Buying a house is probably the biggest investment the average person can make, so being aware of any and all of its defects is simply a must. Astonishingly, some people make a decision to buy after viewing of property for a mere half an hour, which is something that you will certainly regret to some extent.
At Handymantips.org, we that it’s prudent to follow a list of to-check chores before any viewing, for there are simply one too many aspects one should inspect. We find it crucial to mentioned, that a single viewing is never enough and if you do happen to forget something, you can and should arrange a second, a third, and forth viewing if necessary. Indeed, any additional viewing is a good idea. Ideally, each should be at a different time of day/week so you can a thorough impression of what the neighborhood is like. We also strongly advise you to take a walk a feel it for yourself.
Without any further ado, here are 10 of the most important things to check when viewing a property:
1. Are there any structural problems?
Most buildings will have some hairline cracks appear over time, but these happen seldom and aren’t anything to worry about.
However, larger cracks are a cause for big concern, especially when at the foundations. Examine end-of-terrace walls, bay windows and areas where extensions join to walls. These components/areas are the most likely to fall away from the main structure.
Check out concrete floors, door frames, and near-plumbing areas. Systematic leakage can also cause irreversible structural damage in the long term. That’s why you have to:
2. Check for signs of damp.
Serious damp can be very tricky to get rid of. Check for damp patches, peeling paint and that telling mouldy smell. Examine skirting boards and ceilings, and be wary of freshly painted rooms, as they could conceal dampness. If you fail to spot the signs of moist, you’ll lay the pathway to a tiresome and effort consuming battle with water damage. If too late, the battle might have already been lost. That’s why it’s crucial to do a thorough inspection of each and all shady and moisty areas.
3. Which direction does the house face?
One of the potential benefits of a summer time viewing is that you should be able to tell which direction the sun is coming from. Is the main living space very bright in the morning, but dark in the evening, or vice-versa?
A room that receives the afternoon sun can be hard to bear in summer, while some rooms can be perpetually gloomy due to their position. If you can, visit the property at different times of day, and you’ll have a better impression of how good or bad the natural lighting is.
4. Does it have enough storage space?
It’s easy to forget about storage space, particularly if the property is empty when you view it, giving the impression of ample room. But check for cupboards, lofts and other areas where you can keep your belongings. If you have many possessions, this is even more important. New-builds often have poor storage facilities.
5. Will your existing furniture fit?
This is worth some thought, especially if you’re looking at newly-built properties, which are often smaller than older buildings. A good dash of advice is to take proper measurement to make sure that your existing furnishing will fit in properly but if possible, it’s always better to start your new life with a fresh interior. Especially for couples who have just moved in, a fresh set of furnishing is a far better option than using the same as that of your previous home. You can rest assured that a brand new set of classic wooden bedroom furniture will give your home a solid yet refreshing and energizing atmosphere.
6. Beware of staging tricks.
A seller may have read up on ways to make their property more spacious or otherwise more compelling. Strategically placed mirrors, clever lighting, a freshly brewed coffee pot, the smell of freshly applied paint, and of course, newly-sanded floors, say the Floor Sanding (London) PROs, these are all techniques that sellers use to make you more inclined to view the property as your new home. If you’re going to keep the carpets, check how clean they are. If there are any stains, are you going to be able to get them out? Or will you need to budget to replace the current flooring?
That’s why keeping a sharp eye on details can help you weave out what’s considered “smoke and mirrors” and focus on what matters the most. Generally, staging tricks stand for anything that will affect your senses, such as sight, scent and even hearing. If you notice that each and all windows are sealed, open them as soon as you enter the property.
There might be intense levels of sound pollution that the seller is trying to cover up. If you see many dehumidifiers, there might be an issue with damp (more on that bellow). If you light is rather murky and curtains are down, pull them out and open the windows. Reducing light might be an attempt to cover damage or other problems the human eye would otherwise easily notice.
There is nothing wrong to transform your living space but property developers will often abuse the tricks behind renovation to their advantage.
7. Is the roof and guttering in good condition?
It’s crucial to check the roof and ensure it’s included in the survey. Replacing a roof can be extremely time and fund-consuming. Bear in mind that newer roofs tend to have a shorter life compared to older ones – perhaps just 15-20 years.
If the property features any flat roofing, check or ask about this too. Modern roofing techniques use a special membrane which should be effective in keeping water out in the long-term. However, if the roof features asphalt and gravel, edges and seams may be poorly sealed, which can ultimately damage your gutters. A dash of advice from the Bespoke Guttering Experts is to use seamless aluminum units because of their resilience to damage, leakage, rust, not to mention how easy gutter cleaning is
Read more: How Often Do You Replace Your Roof?.
8. Are the windows in good condition?
Well-maintained windows are often a sign that the rest of the property has been well looked after, say the Top Window Cleaners. That’s why you should examine the window frames and check for rotting. If the windows are double-glazed and feature condensation, this means they are corrupted and require replacement or repair..
Factor any upgrades into your offer price, since a full set of windows is expensive. Ensure a FENSA (or similar) certificate is included with any new windows.
- Benefits of Getting Your Windows and Doors Retrofitted.
- Professional or DIY Window and Door Installation?
9. Ask questions about the plumbing.
Check the tap water pressure during the viewing. Are pipes insulated? Are any pipes are made of lead? If so they will need to be replaced. Ask if there are any issues with the radiator and the boiler.
Older boilers may well present costly problems later on. Hot water tanks located in the roof are usually old, and may need to be replaced sooner rather than later. Remember that issues with pipes or your boiler could result in a home emergency situation. We always recommend having home emergency cover, there are a number of reputable companies offering these in UK.
10. Check any issues with unwanted sounds.
Thin walls are sadly a common problem with UK new builds, both internal ones, and those adjacent to next door properties. Ask about this. A loud TV may be on to disguise sounds from neighbors; ask for it to be turned off. Also look around the neighborhood – are there any potential sources of unwanted sound? Late night takeaway shops, pubs and the like? If you like your peace and quiet, these are important questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line.
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11. Insurance and first-time buyers.
People rarely have all the funds when it comes down to a buying a property and in most occasions, mortgage is involved. According to the Mortgage Saving Experts, more than 47% of all house purchases in the UK, backed up by a mortgage were done by people who just got their first home.
Although encouraging, the data might mean that many first-time buyers might take the risk and leave proper insurance aside but nevertheless, it is still a crucial aspect of buying a new home.
To buy a new home is a task full of responsibility and risk. That’s why being aware of the right set of things to inspect is absolutely crucial. If you fail to spot a problem on time, you pave the way for nerves, effort and money spending in your future.