When viewing a house you want to buy, don’t forget the practicalities. David Newton from Newton Fallowell, reminds us of the important factors to pay attention to when viewing a property, as some structural issues can play a part in the price you are ready to pay for the property.
When approaching the property look out for faults and problems that could end up costing you a lot of time and money. The most common features that cause homeowners problems are; loose roof tiles, chimneys with bends, damp, cracks in the walls and pipes and gutters. Although old gutters and pipes do not necessarily mean they are a problem, it is important that they have been maintained to reduce the blockages which cause damp in the property.
David said, “Buyers also forget to check features such as; the number of power sockets, the temperature of taps and pressure of the shower, that the windows open and close easily and also whether light switches work correctly.”
Inside the property there are various features that you should test and question. Firstly, keep an eye out for electrical or plumbing issues that may need corrected. Test the windows - double glazing will reduce drafts and noise. Look for damp and mould and check thoroughly behind bookcases and beds. Damp may not be visible, so try to sense any spots by the smell damp often creates. If mould is visible, don’t let it put you off the property. Instead contact a damp surveyor, which usually costs £50 - £75. Cracks can also worry buyers but most are minor and are a result of age.
Remember, most of the problems discussed can be easily fixed and most are inexpensive. If you wish to carry out a full structural survey on the property, a good agent should be able to put you in contact with a specialist.
Most sellers are very willing to help you make the correct decision, so don’t be afraid to ask for information or certificates for recent structural work to the property. You can also ask to see a year’s gas and electricity bills, so you know what to expect.
Finally, David explains, “Make sure you view a potential home more than once, as the more you view a property, the more apparent potential problems and favourable attributes become.” This will allow you to assess whether the property gets enough natural light and also the noise and commute during rush hour and at the weekend.