Buying a house is probably the biggest financial commitment you’ll ever make. You need to feel safe and secure in that property. And you need to know that there is nothing wrong with it. After all, any first-time buyer is going to be short of cash for major repairs if something did happen. So how can you make sure you’re not buying a money pit? Perform these essential checks before you agree to a sale:
Ask The Question
Always ask the vendor or the agent why the current owner is selling. You’ll get that feeling in your gut if you think they’re lying. Probe a bit by asking about some of the things you notice. Is that fence in the right place? Can you hear the traffic at night? Does it cost a lot to keep the place warm in winter? How does the oven work? When you ask a few questions, you’ll get an idea which ones were answered in full and which ones might have been hiding problems.
Look up in every room. If there are stains on the ceiling, then you’ll know there have been leaks and problems. Ask about them. If you see black stains, then this house has a mould and mildew problem. You might want to think twice about buying it. Alternatively, you could demand remedial work and redecoration to remove it.
Damaged or loose-fitting carpet can be a sign of neglect. It can also be a sign that the floor beneath is in poor condition. If you see cracks or damage to the floor, it might be a sign of a very serious structural problem. Don’t agree on a sale until surveyors like Allcott Associates have looked over the place. List your worries before engaging your surveyor.
Look closely at the brickwork, paving, lawns and boundary fencing. If they show signs of neglect, then you might need to negotiate repair work with the vendor. Gaps between the bricks or deep cracks could be signs of serious subsidence problems. Mortgage lenders tend not to lend on properties like that.
Wait and Watch
Walk around the neighbourhood at different times of the day and night so you can get a better idea what the community is like. Are there lots of cars passing by when you would want to be sleeping? Are there traffic jams nearby when you would want to commute to work? If you can, turn up when it’s raining to check gutters aren’t overflowing and that there is no standing water around.
Ask The Neighbours
You should try and chat to some of the neighbours when you view the house. After all, these people might become your neighbours. Friendly neighbours might even tell you what they think of the people you’re buying from. If you don’t hear good things, think twice before trying to enter into a contract with them. You might be concerned with the legacy they leave behind for that address too.
Always visit a property on several occasions before committing to buy it. Turning up unannounced might be considered rude and aggressive, so try to be discreet. Always ask a surveyor to perform checks if you are concerned.