You went through dozens of ads in search for your new home and the time has come to go to a viewing? MondoPal is here to share tips to avoid hidden traps and help you be sure that your dream home won't turn into a nightmare once you move in.
1. The neighbourhood
The viewing starts way before you're at the front door! Get there by car or public transport - whichever is your usual mode of transportation. This way, you'll see if your potential new home is well-served by public transport or if there is a parking nearby.
We advise you to walk around in the neighbourhood: not only will you get the general feeling of the atmosphere, but you can also check important things for later, like where the closest supermarket is for example. It is also good to know how close other useful amenities are, such as the Post Office, the bank or the nearest drugstore! Finally, you can also see what sort of entertainment you can easily enjoy around your potential new building: is there a café, a movie theatre, a park?
This is also the time to check for possible noise pollution such as a construction site for ongoing or planned work, multiple bars and nightclubs, or a primary school yard, especially if you're planning on studying a lot.
💡 If you can, don't forget to come back at night to check how things are around the neighbourhood and to make sure that you'll be able to come home after a late night out without having to worry!
2. The building
Once you enter the building in question, take a minute to have a look at the common areas: the hall, the basement, the bin storage area and the bike storage area. Are they cleaned and well maintained? Think about how you came in: is there a building manager? An entry code? Finally check that the lights, the elevator and the intercom all work well!
The hall is also the perfect area to meet potential new neighbours: are you compatible? Don't hesitate to ask questions to a resident or the real-estate agent. Avoid family-packed buildings if you plan to party every week for example.
3. The apartment itself
Right, you are in the apartment now? Check:
- insulation: is the apartment soundproof? Open and close the windows and pay attention for a few minutes to see if you can hear anything loud from outside or your neighbours. Check also the thermal insulation: this will prevent you from spending too much on heating during the cold winter nights.
⚠️ Careful: moisture on the wall, in the corners or near the windows can hide serious problems!
- that everything is in good condition and working: doors, windows, plugs, lights, plumbing, heaters… If the apartment comes furnished, check that all appliances are all ok.
💡 For the heaters, turn them on at the beginning of the viewing if possible: you'll see if they work as time goes by during the viewing!
- if there are any leaks in the shower, the toilets, the sinks but also the toilet flush: run the taps to see if there are any problems. Also, take the opportunity to ask how the water is heated: ask about the size of the hot water tank for example if the water is heated that way!
- Wifi network coverage and if fibre optic is an option.
- before you go, make sure to ask in order to determine the characteristics of the floors, the kind of hobs, and what sort of heaters there are.
💡 Don't forget to take some notes and pictures: it will help you make your choice later on. You can also ask to talk to the previous tenant who can provide you with a lot of useful information!
4. The ad
Are there any hidden charges regarding energy, hot-water or heat consumption?
Calculate the all-in price to check that you're within budget!
💡 If you have a doubt and want to check what documents can be asked by your landlord, you can read more here: