Searching for a house can be an exciting process, but it can also be a drawn-out one if you find that properties keep falling on the final hurdles. However this can often be avoided by seeking out these details on your first or second visit. A homeowner won’t willingly share the downfalls of their home with you, so it’s important to take a critical eye yourself. Besides, if it passes these five simple tests, then you can get all the more excited about moving on to the next step.
1. Water and Drainage
When you are shown around the kitchen, take a quick trip to the sink to test the taps. You can learn a lot about the water and drainage by turning on the hot and cold taps, and you’re looking to see if the water pressure is good, if the hot water comes through quickly, and if the water then drains away easily. If it fails on any of these checks, you’ll need to investigate further.
The condition of the windows, both inside and out, can be a good indication of how the property as a whole has been maintained. Most modern homes have double glazing for security and insulation, but check for misting as this could mean that they are faulty. For period properties with older windows, you should instead check that you are able to open and lock them, and keep an eye out for rotting panes.
3. The Attic
Don’t pass up on the opportunity to view the loft if they offer on a first viewing, and make sure that you ask by the second. Not only will you get an idea of extra storage space, but signs like damp patches, droppings or damaged belongings up there could indicate pests and poor roof insulation.
If you’re searching for a house where you dream of spending Sunday mornings reading the paper in the sun and summer evenings dining al fresco, a south-facing garden is the most desirable. This will capture all day sun, unlike north-facing outdoor areas, which get the least exposure. However if you are primarily concerned with afternoon sun, west-facing gardens are idea. For a tell-tale clue look for the satellite dish; the long bar on the dish points towards due South.
5. Exterior Condition
Whilst viewing the garden or outdoor area, don’t forget to look up. Briefly assess the condition of the roof, exterior brickwork and drainage for any signs of disrepair. Missing tiles, blocks gutters, or worn and cracked brickwork can be superficial signs of deeper issues that might crop up in the survey.
If you don’t feel comfortable about checking these issues on your first visit, save it for the second. However it is important to inspect a home critically, to avoid disappointment later down the line. And if it passes your inspection, you can relish the fact that this really might be your dream home, and feel confident to pursue it.
Article written by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, freelance copywriter from Yorkshire. She enjoys fine food in great places. Follow her at @KellyGGrassam. The article is written with helpful information from ADM Residential.