In this article I will explore 10 points for the average homebuyer to think about when viewing the property of their dreams. When looking at property it is very easy to miss some defaults in the property especially when the property ticks a lot of the boxes on your wish list
- Décor: - Everyone has their own taste and style but is the décor in the property something that in your opinion will need immediate attention or can you live with it while you attend to any other things you may whish to change or improve in the property. What is the finish like? Are there bubbles in the wallpaper? Has the painting been done professionally or does the cutting in make you seasick?
- Damp: - If you enter a room and there is a strange musty smell make sure to ask the agent or owner if there is a problem with damp in the property. Try to ascertain the severity of the problem i.e. is it a damp problem or a condensation problem the former will be much more costly to remedy than the latter. Also it is wise where there is a question of damp to alert your surveyor and seek advice on the cause and more importantly the cost of eradicating the problem. You can also ask that the vendor tackles the problem and provides your solicitor a certificate and guarantee from a damp specialist that the problem is no more before completion.
- Electrics: - Have a look at the switches and sockets in the property are they dated looking? Are the cables tracked or buried into the walls or external with conduit covering them? If so you may need to update the wiring in the property which can be costly and is always messy and will destroy the paintwork/ wallpaper in the property.
- The roof: - Examine the roof to check for any visible damage, missing tiles. Sagging eves, missing or leaking guttering or down spouting. Also have a look at the chimney making sure its nice, straight and shows no signs of damage. If in any doubt point out your concerns to your surveyor.
- The Windows: - Check all the windows in the property making sure they all open and close property. Check for drafts, leaks and faulty locks. With double glazed windows if there is condensation between the internal glass panes the window has “broken down” and will need replaced.
- Doors: - Check that all doors open and close property and there is no sticking or drag. Drag can be an indication that the doors are not hung property or worse still that there are subsidence issues in the property. Again let you surveyor know your concerns.
- Plumbing: - Again a quick once over all the taps, showers and toilets in the property ensuring there is no leaks and everything is working as it should. It also does no harm to check the ceilings of the rooms below for any signs of leaks.
- Heating system: - Ask the agent or owner to turn on the heating system at the start of the viewing. Make sure the boiler fires up and doesn’t make any worrying noises or rattles. Ask when the boiler was last serviced and when it was installed. Check the radiators to ensure that they are heating up top and bottom.
- Upkeep and maintenance: - A massive garden with rolling green lawns and lush flowerbeds is a beautiful thing if looked after. But if you don’t have the time or the inclination to maintain it the garden will quickly become an eyesore and a chore.
- Neighbours: - Everybody needs good neighbours! Take a drive about your soon to be neighbourhood at different times of the day and if possible a night time drive by to get a feel for the place and if it feels right you’ve found your new home.
The above is just a few points to consider none of them are deal breakers. I suppose the main thing to remember is to take your time and ensure your 100% happy after all this will more than likely be the biggest purchase of you life.