Buying a house for many is the biggest life investment that you will ever make, therefore the time and effort taken to research the property in question should reflect this. It is important that time and energy be put into researching prospective properties to ensure buying your dream home doesn’t become a costly nightmare! To assist Clarke & Humel have compiled a key checklist of property red flags you should be searching for when viewing your next property.
Which way the house is facing: It may not be until you’ve lived in a home with limited light that you begin to realise the importance of light in the overall experience of living in a property. How much light a home receives will not only affect the likelihood of mould occurring, but it also affects the overall experience of the property, resulting in either a property being full of light and warmth or one depressingly dark and gloomy.
Check for mould: As mentioned above, mould is a crucial red flag you should be looking for in every room. Pay particular attention to watermarked walls, ceilings or flaky plaster as this may be an indication that they have tried to repaint an area of the house to cover up damp. In addition, pay attention to bathrooms as these rooms are inherently more likely to harbour dampness, and ensure to check all cabinets and drawers as even a smell of damp in these areas can be an indication of something more sinister.
Check interior and exterior walls for cracks: A thorough inspection of all walls should be undertaken to ensure there are no cracks. Any cracks larger than 2.0mm should be a call for concern and is most likely an indication of structural damage. If you do find these types of cracks, it’s best to ask a qualified building inspector for their professional opinion.
Roof inspection: From an initial visual inspection you should examine the roof to ensure it’s free of any dents or deflections. In addition to this, it is advisable to walk around the house to ensure any drain pipes have no signs of rust, are working correctly, and that there is sufficient drainage structure in place for the house. If you notice signs of excess water or signs of past flooding this may be an indication that the drainage framework is inefficient. Remember resolving these issues can be very costly and difficult as it may involve excavation of the surrounding area.
Don’t focus too much on the interior design: Try not to get carried away by how the house is dressed. Just remember that the core of the house is the most important thing and in most cases, many of the interior features won't come with it when you buy it. Cleverly placed furniture, lighting, and mirrors can often fool those inspecting the property by giving the illusion that the house is bigger and brighter than it is, or worse it may be hiding structural damage. Don’t be afraid to look behind furniture and mirrors to ensure nothing is being hidden or disguised.
Research the neighbourhood: As important as it is to thoroughly inspect your prospective property, it is as important to make sure the area you may live in doesn’t have any worrying signs also. Take your own time to research and physically walk around your neighbourhood, even better, chat with neighbours about their opinions on the area. Things you should look out for include;
- Are there any noisy establishments nearby who’s noise might travel to your house?
- Are shops and local facilities that you might need in close proximity?
- Are you near an airport or underneath a flight path?
- If you require a school, are there ones nearby whose standard you are happy with?
- If possible, try and observe the neighbours around your house, do they seem friendly and approachable?
To conclude, when researching a potential property, no stone can be left unturned. Don’t feel ashamed to ask questions or spend time revisiting the property. At the end of the day it will be you who will pay the biggest price if the research is not correctly undertaken.
Clarke & Humel take great care when it comes to real estate. Send us an email if you want to see more blogs like this!