Preparing for viewings

When searching for the right property, whether it is to buy or to rent, there are always a number of things to look out for – some may seem obvious, some may not. The climate, culture and regulations of a foreign country could pose different challenges that you may not be aware of. So when viewing prospective properties keep your eyes peeled for the following six points.


  1. Check the location during all hours of the day as a street that may seem quiet at day might come alive at night with karaoke bars and noisy restaurants. Likewise a street lined with market stalls during the day maybe deadly silent at night. Everyone has their own tolerance of noise levels so try and visit the property as many times of the day as possible to avoid any unnecessary surprises.
  2. In rainy season one road may flood quickly making it impassable whilst the next street is fine. Check the area for flooding, but most importantly check the individual street as the drainage can differ within a very short distance. Existing residents are a vital source of information so do not be afraid to enlist their help either.  
  3. Development happens fast and in turn creates a lot of noise and dirt. Take some time to do conduct some research to see if there are any future developments that are in pipeline, because areas can become fashionable overnight and nightclubs, restaurants, and constructions sites follow fast behind.
  4. The condition and maintenance of a building reflects the managing agent. A good management company will ensure that that building is clean, repairs are fixed quickly and that the residents are happy. It should be easy to visually identify if a building is well cared for, but look out for notices in the building (in particular the lift) for an upcoming works and maintenance. You may dream of living on the twentieth floor for the panoramic view, but dread it if the lift is out of service. 
  5. Keep an eye out for any unwanted pets such as termites and ants. It is the norm for past control to be carried out regular as a deterrent but on a viewing it is still advisable to check woodwork, and for any infestations. 
  6. Take time to check that the property’s fixtures and fittings are in good working order, especially the air conditioning units as older models tend to be inefficient and use more electricity. On lower floors, you may want mosquito screens at the windows, but also check for any signs of damp or mould caused by poor circulation or ventilation.