A kitchen open to the dining room as you have always dreamed of, a pretty garden with trees, a spacious bathroom, a sale price that fits into your budget (with or without work to be planned), etc. First impression: lhe house that you are about to discover seems to correspond to your criteria. Remain objective in the context of the sale of new or old housing. A house visit is done quite quickly, sometimes even in less than 30 minutes. So be sharp, have all your senses on alert to find a home in the best conditions. To prepare, here is a list of questions to ask and tips for all stages of the visit to a home.


How are the neighborhood and transportation access?

Do not go to the place of visit of the house right on time. Allow room for maneuver to examine the neighborhood, ask questions to the neighborhood, gauge the noise or, conversely, the tranquility of the place.

Observe the neighborhood

The profile and age of the neighbors have their role to play for future relationships: for example, if you have children, moving next to families is a plus because the children will be able to play together. Try to find out about the neighborhood or at least the occupants of the two closest houses to find out if the cohabitation will go well, especially in the case of a terraced house. The presence of pets at the neighbors is also to be taken into account if you have an outdoor space and perhaps a cat or a dog yourself.

Analyze the location and accessibility of the accommodation

Take the time to take a tour of the neighborhood to examine the location of the property in relation to public transport and locate the nearest bus stop, train station, metro, RER or tram stop. He then happens to realize that the travel time indicated on the real estate ad differs a little from reality…

Also pay attention to soft mobility: are the sidewalks wide enough to walk with a stroller? Is the road very busy or does it allow cycling in complete safety or are there cycle paths provided? On the car side, check if parking spaces are available on the street to park your vehicle or that of your guests. Accessibility by transport, whether collective or individual, is a point not to be overlooked!

In terms of shops, is there a bakery, a greengrocer, a butcher, a fishmonger or a supermarket nearby? Do you know if a pharmacy and health professionals are located in the neighborhood? What about the post office? And if you have children: where are the schools and playgrounds located? Knowing these answers before the visit will allow you to focus on the property itself.


In what general condition is the house?

Shutters, roof, fence, garden, etc. A simple glance can tell you if you need to consider repairs or even renovations. By arriving early, you can take the time to check these last 2 points quietly: what is the general condition of the house and should you plan a renovation of the facade ?


Are there cracks or deterioration on the exterior facades?

Ground movement due to the shrinkage-swelling of the clay soil, moisture problem or poor workmanship at the time of construction, etc. These signs are to be detected immediately, because they denounce a problem of solidity of the building.


What condition are the floors in?

When visiting the house, check, for example, if the floors are flat, even in each room and between rooms. An irregularity can be the sign of a structural weakness. Also look at the floor coverings and make sure they are well suited to the room where they are located: carpeting or unfinished parquet are not recommended in damp rooms (bathroom or kitchen). You can always change the coatings, but you will then have to add the cost of this work to your house purchase budget.

How to choose the right flooring?

Equipment & Materials


What is the house’s score on the DPE?

The ECD grade (from A to G) provided by a certified diagnostician informs you about the energy performance of the accommodation in terms of heating, domestic hot water, cooling, lighting and auxiliaries. This information and this real estate diagnosis are mandatory for the sale and must even be mentioned in the real estate announcement. If the class of the DPE is so important, it is because it makes it possible to anticipate future energy consumption. Accommodations with a Class F ECD or one ECD G are considered thermal sieves and require substantial energy renovation, to be included in the total budget of the house.


Have all the mandatory real estate diagnoses been carried out?

When buying your home, ask for the real estate diagnoses. These documents drawn up by one or more certified diagnosticians allow you to ensure the safety of your accommodation, but also its quality.

16 questions to ask for a successful visit and purchase of a home

The mandatory technical diagnostics are:


Are the heating and hot water production working properly?

When visiting the house, find out the age of the boiler, the date of installation of the stove but also theheating system maintenance. Your goal is to know the costs associated with this equipment: maintenance, repairs, replacement, especially if it is a boiler or a stove running on fossil fuels such as a oil boiler or gas. Also check if the number of radiators seems sufficient to you. In the case of electric heating, be aware that the convectors do not offer good heating quality, their replacement will be to be expected sooner or later, for example in favor of a heat pump.

