Top 5 Tools for Property Viewing While Buying A House

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    How is your property viewings going on your journey of property investment?

    Property viewing is a critical part of buying a house to identify if a property is a good deal for you. Apart from viewing the external areas around the property and checking the roof, it is important to consider other factors like legalities of the local council and if there is good rental demand for the property in that area.

    One bad property is all it needs to make the property investors life into hell. It can eat massively into profit of the business.

    How?

    There are various factors to be considered while buying a house like subsidence, flooding, structural issues, Damp issues etc. If we are not aware of how to factor those into the refurbishment, it can lead to additional money from your pocket towards the refurbishment. The deal may not be a good deal anymore.

    What did we do?

    As a property investor, we viewed over 400 properties for 2 years. We try and maximise number of viewings in a day when we go to our investment area. Before we give an offer, we ensured that we are aware of all known issues with the property. We do use couple of gadgets and tools to ensure that we have as much information as possible to put numbers for refurbishment of property. Structural Surveyors will have been instructed if there is any doubt and expert advice is needed for the property.

    What can you do?

    There are quite a few gadgets as well as apps that can help with your property viewings.

    Following are few of them

    Damp meter

    Damp is a serious issue with properties. If not identified and fixed on the time it can lead to devastating consequences. It is a health hazard, and you would not want anyone living in the property affected by damp.

    We have explained damp in detail in the “The Ultimate Guide That Explains Damp In A Property” article.

    There are quite a few factors which can give us a clue of damp like the musty smell, mould infestation, leaky roofs and porous walls etc.

    Rising damp can be found in newly refurbished property as well. Rising damp may not checked and damp proof course not done during refurbishment of property. It is always a good idea to check for rising damp to avoid bill for thousands of pounds.

    I would highly recommend carrying a damp meter worth around £20 to save yourselves hassle later on and also thousands of pounds to get the damp proof course done. If you know, beforehand you could include that into your refurbishment costs. Most of the damp meters have indicators between green to red to indicate the presence of damp.

    “Fire and Water are the two major reasons to destroy  a property.”

    Laser measuring device

    Legalities around room size keep changing for the benefit of tenants. That only means landlords have to keep their room sizes to comply with the legalities if they don’t want to pay huge penalties.

    Since 1st October 2018 new regulations are in place for houses of multiple occupations as mentioned in “HMO minimum room sizes to come into force 1 October 2018”.

    Licenses issued from 1 October will have to contain the following conditions:

    • Ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres;
    • Floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by two persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22 square metres;
    • Floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged under 10 years is not less than 4.64 square metres;
    • HMO room must have a minimum floor area of 4.64 square metres to be used as sleeping accommodation.

    What can you do?

    While viewing, if in doubt, use the laser measuring tool to check the room size quickly. Make sure if cashflow equations work based on number of rooms that can be let out.

    Magic plan

    MagicPlan is for anyone who wants to take control of a renovation project without losing their sanity. The app uses the iPad or iPhone’s built-in camera, GPS and compass to let you map out a floor plan. It does need a bit of learning curve though.

    Creating a floor plan has been simplified by just taking pictures of each corner. All pictures taken can be assembled to create a floor plan. Dimensions can be finetuned by connecting laser meter to magicplan. Once the 2 dimension design is complete magicplan can show all floors in 3D.

    Magicplan can compute costs and materials for your projects based on your plan’s data. Materials required for the refurbishment can be ordered from the app itself.

    Creating virtual tours does not have to be a difficult task or expensive. Magic plan can help in creation of virtual tours.

    Around me

    Once you have established your new area is crime-free, you need to know where your nearest hospital is and where to get petrol. Around Me gives an area overview. It also has listings and reviews of restaurants and hotels.

    Receipt Bank and Trip catcher

    During property viewing, there are quite a few expenses that property investors incur. Business expenses can help saving on your taxes. Check with your tax consultant for detailed information about which expenses can be withdrawn .

    What can you do about it?

    Using simple and easy to use apps like receipt bank and Trip catcher would help in capturing business expenses easily. Receipt bank makes it easy to add expense just by taking a picture of the receipt.

    Trip catcher helps you to capture your business mileage. Trip catcher uses google maps to calculate the journey. It integrates nicely with receipt bank and helps to submit mileage easily. With Tripcatcher during your visit to investment area, you don’t need to spend time and effort in remembering the miles that you covered for your property business.

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