When people are looking to buy a new home, there are often things that tend to be overlooked when it comes to viewing a property. Prospective buyers will nearly always have certain things in mind that they’re looking for i.e number of bedrooms, a certain size garden, whether or not there is parking. But there are also other factors that we recommend are considered too…
Is there damp?
The main giveaway signs of damp in a property are a mouldy smell, flaking plaster, and watermarked walls or ceilings. It sounds obvious, but make sure you look closely near the ceiling and around the skirting boards. Another clue could be if a room appears to have just had a new paint-job- check the the aforementioned areas as there’s a possibly of this new paint covering a damp spot.
Is the property structurally sound?
Big cracks are what you are should potentially be worried about when viewing a property, but some hairline cracks are to be expected. Look where extensions join, end-of-terrace walls, and around windows, all of which can start to fall or bow away from the rest of the house. If you’re concerned about anything that do speak to your estate agent, and then you can ask your appointed surveyor to investigate later. A decent, chartered surveyor with years of experience is trained to spot risks and know what needs attention and can hopefully give you peace of mind.
How much storage space is there?
Storage space is often overlooked in favour of the kerb appeal or look of the house, but is so important when it comes to living somewhere happily. Think about where you’ll keep your hoover, clothes, towels, spare linen, kids’ toys? Is there room for new storage to be built in if necessary? Especially in newly built houses, storage space can be scarce and isn’t often factored in.
Which way does the house/garden face?
In winter, or during a cloudy day or at night, it is difficult to tell the difference between a north and south facing house or garden. Many people don’t have a preference as to which way their house faces in terms of light preferences in certain rooms, but some people do. If you’re one of these people, don’t be shy about taking a compass with you when viewing a property (most smart phones have one now!)
How old is the roof?
Replacing a roof is an expensive business, and newer roofs have a life expectancy of only 15-20 years, depending on the materials used. Also, if the property has a flat roof i.e. on an extension, check out the material with which it sealed. Nowadays a membrane is used and is better than asphalt and gravel, which can leave seams and edges unsealed.
What’s the loft space like?
People often ignore the loft, but it is an important part of the house, so ask to view it if possible. How easy is it to access? Is it boarded and is there much storage space? Could it be converted into another room(s) in the future? Is it insulated? The latter will make a huge difference to your bills, plus general comfort in colder weather.