With small second bedrooms, think of your bed size plus storage. If the room is only 8ft wide and you have a 5ft wide bed, there won’t be much space,” he said.
“It is important to read any small print carefully to see if this is mentioned or not,” he said.
Pound the virtual pavements
If you are considering a move out of London but need to be back in the office some or all of the time, Steven Stokes, head of Savills Reigate, suggests you “walk” the route using Google Street View to see how doable it is.
“This can be a great way of getting a feel for the property’s immediate position and the type of street it sits on,” he added.
Bust the budget
If you have a set budget then do search for properties a little above it. Often vendors have built some wiggle room in their asking price – or they may simply be totally out of touch with reality.
Either way you will widen your choices if you don’t disregard homes because they are priced a bit above your ceiling price.
Conversely it is also worth looking at homes which are smaller than you would like. If the price is right you might be able to factor in the cost of a loft or kitchen extension to create the extra space you need.
“Thinking about the potential that a home might have and the work that could be done, especially if it’s a long term move, is definitely something to keep in mind,” said Stokes.
While there are some problems that can be fixed, there are others that you will have to either live with or walk away.
Top of Woodleigh Smith’s “walk away” list are properties that are dark and gloomy, very overlooked (check Google Street View for tall buildings behind or to the side of the property), as well as family sized houses with small gardens.
Towers adds north facing outside space to the “hard no” pile.
Do your homework
A key question buyers always ask is if a property is really worth the money being asked. The short answer is that a home is worth precisely what someone is willing to pay for it.
A longer answer is that most portals give information about sold house prices nearby so you can gauge what similar sized properties have been selling for recently as a guide.
What’s the word on the street?
If you are considering moving to a new neighbourhood, extend your search to social media.
Jason Corbett, director of country Sales & Lettings at UK Sotheby’s International Realty suggests reaching into the depths of your contacts to find someone who lives locally who you can quiz about the pros and cons of the area.
You could also see if there is a local residents’ group on Facebook and ask members what they see as the pros and cons.
Guy Bradshaw, managing director of Sotheby’s suggests you also get off the sofa while you have time off work and explore new areas IRL. “We always advise getting to know an area you may not be familiar with so suggest dog walks, a meal, or shopping trip to give an idea of what a potential new community or location might feel like,” he said.