If you're in the market to buy a new property, you have to be sure that you aren't letting your heart rule your head! Any estate agent will tell you that an emotional connection to house is vital, but more than that, you need to know that you aren't biting off more than you can chew, in terms of restoration or renovation tasks. We've put together a handy list of red flags to look out for, right here, so come with us now as we fill you in on everything you need to know. You'll be sure that you've found a dream home then and not simply plumped for a money pit!
Parking is always a bugbear, you make sure that you've checked if there are permits in effect in the street you are interested in, what the time zones for said permits are, or if there aren't any restrictions, make sure you visit during peak times, to see how many cheeky people park there during the day! Your best hope is that there is an off-road parking space!
Broken or faulty guttering can lead to large repair bills, especially if moisture gets into your bricks or drains develop large blockages! Have a quick scan and just be sure that each section is intact.
Even one single missing roof tile could lead to massive repair bills and a lot of upheaval, so be sure to scan the top of any potential house really thoroughly! If you go inside, have a look in the loft space as well, just to be sure you can't see any daylight peeking through the tiles!
Ask sellers if their houses have any weird quirks, such as faulty toilet flushes, which could be symptomatic of a wider plumbing problem. We all know that call-out charges can soon rack up, so be sure of what you're getting into!
Wooden window frames are a gorgeous period feature, but when they have serious rot issues, you will end up lumbered with a hefty repair bill! Don't forget that your frames hold the glass in too, and if that goes, it'll be a cold and expensive winter!
What is there locally? You need to be on the lookout for handy corner shops, any businesses and, make sure you look for a pub too! If you're too close, you might find that it will be a very noisy area to live in! If you have a family, you'll want to check the area for parks and schools as well!
We can't stress enough how important it is that you view a house a few times, at different times of the day and on different days! You need to get a good feel for how much traffic there is during peak times, how easy it is to park and if there are any flight paths directly above the property!
Your survey should give you all the information you need, in terms of whether or not your home is at risk of subsidence, but ask the question directly yourself and, step back and see how the house actually looks. You could also speak to neighbours, to find out what issues they have faced in the past.
Always be sure to check interior and exterior walls fro signs of damp! If there is a basement in place, it will be a prime contender for moisture issues, but always have a really good look at bathrooms as well!
Are you looking at a house at the bottom of a hill? Are you near a river? These are all vital things to take into consideration, as being on a flood plain or at risk of flooding will have an enormous effect on your home insurance. It's so easy to forget that you have more costs to consider than just an asking price!
Finally, always creep up on a home, arrive early for a viewing or go back to have a sneaky look on your own, as that's when noisy neighbours will reveal themselves! The last thing you need is to buy a dream home, only to discover that your neighbours argue and shout all the time, or worse still, that they have a lot of cars to rev up all weekend long!
For more home-buying tips, take a look at this Ideabook: A step-by-step guide to buying your own home.