Taking on a new flat can be as daunting as it is exciting but if you can stay focused on the task at hand and be acutely aware of your surroundings you might find that you can get the flat of your dreams far more easily than you imagine. It's all about not getting dazzled by the bling!
Everyone will naturally want to show their flat at its best so you can expect fresh flowers, clean windows and most likely, a viewing during the quietest time of the day. You need to see through this smoke screen to get a really good impression of the flat and to find all the flaws that could either mean it's not the one for you or will give you some leverage on the price.
We've put together our list of things to look out for when thinking about taking on a new flat so acquaint yourself with them and see what you notice at your next viewing.
As the main security components of your potential new home, you need to be sure that all the windows and doors are fully operational, have locks on them and are in good order before you even contemplate a flat handover or you could be at risk of a break in.
We love this flat, from Cassidy Hughes Interior Design & Styling, and although we don't have magnums of champagne in our kitchen, we can see some fabulous secure windows here that we'd like. Remember that if you have noticed something less than perfect, burglars might have, too!
In this technologically advanced day and age nobody has anything less than a smartphone, laptop and usually a desktop and tablet device too, so you need to be sure that each and every one of the sockets in your potential new home works properly.
You might feel a little silly bringing a phone charger to a viewing with you but do it and take the time to plug it into every socket to check the connection. If anything doesn't work you will need to ask the landlord or seller to fix it before the flat handover can take place.
If you're viewing in summer it is so easy to forget to ask if the heating works, what fuel it uses and how efficient it has been rated as but try to remember. It's one thing to not mind in summer but if you get to October and are suddenly transformed into a living icicle you'll have big regrets!
Ask the person showing you around to turn the heating on and show you how it all works and ask to see the EPC as well so you can get an idea of how much it would cost you to run if you decided to go through with the flat handover.
While you might not consider yourself to be a gourmet chef you will, at some point, be cooking for yourself in your new home so be sure to have a really good look around the kitchen. Open every cupboard, look for for any damage to the worktop and inspect all appliances and taps.
Don't even consider completing a flat handover until you know that all the appliances have been PAT tested and serviced regularly and if you see any issues with taps or sanitary ware, such as the drains, you can ask for that to be dealt with. Don't be afraid to get up close and personal with your potential new home.
Walls and floors always seem to accrue dents, chips and damage and you never know when it happened or how so try to look for such things before considering a flat handover. If there are any chunks missing from the wall you can ask to have them fixed.
Floors in particular need to be up to the job as a loose tile, rumpled carpet or chipped piece of laminate could cause you to seriously injure yourself. We know perfect doesn't exist but you want as near to it as possible in your new home.
Often the least favourite room for people to inspect, take the time to commit and give the bathroom a really good look over. Any hardware that needs replacing should be mentioned, any damp should be dealt with and anything that looks to have been attacked by mould will need attention.
Cosmetic items, such as toilet seats and shower curtains, aren't too much of a concern as you will replace those as soon as you move in but look for serious issues as this will be reason enough to delay your flat handover.
For more apartment inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: The Exquisite English Flat. We think you'll find some interior design tips to die for in here!