When it comes to buying property, having your wits about you certainly helps. You’re able to spot a good deal a mile off and use it to your advantage.
But finding a home that really works for you can be a challenge. Sellers will often work hard to paper over the problems with their properties, hiding all kinds of horrors under a sparkling veneer.
In this post, therefore, we take a look at some of the ways that you can become a smart property buyer.
Check The Brickwork
The exterior brickwork of a property says a lot about the condition of the overall building. If it is cracked or chipped, it suggests deeper, long-term issues that could be hard to fix. Repointing is generally quite affordable. But if the entire wall requires replacement, that could set you back significantly.
Look For Evidence Of Insects
Many property buyers like to get termite inspections to check that insects aren’t currently harming the woodwork (or haven’t in the past). These sorts of checks are essential because the damage can be difficult to see. Often, problems lurk well below the floorboards. In some cases, damage can be so severe that it jeopardizes the structure integrity of the entire home.
Check The Garden’s Maintenance Requirements
Having a large garden seems like a great idea until it comes to actually maintaining it. Mowing the lawn, pruning the bushes and weeding can easily take up a whole morning on the weekend – and sometimes longer. Before buying, therefore, ask yourself whether you are really in a position to dedicate time to your outdoor areas. Instead of being a perk, these features could wind up becoming a millstone around your neck.
Look For Problems In The Roof
Roof problems are notoriously expensive to resolve so, before buying any property, thoroughly check the roof for issues. Look for things like missing or cracked tiles, and make sure that the chimney is straight. Also check the state of the drains and gutters. If these are in poor condition, then they could adversely affect the rest of the property.
Find Out If the Hot Water Works Properly
When you look around a property, check the faucet and find out how long it takes for hot water to start flowing. Ideally, it should occur almost immediately. But in some properties, you have to run a lot of cold water from the pipes before you get the hot water that you want.
Look Out For Exposed Wires
When it comes to electrics, exposed wires are a big no-no. Not only are they dangerous, but they also suggest problems with the underlying electrics.
Before buying the property, ask the buyer about the electrics and when they were last changed. If they are more than fifty years old, you may need to replace them urgently to make your home safe.
Check For Flooring Wear
Another thing you’ll need to do is to check for wear and tear on the flooring. If you notice depressions in the floor, ask the seller what’s causing them. If it is a harmless cavity, then that’s fine – you can soon repair it. However, it could be a sign of subsidence, one of the most dangerous and annoying of home problems.
Ask Whether The Light Switches Work
You will also want to find out whether the light switches work by testing them manually if you can. If they don’t work, it again suggests an issue with the electrics that you will need to correct yourself if you go ahead and buy.
Look For A Bath
Some cheap accommodation won’t come with a bath. Instead, all you’ll have is a shower. Furthermore, often the option to install a bath might not exist if the bathroom itself is too compact.
A small bathroom isn’t a dealbreaker, but it can influence your decision-making. Not having a bath reduces the resale value of the property.
Look For Broadband And TV Connections
Fitting broadband and TV connections after you buy is feasible and not too expensive. But it’s yet another hassle you have to add to a long list of chores once you buy. Be honest with yourself. Is it worth it?
Check The Property’s Certificates
Lastly, when you buy a property you intend to live in long-term, how much energy it consumes matters. After all, there’s nothing worse than living in a cheap home with massive heating bills. That’s why it is a good idea to check the property’s energy certificates before you buy. Look at its rating and ask whether it is something you could afford long-term.