What to look for when house hunting

Buying a property is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make, so it’s important to know what to look out for when viewing a house. This will mean you’re more likely to find a property that meets your needs and you’ll be on the alert for any potential problems.

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Is there any damp?

Look out for any signs of damp. The main tell-tale signs are flaky plaster, a mouldy smell and watermarked walls or ceilings. You can read more about what to look out for here: It might sound obvious, but make sure you look closely at the ceiling and around the skirting boards for any clues. If a room has been repainted recently, this may be to cover damp.

Is it structurally sound?

Look out for any big cracks, especially on the end of terrace walls, around bay windows and where extensions join. Hairline cracks are not always an issue and are to be expected. Make a note of anything that concerns you and ask a surveyor to investigate further.

Check the plumbing and the drains

You can check the water pressure by running the taps. Confirm that pipes are suitably insulated and check that the radiators work. Ask about the boiler and when it was last replaced. Check the condition of the drains and whether there have been any historical issues. You should consider CCTV drainage surveys Kingsbury or elsewhere, which will rule out any blockages or other issues which could be problematic in the future. You can find out more about drainage surveys here: wilkinson-env.co.uk/drainage-services-cctv-surveys-midlands/drain-jetting/drain-jetting-kingsbury/.

Is the roof in good repair?

It’s very expensive to replace a roof and newer roofs are only expected to last between 15 and 25 years, depending on the materials used. Look out for broken tiles which need attention. If the house has a flat roof, investigate how it’s been sealed and whether there are any signs of leaks or damp.

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How old are the windows?

Are the window frames in good condition, or do they have flaking paint? The condition of the windows is a good indicator as to how well the house has been maintained overall. If the double-glazing has failed and there’s condensation between the panels, they are faulty and will need to be replaced.

Give your surveyor a list of anything you notice that you would like to be checked in more detail.

Author: Kei Taylor

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