On the domestic hot water production side, is there a water heater or a dual service boiler? Is the equipment recent? Does its capacity match your household?

How to choose your heating system?

Equipment & Materials


Are the windows double glazed?

Ask – or check – whether it is single or double glazing, or even triple glazing. If the house faces the street, it is better to have this information as soon as possible. In the case of single glazing, a change of windows will be to be expected to gain in comfort of life. Check their capacity sound insulation simply by opening and closing each window.

Take a step back and study the brightness of the house in each room. You certainly do not want to work at your desk in the dark or without ever seeing the color of the sky because of a window that is too small. But the number and size of windows is not the only decisive criterion for benefiting from natural light inside the dwelling, thehouse exhibition has a big role to play: if the house is oriented east-west or north-south, the brightness will be very different depending on the hour and more or less intense. Remember to ask for the orientation of the house to find out if you will have more natural light in your kitchen for breakfast or rather at the end of the day in your living room.


Is there a ventilation system or VMC?

Start by asking questions about the ventilation system : which system is installed (natural ventilation, Single flow VMC Where VMC double flow) and when was it placed in the house? Is it still in good condition? Track down traces of humidity on the walls, ceilings, floors and especially in the rooms of water (mold, black streaks). Humidity can cause problems both in terms of the rapid deterioration of the accommodation and your health (irritation, coughing, etc.).


Where are the electrical and water connections located?

You want to install your TV on the north wall of the living room, but there is no socket? Do you want to put your washing machine in the kitchen, but there are not enough water inlets? Be vigilant and take the lead, look at where electrical outlets, switches and water inlets are located.


Is the electrical system up to standard?

When visiting a house, checking the electrical installation of the accommodation is an important step. Look at the level of obsolescence of the equipment (2 or 3 pin sockets), check if the electrical panel is in good condition and electricity to standards. Examine the presence of differential circuit breakers as well as the number and labeling of feeders with mention of the room and the terminals supplied. ask for it electrical diagnosis, it is mandatory for electrical installations that are more than 15 years old. You will have everything in hand to assess the quality and safety of the electrical installation. You will also be able to define the possible works to be carried out (and their budget) if you choose to buy the house following this visit and subsequent visit.


How is the connection to the water network made?

Ask to open the connection manhole. For quality drinking water, it must be clean: zero waste, no stagnant water or sediment. Finally, for the “drainage of waste water” part, confirm that the house is properly connected to the public collective sanitation network or to an all-water pit (individual sanitation).


In what condition are the attics and the roof?

Try to investigate everywhere in the house and go see the attic. Why ? Because it is possible to spot traces of water infiltration. If this is the case, it will be necessary to plan repairs – often costly repairs – to restore the roof to good condition.

How to insulate the attic and the roof of your house?

Renovation Guide


How will the neighborhood evolve?

Go and see the neighborhood projects at the town hall. The town planning department can provide you with information on the surrounding programs planned for the next 4 or 5 years. Imagine, for example, building a ten-storey building in front of the bay window overlooking the river! As a future buyer, this will allow you to know if it is worth moving to visit the houses in this district.


Can you make a counter-visit before buying the house?

It’s important to come back to see the house several times without necessarily revisiting it but to gauge the neighborhood at different times of the day: accessibility, traffic jams, noise pollution. Of course, even if nowadays you have to know how to decide quickly to make an offer, do not hesitate to also visit many houses to find the one of your dreams.


How not to forget anything when visiting a house?

Before visiting a house, it is important to bear in mind the important points to observe and check. To help you check the condition of the accommodation, our experts have designed a tool allowing you to create your own checklist according to the characteristics of the property. You can also consult the essentials of home visit checklist.

Take photos and notes

Be academic on your home visit. When you have visited several properties, your sense of the real estate market will be well sharpened. But will you remember the qualities and defects of each construction? Snapshots and remarks will help you make your choices to confirm a second visit (counter-visit) and perhaps a signing of the sales agreement.

15 questions to ask for a successful visit and purchase of an apartment

Purchase guide

By Me

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