What To Ask During A Home Viewing
Let’s take you through some of the questions you need to ask while in the rental viewing and decision stages.
The stress of house or flat hunting is one that is never ending. When considering your next home, you factor in a lot of things that influence the location of your home, the space it has, safety, etc. However, you cannot always get all your answers in one go, and a viewing without details can prove ineffective in the long run. In this article, we will take you through some of the questions you need to ask yourself and the property agency or housing company you are interested in while in the viewing and deciding stages.
The first list of questions you may need to answer is from you. Yes, you! You need to take a moment, sit and jot down some of the reasons, questions, and confusions surrounding house hunting. Ask yourself when looking for or at a building or area you are considering:
- How easy will it be for me to commute to all the essential places I regularly commute to? – This could be work, your business, shopping for essentials, schools for the kids, car wash, the hospital, etc. You want to live in an area where you have access to YOUR essentials, so draw a list of things you and your family will need and measure how close you are to them.
- Is the standard of safety up to my expectations? – Safety is important to everyone, and in Johannesburg, a busy city, many people often fear petty crimes and ‘being at the wrong place at the wrong time’, so consider areas you know to have active patrolling and security services, especially if you are moving from a different province or country. The last thing you want to do is be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no access to safety. Always put safety first.
- Can I afford this? – Luckily, with Johannesburg Housing Company, the rental rates are not steep, as they cater for low-income earning individuals. So, take a look at your budget, decide how much you are willing to pay and never go above budget. You want to still be able to enjoy the city, now, don’t you?
After these questions, you may have a clearer idea of where you want to live area-wise and now need to look at buildings around there.
On The Net
It is amazing how technology has improved. Nowadays, people can do virtual tours of flats online, look at pictures, and read the descriptions of buildings they are looking at. So, when doing your research, start with a search engine search, then follow through with a social media search. Why? On social media, you have a higher chance of getting recommendations from people who either live where you want to live or have lived there before. Some of the questions to ask there are:
- Any affordable buildings around (insert area)?
- What do people who live in (area) like and dislike about it?
- Are there any community projects I should know about in (area)?
- Fun things to do in (area)
- Which rental agency or housing company helps with (building or area)?
Answers to these questions will also offer a lifestyle check for you, and you will get to see if the area is liveable according to YOUR standards. Remember, it’s all about you and those you are moving with.
To The Rental Agency
Now you’ve found the building that could house you, but you aren’t sure if your plants, kids, friends or even your own vibe will agree to it. So, you book a viewing or contact a rental agent to find out what’s what. Here are some of the questions to ask:
- Do you have security on site?
- What kind of access is used in the building?
- What are your rules on visitors?
- What’s included in the rent?
- Do we have a building manager on site?
At The Viewing
Once the rental agent has eased your heart and mind by answering the above clearly and concisely, you will either deal with the same agent or meet the building manager at the building when viewing. Here, you are able to actually see the flat you will be renting out. It is rare that you will view a flat that is a showroom only, unless the flat you will be occupying still has tenants, which the agent or manager will explain to you. When viewing, this is when you ask questions regarding the flat and building. So think:
- How many plug points are in here, and where are they located?
- Are pets allowed?
- Are children allowed?
- Is there a garden, laundry room, and/or hanging lines?
- Does it get loud? (if you are someone who doesn’t appreciate noise, refrain from living in places dominated by students)
- Is it easy to get transport to and from here?
- How do I call security in an emergency?
- What’s it like at night and on the weekend?
Remember to also carry a checklist of things such as checking taps, the geyser, electricity metre, windows, etc. You want to ensure you point out any mistakes or inconveniences while viewing so that you do not sign a lease on a flat that will fall apart and cost you money in the long run.
Now you have the flat you want, the building you want, and the deposit needed. You need to sign. Remember to only sign a lease once you are happy. Before signing, you may want to check the following with the agency:
- The rules surrounding early cancellation
- How often they are entitled to increase rent
- What happens if you have a falling out with a neighbour
You need to know how to handle any and everything that may come at you with the legal backing of the agreement you have.
Choosing Your Jozi Home
Lucky for you, the building and location part of your search will not be tedious as long as you have JHC by your side. Take a look at our buildings and see how we make Jozi housing a reality for many residents. Remember to take your time, ask as many questions as you can, and choose wisely. This way, you will be guaranteed to love where you live.