This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions. We may earn money or products from the affiliate links in this post.
Some buyers go around a house for half an hour and they make a decision as to whether or not they want to buy it. The main thing to remember here is that this house is quite possibly going to be your home for the rest of your life, and half an hour might not be long enough for you to get a good idea of the property and what it has to offer.
Of course, it is understandable that you may not have hours spare to go through everything. So, it helps to have a checklist that can be used to try and work your way through the most important aspects of it.
The first thing that you need to take note of is whether there is damp or not. Damp can give off a very moldy smell and you may also see plaster that is flaking away from the walls. Other signs include watermarked walls and even ceilings as well. This may sound very obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people overlook things like this. You will want to look around the skirting board, and if the house has been recently painted, make sure that you ask the owners about this before you make your decision.
Structure and Safety
If the house looks solid then it is possible that you won’t need a survey done at all. Big cracks are what you want to look out for and you need to look out for where any extensions join on. You will also want to look around any bay windows as these can start to fall and they can even bow away from the house. If you do see some major cracks and you have some doubts then it may be worth getting a survey done after all. This is especially the case if you are worried that you won’t get the mortgage for the house unless you can prove that the repairs can be done for an affordable price. It also helps to have a structural engineer work with you, as they can help you to know if you can do anything to make the repairs you need.
Storage space is an asset. Think about it, where are you going to put your vacuum cleaner? Your towels? Leftover junk? You also need to think about whether you have rooms to store your shelves and this is especially the case in newer builds.
When you are in the middle of winter it can be hard to know where the north and south is. In summer however, the last thing you want is to not get any sun in your garden and it can make all of the difference when it comes to your light and your warmth. You need to make sure that your house is pointing in the right direction in terms of the sun rising. If it isn’t then you may have trouble with your plants and any gardening that you want to get done, so this is one of the many considerations that you need to keep in mind.
Sellers may put smaller furniture into a room to try and make it appear bigger. This is a major concern, so when you are entering a room it is a good idea for you to make sure that you take some measurements if possible. If you are looking for a 3 room flat for sale then look at the size of each room as well rather than the house as a whole. This will make it much easier for you to compare the size of the room that you have now with the house that you plan on investing in.
It is also a good idea for you to look at the state of the windows. The window frames are a good indicator to the overall condition of the house. For example, if it is clear that they have looked after the windows and their frames then they have taken good care of the rest of the house as well. If you can push your finger into a wooden window frame then this means that the window is rotten. You will need to get the whole thing repaired and you will also have to deal with any condensation as a result.
You should also look at the roof, if possible. If you need to get the whole roof repaired then this is a very expensive task. You need to worry about the cost of the labour and even the materials as well. Newer roofs tend to last around 20-30 years however it is possible for them to last longer if they are well taken care of. If you are not sure about this then make sure that you do everything you can to determine the age of the roof by asking the existing owner or even the real estate agent.
Next up comes the plumbing. Run all of the taps to try and check the water pressure. It’s a good idea to find out whether the water pressure is high or low so you know when you move into the house what to expect. You should also check to see if the pipes are insulated or not. If they are not insulated or if they need to be replaced then this could cost you a lot of money in the future. When you have done all of this, then find out how old the boiler is. If the tank for the boiler is in the roof then it is probably a very old boiler and you may need to get it replaced. This is an additional expense on top of the house value, so it is a very important thing for you to keep in mind.
If you can hear the neighbor’s TV through your own wall then this is not a good sign. It shows that your property is not sound-proofed enough and this could lead to unfriendly confrontations at a later date. You can talk to the owner of the house about this but they may not always be honest with you, so don’t be afraid to walk around and listen out for any noises that you shouldn’t really be hearing. This is the best way for you to find out if the walls are too thin or not and it can save you a lot of stress later.