Viewing properties isnt only about which property looks prettiest or has the number of bedrooms you need, you need to look deeper than this. Any property you own you will need to maintain and potentially improve to bring it up to speed or fix any potential problems. Some problems are easy to live with or easy to fix, but some are more difficult and expensive. We list some of the most common issues to look out for and what to do if you find them. 
 
Mould 
This can be a key sign of moisture, which could be from something as innocent as poor ventilation or something more sinister such as a leak. Normally mould can be treated with hot water and bleach, but the root cause should be investigated. 
 
Damp 
Damp is a more serious follow-on problem from moisture. Mainly caused by water entering the property from outside in a continuous flow. This can be from broken guttering, a leak in the roof or from damage to an external wall. If left untreated the problem, the damp can spread and needs to be handled effectively by qualified professionals which could cost into the £1000s to fix. 
 
Blown windows 
When double glazing is compromised they begin to fog up as air and moisture get between the 2 panes of glass. Once this happens they need to be replaced as they are no longer as energy efficient as they should be. Replacing double glazing is also another expense you would need to consider. 
 
Mismatch paint 
A lazy home owner or landlord with just paint the areas that need care, so you can see the fresh paint in areas over the old paint. This is a sign that they have done the bare minimum to maintain the property before showing it to you. If they have cut corners in this area, where else have they cut corners? 
 
Broken sockets 
Not only are broken sockets dangerous to human contact but could lead to an internal fire which could devastate the property. This would mean potential damage before you buy the property, putting your purchase in jeopardy or costly repairs after completion. 
 
Missing roof tiles 
Most damp or problems in properties come from above. This is mainly due to missing roof tiles or roof tiles that have slipped. Although a roof with missing tiles now may not present an issue, it could develop into one in the future. This would lead to potential roof replacement, ceiling damage and worse. 
 
Old boiler 
Old boilers are not very energy efficient and can be expensive to heat your home. A boiler replacement can be one of the most expensive and inconvenient repairs for a homeowner. The lose of heating or hot water, especially in winter can be a major inconvenience which won’t be made any better by the fact it would cost £2,000+ to replace a boiler with a new combi boiler. 
 
Old consumer unit 
Due to changes in legislation old consumer units can be illegal for landlords. They will also need to be replaced at some point for homeowners as they pose a dangerous threat. Just like with boiler replacements these can also be costly. 
 
Wall cracks 
Cracks in the wall could be just the plaster cracking but can also be the main indicator of structural movement. Movement can come from slipping or subsidence which can only be fixed by underpinning costing £10,000s. 
 
Low water pressure 
If you cannot see the condition of the boiler or plumbing the best way to detect if the plumbing works well or is old and in need of replacement is to run the water either by the shower or running a tap. The water trickles out or has little power the system may need replacing. 
 
If you spot any of these issues above it isnt the end of the world, best practice is to instruct a full survey by a professional to discover the full extent of the issues. The survey will come back with the full extent of the issue and its root cause and a plan of action required to rectify the problem. Some problems can be fixed with little cost and effort, but some may be severe. You can then use the survey to negotiate with the seller for a price reduction to reflect the scale of the remedial work. Or if things are too sever for you , you can walk away from a potential money pit. 
 
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Tagged as: House Buying
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