All the things to look for when buying a house usually go out of the window as soon as you walk in! They say most people make their mind up within a few seconds of walking into a property as to whether they have fallen in love with it or not and want to buy it.
Yet making a decision based on emotions can be very dangerous when it comes to buying a house. After all, this is a very expensive purchase and buying in haste could mean you repent at leisure which, in turn, could put a serious strain on your relationship. When considering things to look for when buying a house its important to look in detail at all aspects of the property. What about the couple who scraped together all their pennies to buy the house of their dreams outright seeing it as their ‘forever’ home, only to find the roof wasn’t tied in properly, the rear wall was literally bowing out with a 60mm gap at the bottom caused by cracked drains and water seepage underground, and black mold growing in one of the reception rooms turned out to be a health hazard so serious it had been used as a component to make weapons of mass destruction, rendering the house uninhabitable while the problems were put right!
While not all cases of property purchase are so dramatic, nevertheless, it is worth trying to set realistic expectations and literally trying to keep your feet on the ground. When it comes to buying a house or you could find yourselves miserable, ill and seriously out of pocket, ruining the whole romantic idea that you had of the new house literally forever! So what are the key things to look for when buying a house?
When buying a house consider all factors regarding the exterior and interior. The things to look for when buying a house could be something not many people factor in to there property search such as a roof or drainage. Although you may be fearful you may lose the property, this is preferable to finding you’ve bought something that turns out to be a millstone around your necks. Externally, literally stand back from the property and observe the lines and the roof and the downpipes. Look for cracked or missing slates, flat roofs (which are notorious for leaking in the cold, damp, wet British weather), and overall state of repair.
Internally, it is a different matter, you literally have to tread carefully. This is, after all, someone’s home (unless you are buying an empty property e.g. through Probate, ie the owner has died and you are buying from the estate or executors). You can never ask too many questions, but you may wish to ask some of them through the Estate Agents to spare blushes all round. It’s not easy to walk into someone’s home and view a property and pull up carpets to check the state of the floorboards, or move or open cupboard doors to see if they are positioned there to hide any cracks! But you can look at the state of decoration, ask if work has been carried out, ask to see any Guarantees relating to that work, look at the state of the decoration, see if you can smell damp, look for condensation, ask how old the boiler is, ask if the property has been rewired and look at the state of the carpets. You can tell a lot about the underlying state of a property by just looking at how well maintained it appears on the surface and if you feel embarrassed, remember, you won’t be the first potential buyers to ask questions and you most certainly won’t be the last.
If, after all this, you are still intent on buying the property but still have some reservations about the price, put in a lower offer – remember, you can always go up, you can’t go down! When it comes to commissioning a survey, you may rest more easy at night if you spend out a few hundred more pounds commissioning a full structural survey rather than one just for the purposes of mortgage valuation. A mortgage valuation survey is quicker and cheaper as it is simply there to inform the building society or bank that their investment is secured by the property whereas a full structural survey will take hours and enables a third party expert (usually RICS – Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors – qualified) to look around the property thoroughly, thus sparing your blushes but, more importantly, telling you exactly what the state of the property is both superficially and behind the scenes, so that you can estimate the true cost of any repairs once you’ve bought the property, should any be required and, better still, enabling you to negotiate on the asking price, depending on what is uncovered by the surveyor.
A good start point when asking questions about finding a new home, is to ask property experts, Zevizo Properties, we know what to look for and we are adept at asking all the right questions so we can pass on this advice to you to help you find exactly the new and, possibly, ‘forever’ home you are looking for.
We hoped you enjoyed our article on “things to look for when buying a house“. If there are any other things you can think of we may have missed out feel free to leave a comment and help some buyers in similar situations.