Buying a new property can be a stressful experience. The location, size and price of the property are often at the top of people’s agenda when they’re property hunting. But the structural fitness of a building is just as important.
Here are five tips that can help you ensure that the property you move into is the right one.
1. Is the roof in a good state?
The roof might be the last thing on your mind when you’re buying a house, but it can be the first thing to cause you major problems if it’s in a state of disrepair. Try to see if the roof looks like it’s in a reasonable shape from the outside, or if you can detect any signs of leakage on the inside. The roof is one of the few parts of a house which you can’t really work on by yourself, so get in touch with a roof contractor to assess the state of the roof or get a quote for upgrading it.
2. Are the electrics up to date?
If the house you are looking to buy is a little older, there’s a good chance the electrics may be out-of-date or even faulty. Check that all the sockets and switches are functioning effectively. If the circuits are old, the load capacity might not be large enough to support multiple modern appliances running concurrently. Have a look at the fuse board to determine if the circuits have a high enough capacity. If the circuits are damaged or more than 20 years old, it’s recommended that you rewire the house to ensure it’s up to date with current standards and regulations.
3. What state are the walls in?
Getting up close to the interior walls of the property can give you a lot of insight into what state they’re in. Most importantly, check that there are signs of damp. Damp can cause structural damage to the property, but more importantly, it can cause a number of health issues. According to a World Health Organization report, damp can cause skin symptoms as well as asthma in children and adults. In many cases damp can be treated, but if the condition looks severe, it may be best to avoid the property altogether.
4. Has any major work been done to the property?
If the previous owner has built an extension to the house or knocked through walls, then that can be a bonus for you — or it can pose a problem. Make sure that any major work done to the property is finished to a high standard, and check for damage or cracks. Alternatively, if you’d like to do some work to the property yourself, check that it’s possible to do so or whether you’ll need to apply for planning permission.
5. What are the fire safety standards of the property?
For your peace of mind, you’ll want to know that any property you move into does not contain flammable materials and is designed to withstand fire damage. Check that interior doors are high quality and meet modern safety requirements, and check for any external cladding that could be potentially flammable.
Be Confident Your Next Property is in Good Working Order
If you’ve bought a new property, the last thing you want to happen is to discover hidden damage, which could cost you thousands of dollars to repair. Make sure you check the five areas detailed above to minimize the risk of that happening.
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