moved if an extension is built)?
Are there already extensions?
And less serious……
Condition of guttering, down pipes, soil stacks, fascias and soffits (asbestos), windows, doors, bridging of DPC, garage, outbuildings, conservatory, paths, driveway, decoration.
Look for serious problems……
Rising damp, moving floors, structural movement cracks, dry rot
And less serious……
Penetrating damp, condensation, ill fitting doors, blown plasterwork,
And what you might expect to replace……..
Bathrooms, kitchen, boiler (+ rads), some electrics, load bearing walls, chimney breasts, plastering, decoration, garden overhaul.