Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases of your life, so small mistake can cost big. The most common faults that property owners wish they knew before buying the home include checking the buildings structure, looking for any damp and the structural integrity of the roof.
South West Surveys have put together a helpful guide for you to refer to when you’re looking to buy a property, whether it’s your first time on the property market or you’re looking to relocate to somewhere new!
Is the building structurally sound?
When you’re looking at a property to purchase, it’s important to look for cracks in the walls – you should expect some hairline cracks, but big cracks are what you are looking out for. You should pay close attention to where extensions join, end-of-terrace walls and bay windows, all of which can start to fall or bow away from the rest of the house. By looking out for these issues during the house viewing, you can ask the homeowner or estate agent about them, and then ask your surveyor for a house survey to investigate later. A chartered surveyor with years of experience is trained to spot risks and know what needs attention.
Is there damp?
When you’re viewing a property, it’s important to keep an eye out for any damp smells or marks. The main giveaway signs are a mouldy smell, flaky plaster and watermarked walls or ceilings. Make sure to look closely near the ceiling and around skirting boards as this is where you are likely to find it. Another clue for damp may be if a room has just been freshly repainted to cover any dampness.
Is the double glazing intact?
The state of the external window frames on a property is a great indicator to the state of the house. If people have invested in the windows and looked after them, then you can be fairly confident that the rest of the property has been taken great care of.
If the property has wooden frames and you can easily push your finger into them then they are likely to be rotten. If you can see condensation between the double-glazed windows, then it usually means that they are faulty. If the windows have been recently installed, then it’s important to attain the FENSA certificate which should come with a guarantee.
How old is the roof?
Depending on the materials used, a newer roof should have a life expectancy of 15-20 years. Replacing a roof can be very expensive, so it’s important to have it checked so that you don’t incur any surprise charges later on. If the property you are interested in has a flat or nearly flat roof, you need to find out material that has been used to seal it. A membrane is usually used which is the superior material. Older roofs tend to be sealed with asphalt and gravel, which can unfortunately leave seams and edges unsealed at times.
Is the plumbing correct?
Plumbing is a big thing to check on. When you’re viewing properties, run the taps to check the water pressure. Make a point of asking if the pipes are insulated, if the radiators work correctly and how old the boiler is. All of these questions will help you to find out more information on the property’s plumbing situation and if there are any known faults, you’ll be able to prepare yourself to spend some money to rectify the issues.
Get in touch with South West Surveys
These are just some of the most common things to look out for before buying a property. If you are interested in purchasing a property, we would recommend that you get in touch with the team at South West Surveys for either a homebuyer survey and valuation or building survey, both of which can provide a detailed inspection of a property’s condition.