Posted: May 26, 2017
Whether you’re buying a property in the UK, Spain or Timbuctoo, there are certain things you should always check before committing to the purchase – beyond making sure there are four walls and a door that is.
So, what should you be checking?
It’d be quite difficult to disguise a missing roof, but a damaged roof can be tricky to detect. Newer rooves are only expected to last 20 years maximum and they can be costly to replace. If you can, find out when the roof was last replaced and assess the state of it from both outside and within the property. Buying a new house is costly enough, you don’t to be forking out to replace the roof five minutes after you move in!
Some places, and certain building materials, are more susceptible to damp than others. Damp is not only time consuming to deal with from a cosmetic point of view – if left untreated it can seriously undermine the structural integrity of a house. There are a few signs that a property has damp issues. When doing your viewing check for a mouldy smell, flaky plaster and watermarked walls or ceilings. The current occupier of the property may have tried to hide a damp issue by repainting the walls – so fresh paint can also be a bit of a warning sign.
Unless you have a fantastic inner compass it’s not always easy to figure out whether a house faces north or south. Make sure you check as without having spent a whole day in a property, or without viewing it during different weather conditions, you won’t know whether it’s going to be dark and gloomy for the majority of the time or light and bright. A north-facing garden is also likely to get comparatively little light – a fact you may want to bear in mind if you’re a keen gardener.
A property might appear nice and spacious on first viewing, but if there isn’t an attic, garage, shed or sufficient internal cupboard space you could find that you end up spending your life tripping over hoovers/bikes/boxes of junk you never plan to unpack. Make sure the property you’re considering has sufficient storage for your current possessions, as well as any items you hope to buy in the future. If it doesn’t at the moment, assess whether there’s the potential to add this storage in. If there isn’t it might not be the house for you.
Unless the property has off-road parking or a garage, you’re going to be competing with your new neighbours for somewhere to park. This may not be a problem, but in built up areas or places with limited parking options, you could find that you end up wasting huge chunks of time looking for somewhere to park every time you come home. When you’ve got shopping to carry or have had a particularly long day this is far from ideal, so do some research into the parking situation in the area you’re considering.
While there are, of course, many other things you should check if you’re planning to buy a property, this little list has hopefully covered some of the basics.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a property abroad, be sure to check out our free guides for more information.